Top 5 Road Trips to Take in Uganda

Road-tripping creates everlasting memories, the perfect escape from the bustle and hustle of one’s ordinary life. Indeed, nothing beats the feeling of spending hours with your loved ones in a 4×4 safari vehicle, traveling all over Uganda, meeting amazing communities, and taking in breathtaking sites along the way.

With a perfect camera, you can immortalize the fantastic moments as you commit some of the memories to your diary for future reference. When it comes to thrill-inspiring road trips in Africa, Uganda boasts an abundance of those. Read on to uncover the top five road trips in Uganda that you should consider before hitting 60.

  1. Kampala to Bwindi Gorilla National Park

Distance: 490 kilometers

Duration: 8-10hrs

Routes: Kampala – Equator – Mbarara- Bwindi

Gorilla Trekking Uganda

Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi National Park

Uganda is popularly known to inhabit half of the world’s remaining population of endangered mountain gorillas, found in the impenetrable jungles of Bwindi National Park. Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit Uganda mainly for mountain gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park, located in the southwestern part of the country. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi takes place in the 4 sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga. Each sector has its own gorilla groups and accommodations (Lodges and campsites).

Brief Itinerary for a 3 Day Gorilla trip in Bwindi

Day 1: Kampala to Bwindi via Mbarara (8-10hrs), Overnight in Bwindi Jungle

Day 2: Gorilla trekking experience, evening community walk

Day 3: Drive back to Kampala with en route stopover at the equator for photographs.

Other things to do when you visit Bwindi Gorilla Park

Other tourist activities to do in Bwindi gorilla park include birding, community encounters, forest walks, gorilla habituation experience, and biking among others.

  1. Kampala – Jinja Road trip

Distance: 80km

Duration: 2hrs

Route: Kampala – Mabira Forest – Jinja

Jinja is one of Uganda’s most beautiful cities, visited and loved by many tourists. It is located in the Eastern part of the country, 80km (2hrs) from Kampala capital. The journey starts in Kampala with an en route stopover in Mabira forest for a nature walk, birding, or zip-lining. Proceed to Jinja for a boat cruise to the source of the mighty river Nile.

Other things to do on a road trip to Jinja include white water rafting, Bungee jumping, Quad biking, kayaking, Horseback Riding, and a fantastic boat cruise among others.

White water rafting activity takes almost a full day, therefore, taking part in this activity may not give you a chance to take part in other activities unless you stay for a night in Jinja.

White Water rafting in Jinja - Uganda

White Water rafting in Jinja – Uganda

  1. Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park

Duration: 2hrs

Distance: 240km

Route: Kampala – Masindi – Murchison Falls National Park

The journey to Murchison falls national park is one of the most popular road trips taken by most tourists on self-drive Uganda safaris. To fully explore this park, one requires at least 3 days and 2 nights. The main tour activities done in Murchison falls national park include;

  • Day and Night Game drives: Conducted in 4×4 vehicle with a pop-up roof for excellent game viewing and photographing, highly recommended to employ a park guide to assist you to look for the animals in the park. Among the animals to see include pride of Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffaloes, Giraffes, and several antelope species among others.
  • Boat Cruise: A road trip to Murchison Falls National park offers a great opportunity to take a fantastic boat cruise to the Nile Delta, and to the bottom of the magnificent Murchison falls. While on the boat cruise, herds of buffaloes and elephants are seen quenching their thirst, and huge Nile crocodiles as well as Hippos are also seen basking along the shores. This is also a birders’ paradise with other 400 species including migratory species.
  • Chimpanzee tracking and birding in Budongo forest
  • Adventurous hiking to the top of the falls
  • Local community tours
African Elephant - Murchison Falls National Park Uganda

African Elephant – Murchison Falls National Park Uganda

This short road trip allows you to see Africa’s Big Five (Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant, and Rhinos in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary).

  1. Road Trip to Kibale Forest (Home to 13 Primate Species)

Duration: 7hrs

Distance: 340km

Route: Kampala –Fort Portal – Kibale National Park

The trip goes through the beautiful and amazing landscapes of Uganda’s countryside. Kibale National Park is known for the highest concentration of primates in Africa with 13 species which include chimpanzees, Black and white colobus monkeys, Grey Cheeked Mangabeys, L’Hoests Monkeys, vervets, and Galagoes among others.

Besides chimps and other primates tracking, Kibale National Park is famous for its excellent birding experience with our 350 species, night forest walk, butterfly watching, chimpanzee habituation experience, and Bigodi swamp exploration.

A road trip to Kibale National Park allows you to explore and experience the local communities living around the park, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the volcanic hills and crater lakes. On the edges of Fort Portal town, we find Tooro King’s Palace, as well as the historical site known as “Amabeere ga Nyina Mwiru”, one of the must-visit sites on your road trip to Kibale National Park.

Royal Palace - Tooro Kingdom

Tooro King’s palace – Fort Portal

  1. Kampala to Lake Mburo National Park

Duration: 3hrs

Distance: 220km

Route: Kampala – Equator – Lake Mburo

Lake Mburo is the smallest savannah Park in Uganda, a perfect destination for weekend getaways in Uganda, located in the western part of the country.  The park is popularly known for game drives where you can see a variety of wild animals in their natural habitats such as Zebras, Giraffes, buffaloes, and several antelope species such as Impalas, and Statungas among others.

Besides game viewing, other tourist activities conducted in Lake Mburo N.P include Quad biking, nature safari walking, horseback riding, and boat ride to see Hippos, birds, and crocodiles.Lake Mburo National Park

Vehicles Recommended for Road Tripping in Uganda

Access to all the destinations mentioned above may require a strong 4×4 vehicle, especially in National Parks such as Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo, and Bwindi Jungle. First-time travelers to Uganda can rent a 4×4 in Kampala from a reliable car rental agency that can give a reliable 4×4 and proper guidance to operate a 4×4 for a fantastic and memorable adventure in Uganda. There is also an option to rent a 4×4 with a driver in Uganda for as low as USD30 per day. The driver acts as the tour guide while on the safari in Uganda.