A lush region of clear lakes, thickly forested islands and misted mountains, the southwest offers a taste of the best of Uganda. Whether you're on world-class treks along the western Rift Valley or preferring the placid escapism of Lake Bunyonyi's numerous islands, this gorgeous and diverse area should not be missed. Terraced hills and farmland cover much of the region.
Famous as the historic source of the Nile River, Jinja is now the adrenaline capital of East Africa. Get your fix of white-water rafting, kayaking, quad biking, mountain biking and horse riding in a gorgeous natural setting with crumbling colonial architecture. The Nile River's world-famous rapids are under threat, however.
Northwestern Uganda feels wilder and more remote than the country's principal destinations, but that's part of the attraction. Its primary calling card is the magnificent Murchison Falls National Park, the best all-round protected area for wildlife, balanced with the experience of evening bonfires at the bush camp or luxury lodge.
On the shores of gorgeous Lake Victoria, Entebbe is an attractive, verdant town that served as the capital city during the early years of the British protectorate. Today it’s the relaxed pace of life and nearby natural attractions that give the city its charm rather than any notable colonial relics.
The ultraremote northeast represents a Uganda largely unknown to both visitors and the bulk of its population living down south. And for good reason – it's a long and rugged road to its principal draw, Kidepo Valley National Park, where lion prides, herds of zebra and waterbuck share the savannah with species found in no other Ugandan park such as cheetah and wild dogs.
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's best-known and biggest nature reserve, and its impressive animal populations and superb activities are further augmented by its location, which straddles the Victoria Nile as it makes its way through multiple rapids and waterfalls (including the enormously impressive Murchison Falls) to Lake Albert.
Unless you’re here volunteering or en route to Kidepo Valley National Park, there’s no real reason to visit Gulu. However, it's quite a pleasant stop, with friendly locals, a relaxed feel and nice spots to hang out. The largest town in northern Uganda, it was one of the hardest hit during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict.
A bustling provincial city, you'll pass through Mbale if you're planning an assault on Mt Elgon or are en route to Sipi Falls. The downtown hums with low-key chaos. Away from the dusty centre there are pockets of charm and it does have a scenic mountain backdrop, but there's no real reason to hang around here.