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5 Interesting Things to See in Eastern Uganda

Mount Elgon in Mbale

Eastern Uganda is one of the biodiversity hot spots and literally the Capital of adventure activities in Uganda (because of Jinja). With riveting places like Mbale, Jinja, Kapchorwa, Karamoja and Tororo, the Eastern region is undeniably a tourist Hub. A carefully planned Uganda safari to this region will allow you enjoy a handful of attractions and activities than you ever imagined. In no particular order, this list brings you some of the most fascinating places that you can visit if you are planning a safari in Eastern Uganda.

  1. The Tororo Rock

This wonderful Rock lies about 5 Kilometers South-east of Tororo Town, about 210 Kilometers/130 miles east of Kampala (Uganda’s Capital) and 48 kilometers/30miles from Mbale Town.

Tororo Rock

The peak of the Rock stands at an elevation of 1482 meters/4865 feet above sea level and rewards tourists with the spectacular views of Tororo Towns and the countryside.

2. Source of the Nile in Jinja

Jinja Town is undoubtedly the main tourist destination in the Eastern region. The source of the Nile is one of Uganda’s unique wonders that bring lots of tourists to Uganda. During a boat cruise in Jinja, you will be taken to a point where the Nile rivers emerges out of the Lake Victoria to start its journey to the Mediteranean Sea. This is the same point that ended the long time search for the Source of the Nile River when John Speke from the Royal Geographical Society claimed to have discovered in 1856.

Source of the Nile in Uganda

Jinja also takes pride in its adrenaline packed activities such as the Kagulu Hill climb, Quad biking, bungee jumping, kayaking, white water rafting and horseback rides among others. However, the Rock has narrow paths leading to the site, bamboo, grass and several species of bushes and shrubs among others.

3. Nyero Rock Paintings

The Nyero Rock Paintings are must-visit ancient Sites near the Town of Kumi. Nyero Rock paintings were first documented in the year 1913 and later described by scientists as largely being of geometric nature and are believed to contain the type of rocks similar to the traditions often displayed in red pigment, extending across the Central, East and parts of Southern Africa, corresponding to the distribution of the Stone Age hunter-gatherer culture.

Nyero Rock Paintings

There are several Rock paintings in this area but the Nyero 2 is the main site and is characterized by large white wall covered by red circles, boats and unclear animal and human forms.

4. Mount Elgon National Park         

This National Park lies on the Uganda-Kenya border but on the Uganda side, it is extends across Mbale and Kapchorwa districts.

Mount ElgonThe Park was created in 1992 and boasts of several wildlife species as well as over 300 species of birds that can be spotted while on a safari. Activities that can be enjoyed in this park include nature walks, Camping, bird watching, mountain/volcano climbing, mountain biking, several cultural encounters, rock climbing, trout fishing and many others.

5. Busitema Forest

This small Forest is located along Tororo-Busia road and covers an area of 25 square kilometers/10 square miles.

Busitema Forest in Eastern Uganda

This Forest is a home to several Primates species such as the olive baboons, black and white Colobus monkeys and vervet monkeys as well as bird species, a number of tree species and rodents. If you are interested in a primate safari in Uganda, this is one of the off the beaten path destinations that you can include in your travel itinerary.

This forest is shared by three districts that include Tororo, Busia and Bugiri, but Tororo takes the lion’s share. When you visit the forest, you will participate in bird watching, primate tracking, look out for amazing wildlife and experience nature walks guided by well trained local guides.

How to Find Cheap Flights to Uganda

Uganda Airlines

Trying to find a cheap flight to Uganda? I guess much of this is very much down to how much we can afford to spend. Cheap is relative these days and at every opportunity we get to knock off a few $s or shs, the better.

This page will give you a few tips and ideas but a lot will depend on how flexible you are with your schedule; when you want to travel, how long you plan to stay in Uganda and probably what you will be doing in Uganda.

My assumption is that all is well with your Ugandan visa – I don’t want you to start booking flights that are outside your granted period of stay.

Uganda was chosen as the number one travel destination in 2012 by lonely planet and probably as a result, the increased numbers of visitors have also come along too. Along with the country’s beauty that had been tucked away from the world for so long, it’s no surprise why many are now trying to find a cheapflight to Uganda.

Wherever you come from, your destination will be Entebbe International Airport (Ebb) – Uganda’s gateway to the rest of the world, which is fast becoming a popular destination in Africa.

And when you get yourself on one of the cheapflights you can find, bless yourself because you are one lucky traveller that is in for a wonderful memorable vacation. You will love your stay because this country is full of surprises.

Kampala, the capital is blossoming. Hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007 meant that the secrets of this beautiful city came out. More and more are visiting the city.

Hundreds of thousands of people arrive on flights to Uganda from all over the world, many interested in; the unrivalled tourist attractions this country has to offer, Ugandan business and just to get away from the cold to the land of sunshine for holiday.

But what this also means is that finding a cheapflight to Uganda is increasingly becoming harder – reason? Simply… the growing numbers. The good news is; it’s still very possible to find one.

I would have loved to get all of you on my chattered flight to Uganda – unfortunately it’s not booked yet but here are a few suggestions and tips to help you in your search for a cheapflight to Uganda;

For starters, conclusively decide and know when you are travelling (dates) – at least have an idea so that you are not on a wild goose chase! Start shopping around early enough to leave room for any adjustments. Avoid last minute run abouts.

Then jump onto the internet, do some surfing on the web – hullo! You will be amazed at how much you can find.  Several online websites will give you what the current prices are, which should give you an idea of what could be cheap even before you engage a travel agent.

You will find some online travel/flight centres that run auctions for cheapflights to Uganda – Yes! on the internet. Place your bid and if you win, you just got yourself a bargain. It is absolutely worth the try especially in such times when we are running on tight budgets.

Then, if you find a flight going for what you think is cheap, book in advance. And better still, if you can find one that is an all inclusive package (including hotel and transfers) then you are in business.

You might also want to arrange a car rental in advance – my advise would be, wait until you get to your hotel or at Entebbe Airport. You will very likely get a better deal and with other choices to pick from, you can’t go wrong.

Another interesting tip is; if you can’t seem to find a cheapflight to Uganda on the online sites (all you get is that all is fully booked) and your travel agent appears to have stalled on this as well, try one last thing before you give up – ring the airlines directly or pop into one of their local offices!

I one time had to travel with my daughter and it all seemed to be full every where – even after I made a few phone calls, until I desperately drove down to the offices of the Emirates. They found two seats for us and at decent prices.

And just to emphasise, your flexibility will matter – don’t stick to one date. Go through all the other possible dates – may be you can save a few $s by flying a week later. The one this you must always remember is that there are all sorts of special deals going on every day – take advantage.

Carefully look at the arrival and departure ports. Try out different combinations – sometimes you could get something cheap by flying into a destination that is further than you originally anticipated and yet it doesn’t affect your travel plan at all. It could even take you in the wrong direction initially, making your trip longer by a few hours but as long as you get it a few dollars cheaper – why not!

With out paying someone to do it for you, if you do it early, you will find a reasonably cheapflight to Uganda but only if you are ready to spend some time searching on the net. Those flights are there.

To ease your search, here is where you can quite easily find Hot Travel Deals to Uganda at reasonably cheaper prices compared to the other sites – Remember, do your booking early. The thing about such low prices is that you don’t find them tomorrow.

Hope this helps you.

Go Mountain Hiking in Uganda

Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda

Majority of climbers will do the Rwenzori hike and the Elgon hike. Quite a few do the Moroto hike and other smaller mountains in Uganda. But whichever you decide to do, Mountain hiking in Uganda can be quite challenging … perhaps not that exhausting as you would imagine.

There is just a lot to see and do that spice up your hike. Take for instance, Mountain Elgon and Mountain Rwenzori are part of National Game Parks in Uganda which therefore give you opportunity to watch the wildlife as you go about your trek.

Using Cash and Credit Cards in Kampala

Money in Uganda

Most transactions in Kampala are done in cash. There is limited usage of credit cards at some hotels, supermarkets and gas stations.

Some few businesses accept credit cards and the most popular accepted are Visa, Mastercards and American Express.

Car Sharing in Uganda: Is It Possible?

Car Shaeing in Uganda

If you can’t do the buying or hiring in Uganda – probably because you have no time and/or money, or you just don’t want the hassle and risk then sharing a car will come in handy.

A lot of people with cars are always looking around for passengers to help with the cost of fuel and the driving (given the long distances involved). Again, check the notice boards; at the embassy, at the hostels and anywhere else frequented by budget travellers. See some of Kampala’s favourite night spots – these could be good meet-up places to find such information.

Use Car Tugabane

CarTugabane is a long-distance ride-sharing/ car-sharing platform in Uganda that connects car owners to passengers traveling to similar destinations. Car-owners post about their upcoming trips including prices, while passengers book seats to ride share

… And if you still can’t find, don’t hesitate to put up your own notice in these places; make it simple and clear on what you are looking for and be flexible with your dates.

This also helps if you bought a car and you are looking for company or passengers to share the cost but also when you finally need to sell the car before you leave.

You could plan your Ugandan vacation and come to Uganda on your own but surely there is no need for you to do the travelling around Uganda on your own – link-up and share the fun!

Best Places where Expats hangout in Kampala



I would love some contact with expats/foreigners. I know there are places where they congregate. Could I get some info? I speak English, Spanish and passable French, I am a seasonal DJ, I play the piano and saxophone (I can teach these as well) and I am a music producer in Boston, quite liberal, outdoorsy and might set up a music studio.

I would love to meet some folk and interact and get a feel of Kampala from different perspectives. I would appreciate contact and how to meet in a social setting.

there are quite some nice places to meet the expats /foreigners and Ugandans too. See more on Kampala’s night life and bars here.

Here are some expat hangouts I would recommend;

Bubble O’Leary – this replica of an Irish pub in Uganda is fun; good music, nice pub grub and stays open until the early hours of the morning.

Rock Garden at the Speke Hotel in Kampala – ideal place for the weekend.

Capital pub in Kabalagala – this will surely take you by surprise (probably good to save it for last). It is a vibrant bar and night spot that will entertain you all night long. Quite a good number of expats find this place irresistible. Open seven days a week.

Steak-Out in Nakasero, Kampala – probably not common with expats but good place to meet up Ugandan friends. Very lively on Friday and Saturday nights.

Just Kicking Sports bar, Kisementi. More than a bar, runs a good restaurant as well.

Lion bar at the Sheraton Hotel, Kampala.

You will certainly find other places that expats are fond of – this list is long and you will love the night clubs too.

Hire a car or buy a car in Uganda; What is the cheaper option!

Driving in Uganda

On hiring a car in Uganda, I would say yes and no – this will entirely depend on how long you plan to stay. If you are looking at a short holiday travelling around Uganda, then this is the better option. Find the right car hire (very reliably a full time 4×4); at the right price and off you go…

However, just one thing to take care of, if you have not driven in Uganda before (especially on the up country roads), I would rather you took an experienced local driver with you – as a caution, some of the roads can sometimes turn out to be so challenging; some with potholes as deep as little fish ponds, let alone the goats and chickens you find along the way.

… But if you are made of steel and confident enough to take on the anxiety that comes with it, then why not self drive! – You will love the freedom of driving and camping in Uganda while you enjoy every bit of your vacation. And as a bonus – If possible, have some one with mechanical knowledge on board … it helps the budget!

And then the option of buying a car – on the onset, this might not look like a cheaper option for travelling around Uganda and indeed if not well thought through; 1. It might turn out very expensive and not worth it and 2. You can never trust buying a used – third hand car for that matter in Uganda, you might end up with all sorts of mechanical problems even from a trusted friend. And that’s not the sort of story I love to hear from you…

However, buying a car for travelling around Uganda is a cheap option that is used by many and has worked successfully especially by those on work holiday. Obviously this would only make sense if you plan to stay here for several months, as buying a car and selling it before you leave would take some time – especially the selling before you leave which can be distressing…

If your planned long holiday is with a group of friends, then buying a car should be a smarter cheaper option if you pooled funds together. You only need to take care of a few things;

Ask a reliable trusted car dealer – preferably one who imports second hand (reconditioned) cars from Japan, to find a good, speck free car (a 4×4 would be highly recommended). Find time to visit the car sale warehouse/bond and see the collection.

And before you buy, find out if the type of car you want to buy is one of the kinds that are usually sort after and would substantially retain a good re-sale value. You don’t want to put money into buying a car that would be hard to sell later on.

Also take note before you start driving in Uganda, whether your driver’s licence can be used in Uganda. You might have to acquire a temporary Ugandan driver’s licence or exchange yours for a Ugandan one for the time of your stay. Your embassy should be in position to advise you on this as well.

And with that you will only have to work out how much fuel you will need.

Motor Insurance in Uganda


Here is all what you need to know about motor insurance in Uganda.

What to bring for Mountain hiking in Uganda

Hiking Gear List

Lots of people ask about the right gear to bring for a mountain hiking expedition in Uganda. Here is what you need to know about what gear to carry for a mountaineering trip in Uganda; what to bring, advice and particularly what to bring for a hike.

Some of what you put into your bag will be individual / personal requirements – stuff you can’t do without; your medication, any items with a special attachment etc … Put these in the bag first.

Moving on to the essential for mountain hiking in Uganda;

For starters, stock up with enough equipment and supplies – once the rubber hits the road, you will not have opportunity to restock. You will only survive on what you will have brought with you. You might be able to hire some essential climbing gear at the trailheads … but you’re probably better off not relying so much on this – unless of course the equipment is quite heavy!

Warm clothing and a decent 4-season sleeping bag are essential. It can be, and it’s indeed chilly and wet out there. At 3000m – 4000m, you dare not underestimate the equatorial chill. Have a good raincoat, waterproof over trousers, a woollen hat (one of those good winter ones will do) and have some plastic bags (very often they come in handy especially if you have to separate the wet and dry cloths in your rucksack).

… And yes! did I just say rucksack? … or is this one of the very obvious! Have a good durable one that can stand tuff conditions . Not one that will lose all its straps halfway into the trek. There are some good brands out there.

Bring plenty of snacks and sweets. A few bars of chocolate would do but I doubt if they would survive the heat before you get to the cool heights – you might end up with everything covered in chocolate!

Depending on how high you plan to go, you will need proper walking/hiking boots – quite essential for mountain hiking in Uganda! and for the boggy valleys, walking gumboots are preferable. Sun glasses of course, sun cream, lip salve and a flash light.

Lest you forget! First in the bag should be the camera – You don’t want to miss out on those ‘kodak moments’. Bring loads of films or if you are using the modern digital ones, then have lots of storage space, flash disks etc …

If you turn up and your rucksack is quite heavy, porters can be hired to carry your backpack up the ranges and back. Unfortunately they will only do a maximum of 15kg to 18kg and you will have the rest. So find ways of light travelling.

For the anglers, you might get chance to do some sport fishing – say at the Sipi falls in Mt Elgon National Park. It’s wise to bring your own fishing equipment.

Cycling too can be exciting. There might be cycling trails organised. There is one at Mt Elgon that starts at the Sipi trading centre – quite adventurous! Bikes can be hired at the Sipi River Lodge … but just incase … you can come along with one of those light ones that can fold away easily.

… And here is something you could easily laugh about but could turn out to ruin your memorable mountain hike; Charge your camera and phone at every opportunity – It can be annoying that just when you see that thrilling moment/ view, the camera shuts down! … take caution!

I hope you have a lovely time and let me know how your mountain hiking in Uganda goes.

Kiira Vehicles: Cars Made in Uganda


Quite fairly I thought I should jot down something to update you on the impressive progress of the ‘KIIRA’project. Fast forward from 2011 … the ‘Kiira EV‘ has since evolved into ‘Kiira EV Smack‘ – a 5-seater edition lauched in 2014 that runs on a 1.8cc ecotech hybrid petrol engine and a high voltage battery. Projection is that the final model will be ready by 2018 – quite enough time for you to place your order!

 Kiira EV Smack – Hybrid Car

Kayola – the Solar Powered Bus

A few years on, the ambition has even grown bigger; Uganda launched the first ever and only Africa’s first solar-powered bus in 2016 – YES! You heard me right, the first of its kind made in Uganda. Dubbed ‘Kayola‘ which literally means ‘mass carrier’, the 35-seater bus is produced by Kiira Motors Cooperation – the same company behind the Kiira EV versions.

Agriculture, Energy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Health, Transport and Logistics are the sectors that have taken centre stage in progression and innovation of technology in Uganda.