Uganda is packed with dramatic landscapes, from snow-tipped mountain peaks and elegant volcanoes, to dense cloud forests, vast lakes and parched savannah, and its small size means it is possible to visit all of these on even a short trip.
The diverse habitats are as impressive as the wildlife that inhabits them, and present visitors with a range of activities from mountaineering and ice-climbing to forest hikes and rafting.
At 5109 meters, Margeherita Peak in the Rwenzori Mountains is Uganda’s highest point; multi-day climbs to the summit are a rewarding challenge, whie hikes through the foothills are ideal for birding. The beautiful Virunga Volcanoes, straddling the Uganda-Rwanda-Congo border in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be summited in a day, and their peaks create a beautiful backdrop to the lush green forests at their base.
Despite being landlocked, Uganda’s waterways present some of its most striking landmarks. At the breathtaking Murchison Falls, the vast Nile River gushes through a gorge just six meters wide. Visitors can take a boat trip to view the base of the Falls, or hike to the top for a closer – and wetter – experience.
The Nile also offers world-class rafting opportunities in Jinja, with several local companies offering trips to the grade five rapids. For a more relaxing boating experience, take a three-hour ferry ride to one of the 84 Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria – known for their forest trails, sport fishing and beaches.
The pock-marked landscape in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park belie this regions volcanic past – dozens of circular crater lakes punctuate the green hills and make for an interesting excursion following a game drive.