From Uganda's bustling capital Kampala head to the shores of Lake Victoria to fuel up with some of Namawojjolo’s famous street food before heading east along the northern shore of Lake Victoria to discover the source of the Nile at Jinja. From here, leave Lake Victoria and escape the crowds by heading north for some hiking in the rugged highlands of Karamoja and experience the untouched culture of the region’s nomadic tribes. Head back down south to the area around Mount Elgon National Park on the Kenyan border, where you can climb the prominent Tororo Rock, hike Mount Elgon and cool off in the natural pools at Sipi Falls.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Karamoja Highlands, Mount Elgon National Park
Activity Activity Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Active, Trekking
Physical Level Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Visit colourful Kampala

Visit colourful Kampala

Day 1 in Kampala

Bordering the shores of Lake Victoria in the heart of the Buganda Kingdom, Uganda’s capital city is an engaging and dynamic city with a rich history. Topping the quality of life surveys for East African capitals, Kampala has enough sights to occupy tourists for a couple of days and is well worth a visit before heading out in search of the country’s incredible wildlife.

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Sample the craft villages of Kampala

Sample the craft villages of Kampala

Take home a beautifully handmade piece of Africa as a reminder of your trip with a spot of shopping at the arts and crafts villages of Kampala. These bustling markets in Uganda’s capital are the best place to pick up authentic carvings, baskets and jewellery at bargain prices.

Go bananas in Kampala

Go bananas in Kampala

Ugandan’s are mad for Matooke (green bananas), eating on average 1.8 pounds of them per day in 2012. Even the word Matooke literally translates to “food” in Luganda, so you’d be amiss not trying one of the city’s favourite dishes — the meat or fish stew Luwombo, which is steamed in banana leaves.

Go birdwatching at Lake Victoria

Go birdwatching at Lake Victoria

Day 2–3 in Lake Victoria

Named after Queen Victoria and one of Africa’s Great Lakes, Lake Victoria is the world’s largest tropical lake, with its waters divided between Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. Known as Nnalubaale in Luganda, the lake's size, tropical highlands, beaches, 200+ species of fish and wildlife-rich islands make it a worthy stop on any East Africa tour itinerary.

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Rafting in Jinja

Rafting in Jinja

Uganda’s Jinja is the source of the Nile, making it a great place to kayak or raft on the rushing water. Try horseback rides or mountain biking if you’re feeling a bit tamer.

Take a trip to the remote Karamoja Highlands

Take a trip to the remote Karamoja Highlands

Day 4–5 in Karamoja Highlands

Once the domain of only the most adventurous of travellers — up until five years ago it was a closed district which required travel permits to enter — Uganda’s Karamoja region is now officially open for tourism, and well worth the visit. The north-eastern border of the region is characterised by rugged volcanic highlands which make for fantastic hiking, while the region’s former isolation has preserved the culture of its nomadic, agro-pastoral people, the Karamojong.

Climb Mount Elgon and cool off in the pools around Sipi Falls

Climb Mount Elgon and cool off in the pools around Sipi Falls

Day 6–7 in Mount Elgon National Park

Straddling the border of Kenya and Uganda, Mount Elgon National Park is home to some of the best trekking in East Africa. Emerging from tropical montane forest, the extinct volcano Mt Elgon has five main peaks, with the highest, Wagagai (at 4321m) accessible from the Ugandan side of the park. Visitors can also enjoy shorter hikes up Tororo Rock and in the surrounding caves and forest, or do a spot of bird-watching from Sipi Falls. With fresh natural pools and fantastic views across the plains, it’s the perfect place to relax and cool down.

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