Looking for things to do in Kampala? Have an extra day or two in Uganda’s capital before heading home after your safari?
Sometimes travel means spending a day or two in a place before you reach your destination. If that’s the case and you’re finding yourself with extra time in Kampala, like an extra 24 or 48 hours, why not take advantage? After your days or weeks exploring all parts of Uganda, you might be surprised to find out there are still plenty of interesting spots just an hour or two outside of Kampala.
Given that you may not want to hop back in the 4×4 for another six or eight hours, all of our recommendations for day trips from Kampala can be done in just a few hours. That will give you plenty of time to stretch your legs, get to know new parts of Uganda, and make it back to Kampala with energy to spare.
We’re sharing five of our pick of day trips from Kampala below.
Kampala Day Trip #1: Rhino tracking tour at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Did you see rhinos during your Uganda safari?
If not, you do have one last chance. Just 176km north of Kampala, or about 3 hours by car, is the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. By heading towards Murchison National park, you’ll end up at the only place in Uganda where you get to see rhinos.
After an early breakfast, you will set off to Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. Upon arrival at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, a site-guide will take over and begin briefing you. After, you will head out to track the rhinos on foot. These are considered nature walks, where you get to enjoy the landscape, flora, and fauna, not forgetting over 150 species of birds.
After the rhino tracking adventure, you’ll enjoy lunch at the sanctuary and rest before the start of your journey back to Kampala.
Kampala Day Trip #2: Spot Chimpanzees On Ngamba Island
For a bit of wildlife, this day trip from Kampala heads out to Entebbe, where you’ll take a motor canoe or speed boat to Ngamba island.
Ngamba Island is home to 48 orphaned chimpanzees rescued from several parts of Uganda. The island offers an exceptional opportunity to closely observe and interact with the fascinating apes in a unique setting.
Other activities to explore while on the island include scenic viewing both to and from the island and while on the island, kayaking around the island bay searching for wildlife, lizard-spotting, plenty of birdlife with over 130 species, and going to a local fishing village at the island.
Because it’s just a short drive to Entebbe, you can be sure you’ll spend the majority of your day exploring and enjoying the island.
Kampala Day Trip #3: White Water Rafting Tour in Jinja
White water rafting in Uganda is another interesting activity done on the river Nile that you should not miss.
For this day trip from Kampala, we’ll head out from the city at 7 am to the start of rafting where you will be served breakfast and later be briefed about the whole activity. They will brief you about the dos and don’ts while participating.
You will be given the rafting gear, helmet, life jacket, and a paddle. In the company of the rafting team, you will start the activity which will take you through 5 rapids that range between grade 2-5. The activity can be between 5-6 hours, and is available in both half and full-day options.
Lunch will be served along the way and then you will drive back to Kampala by the evening.
Kampala Day Trip #4: See Wildlife At Lake Mburo National Park
Not ready to leave Uganda without seeing some more wildlife?
Then let’s head off to Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda’s smallest national park but one of its most unique. After a 6:30 am departure, we’ll leave Kampala behind and watch as the landscape becomes greener, with rolling hills and open grasslands. We’ll have a quick stopover at the Uganda Equator, then arrive at the park.
There, our first game drive should allow us to see giraffes, zebras, impalas, topi, buffaloes, water-bucks, and some of the park’s more than 350 bird species.
After lunch, the boat cruise is next, where you’ll have the chance to spot crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes, and even more birds. These include kingfishers, hammerkops, fish eagles, and even the Shoebill (more on them in the next activity). We’ll wrap up and take an easy 2-hour drive back to Kampala.
Kampala Day Trip #5: Go Birding In Mabamba Swamp
Have you heard of the Shoebill?
One of the most iconic birds in the world, the Shoebill can be found in Mabamba Swamp. While they’re able to be seen any time of day, you’ll have your best shot in the morning when they’re actively looking for food.
At that time, this prehistoric-looking bird stands quietly, stalking its prey.
Birding at Mabamba Swamp is also interesting because you can do the whole experience in a dugout canoe, adding to the feeling of being immersed in nature. With over 300 bir species, over 200 butterfly species, and plenty of fish, there’s more than enough interesting wildlife to fill up a day trip from Kampala.
(If you’re interested in birding in Uganda, don’t forget to check our birding packing list, sample one-week birding itinerary, information about the best parks for birding in Uganda, and more information about some of Uganda’s incredible 1,000+ species of birds!)
Coordinating Day Trips from Kampala
Do you need help arranging one of these activities for your next trip to Uganda? Or do you want to add one of them into your existing safari plans?With Kikooko Africa Safaris, we’re here to help make your next trip to Uganda as special as possible. For any questions you need answering, please get in touch today.