Gorilla tracking ranks among one of the absolute highlights of a trip to Africa for most travellers, and the spine-tingling feeling that you get being so near to one of our closest relatives is hard to describe.
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Mountain Gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered apes. It is estimated that there are only about 880 left throughout the world. Almost half of them can be found in Uganda, and populations can also be found in neighbouring Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.More information »
Murchison Falls National Park
Covering an area of over 3,840 km², Murchison Falls National Park is the largest conservation area in Uganda. The park’s name derives from its famous waterfall: the mighty Murchison Falls, which are formed where the Victoria Nile powerfully forces its way through a narrow cleft before plunging 43m down with a thunderous roar.More information »
Chimpanzee Tracking Kibale Forest
Chimpanzees share 98% of human genes making them our closest living relatives. They are found in 21 countries throughout Africa, but are most easily sighted in Uganda due to their dense populations. Kibale Forest is especially good for tracking trips, but chimps can also be seen in the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth NP and in Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls NP.More information »
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most visited game reserve and certainly the most scenic. The park has a big variety of habitats including savanna grassland mixed with various kinds of trees and grassy plains, but also tropical rainforest, different swamps and volcanic features, comprising volcanic cones and deep craters.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is an excellent place to sight large game, track the chimpanzees in the Kyambura Gorge, go bird watching on the Kazinga Channel, and see the famous tree climbing lions in Ishasha.More information »
Kidepo Valley National Park
With great savanna landscapes and mountains rising up in the background, the remote Kidepo Valley NP is a true gem of Uganda's nature.
The park spans 1,442 km2 and ranges from 900 to 2.750 m in altitude. Because of its remote location on the border with South Sudan, Kidepo Valley is possibly the only national park left on the whole continent where you can almost have the park to yourself (average of six visitors per day).More information »
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo is the smallest of Uganda's wildlife parks and very centrally located a few hours' drive from Kampala and less than one day's drive from the southwest of Uganda (home of the mountain gorillas). Lake Mburo has rich animal lifewith more than 315 different bird species and 68 different mammals (including impala, buffalo, leopards, hyenas, jackals, etc). Lake Mburo is also the only park in Uganda where you can find zebras.More information »
Sitting in the foothills of Mt Elgon and overlooking a vast plain, Sipi Falls is arguably the most beautiful chain of waterfalls in all of Uganda. There are three levels, and though the smaller two are beautiful, it is the 95m main drop that attracts visitors to this area, and most of Sipi's lodging looks out over it. It is well worth spending a night or two in this spectacular yet peaceful place whether it is a part of your Uganda tour or in connection with a climb of the nearby volcano.More information »
Undeniably the loveliest lake in Uganda, Bunyonyi ('place of many little birds') contains 29 islands, many of which are inhabited and terraced for agriculture. Wake to school children paddling dug-out canoes through the morning mist as crested cranes fly overhead.More information »
This scenic lake lies just north of Kisoro and makes for a relaxing base from which to explore the area and track mountain gorillas in nearby Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. With the misty Virunga volcanoes as a backdrop and ringed by papyrus swamp, there are plenty of hikes, birdwatching, and water activities to be enjoyed around this lake.More information »
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
It is one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth, where half the surviving population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla lives in its jungles. The forest has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its biological significance.More information »
Kibale Forest N.P.
Kibale Forest National Park is located in west-central Uganda just east of the Rwenzori Mountains, near the town of Fort Portal. The 766 km² park predominantly covers evergreen rain forest and ranges between 1100 and 1600m in elevation. Kibale Forest is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests and forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park.More information »
Jinja has a vibrant downtown and broad leafy residential streets set next to the Nile River. Tourism has grown to compete with the manufacturing past of the town as nearby watersports draw visitors from all around. Here you can get your fix of kayaking, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, horseback riding, and mountain biking.More information »
Due to its small size and relative low level of development, Entebbe retains a distinct charm. Most of the broad tree-lined residential streets will eventually lead you to the lakeside or to one of the town's two golf courses. Though it is tempting to head straight to Kampala from your flight, Entebbe has a few attractions of its own that are worth your time.More information »
Situated 320km drive west of Kampala, Fort Portal makes for an ideal base from which to begin discovering this side of Uganda. Queen Elizabeth, Kibale Forest, and Semiliki are all within easy striking distance and with an altitude of 1480m, the evenings are cool and the views over the nearby Rwenzori Mountains are spectacular.More information »
Located on the border between Uganda and DR Congo, this impressive range includes the third highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Stanely which includes snow-capped Margherita peak (5109m). Stretching about 110 km long, the Unesco World Heritage Site includes an extraordinary range of landscapes, from thick tropical rainforest on the lower slopes transitioning to the bizarre afro-alpine moorland, before finishing in glaciers at the highest reaches.More information »
Mt Elgon National Park
Lying on the border between Kenya and Uganda, Mount Elgon is said to have the largest surface area of any extinct volcano in the world and a caldera which covers over 40km2 at the top of the mountain. The highest peak, Wagagai, sits at 4,321m and is the second highest in Uganda (after Rwenzori) and the eighth highest in Africa, though millions of years ago it was the continent's tallest.More information »
Set on a large plateau between the mountains of Sudan and the Eastern Rift escarpment of Kenya, Karamoja has been the home of a proudly unique people still surviving as pastoralists. The climate is dry and windswept, but reveals beautiful panoramas, sunsets over the mountain peaks and amazingly starry nights.More information »
Kampala (pop: 1.5m) is a dynamic and engaging city, with few of the hassles of other capitals in the region. It's safe to walk around virtually everywhere in the daytime and many of the city's leafy hills have pleasant restaurants with a surprisingly diverse selection of cuisines.
This is a city full of stark contrasts. From the impossibly chaotic jam of central Kampala, with streets packed with shoppers, hawkers, and mind-boggling bus stations, one can easily head up Nakasero Hill with broad tree-lined streets, expensive hotels, and foreign embassies.More information »
Set in the beautifully verdant hills of the southwestern corner of Uganda, Kisoro serves as a popular base for tourists, here primarily for nearby Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, track golden monkeys or to climb volcanoes. The town isn't much to look at, but affords a kind of frontier atmosphere that many find charming.More information »
This lush archipelago of 84 islands along Lake Victoria's northwestern shore boat some stunning white-sand beaches and a very slow rhythm.
Ssese remains a great place to kick back and read a good book. There are canoes for hire, but swimming is unadvisable due to risks of bilharzias and the occasional hippo or crocodile.More information »
Hoima (pop: 43,000) is a pleasant and fast-growing town in western Uganda roughly 4 hours' drive from Kampala and 1 hour from Masindi. It is part of the Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom and the administrative and commercial centre for the district of the same name. It sits only 20 miles from the shore of Lake Albert across which is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The lake is the site of newly discovered oil reserves which are expected to bring changes to Hoima and the district in the near future.More information »
This is the largest town in northern Uganda and one of the hardest hit during the decade-long Lord's Resistance Army conflict. However, optimism reigns as nearly half the city now seems to be under construction, store shelves are full, and people are arriving from elsewhere in the country hoping to cash in on the coming economic boom partly through trade with South Sudan just to the north.
In addition to being a stopover on the way to Kidepo Valley National Park, visitors may be interested in going on a guided tour of a charity project assisting war-affected children to reintegrate into society.More information »
Typical of secondary towns in Uganda, the main road of Kabale (pop: 41,000) is potholed and relatively uninteresting. However, it is the green, scenic, and heavily cultivated hills surrounding the town that make the area special. Kabale serves as a gateway to relaxing Lake Bunyonyi, gorgeous Lake Mutanda, and the thrilling gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.More information »
Semuliki National Park
This national park covers 220 sq km of the valley floor that forms a link between the heights of East Africa and the vast, steaming jungles of central Africa. It harbours some intriguing wildlife and sulphur hot springs which can be seen on a short day walk.More information »
Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve
Recovering slowly from years of war and pillage, this reserve now hosts a significant number of wildlife species including waterbuck, reedbuck, bushbuck, buffalo, leopard, elephants and hyenas. A number of lions have also recently returned to the reserve, most likely refugees from the conflict in neighbouring DRC.More information »
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the chief reservoir of the White Nile. Its waters fill a shallow depression in the centre of the great plateau that stretches between the Western and Eastern Rift Valleys. Among the freshwater lakes of the world it is exceeded in size only by Lake Superior in North America. More information »
Off the beaten track options
Uganda is an amazingly diverse country with plenty for a traveller to see and do. Unfortunately, we can't put all options in our itineraries and therefore we have made a list of some spectacular options that you can add to your tour. In this way you don't have to miss out on anything!
What about sleeping in a tree house in the deep forest? Or visiting a traditional tribe, hike to the peak of Rwenzori Mountains (5109m), do some horseback riding among buffalo and zebra? You can even opt for a full-day chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the standard one-hour tour!
Matoke Tours is known for going off the beaten track and we recommend that you add one of those great "off the beaten track options" to your itinerary to spice it up a little....More information »