UGANDA

ACTIVITIES

The activities listed here are some of the best Uganda has to offer. Ujuzi African Travel is committed to customizing a travel package that meets your travel interests and fulfills your vacation dreams. If a particular activity isn't listed here that you'd like to do, let us know and we'll incorporate it into your itinerary.


Boat Launches/Cruises

Lake Mburo National Park

A journey on Lake Mburo will impress with you true African beauty. Observe mighty hippo and croc populations. Water bird species are often too numerous for even the keenest birder to identify them all. This is an opportunity for great wildlife experiences coupled with unforgettable, stunning scenery and panoramic landscape views.

Murchison Falls National Park - The Nile/Base of the Falls

The launch trip to the base of the falls is not to be missed. Cruising down the Nile provides a great opportunity to observe the animals as they come down to the water's edge to drink. The Nile supports the largest concentration of hippos and crocodiles in Africa and a dazzling variety of water birds. The views of the falls as you approach by boat are spectacular. The Nile first heads down 50 miles of white water rapids and then at the falls it plunges 50 yards across the remnant rift barricade at Murchison falls. The launch trip lasts about 3 hours.

Murchison Falls National Park - The Nile/Delta Trip

This is a must for bird lovers. Ride a boat down Victoria Nile in Murchison Falls National Park to Lake Albert and see papyrus swamps filled with wildlife. The Delta is the best place in Uganda to see the rare Shoebill stork. This trip takes about 4 - 5 hours.

Queen Elizabeth National Park - Kazinga Channel

The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel is one of the most popular activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides an amazing chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fresh river breeze while observing a large selection of animals. Elephants, buffalo, waterbuck and Ugandan Kob are most commonly seen, but large breeding pods of hippos are also seen on a daily basis. On occasion visitors will also see the giant forest hog, leopards and lions. Water birds are plentiful, in particular: water thick-knee, yellow-billed stork, various plovers, white pink-backed Pelicans, and white-bellied cormorants.


Chimpanzee Trekking/Viewing

Kibale Forest National Park

This is an unforgettable and almost unbelievable experience for chimp enthusiasts and aspiring researchers. Stay with the chimps all day and take the time to really connect with the group and learn about their different characters and habits. This experience offers a real chance to develop fieldwork skills and learn about behavioral research.

Murchison Falls National Park

Budongo Forest is located on the southern side of Murchinson Falls National Park and is protected within the Budongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserves. Budongo Forest feels like an enchanted place due to it having one of the most varied forest faunas in the whole of East Africa. The 500 sq mile forest reserve has over 465 plant species recorded, more then 250 butterfly species, a large variety of mammals, including the largest population of chimpanzees anywhere in Uganda (roughly 800 individuals). Other common primates include red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus, blue monkey, potto and various forest galago species. Budongo Forest is also an incredible experience for bird lovers as it is of great ornithological significance with more then 366 bird species recorded, including 60 West or Central African birds that inhabit less then 5 locations in East Africa.

Chimpanzee trekking takes place in the Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserve. Chimp habituation started officially in 1992 and guided chimp walks are held twice daily. The success of sighting the chimps is high, although it depends greatly on the fruiting seasons, with increased likelihood of good viewings of the chimps between the months of May and August. The terrain encountered during the trek through the forest in search of the chimpanzees is fairly tough going with some steep and long inclines to be tackled. However, the beauty of the forest engulfs you entirely as you walk along the well-maintained paths listening to the huge variety of bird song and animal calls. The informative guide will talk to you about the history of the forest and help you to identify the rich flora and fauna. You will be asked to observe the group in relative quiet and to not use flash photography when capturing this breathtaking moment on film.

Ngamba Island

Established in 1998, and managed by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary provides a safe haven for 44 orphaned chimps.

Situated 16 miles offshore from Entebbe, in Lake Victoria, beautiful Ngamba Island is almost 100 acres in size and boasts over 50 different types of vegetation that the chimps utilize: the chimps are free to roam at their will, exploring their environment and foraging for food.

Visits offer a unique opportunity for close viewing of chimpanzees in their natural forested environment. Pre-arranged supplementary feeding times bring the chimpanzees within yards of the raised walkway specially designed for easy viewing. Excellent photographic opportunities are available as well as just enjoying being near to one of our closest animal relatives.

Day Trips
Three day trips available for Ngamba Island: half-day trips leave in the morning and afternoon, and a full-day trip where you leave before breakfast and return before dinner. Whichever trip you choose, our driver/guide will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Entebbe Pier. You will be taking a speedboat; the journey is approximately 45 minutes -- weather dependent! On arrival, visitors are shown to the island's Interpretation Centre where a chimpanzee caregiver will give the orientation talk. After an interesting briefing you will move to the viewing platform to observe the chimps during their supplementary feeding times. After feeding you are free to explore the island's visitor's area and enjoy the facilities.

A half day's visit includes the briefing on Ngamba Island and the work they are involved in and the chance to observe the excitement and fun of one supplementary feeding time. A full day's visit includes two chances to observe the chimp's feeding time.

Queen Elizabeth National Park -- Kyambura Gorge

Kyambura Gorge is situated on the eastern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The gorge emerges from between savannah grassland and has a riverine virgin forest that transits to papyrus swamps towards Kazinga Channel. Kyambura Gorge is home to habituated chimpanzees, many other primates, and a huge variety of both forest and plains bird species. The best time to trek the chimpanzees is in the morning, trekking is also available in the afternoon but this time slot may be more undesirable due to the likelihood of increased temperatures. Trekking chimpanzees at Kyambura Gorge is considered to be slightly harder then at Kibale Forest National Park. The trails are maintained and once inside the Gorge the inclinations are relatively easy going, however, the climb back out of the Gorge can be extremely difficult if you are not prepared.


Community/Service Projects

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

This small, but impressive wetland sanctuary protects the Magombe swamp and is an important contribution to Ugandan conservation. It is run by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development and all the money raised from tourism is used in community projects in Bigodi. The trail offers one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa and gives walkers the attractive prospect of seeing various different primate species in just a few hours. The swamps are a haven for a huge number of bird and butterfly species and so ornithologists will be delighted as they trek through the rich swamplands accompanied by the great diversity of sights and sounds of the beaked and tuneful residents. Visitors can also expect to see at least 5 to 6 of the different primate species that reside in Kibale Forest National Park.

Bwindi Community Health Projects

Bwindi Community Health Centre or, as it is affectionately known, Dr Scott's Clinic, was started by U.S. Missionaries Scott and Carol Kellermann in 2003. They came to Uganda with a mission to help the Batwa Pygmies who had been evicted from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest after it was established as a National Park in 1991.

BCHC provides different levels of health care to different patients. People from the nearby parishes use the Health Centre for everything: outpatients for all health problems, delivery of babies, vaccinations, treatment of tuberculosis, and when they become seriously ill and need admission to the wards.

People from further away use the Health Centre for more complex problems, and will often go to their local Government Health Centre first. Some of the local Government Health Centres struggle to get adequate supplies of drugs, and others have staff that battle with difficult working conditions and low morale. BCHC has a reputation for high quality, and sometimes people travel for many days by foot to reach the Health Centre. The x-ray and ultrasound machines are the only functioning ones within hours of driving.

Altogether more than 40,000 people in Kayonza and Mpungu sub counties of Kanungu District rely on BCHC. It is especially important to the several hundred impoverished Batwa Pygmies who live in nearby settlements surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Entebbe Welfare School

Established to help children with disabilities in Entebbe and the surrounding areas, the Entebbe Welfare School is a mixed gender school with the ages of the children ranging from 5 to 17 years of age. At the close of 2009 there were a total of 65 pupils at the school, and an estimated increase of about 10% is expected in 2010. It is the only school in the area which caters for children with special needs. The majority of the pupils are day schooled but a few who come from far away board at the school. At the moment there is 1 girls dormitory and 1 boys dormitory. The education level taught is from 1st through 4th grades. The school wishes to extend this to reach middle school, but unfortunately they do not have the facilities to cater for the increased number of students. The daily activities are run by a team of 6 teachers and the headmistress, Gertrude Nakanabi, has been in this position since 2003.


Cultural Activities

Ankole Cultural Center

The Banyakole community surrounding Lake Mburo National Park created the "Ankole Cultural Centre" to highlight the customs and history of their kingdom. The Cultural Centre is situated just outside the park near the Sanga gate. A visit to the Centre will introduce you to the traditional culture of the area and the local way of life. Typical village houses can be visited and Ankole guides will explain their people's history and lifestyle. Distinctive Ankole handmade crafts can be purchased as souvenirs.

Craft Markets

Take a shopping tour of the two largest craft markets in Kampala, one situated on Buganda road and the other is behind the National Theatre. Here is your opportunity to enhance your haggling skills and pick up some beautiful pieces of African arts and crafts.

Kasubi Tombs

Situated on a hill within Kampala, the Kasubi Tombs site is an active religious place in the Buganda kingdom. Its place, as the burial ground for the previous four Kabakas, makes it a very important religious centre for the royal family, a place where the Kabaka and his representatives frequently carry out important rituals related to Ganda culture.

Katwe Salt Plains

Katwe Salt Lake, near Queen Elizabeth National Park, is home to Uganda's oldest industry. Here salt is mined in the traditional manner and the salt ore looks the same as it did in the 14th century. The salt mine has been divided and distributed to various tribes in Uganda according to traditional cultural expectations. Visit one of the local fishing villages and learn what is involved in the day to day life within Ugandan fishing community.

Paper Craft

This community project is situated halfway between Entebbe and Kampala. It is a locally run company who uses natural materials, such as banana leaf, pineapple and elephant grass, to make various kinds of paper. This is then used to produce a wide variety of items, including photo frames, gift boxes, cards, albums, books, and many other interesting objects. During your visit you will be shown the process of paper making, with an opportunity to try it yourself. You will be shown how the paper is then worked to make the various goods and again have the opportunity to make something yourself to take home. At the end of the tour, there will be a chance to purchase any of the items on sale. The money received from the sale of any goods is used to help local communities. This year Paper Craft has expanded their crafts to include soap making, which they supply to the lodges, and also jewelry made from recycled glass.

Uganda Museum

Kampala's Uganda Museum is a treasure trove of information on Uganda's multicultural past. From fossilized pre-human footprints to Stone Age tools to traditional clothing, the exhibits of Uganda's history, anthropology, and geography will impress you with its rich heritage. Also included is a unique collection of traditional musical instruments, which visitors are encouraged to play.


Cultural Walks

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Stretch your legs with a Bwindi cultural walk. You will meet with locals of many different generations and see the way of life in this developing country. The 3-hour walk will introduce you to the customs and practices of the Batwa Pygmies and Bakiga people. Some of the places you will visit include a local handicraft shop that is run by the women of the community. The women design and produce a wide variety of beautiful traditional crafts such as mats, wood carvings, dyed clothes, weavings, and much more. They earn revenue from the sales of their works to support their families, and additional revenues are used to support the school and orphanage.

The walk then leads you through well-groomed tea plantations that thrive on the rich fertile volcanic soils of the Albertine rift valley, where you will learn about the cultivation, processing, and distribution of tea. You will then stroll through small food gardens and open fields where boys herd the beautiful long-horned Ankole cattle. One of the highlights of this cultural visit is a visit to a traditional healer or medicine man. You will also visit a banana distillery, where bananas are used to make juice, beer, and spirits.

Kibale Forest National Park

This 2-hour walk includes visiting the vanilla plantations, where Ndali grow and process their own vanilla for resale locally and internationally. The vanilla grown on site is supplemented with that grown by over 1000 other farmers, a community project implemented and maintained by Ndali. On the walk you also encounter coffee plantations and a wide variety of birds and some small primates. On the way back up to the lodge, clients are shown the extensive Ndali kitchen gardens where a wide variety of fruit and vegetables is grown and used at the lodge or sold at the local markets.


Fishing

Nile perch weighing in between 20—180 pounds are the largest freshwater game fish in Africa and are the main catch in both Lake Victoria and the Murchison Nile. For all of the fishing trips we encourage the catch and release policy.

Lake Victoria

The fishing trips are open to all anglers, both novices and also more experienced fisherman, and can range from half to full day or longer overnight trips for those keener anglers. Trolling with lures is the method generally used for fishing on the lake. All the necessary equipment for Nile perch trolling on the lake is provided, but anglers may also bring and use their own tackle.

Murchison Falls National Park

Fishing at Murchison is a profound fishing experience and can be extremely exciting. Fishing is done either from the riverbank or from a boat. Caution must be taken if fishing from the bank as Nile crocodiles and hippos are often in abundance.

Fishing at Murchison Falls generally involves fishing with live bait or by casting lures, the larger species caught using these methods are Nile perch and various species of catfish. There are many species of smaller fish that are used as live bait, such as tiger fish. These can be caught by the spinning method.


Game Drives

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo is Uganda's second biggest National Park (900 sq miles) and one of Africa's last great wilderness areas. Kidepo is the only park in Uganda where visitors may see cheetah, and it is also the only park where it possible to see giraffe and zebra in the same place. Lions, elephants, buffalo, ostriches, antelope, and numerous other mammal and bird species also reside on the park. While the game viewing is excellent, it is the sense of supreme isolation that distinguishes this rare slice of wild Africa.

Lake Mburo National Park

The best way to explore the park fully is by road. Game driving in Lake Mburo will give the best opportunity for seeing the impala and zebra. These two species are the flagship species for Lake Mburo, because it is the only place in Uganda to see the majestic impala and the only easily accessible place to see Burchell's zebra. Game Drives can be taken along numerous different paths, the best choice depends upon the weather and the season. During the dry season, animals tend to congregate around the swamps and lakes; this is a remarkable photo opportunity -- a magnitude of wild African animals with the sparkling lakes in the background.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is said to be the best game park in Uganda. During a typical game drive you can be expected to see a large number of antelope species, including the bush buck, the water buck, Thomson's gazelle, and the dik-dik to name but a few. Larger herbivores, such as giraffe and elephant are present in the park in great numbers, and often the lumbering giraffe will cross the road right in front of you. MFNP is the most accessible park in Uganda to see the giraffe. Huge groups of buffalo are a common sight while exploring the park on a game drive. Primates, such as the baboon and the patas monkey, stare at you as you pass by, and if you are a bird lover then Murchison Falls National Park will not disappoint. Murchison may be the best park in Uganda to see the big cats (Uganda has only lions and leopards) and these are spotted with increasing frequency.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be split into two areas, the Channel Drive Circuit and the Kasenyi Plains.

The Channel Drive Circuit follows the northern shore of the Kazinga Channel, the roads wind between tangled thickets interspersed with the cactus like euphorbia trees. The most common large mammals seen here are warthog, bushbuck, waterbuck, elephants, hippos, and, frequently, lions. Leopards are also a common sight in this section of the park due to them being unusually habituated; here is a rare opportunity to get up close and personal to these magnificent animals. This is also one of the few places in Africa where the rare giant forest hog is regularly seen during daylight hours.

The Kasenyi Plains stretching towards Lake George is a typical African Savannah. These rolling plains support some of the largest concentrations of game anywhere in Queen Elizabeth National Park and offer a different selection of animals then that seen on the Channel Drive Circuit. According to the guides, this is considered the most reliable place in Uganda to see lions. This section of the park also boasts an interesting selection of grassland birds, including grey-crowned crane, red-throated spurfowl, and yellow-throated longclaw.


Gorilla Trekking

Gorillas are our closest living relatives among the world's great apes. Studies of fossils, genes, physiology, and behavior have revealed just how recently our shared lineage divided. Gorillas are complex, highly intelligent apes besieged by threats on all sides, including poachers, diseases, and a dwindling habitat that is in constant danger of being further eroded or depleted. Charismatic animals such as Gorillas serve as "flagship" species.

The mountain gorilla not only attracts public support in its own right, but also helps to focus attention on its afro-montane habitat, upon which many other species depend for survival. Only about 706 mountain gorillas survive today, all of them in the wild. In the ensuing century, a combination of hunting and habitat destruction has driven this very rare primate to the verge of extinction.

Tracking gorillas is a unique experience — it leads you into a strange land to meet unusual creatures on their own terms. This can be humbling and thrilling at the same time. It must be stressed that, while you have a very good chance of seeing gorillas, success is not guaranteed. They are wild creatures with no fixed routines. The guides and trackers have helped to habituate the gorilla groups and know them intimately, and they will take you to the areas where they left the gorillas the day before. Before leaving, they will be able to suggest how long the hike might take. While walking, please ask your guides to slow down if they are going too fast and if you need a rest. Feel free to stop and look at the birds or flowers; the guide will ensure that they do not leave you behind. Watch out for safari ants on the trail — they bite and hang on, and if you step in them and get covered, the only solution is to strip. The actual trail you will follow will depend on where the gorillas were the day before and what signs the trackers find to indicate where the group has gone. They will be looking for crushed vegetation, broken plants that the gorillas might have been eating, and also fresh dung and footmarks.

A maximum of 8 visitors are allowed to trek each gorilla group.

In Uganda there are 6 gorilla families that are habituated and available for tourist trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park:

Mubare Group

Family size: 9 members, including 1 silverback

Habinyanja Group

Family size: 23 members, including 1 silverback

Rushegura Group

Family size: 15 members, including 1 silverback

Bitukura Group

Family size: 13 members, including 4 silverbacks

Nkuringo Group

Family size: 19 members, including 2 silverbacks

Nshongi Group

Family size: 34 members, including 3 silverbacks


Horseback Safaris

Horseback safaris are now available in Lake Mburo National Park from Mihingo Lodge. Without any engine sounds or fumes you feel part of nature and often get the chance to see the more timid animals. Experiencing game from horseback is very special: zebra come towards you to check out the strange relative without strips. Even the normally very shy eland curiously look at the horses without running away, just keeping their distance.


Primate Walk

Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species and a guided forest trek can be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world -- the chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates, these include, vervet, red-tailed, L'Hoest's, blue monkeys, greycheeked manabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon and the most famous of all, the chimpanzee.

Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them standing at higher then 90%. Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by birdsong and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primate, most probably the grey-cheeked mangabey and the red-tailed monkey. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain.


Tribal Visits

Batwa

Bwindi Forest is home to a fantastic diversity of flora and fauna, including some exotic plants, and rare and endangered animals. The forest was also once home to the Batwa pygmies. These indigenous people were the original dwellers of the ancient forest and were known as the "keepers of the forest." The Batwa lived in harmony with the forest and survived by hunting small game using bows and arrows, and gathering plants for both food and medicinal purposes.

In 1992, the lives of the Batwa changed forever when the forest became a national park and world heritage site in order to protect the endangered mountain gorillas that reside within its boundaries. The Batwa were evicted from the park and became conservation refugees in a world that was very unfamiliar to them. Their skills and means of subsistence were not useful in this modern environment and they began to suffer.

In 2001, when the Batwa tribe was on the edge of extinction, American medical missionaries, Dr Scott and Carol Kellermann came to their rescue. They purchased land and established programs to improve the conditions and lives of the Batwa. This included the building of a school, hospital, and housing. The Kellermanns also developed water and sanitation projects and found ways that the Batwa could generate income and sustain themselves.

These projects are now managed and operated by the Batwa Development Program. BDP works closely with the Batwa community to try to ensure that their indigenous rights are respected and they also benefit from the forest being a national park and tourist attraction.

The Batwa cultural experience was created by the displaced Batwa pygmies to educate their children and to share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world.

A day spent with the Batwa gives you the opportunity to enjoy the following:

  • Hike in the forest with the people of the forest. You will have a Batwa guide and he will provide you with the chance to see the forest and its habitants through their eyes.
  • See how they lived and hunted in the traditional manner. Enjoy trying out your hunting techniques as the Batwa teach you how to shoot with a bow and arrow.
  • Visit a traditional Batwa homestead and learn from the women how to prepare, cook, and serve a meal. You will also have the opportunity to sample the dishes.
  • Talk to a medicine men and learn about the medicinal properties of the forest flora.
  • Hear ancient legends and traditional songs.

Kidepo Valley National Park

The Karamojong and the Ik are two of the tribes living near Kidepo Valley National Park. The Karamojong are a pastoral, livestock-herding tribe, and cattle have economic and cultural significance as well. Visit them to see how a semi-nomadic tribe lives, experience their multigenerational culture, and marvel at their beautiful arts and crafts. The Ik, also known as the "Mountain People," also prize cattle highly and live in walled settlements.


Walking/Hiking

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi has more to offer then just gorilla tracking. Five different day trails, ranging from 30 minutes to 8 hours in duration, offering the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of the forest and to see several different monkey species. For birders, roughly 190 bird species have been recorded in this area, 10 of which are either listed in the Red Data Book or else endemic to the Albertine Rift.

  • The Muyanga River Trail lies outside the national park and so no guide is required. It takes roughly 30 minutes, starting at the end of Buhoma road, where it follows the Bizenga River to its confluence with the Muyanga, before returning to Buhoma Road. Birding can be good in the early morning and late afternoon. This non-guided trail is free of charge.
  • The Waterfall Trail is for best for primate species and general scenery. It takes about 3 hours and leads for about 1 mile along an abandoned road before crossing the Muyanga River several times on the ascent to the 110 foot-high waterfall. Bathing is permitted at the bottom of the waterfall and often required after the relatively tough hiking.
  • Mazubijiro Loop Trail and Rushara Hill Trail: both take about 3 hours and offer good views across to the Virunga Mountains.
  • The Ivo River Walk is the longest, with duration of 8 hours. This walk leads to the Ivo River on the southern boundary of the park and offers good opportunity for seeing monkeys, duikers, and large variety of birds.

Kidepo Valley National Park

One of the most alluring destinations in Uganda, guided walks through KVNP give excellent opportunities to enjoy the rugged mountain scenery, excellent game viewing, and birdwatching. The most common species seen are elephants, buffalo, zebras, waterbuck, and hartbeest.

Lake Mburo National Park

The guided walks are among the most alluring and unique activities in Lake Mburo National Park. You are permitted to walk anywhere in the park in the company of an armed park ranger. This gives tourists the unique chance to get out and about and absorb the wonders of the African bush without the confines of a vehicle.

Ngamba Island

If staying on the island, guests have the opportunity to have a morning forest walk with some of the juvenile chimps. This walk allows for direct contact with the animals. You will be walking through the lush forest giving a playful chimp a piggy back ride or playing "hide and seek" or "catch me if you can" with these mischievous individuals. Chimps share 98% of our DNA and these young ones definitely resemble human children in their demand for attention and play. If you start tickling one belly, realize that there will soon be a line of others eager for the same attention. Forest walks last 1 hour and there is a maximum of 4 people allowed on each walk.

Queen Elizabeth National Park -- Maramagambo Forest

Maramagambo Forest is one of the largest forests in Uganda. It is of medium altitude, moist and semi-deciduous -- there are not many forests left of this specification anymore. It is recommended that a UWA ranger guide you on one of the many walks which can be taken through this lush green forest. One of the most popular walks is to Maramagambo bat caves where thousands of fruit bats roost every day. The walks are easy and on well-defined paths.

Rwenzori Mountains

Described as being perhaps the toughest hiking challenge in East Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains require above-average fitness and stamina. The magic of the Rwenzori's snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and vegetation zones has long inspired mankind's spirit of adventure. The first well-documented sighting of the Rwenzoris by Europeans was made by Sir Henry Stanley in 1876. Prior to this it was incorrectly rumored that the source of the Nile came from the "The Mountains of the Moon." However, "Rwenzori," derived from a local name meaning "Hill of Rain," which is a more accurate description of this mountain range that receives approximately 98-118 inches of rainfall annually. As a result, the Rwenzoris have a unique ecosystem with several vegetative zones and numerous endemic species of gigantic plants. The park also supports an impressive number of mammals, including elephant, cats, chimpanzee, giant forest hog, and many shyer species of antelope, as well as a diverse and colorful variety of birds. A variety of hiking/trekking options are available in this stunning mountain range from one to nine days.


Whitewater Rafting

Jinja, a small colonial town in Uganda, is your source for rafting trips can be taken. Rafting the river Nile in Uganda has become a huge tourist attraction and Jinja is often called the "adventure capital of East Africa." Whitewater enthusiasts have been rafting here for over 10 years.

The Victorian source of the Nile in Uganda has something for everyone, from the apprehensive who has never been on a river before to the seasoned adventurer. The Nile is the classic pool-drop river with deep, calm pools interspersed between powerful and exciting rapids and multitudes of different channels. At no point is the Nile constrained to one channel. The multitude of rapids between the beautiful mid-river islands allows the expert guides to choose milder options for those not willing to subject themselves to certain dunking in the river.

There are a variety of options available, dependent on the client's requirements and needs:

  • Half Day Whitewater Rafting
  • Full Day Whitewater Rafting
  • 2-Day Whitewater Rafting
  • Family Rafting
  • Bungee Jumping and Whitewater Rafting

The whitewater rafting is done in paddle-rafts, each person joins as a member of a team and a professional guide captains the team. Paddlers are instructed comprehensively on how best to enjoy themselves on the water and on all aspects of safety, including the use of safety kayaks that accompany every raft trip on the water. The highly trained safety kayakers are world-class paddlers who adeptly pilot their kayaks through the rapid ahead of the raft. When the rafts flip upside down or people are washed overboard, the skilled kayakers are nearby to provide quick assistance in getting people back to their boats.

The trip on the water begins slowly and the first few miles give the raft guides an opportunity to train their crews fully on all aspects of Nile rafting. The river becomes much more adventurous at Bujagali Falls with one major rapid following another in swift succession. Once the rafts enter Wildwaters Reserve (which protects the unique flora and fauna of the mid-stream islands of the Nile), there is more time between the rough water, but the rapids become larger and more spectacular. At Itanda ("The Bad Place") the Nile is too powerful for the rafts and so the rafts are taken around the top by land.

The grades of the rapids on this stretch of the Nile range from 1 - 5. At each of the larger (higher graded) rapids you are given the option of whether you want to go the hard way (through the middle) or the easy way (around the edge). The choice is voted on, however, it might not always turn out the way you expected because if everyone in the raft does not paddle together in the right direction, you may not take the route you wanted.

The family rafting trip is a wonderful river journey for the whole family. Instead of choosing the biggest and wildest rapids, these rafts instead drift swiftly between the beautiful forested islands, bounce down smaller rapids and explore the many different channels of the river.

For the two-day trip, the night is spent at the "Hairy Lemon," a camp on a beautiful secluded island right on the Nile. The next morning the adults have a chance to river surf the "Nile Special," the infamous surf wave found near to the Hairy Lemon. Lightweight boogie boards will allow provide an incredible thrill on the waves of the Nile.