Uganda’s vibrant capital boasts easy links across the Pearl of Africa, as well as top sightseeing opportunities of its own. With three full days in Kampala, you can get a taste of it all, from intimate city tours to safari excursions. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your time here, including several day-trip options.
Day 1: Curious about Kampala
Begin your Uganda visit by getting your bearings in Kampala on a comprehensive sightseeing tour, and gain insight into the bustling city’s past and present. Maximize your time with a full-day itinerary, ticking off several highlights in just one day and enjoying included round-trip hotel transfers; for a broader perspective, benefit from tours that include admission to the Uganda National Museum. If you have some free time before sundown, take a boda boda (bicycle or motorcycle taxi) to the summit of Kololo Hill for sweeping city panoramas. Top off your day in one of Kampala’s air-conditioned malls for dinner and drinks away from the tropical heat, then hit Jinja Road to experience the city’s lively nightlife.
Day 2: Scenic Surroundings and Sanctuaries
You needn’t travel far to immerse yourself in Uganda’s great outdoors, with several tours visiting top attractions fewer than two hours from the city. Geographers can head east to discover the source of the Nile or set off in the opposite direction to find the equator. Those looking for a break from the crowded city can explore Lake Victoria’s secluded shores by bike or Mabamba Bay Swamp in search of elusive bird species. Alternatively, nearby wildlife sanctuaries offer a uniquely intimate glimpse of Uganda’s native fauna, including chimpanzees, rhinoceroses, and lions. Return to town early enough for a street food supper, sampling specialties such as the “rolex,” then head to the Ndere Centre to catch a traditional dance and music performance.
Day 3: City Escape
Take advantage of the capital’s convenient links to the country’s wider reaches to enjoy a full day away from the city. Choose from a range of top destinations to gain a deeper appreciation of Uganda’s natural scenery or rich culture. Lake Bunyonyi and its terraces offer idyllic green vistas ideal for relaxation, while Kibale National Park, known for its wealth of rainforest landscapes and wildlife, offers more active excursions. Opt to observe traditional African safari species in their natural savannah habitats, such as Lake Mburo National Park, or instead visit traditional towns such as Fort Portal for immersive cultural experiences. After a busy few days, consider spending your last night in one of Entebbe’s high-end hotels or laid-back hostels to ensure swift and easy access to the nearby airport for your international flight.