October is domestic tourism month in Uganda. This is intended to boost the tourism industry and encourage locals to visit beautiful places in Uganda. In the same spirit, we shall look at the importance of domestic tourism in Uganda. We shall also highlight some good places that can easily be visited in a day or a weekend.

As it is the case at any other time of the year, Ugandans (and East African Community citizens) are given discounted rates for any tourist activity. The discount is to encourage more domestic visits which in turn helps both tourism and conservation of such places and activities.



Tourism, in general, plays an important role in generating revenue which contributes to Uganda’s national budget. Foreign tourists outnumber domestic tourists in Uganda – and thus contribute more to the total tourism sectors development.

1. Domestic tourism is great for selling Uganda as a tourist destination. Instead of having just the people in the tourism sector (like us here) charged with promoting the country’s tourism resources, domestic tourism helps engage more people. Seeing the beauty and magnificence of nature, many people share their experiences and pictures on the internet and this helps attract interested tourists from all over the world.

2. Domestic tourism helps to drive the conservation goals forward. By making more and more people aware of the beauty of nature, and the need to save it from the threatening forces – especially human manageable forces. This is especially important for ecosystems such as natural rain forests, as well as endangered species of animals and birds. Domestic tourism involves every citizen in the active preservation of nature.

3. Domestic tourism contributes to national development by generating revenue. While the contributions are still small and could greatly increase, the contributions go to worthy government plans such as infrastructure and security.

4. Domestic tourism is great for study purposes. While school trips might not be thought of as domestic tourism activities by most, they are the most common and cherished. When the young minds learn about the gifts and ways of nature, they grow up utilizing that knowledge and thus contributing so much for the good of all.

The most common approach to domestic tourism is visiting nearby places of interests. Most domestic tours in Uganda are either 1 day or weekend get outs. We have grouped the places by region so that you can very easily see which ones are nearest to you.

Each of these places of interest has a small description to give you a slight idea of what makes it special.


1. Sezibwa Falls.

River Sezibwa and its ‘twin’ are said to have been born of a woman. They are the first twins in the Buganda kingdom and can bless people with twins.

2. Ssese Islands.

A collection of more than 80 individual islands that dot the Ugandan part of lake Victoria. There are many monkeys in the natural forests, and the white sand beaches are good for relaxing.

3. Mabira Rain Forest.

The biggest natural rain forest near Kampala that is responsible for much of the rain in and around Kampala. Mabira is a short drive from Kampala or Jinja and makes for a good 1-day visit, or a stop by visit on your way.

4. Lubiri Mengo.

The official palace of the Kabaka, King of Buganda Kingdom. Learn about Buganda’s history that is more than 300 years old.

5. Uganda National Mosque.

The famous mosque donated by the Libyan people to Uganda – through their former president Muamar Gadaffi. The mosque is the second biggest mosque in Africa and features the most elegant architecture.

6. Kibuli Mosque.

Built in 1951, the Kibuli mosque has a rich history that is closely related to the start and growth of Islam both in the early BUganda Kingdom and pre-colonial Uganda. When you climb the minaret, you will enjoy stunning panoramic views of Kampala city.

7. Uganda Museum.

The oldest museum in East Africa, with artefacts from all over East and Central African that are more than 100 years old.

8. Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

The Uganda Wildlife Education centre is where you will see many animals of Uganda without going very far from Kampala or Entebbe. You will see and learn about lions, elephants, Uganda kob, monkeys, chimpanzees,

9. Lake Victoria

The largest freshwater lake in the whole of Africa. Lake victoria drains much of Uganda and is a major source of water for the river Nile

10. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

A home for more than 50 Chimpanzees which were rescued from hostile situations or orphanhood. The rescued chimpanzees would have otherwise died due to poaching, wounds or lack of care for the orphaned ones.


11. Jinja City

Once Uganda’s biggest and most industrialised city. Jinja still remains East Africa’s adventure and party capital with activities like Bungee jumping and events like Nyege Nyege.

12. Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa

The Sipi river and falls come from the tops of Mount Elgon. Experiencing the power of the falls is a sight everyone will enjoy after the worthy hike.

Importance of Domestic Tourism in Uganda. 25+ places that are easy to visit

13. Source of the Nile

The starting point of River Nile from which it flows more than 6000 miles north to the Mediterranean sea.

14. Mount Elgon

A dormant volcano on the border of Kenya and Uganda, that has the biggest caldera in the world at its top. Mount Elgon used to be taller than Kilimanjaro but has reduced due to thousands of years of soil erosion.


15. Kidepo Valley National Park.

The only place where you will see Ostriches, Zebra, Giraffes and Cheetahs in Uganda. Of course, with all the other wild animals.

16. Murchison Falls National Park.

See the most powerful falls in the world. In addition, enjoy many birds and animals along the Nile’s banks and the park.

17. Aruu Falls

Aruu Falls is found in Pader district about 50 kilometres from Gulu Municipality. The powerful falls are picturesque as they tumble down the rocks. You can even swim/shower under the falls on the various rocks.


18. The Rwenzori Mountains.

The highest mountain ranges in Africa with snow-capped peaks. Rwenzori is also known as the mountains of the moon and is crossed by the equator.

19. Semuliki National Park.

Semuliki is very popular for the hot springs which are identified as both male and female. It is also great for bird watching and nature walks in the dense rain forest.

20. Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

A model community-based conservation and tourism project run and managed by the local residents of Bigodi village. Good for monkeys and birds.

21. Crater Lakes of Western Uganda.

The areas near Fort portal have more than 30 crater lakes whose individual stories are closely tied to the deep history of the area.

22. Katonga Wildlife reserve

During the 1970s and 1980s, the animals in the Katonga wildlife reserve were poached and some even to complete extinction in the park. Recent effort has seen these animals reintroduced and populations start to recover. Easier access for people in Ibanda, Kyenjojo and Fort Portal.

23. Kibale National Park

Kibale is very popular for chimpanzee tracking. Other activities include guided nature walks, bird watching and tracking of other primates and mammals. Go here for more about Kibale National Park

24. Kilembe Copper mines.


24. Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The most popular national park for both the locals and foreign visitors. Great for birding, safari animals and launch cruises.

25. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Has the highest concentration of mountain gorillas in the whole world. Bwindi is well known for gorillas, but you can also do birdwatching and Batwa cultural visits. Here is more about Bwindi Impenetrable

26. Mount Sabinyo

When you climb to the peak of Mount Sabinyo, you will be able to stand in 3 countries at once. You will be at the intersection of Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.

27. Lake Bunyonyi

Known for being the deepest lake in Uganda, Bunyonyi is dotted with many Islands. Don’t miss the Island which was once used to punish young girls for getting pregnant before marriage.

28. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahainga National Park is the only place in Uganda where you can see the golden monkeys. The park has many other primates including mountain gorillas. Do the Batwa Cultural trail to learn about their peculiar history with the dense forest.

29. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is the nearest park to Kampala and Masaka. Rich with many animals and birds, the most loved sighting in Lake Mburo is seeing the Zebras as they graze with other animals. In Lake Mburo, you can even see animals while riding a mountain bike or a horse. Here is more about Lake Mburo National Park


Depending on where you are, you have enough close by locations to visit and boost Uganda’s tourism. Which places have you visited and where did you have the most fun?

While this is a domestic tourism-focused article, it is important to remember that Uganda’s tourism happens at all times of the year. Whether you are a Ugandan, an East African National, a foreign resident or a foreign visitor, these places can be easily accessed for wonderful experiences.

Uganda is a small country and it wouldn’t take so much time to go across regions to places far from your neighbourhood. By visiting these places, you demonstrate to the locally the importance of their work in preservation – and encourage them to keep doing it. Most importantly for yourself, you learn new things and expand your mind. You become better.

It is your turn. Have you had a chance to see these amazing places? Tell us in the comments which places and how your experience was.

Thanks and Cheers.

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