City Tours

Kampala City Tour

Kampala is Uganda’s capital city and the country’s largest urban center. Kampala city is built on seven hills with beautiful fertile soils that provide a living history. Kampala is the country’s commercial center with many businesses and companies. The industrial center is the origin of all the manufactured goods in Uganda. Kampala shelters the political center of Uganda with the Parliament and the President’s house, the educational center with many schools and universities, and the transport center with many roads connecting to different parts of the country. On a one-day Kampala city tour, we will give you the chance to see this historical city in its’ many interesting facts.

We offer affordable one-day and half-day Kampala city tours. The Kampala city tour is suitable for visiting groups or individuals, short stay trips, and school tours. You can mix and match tours depending on the time you have to explore Kampala.

Kasubi Tombs: This is a huge domed structure that houses the remains of the four former Kings of Buganda: King Mutesa I, Mwanga II, Daudi Chwa II, and Edward Mutesa II. The tombs were constructed in a traditional fashion with thatched roofs. The structure houses a variety of artifacts that belonged to the Kings. The site is looked after by the descendants of the Kings’ wives who live in the huts that belonged to their relatives. It is not to be missed on this one day Kampala city tour.

Buganda Kingdom Buildings: As the capital city of Uganda, Kampala has a wide range of Buganda administrative and royal buildings which include the Kabaka’s (King’s) Palace, Buganda Parliament and the Buganda court of Justice.

Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine: This shrine marks a famous incident that took place in 1886, when Kabaka Mwanga II ordered more than twenty newly converted Christians to be burnt alive after they refused to renounce ‘the white man’s religion’. A majority of these martyrs were Kabaka’s workers, and were sent to death for his fear of losing the throne.

Uganda Arts and Crafts Villages: Hidden away behind the National Theater is a craft village that has a number of stalls selling handicrafts, such as woodcarvings and small trinkets from around Uganda. For many visitors shopping at these craft villages are the highlight of the tour.

Baha’i Temple: The first Baha’i House of Worship on the continent – known as the “Mother Temple of Africa” – was built between 1957 and 1960 on Kikaya Hill, three miles north of Kampala. The concept of the Baha’i House of Worship, as envisaged by Baha’u’llah, incorporates a central meeting place for prayer and meditation. For the last fifty years, the temple’s expansive gardens have proven to be a popular place for visitors to rest and contemplate.

St Paul’s Namirembe Cathedral: The church has been in existence since 1892. Other churches have since been built on top of Namirembe Hill. The church provides a spectacular view of Kampala and was constructed by Kabaka Daudi.

St Mary’s Cathedral: This is a beautiful church which graces the hilltop of Rubaga. Previously, it was a site for the royal palace of Kabaka Mutesa. It was constructed between 1914 and 1925 with the help of the Catholics’ donations from missionary churches abroad.

Makerere University: This is the oldest and most prestigious university in East and Central Africa. Campus grounds stretch over Makerere Hill and the main hall stands at the top, overlooking Kampala city.

Old Kampala Mosque: This huge, elaborate mosque is referred to as Gaddafi Mosque because the money that funded its construction was from the former Libyan President.

Uganda Museum: This museum is a unique collection of ethnological exhibits covering hunting, agriculture, war, religion, witchcraft and natural history, as well as a great collection of traditional musical instruments from all over the continent. The building houses the Uganda Society and their library with a wide range of books on Uganda’s history and culture.

National Theater and Uganda Cultural Center: The National Theater is home to a number of drama and dance troupes and frequently stages new productions. It is worth a visit whilst on this city tour. The majority of visiting artists perform here.

Jinja City Tour

On this Jinja tour, see where the Nile River starts its 4000-mile journey to the Mediterranean Sea, see Mabira forest, the source of the Nile, Bujagali falls, and Sezibwa falls. We offer this affordable and tailor made one-day Jinja tour. This trip is suitable for groups or individuals and has optional additions such as white water rafting on the River Nile or bungee jumping.

Leave for Jinja:

Early morning after breakfast, your Rafiki Adventures guide will pick you up from your hotel, heading east for your Jinja tour driving past coffee, tea and sugar plantations. You will drive through Lugazi, a favorite place of rest and healing for the Kabaka’s of the Buganda Kingdom. People who believe in Kiganda traditions still come to seek the old ways at this place.

Stop at Mabira Forest:

On your way to Jinja as you approach Mabira Forest, you will see road side fast-food sellers with chicken and beef on sticks. There is also a local fruit market where you can buy some local bananas, pineapples, avocadoes, mangoes, and much more. You will have a brief stop at the picnic area in the forest where you will see different species of birds. The forest shelters over 218 species of butterflies. You may find different types of monkey and other mammals in this forest.

Stop at Owen Falls Dam in Jinja:

First stop is at the submerged source of the Nile, followed by a visit to Owen Falls Dam and Masese fishing village on Lake Victoria. You will drive on to Jinja Nile resort Hotel for your lunch. It is a lovely restaurant perched on a hill over the Nile serving very tasty Ugandan, Chinese, Indian, and Italian dishes.

Visit the source of the mighty River Nile:

After lunch, you will take a short ride to the source of the Nile – a beautiful place, filled with fantastic tropical plants. As you walk down the steps towards the Nile, you are surrounded by the lovely perfumes of local flowers. As you stand by the Nile River, you will see the gurgling water and watch native fishermen throw their nets in the longest river in Africa. You will be able to take a boat ride to the actual source of the Nile and beyond the lake where you can take great pictures of your memorable visit. Return to Kampala in the afternoon, stopping at Sezibwa Falls or Mabira Forest to see primates, birds and butterflies.

Optional additions to your Jinja Tour include white water rafting, boat cruises, and bungee jumping. 

White water rafting in Jinja:

You can spend an extra day in Jinja, and choose to do a half-day or full-day white water rafting trip on the grade 5 rapids of the Nile River. No experience is needed for this adventure. You can choose a raft where you get to paddle or one where you enjoy an easier ride with someone else doing all the work. This Jinja tour package includes a morning snack, lunch, beverages and a BBQ at the end of the day.

Boat Cruises on River Nile:

A riverboat cruise is the perfect way to enjoy a few relaxing hours on the River Nile. We have a variety of cruises, which all start from Explorers River Camp at Bujagali and explore the beginning of the world’s longest river. Whether you are large group or small we have a cruise that will suit you.

Bungee Jumping in Jinja:

Leap over the source of the Nile from one of the most spectacular bungee jumping sites in the world. Activities include tandem jumps, water touches and full moon jumps. Frequency: Jumps can be organized at most times (including in the dark).

Entebbe City Tour

Visit Entebbe –The Former Colonial Town on a one-day tour of the city. This tour is suitable for groups and individual visitors to Uganda. There are many things to see in Entebbe.

Visit the Entebbe Botanical Gardens:

Early in the morning after breakfast, your Rafiki Adventures guide will pick you up from your hotel and drive to Entebbe for your one-day city tour. After being shown the town, you will visit the Botanical Gardens of Entebbe located on the shores of Lake Victoria. The Botanical Gardens are a sanctuary for many primates and tropical plants. You will have the opportunity to walk on the white sandy beach of Lake Victoria.

Lunch served at the beach:

Your lunch shall be served along the sandy beach in the shades of large palm trees. You can order local Ugandan or intercontinental dishes – whole grilled tilapia, pizza, or some Indian dishes. All are served with a refreshing cool drink. The grilled Uganda tilapia is a visitor’s favorite, so you must try it!

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre:

After lunch, you will drive to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre – the zoo, where you will see most of the animal and bird species resident in Uganda The zoo is gazetted in a semi-natural habitat. The animals that you can see include lions, buffalos, antelopes, hippos, snakes, crocodiles, and many bird species. You can walk along the various paths in the zoo, finishing your visit at the beachside restaurants for refreshments before proceeding to your last destination.

Entebbe Imperial Hotel Resort Beach:

After the zoo visit, you will drive to the Imperial Resort Beach – the best white sandy beach in Uganda located on the shores of Lake Victoria adjacent to a beautiful five star hotel.  A tour in the caves along this beach, some of which have been made into creative bars, is very rewarding due to their unique features.

Mabira Forest Safaris

Take a day trip to Mabira Forest, which is located just 45 minutes from Kampala. Mabira Forest is the only rainforest in Uganda with 325 species of birds, over 200 kinds of different trees, the rare Uganda Mangabey monkey and other primates. Trip highlights include Uganda Mangabey monkey trekking, birding, canopy zip-lining, nature walks, and biking.

You can hike, take nature walks, have a great lunch at the Rainforest Lodge and spend a quiet day away from the hustle and bustle of Kampala. Mabira Forest is the only rainforest in Central Uganda. It is a great place for you to explore, to hike in, go birding, monkey trekking, and all within a short distance from Kampala.

At 7:30 am, a Rafiki Adventures guide will pick you up at your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe and travel east toward Mabira Forest. You turn off of the busy main-highway and head toward Griffin Falls Camp.

For this day-trip it is best to wear hiking boots, long-trousers, long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and a rain-jacket might come in handy. You can use a day-pack for a hike or nature walk. You can use the day-pack to carry bottled water and a packed lunch.

If you enjoy bird watching we will begin with a guided birding hike into the forest. Mabira Forest is home to 315 species of birds including the rare species such as the Nahan’s francolin, Tit,Hylia, Yellow and grey longbills, Purple-throated cuckoo shrikes, Illadopsises, and Jameson’s wattle eyes. 46% of Uganda’s forest birds can easily be seen in Mabira Forest.

If you do not wish to go birding, then you will begin with tracking the rare species of primates that live in the Mabira Forest. The primate family is between Chimpanzees and Monkeys called the Uganda Mangabey. The Uganda Mangabey has been habituated in Mabira Forest. Three family groups can be visited in a day. You will have knowledgeable guides to escort you.

If you are the adventurous type and looking for a bit of adrenaline pumping activity you can take a 250-meter canopy zip-Line ride above the treetops. There are 5 zip-lines in all and the sky guides will assist you on your canopy ride. From Super Skyway Zip-line, you are able to enjoy a view of the forest, monkeys, birds like palm nut vultures, African fish eagles, great blue turacos and the roaring griffin falls, making your zip-line experience very memorable. The hike back from the skyway takes you past Griffin Falls and to the camp, which offers lunch and mountain biking among other things. The zip-line activity can take up to 4 hours.

At Griffin Falls Camp, you can rent Mountain Bikes and blaze the trails through the forest. You can even go outside of the forest. Guided forest walks for any skill level, from a long and adventurous trek into the backcountry to a gentle meandering stroll through our well-maintained trails. It is difficult not to run into one of the 3 species of monkeys native to the forest on your 30-minute walk to Griffin Falls. You will see rich populations of birds and butterflies and giant, ancient trees. Lunch can be had at either the upmarket Rainforest Lodge or at the budget Griffin Falls Camp (lunch is not included in the price of safari).

After your day at Mabira Forest, we return you to your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe. You have the option to add the Jinja City Tour to this trip and can spend the night in Jinja if interested in a longer tour.

Village & Community Tours

Our cultural tours give you the chance to explore interesting sites and learn about the fascinating culture of the different tribes in Uganda. Take a visit to Kampala for an introduction of some interesting historical sites. Marvel at the source of the Nile where Speke discovered the true origin of the River Nile. Follow the green trail to life in the Rwenzori Mountains. Visit Nshenyi Village for a true cultural immersion in the heart of Africa. Nshenyi Village is the perfect combination of nature and culture. It will give you the chance to get close contact with the local people in an environment that allows you to learn about their culture first-hand. Experience the traditional way of living, taste the simplicity of the Ugandan countryside, and explore the rural charm of untouched Africa.

You will meet local people and experience a rich and authentic culture, learn about the forgotten times and come face to face with the ancient traditions. Much more than just sight seeing, the local people will entertain you with cultural dancing, music, craft making and story telling.

Here are some of our most popular Cultural Safaris:

 

6-Day Village and Community Safari

Day 1: Arrival, Entebbe – Kampala
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport where you will be picked up by our driver and transferred to Kampala city where you will spend the night. Depending on your time of arrival, we will take you for a city tour and get you oriented with Ugandan money and culture. Arrivals on Sunday morning or early afternoon can allow for a cultural dance and drum extravaganza. Spend dinner and overnight in Kampala.

Day 2: Orientation
Today we will visit the city mall to acquire local currency and make all necessary shopping for all necessary items. We will then drive out of Kampala to our village destination to settle in at village house.

Day 3: First day on site
Orientation on site and the hard work begins.

Day 4: Building Project
Evening village walk.

Day 5: Building Project
Evening village market visit.

Day 6: Sipi Falls 
Today we will drive to Sipi Falls. This is a series of falls right on the edge of Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano towering to 4,321 meters (14,177 ft) above sea level.  This is an ideal place to relax and meditate. Today we will take a walk through the village to the bottom of Sipi falls. If interested, one could go abseiling off the cliff right at the falls. Spend dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Mbale
After breakfast, you will drive to Mount Elgon Hotel for swimming and lunch before heading back to the village house in the evening. Today is for relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

Day 8: Building Project
Enjoy an evening village walk.

Day 9: Building Project
School visit.

Day 10: Building Project 
Community projects visit.

Day 11: Last day in the village
Building dedication and then drive to Jinja where we will have lunch and visit the source of the Nile River before returning to Kampala. Spend dinner and overnight in Kampala.

Day 12: Kampala – Queen Elizabeth National Park 
Depart for Kampala, after an early breakfast, driving southwest. The drive today takes you across the Equator, through amazing highlands with beautiful tea estates and landscape. You will make a lunch stop in Mbarara.  The drive today including all stops will be approximately 8 hours. When you arrive at the park, you will check in at your accommodation, and then take an evening game drive. Spend dinner and overnight at your safari lodge.

Day 13: Queen Elizabeth Park, Game drive, boat cruise
You will be up early today and depart at 6:30am for a morning game drive. This morning we aim to catch the big cats like lions as they hunt or feed on their morning kill. Lions mostly hunt as the day dawns in because the temperatures are cooler and more hunting-friendly for the king of the jungle. Other sights to expect are hyenas before they disappear into the thickets, Cape buffalo, the handsome Uganda kob, warthog, elephant, leopard, and waterbuck.  Return to your accommodation for a late breakfast and lunch. Right after lunch, we will drive to Mweya to take a cruise on the Kazinga channel. Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world. Spend dinner and overnight at your safari lodge.

Day 14: Queen Elizabeth – Kampala 
Leave the lodge early to drive to the Kyambura Gorge for a primate walk. A walk in the forest here allows for sights of chimpanzees, black & white colobus monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon and the occasional leopard. After the primate walk, we continue driving back to Kampala, spend dinner and overnight at your accommodations.

Day 15: Souvenir shopping
Today is a shopping day, we will take you to the craft markets where you can buy African drums and all other types of African souvenirs like handmade jewelry.

Day 16: Day of departure
Today is your day of departure; we will drive you to the airport from your accommodations in time for your international flight.

 

10-Day Community Safari

Day 1: Arrival – Kampala 
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport and then you will be picked by our driver/guide and transferred to Kampala city where you will spend the night. Depending on your time of arrival, we will take you for a city tour and get you oriented with Ugandan money and culture.  Arrivals on Sunday morning or early afternoon can allow for a cultural dance and drum extravaganza. Spend dinner and overnight in Kampala.

Day 2: Kampala – Jinja, Source of the Nile, village house 
Today we will drive East through Jinja where we shall visit the source of the Nile River before proceeding to a town called Mbale, where we shall have lunch. After lunch we will shop for all necessities before we drive to our village house where we shall spend the rest of the week. Spend dinner and overnight at village house.

Day 3: Village Living
Today we will take a village walk which will see us visit several village family units and see how people live here. On this walk, you will be welcomed and hosted to a drink or something to eat from time to time. Ready your appetite! At some stops you could even receive a live chicken and a bunch of bananas for food.  The people here are very generous despite their own conditions. We will get to see the people’s primary income earning practice – agriculture and how they carry it out daily. The people in this region of Uganda grow Arabica coffee for income as well as a lot of bananas.  Spend dinner and overnight at village house.

Day 4: Village Trade
Today we will look for a local market and get an experience of how the locals go about their trade in the rural region of Uganda. The markets in the region run in different locations on different days of the week. Traders have a weekly schedule of where the trade is happening and that is where they take their goods to sell. Some of the traders carry all of their stock on bicycles. They push the bicycles to the trading posts. Spend dinner and overnight at the village house.

Day 5: Sipi Falls 
Today we will drive to Sipi Falls. This is a series of falls right on the edge of Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano towering to 4,321 meters (14,177 ft) above sea level.  This is an ideal place to relax and ponder your village experience. Today we will take a walk through the village to the bottom of Sipi Falls. If interested, one could go abseiling off the cliff right at the falls. Spend dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Day 6: Sipi Falls – Kampala, souvenir shopping
Today we will depart Sipi Falls and drive to Jinja where we shall have lunch. We will then proceed to Kampala where we shall visit the craft markets to shop for souvenirs and depending on what day of the week it is you could enjoy an African dance and drum extravaganza. Spend dinner and overnight in Kampala.

Day 7: Kampala – Murchison Falls National Park 
We depart Kampala early in the morning and drive to Murchison Falls National Park, via Luwero and Nakasongola. We will have lunch in Masindi before entering the park. Then we will head straight to the top of Murchison Falls where the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. After we will drive to dinner and overnight at your safari lodge.

Day 8: Game Drive and Boat Cruise
Early in the morning, we head out on a game drive in the park to find wildlife populations that have largely recovered from the poaching of the 1980s. In the lush borassus grassland to the north of the Nile River, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a variety of antelope are regularly encountered on game drives, while lions are seen with increasing frequency. We return to your accommodation to relax and eat lunch. After lunch, we will take a boat cruise on the Nile River. The Nile itself hosts one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile populations, and a dazzling variety of water birds including the world’s most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill stork. Spend dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Day 9: Murchison – Kampala 
After breakfast, we start our departure of Murchison Falls National Park, with a stop at the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary. This is a sanctuary where Rhinos are being bred to be re-introduced into the Ugandan National Parks. Rhinos became extinct in the wild due to rampant poaching. We will then continue to Kampala for dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Day 10: Departure
Today is your day of departure; we will drive you to the airport from your accommodation in time for your international flight.

Please note: This community safari can be combined with a visit to Murchison Falls National Park as shown above or to the Gorillas in Bwindi, the Chimpanzee’s in Kibale Forest, or to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Please contact us to request for your special itinerary and cost.

Join us for an adventure of a lifetime!