African Destinations


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Uganda is a landlocked country in Africa which is sandwiched between Kenya and neighbouring Rwanda. It is also a relatively high country with the altitude ranging between 2000-4000 in most places. The country is very green and probably best known for being home to the mountain gorillas.

From Murchison Falls and the Rwenzori Mountains to Lake Bunyoni, Kisoro and Jinga; there are are many fun destinations for backpackers. That being said, there is also Queen Elizabeth for safari’s and Kampala for an introduction to one of the more busy cities in Africa. If I could sum this country up in just one word, that word would be friendly – Uganda is one of the friendliest places you will ever encounter in Africa.

Population – 42.8 million

Capital City – Kampala

Attractions – Jinja, Lake Bunyoni, Murchison Falls, Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The Best Day Tours – Whitewater rafting the Nile, Mountain Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Island (Entebbe), Hippo Cruise at Queen Elizabeth NP.

Where to Volunteer – Jinja

My Recommendation for Visiting Uganda

Overland Tours in Uganda

Uganda is super friendly and quite easy to get around. However, taking an overland tour is probably the best and most fun way to take in as much as possible. I recommend starting in Nairobi and finishing in Nairobi. That way, you can travel right the way through Uganda and even see the mountain gorillas along the way.

Recommended Overland Tour – Nairobi to the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Read more on how to choose the best Overland Tour in Africa

Backpacking Uganda

Arrive in Kampala and take a bus to Jinja to go rafting. Spend at least three nights here in Nile River Explorers Camp. This is a great place to stay and there is so much to do including village walks, volunteering and trips along the river. Next, travel back to Kampala and go by bus to Kasane in East Uganda. You can easily get to Lake Bunyoni here to relax next to the lake, visit a local orphanage and trek to see the pygmies. Lastly, travel to Kisoro and spend a few days in a local village. If you would like to visit the gorillas from Kisoro, please check out my post about the Uganda Gorilla Permit.

Read more about Backpacking Uganda

Volunteering in Uganda

If you want to volunteer, choose Jinja. There are other backpackers there but it’s a super fun place with lots to do in the area. It is also easy to get around and so many opportunities to get involved with the locals. Alternatively, I can help you find a more isolated/local experience in the town of Kisoro.

Get in Touch if you would like my advice on volunteering.

More information on Uganda

If you would like more information, click here for a list of all my posts about Backpacking Uganda.

Alternatively, if you would like to chat with me, I am always here to help plan your trip to Africa.

Derek Cullen is an experienced overland tour leader in Africa. He is best known for cycling across Africa and writing about travel in Africa for many online media publications. If you would like advice or information for your trip to Africa, you can speak with him directly through the LiveChat box!

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