Many travel to Uganda to catch sight of the mystical, mountain gorillas living in the dense forests. Yet Uganda’s attractions don’t stop there. The hippo-filled rivers, abundant birdlife, serene lakes and villages filled with enthusiastic locals consistently capture the attention, imagination and hearts of travellers worldwide.

Uganda Tours & Travel

All our Uganda trips

Gorillas, Chimps & Game Parks

16 days from
USD $2,404
CAD $2,481
AUD $2,432
EUR €1,624
GBP £1,407
NZD $2,709
ZAR R24,360
CHF FR1,956

The ultimate African adventure tour. See chimps in Uganda's Kibale Forest, Rhino in Kenya and go on a gorilla safari...

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Gorillas & Rhinos In Depth

21 days from
USD $3,488
CAD $3,778
AUD $3,774
EUR €2,551
GBP £2,175
NZD $4,130
ZAR R37,068
CHF FR3,086

Visit Africa and travel to Kenya for an overland tour to spot gorillas and rhinos in the jungles of Rwanda and Uganda...

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Gorillas, Game Parks & Beaches

29 days from
USD $4,109
CAD $4,238
AUD $4,154
EUR €2,723
GBP £2,404
NZD $4,627
ZAR R41,604
CHF FR3,297

Travel through East Africa to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zanzibar. Meet gorillas and visit Lake Nakuru, the...

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Africa Encompassed Southbound

60 days from
USD $7,038
CAD $7,262
AUD $7,122
EUR €4,665
GBP £4,112
NZD $7,931
ZAR R71,291
CHF FR5,649

See Africa encompassed on a tour through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and...

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Uganda Gorilla Shortbreak

4 days from
USD $2,762
CAD $2,850
AUD $2,795
EUR €1,922
GBP £1,615
NZD $3,112
ZAR R27,977
CHF FR2,327

Travel to Africa to meet some of Uganda's rare and beautiful mountain gorillas. Visit Kampala, Queen Elizabeth...

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Addis to Nairobi and Gorillas

66 days from
USD $7,660
CAD $7,998
AUD $7,655
EUR €5,746
GBP £4,885
NZD $9,317
ZAR R76,169
CHF FR6,847

Travel to Africa and visit the cosmopolitan city of Nairobi and the castles and palaces of Gonder as well as game...

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Nairobi to Addis and Gorillas

66 days from
USD $7,595
CAD $7,920
AUD $8,084
EUR €5,698
GBP £4,838
NZD $9,239
ZAR R75,106
CHF FR6,759

Travel to Africa and visit the cosmopolitan city of Nairobi and the castles and palaces of Gonder as well as game...

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Africa Encompassed Northbound

60 days from
USD $6,769
CAD $6,986
AUD $7,052
EUR €4,665
GBP £3,958
NZD $7,626
ZAR R68,575
CHF FR5,649

Jump aboard this epic tour from Cape Town to Nairobi. From safaris in Tanzania and Kenya to gorilla trekking in...

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Gorillas to Vic Falls

39 days from
USD $5,068
CAD $5,236
AUD $5,134
EUR €3,356
GBP £2,964
NZD $5,719
ZAR R51,390
CHF FR4,074

This epic East African adventure tour travels from Zimbabwe to Kenya. Safari in the Serengeti, go gorilla trekking,...

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Vic Falls to Gorillas

39 days from
USD $5,068
CAD $5,236
AUD $5,134
EUR €3,356
GBP £2,964
NZD $5,719
ZAR R51,390
CHF FR4,074

This East Africa adventure tour travels from Zimbabwe to Kenya. Visit Zanzibar beaches, explore the Serengeti and...

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Uganda trip reviews

Our Uganda trips score an average of 4.65 out of 5 based on 63 reviews in the last year.

Gorillas, Chimps & Game Parks, May 2014

Gorillas, Chimps & Game Parks, May 2014


Articles on Uganda

8 African snacks you must try

Posted on Tue, 11 Mar 2014

In Africa, most action takes place on the streets and roadsides – people hawking their wares, kids running to and from school, friends hanging out just chatting. There’s always movement [...]

Read more

About Uganda

At a glance

Capital city: Kampala (population 773,463)
Population: 34.6 million
Language: Swahili, English, Ganda
Currency: UGX
Time zone: (GMT+03:00) Nairobi
Electricity: Type G (Irish/British 3-pin)
Dialing code: +256

Best time to visit Uganda

For sunshine and hot weather, visit Uganda from late December to late February as this is the dry season. June to September is also a good time to travel as you can expect warm temperatures and little rain. The wet seasons run from March to May and October to November – during this time downpours are frequent and often create less accessibility on roads and within some national parks.

Kampala weather chart

Culture and customs

uganda children passionfruit market smiling fruit local produce
Uganda is home to many different tribal groups, and a wide variety of different customs and traditions can be observed depending on where you travel in Uganda. Spontaneous dance and song is a hallmark of African culture and this is not an exception in Uganda, where tribes and villages will often greet groups of newcomers with rousing song and dance. Greeting others is a very important part of Ugandan culture and not greeting or acknowledging someone you are passing or meeting can be seen as impolite, especially in rural areas and villages. Shaking hands is an appropriate greeting when meeting someone for the first time and often both hands are given for a handshake.

Food or drink is often extended to visitors, even though many Ugandans have very little, and it is viewed as impolite to decline an offer of food or hospitality. Accept willingly and graciously eat or drink what has been offered to you. Generally, most of Uganda’s population lives in rural or regional centres, although urban areas are rapidly expanding and modern influences are infiltrating Ugandan society at a fast rate. With this modernisation, some of the old ways are dying out as younger Ugandans become more adept at using technology, although many still live tribal lives based on hunting and agriculture.

Eating and drinking

Traditional style Chai tea

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.

Things to try in Uganda

1. Matooke

This local dish of mashed plantains, often cooked in a nut sauce and served with meat or fish, is a favourite with locals and can be found pretty much everywhere in Uganda

2. Chai Tea

While coffee is grown widely in Uganda, most is shipped out for international sale so locals drink tea instead. Chai tea is popular, which you’ll find at markets, kiosks, cafes and restaurants.

3. Fresh Fruit

Mango, pineapple, avocado, banana, plantain, passionfruit and jackfruit are all plentiful in Uganda. Buy from a market or roadside stall as a refreshing, cheap snack.

Geography and environment

Baby Gorilla grinning in Ugandan National Park
Uganda sits in East Africa and shares borders with Sudan, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Kenya. Despite being landlocked, Uganda still has access to fresh water via surrounding lakes (Lake Victoria, Lake Edward and Lake Albert). As a well-watered country with rich soil, much of Uganda’s land is used for agriculture and cash crops. Coffee, cotton, tea and tobacco plantations are common sights, as are farms of plantains, corn and cassava. The rest of the country is a combination of woodlands, swamp, forest and savanna, as well as pockets of protected nature reserves and national parks.

History and government

Ugandan traditional straw village hut

Early History

Inhabited by hunter-gatherer tribes for centuries, it's thought that the Hamitic people from neighbouring countries arrived sometime before 1000 AD, bringing with them knowledge of animal husbandry and agriculture. Migration from neighbouring countries continued, with tribespeople from Kenya and Tanzania flowing into Uganda well into the 16th century, as well as Arab traders moving inland from the coast and Christian missionaries arriving during the 1800s.

Recent History

Uganda came under colonial rule during the late 1800s, and was known as the Kingdom of Uganda under British rule. Colonial rule continued for many years until independence was granted in 1962. From 1971 to 1979, Uganda came under the rule of Idi Amin, hallmarked by a time of economic decline and human rights violations. By the time Amin had fled to Libya, many Ugandans were suffering from extreme economic hardship and social difficulties. Conflicts with neighbouring countries in the 80s and 90s created more turmoil and upheaval, although more recently, Ugandans have enjoyed a time of relative peace with an improved economy largely due to an increase in tourist numbers and agricultural export.

Top Picks

Close up of Gorilla in Ugandian National Park Leopard sits and keeps a watchful eye on his surroundings Tired looking lion posing for the camera in Ugandian National Park

Top 10 Amazing Animals of Uganda

1. Mountain Gorilla

Be transfixed by the wonder and majesty of Uganda’s highly endangered mountain gorillas. The challenging trek through the steamy jungle of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is all worth it once you’re beholding these beautiful beings.

2. African Elephant

Population numbers of the mighty African Elephant continue to grow in Uganda’s nature reserves and national parks. Catching sight of one of these brilliant beasts while on a game drive is a truly breathtaking experience.

3. Black and White Colobus Monkey

These curious creatures are fond of grunting, roaring and croaking – so they aren’t hard to find. Look for their white faces in the treetops while walking in Uganda’s national parks.

4. Black Rhinoceros

Although critically endangered, it’s still possible to see black rhinos in the Ugandan wild. Conservation projects have gone a long way in seeing the population numbers improve so with luck, you’ll spot a couple while on a game viewing safari.

5. Leopard

These stealthy predators are relatively difficult to spot as they are masters of staying silent and blending in with the scenery. Watching a leopard stalk prey is a tense, exciting and riveting experience.

6. Lion

There is simply nothing more thrilling than casting your eye on a pride of regal lions. Whether they are lying in the sun or going in for the kill, lions are captivating creatures to watch.

7. Hippopotamus

Hippos are synonymous with the African bush. Spot them lurking underwater and basking on the riverbanks along the rivers and channels of Uganda.

8. Chimpanzee

It’s fun to watch cheeky chimps swinging and playing in unadulterated bliss in the trees of Uganda’s forests.

9. Golden Cat

You’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of this famously elusive feline. The African Golden Cat is a solitary creature, which favours living alone in the tropical and cloud forests of Africa. If you’re lucky enough to see one, count your blessings as they are simply remarkable.

10. Ostrich

These flightless feathered friends are commonly found in the savanna of Northern Uganda. Be amazed at their size and impressive plumage, as well as their remarkable ability to run at top speed.


Traditional handwoven baskets in Uganda

Uganda has loads of interesting markets to visit, although many handicraft items are produced in neighbouring Kenya.

It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Uganda

1. Basketry

The practise of making traditional baskets is quite developed in Uganda. Choose from assorted shapes – from shallow dish-shaped basketry to deeper bowls and baskets. Materials range from raffia to millet and banana fibre.

2. Paper Beads

Throughout Uganda there are many workshops and organisations that sell beautiful and colourful beaded necklaces made from recycled paper. These creations not only cut down on waste by utilising recycled paper, they also usually provide employment for local women.

3. Bark Cloth

Tribes from South Uganda have been creating bark cloth for centuries, and it’s still available for sale. Nice finds include journals, notepads and photo albums made from a combination of bark cloth and recycled paper.

Festivals and Events in Uganda


For Ugandan Christians, Christmas Day is a time of holy reverence and family get-togethers. Most Ugandan’s dress up in their finest attire, go to church for a long service and spend the afternoon and evening eating beef. With many Ugandan’s living simple lives, eating beef is a rare pleasure reserved for Christmas.

FAQs on Uganda

Visas are required by most nationalities, including the EU, US and Australia. Visas are available at point of entry to most nationalities. Some nationalities are required to obtain visas in advance - you MUST check before departure. If you plan to purchase your visas on arrival, you will need new (post 2003), clean American dollars cash and the cost is around US$50. When on one of our gorilla itineraries visiting Rwanda, you may require a double entry visa to Uganda. This is dependent on the border guard of the day and can be easily purchased on re entry from Rwanda for nationalities which qualify for visa on arrival. Please allow US$50.
Tipping isn’t mandatory in Uganda but considering that most Ugandans earn little, tips will be appreciated. As a guide, adding 10% in cafes and restaurants is acceptable, although not necessary.
Travellers will be able to access the internet quite easily in the internet cafes of Uganda’s capital and large cities, but limited to no access should be expected in regional and rural areas.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Uganda’s large cities and towns, but less so in rural and mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated before leaving home if you wish to use your mobile phone.
Squat/pit toilets are the standard in Uganda, except for western-style flushable toilets that are sometimes available in large hotels and other modern buildings. Carry your own supply of soap and toilet paper, as these are rarely provided.
Can of soft drink = 1,500 UGX
Bottle of beer = 2,500 UGX
Street snack = 3,000-4,000 UGX
Meal at a cafe = 10,000-20,000 UGX
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Uganda. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found; some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards are usually accepted by large hotels and western-style restaurants (particularly in the cities) but not by smaller vendors. Ensure you have adequate cash to cover purchases not able to be made on credit.
ATMs are easily found in large cities and tourist areas, but are rarer in small towns, rural areas and villages. Be sure to have other payment methods available when venturing out of the city, as ATMs aren't always an option.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 26 Liberation Day
Mar 8 International Women’s Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
Jun 3 Martyrs’ Day
Jun 9 National Heroes’ Day
Aug 8 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Oct 9 Independence Day
Oct 15 Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to:

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

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The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
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Responsible Travel

Uganda Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Uganda

1. Be considerate of Uganda’s customs, traditions, religions and culture.

2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.

3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not ForgetAndrew Rice
Girl SoldierFaith McDonnell and Grace Akallo
The Impenetrable Forest: My Gorilla Years in UgandaThor Hanson
Abyssinian ChroniclesMoses Isegawa
The Last King of ScotlandGiles Foden