Uganda, in the eastern parts of Africa, is a landlocked country but with unrivaled beauty which forced an explorer Winston Churchill to baptize it as the ‘’Pearl of Africa’’. Are you traveling to Uganda but you don’t have enough money to go for the expensive gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park? Here are some of Uganda’s budget destinations that you can travel to and go away with great memorable escapades:
This is the largest and commercial capital city of Uganda covering an area of 189 square kilometers and borders the world’s second and Africa’s largest great lake –Lake Victoria. Exploring this beautiful and magnificent city is something you should surely get involved into – as it is very cheap and affordable but on the other hand, very rewarding because you will get to experience new and amazing things. Of course you will have to hire a 4X4 vehicle, of your choice, from your beloved tour operator to help you in transport, because exploring Kampala is much enjoyable while on a self-drive. During your self-drive in Kampala city, you can ask for an experienced driver-guide from your tour operator who will be driving you to whichever ‘’must-visit’’ place in Kampala. Of course a driver-guide is not a must thing that you should have during your self-drive in Kampala (city tours) if at all you also know how to drive and you have got your driving permit valid, but in one way or the other; you are advised to ask for a local experienced driver-guide simply because he/she will at least have a savvy on every place worthy a visit in Kampala hence getting away with great experiences.
Some of the must-visit places in Kampala include; Kasobi tombs, Lubiri palace, Buganda Parliament (Bulange) and Buganda Court of Justice, Makerere University (Uganda’s leading university), Old Kampala hill, Mengo hill, Kibuli hill, Namirembe hill, Lubaga hill, Nsambya hill, Nakasero hill, Uganda Museum, Uganda National Theatre, Nakasero Market, Baha’i House of Worship, St. Balikuddembe market (formerly Owino market), Parliament of Uganda, Namboole stadium (Nelson Mandera National Stadium), and many others. Kampala is also known for its marvelous night life – so if you are a reveler/clubber, this is the place to be!!!
I would say that this is the first destination in Uganda simply because most of the travelers to Uganda put their first foot on the land of Entebbe – as Uganda’s national airport (Entebbe International Airport) is ideally situated in Entebbe city. Hope there you can get me if I say that ‘’Entebbe is the first destination in Uganda’’?!! Anyway, going back to business, Entebbe is a town on a peninsula in Lake Victoria, in Central Uganda covering a total area of 56.2 square kilometers. Entebbe is nestled only 37 kilometers in the southwest of Uganda’s capital city and it is one of the impressive destinations in Uganda that you must vacate to on budget. Besides the national airport, Entebbe is highly known as a weekend eat-out place in Uganda, as many individuals invade the town’s beautiful sand beaches on the shores of Africa’s largest freshwater lake (Lake Victoria). Entebbe is a home to most of the country’s most popular beaches, such as; Lido beach, Spener beach, Aero beach, Lutembe beach and many others.
Besides the beautiful sand beaches of Entebbe, there are very many other things that you will enjoy in Entebbe, such as; UWEC (Uganda Wildlife Education Centre) which serves as the national zoo, National Botanical Gardens, and Nkumba University, among other attractions. More so to take note of, is that; Entebbe is a location of Uganda State House – the official office and residence of the President of Uganda, thus you will get fantastic sightings to this beautiful and great building. Entebbe is also within a close proximity to the majestic Ssese islands, including; NGAMBA ISLAND, which is a home to the orphaned chimpanzees, and the island is just 27.2 kilometers from Entebbe across Lake Victoria of which the cruise to the island is very spectacular and scenic.
Lake Mburo National Park
On your budget vacation in Uganda you can also go and experience wildlife in their natural habitants in the beautiful jewel of a park, Lake Mburo National Park. This is the closest national park to Kampala (Uganda’s Capital) out of Uganda’s ten national parks. The Park is situated 228 kilometers west of Kampala, which is about a 3 to 4 hours’ drive. The guided walks in the Park culminate in a visit to a natural salt lake where wildlife can be viewed from a timber observation platform and some of the animals to view in the Park include; bush babies, pottos, impalas, topis, zebras (in plenty), buffaloes, Rothschild’s giraffes, hyenas, lions, and over 332 bird species. The Lake Mburo National P ark comprises of five lakes and in these lakes you will spot hippos and crocodiles. The fringing swamps in the Park secretively hide wetland creatures such as; the sitatunga antelope. There are various amazing activities that you will enjoy in the Park, including; boat trips, game drives, salt lick walk, mountain biking, bird watching, horseback safaris, forest walk, and night drives if you are to spend the night in the Park.
Nestled in the eastern parts of Uganda, about 81 kilometers from Uganda’s capital city (Kampala), Jinja is a town sitting along the northern shores of Lake Victoria – near the source of the White Nile. Besides being a port for Lake Victoria Ferries, Jinja is commonly regarded as ‘’the adventure capital of East Africa’’ basing on the very many activities in town that a tourist can get involved in, with main ones being; white-water rafting, visiting the ‘’source of the Nile’’ at Lake Victoria, and also visiting the ‘’Bujagali Power Station’’ – which is a hydroelectric power station across the Victoria Nile that harnesses the energy of its namesake – the Bujagali Falls, in Uganda. The other major activity in Jinja was ‘’bungee jumping’’ but it has been suspended for a while till further notice. Tourists can also go on to visit the Hindu temple which is situated near the town of Jinja. You can also visit the Masese Fishing Landing Site and enjoy the taste of fish species caught from Africa’s largest lake (Lake Victoria) plus viewing the abundant bird species at the lake shores.
Other budget destinations in Uganda
As already noted above, those are the best budget destinations you can travel to in Uganda but since the country is full of attractive places, tourists can also visit; Mbale town (home to Mountain Elgon National park and its beautiful Sipi falls), Lake Bunyonyi, Fort Portal (closest town to the mighty Queen Elizabeth national park and Kibaale forests national park), Ssese islands (Kalangala district), Namugongo town, and many others.