Uganda day tours & trips starting from Kampala (with prices)

If you are in Kampala and have just a day to spare for a tour in Uganda, know that you can still experience some of the best adventures and wildlife experiences Uganda offers in one day. Below are some great one-day tour options starting from Kampala that you can do and still make it back to Kampala before nightfall or to the airport for your evening flight. The prices of the trips depend on the number of people booking together but are not scheduled group tours.

1. Kampala City day tour

Uganda’s capital Kampala is one of the most vibrant African cities you can ever visit, full of color and life. It is the economic, historical, and religious heart of the country. Kampala is a city that has not developed as fast as other African cities and so if you don’t mind the slight inconvenience of congestion, a bit of disorganization and chaos, a tour of Kampala is both an adventure and a learning experience that takes you through the history of the people of Uganda, see the day-to-day lives in a typical African city, learn the cultures, traditions of the people and enjoy the warm weather among others.

Itinerary of the Kampala city tour would be as follows:

Start early with a pick from your hotel at 7am

Given there are so many places to see the choice of where to visit will depend on what you are interested in seeing, experiencing and learning.

The highlights include the following:

  • The Buganda Royal tourism circuit (Kabaka’s palace, Royal Mile, Buganda Parliament, Kabaka’s man-made lake): Go through the administration and organization structure of the Buganda Kingdom plus the history that was pivotal to the foundation of Uganda as a country.
  • Kasubi tombs: burial place of the kings of Buganda, a UNESCO world heritage site that is rich with traditions and cultures of the Baganda tribe who make the core of Uganda.
  • Uganda martyrs trail – a full day experience on the history of Christianity in Uganda and learn about the brave martyrs that went against their king and died for their faith thus laying the foundation of Uganda as a Christian country.
  • Owino market – East Africa’s largest flea market has anything you want to buy. You can visit to buy something or simply enjoy the beehive of economic activities/trade.
  • Gadaffi’s mosque – place to learn about the Muslim religion in Uganda. However it is mostly popular for its high minaret that towers over the Kampala Central Business District (CBD). The minaret is open to tourists to hike up and access arguably the best cityscape views over the CBD
  • Bahai temple – go to learn about the unique Bahai faith and enjoy the lush serene grounds. Nice place to enjoy a picnic and the location on a hill offers lovely views of Kampala City.
  • Ndere Cultural Center – offers traditional dance performances in the evening on some days in the week. Good place to finish off the tour in the evening.
  • Art galleries, craft markets
  • Kampala night life – if you are a “party animal” Kampala’s night life is the thing!

Price of tour depending on number of people:

                  No. Pax 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Price per person $194 $111 $84 $70 $62 $56 $52

Price covers for: transport in a tour van, petrol, driver, lunch, and taxes. Note price will likely change depending on where you choose to go because, while some places do not charge for access others do.

2. Half day Ngamba island chimpanzee tour

Want to see and interact with chimpanzees up-close but cannot go for the chimpanzee trekking in the distant parks and wildlife reserves? This is a nice trip to see chimps in their environment at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Ngamba island is a small forested island on Lake Victoria. The sanctuary was established to host chimps that have been rescued from illegal wildlife trade, poaching, etc… 52 chimps call the island home as of 2022. The sanctuary welcomes visitors to see the chimps during the two supplementary feeding times in day, in the morning & afternoon. During these two times the chimps come out of the forest to an open space to receive fruits from the caretakes. The forest is surrounded by a wire fence and viewing of chimps is from behind a fence, so it is very safe. The trip is nice for families with kids as they are allowed.

The half day ngamba island chimpanzee trip would be as follows:

Leave Kampala or home at 7am and drive to Entebbe where you shall take a boat trip to the island. The boat ride also offers a nice adventure on Lake Victoria, Africa’s biggest lake. You will cross the equator on the lake, an interesting & educating experience. You will get to the island, and climb to a platform behind a fence and watch the chimps when they come out of the forest to an open space where they are given supplementary fruits. Get to know about the individual chimps, the leader, hierarchy, etc… You will get back from the island by midday, have lunch in Entebbe & continue home. This chimp tour can also be done in the afternoon but starting the trip at 11am.

Price of tour depending on number of people:

                  No. Pax 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Price per person $535 $197 $125 $94 $82 $74 $

Price covers for: transportation in tour van to boat jetty, round trip boat ride to ngamba island, entrance & viewing fees, lunch.
*Note: above price depends on how many others have booked with ngamba island since the boat is shared, so contact us to confirm final price.

3. 1 day Source of the Nile jinja & Mabira forest tour

This is one of the best day trips from Kampala as it takes you to two popular destinations in Uganda, that is, the source of the river Nile in Jinja, and the Mabira forest reserve. In addition, you will visit the Sezibwa Falls, that is if you do not do the zip line in Mabira forest.

The 1 day trip itinerary will be as follows:

Leave Kampala at 6.30am and drive towards eastern Uganda. After about an hour of driving, you will make the first stop at Sezibwa Falls. You will do a 1 hour walk at Sezibwa Falls to explore the beautiful waterfalls and enjoy the nature. Sezibwa falls is also a cultural heritage site, so you will be told about the culture about the Sezibwa waterfalls including the myth that the falls were born by a woman and there are spirits/gods at the falls.

After Sezibwa Falls you will continue to Mabira Forest Reserve. Mabira forest is the biggest forest in Central Uganda. It is rich with monkeys, birds, many types of trees, etc… It is a nice place for nature lovers. You will go on a 2 hours nature walk to experience and explore nature. Enjoy the tranquility as you walk under the thick forest canopy. Optional: You can combine the nature walk with a zipline adventure at Griffin Falls in Mabira forest, but you will forego the visit to Sezibwa Falls

After Mabira forest you shall continue to Jinja City, about 30 minutes or so drive. Have lunch and some relaxation.

Continue to the Source of the Nile and take a 1 hour boat trip on the Nile to the Lake Victoria and witness where the Nile starts from. Enjoy views of Lake Victoria and if you are a keen birder there are lots water birds to see including cormorants, kingfishers, herons, pelicans, etc…

Thereafter drive back to Kampala

Price of tour depending on number of people:

                  No. Pax 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Price per person $272 $161 $124 $106 $95 $88 $

Price covers for: transportation in tour van, petrol, tour driver/guide, all access & activities, lunch, and taxes

4. 1 day mabamba wetland shoebill birding tour

This is a trip for birders and birding enthusiasts. Nature lovers and nature photographers can also go on the tour to see the peculiar Shoebill bird that looks like something from the dinosaurs. Mabamba bay wetland is located on Lake Victoria. It is a popular birding hotspot known mostly for the Shoebill, one of the most sought after bird by birders. Apart from the Shoebill there are many other wetland specialities

1 day Mamba wetland tour itinerary will be as follows:

Leave Kampala at 6.30am or earlier and drive to Mabamba wetland. It is a 1 hour drive. On arrival at the wetland, you will take a boat/ motorized canoe and go out into the wetland to look for the shoebill and other birds. In the afternoon you shall get off the water and bird other nearby habits including gardens, bushes & thickets, forest. Later drive back to Kampala.

Price of tour depending on number of people:

                  No. Pax 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Price per person $272 $145 $102 $81 $68 $60 $54

Price covers for: transportation in tour van, petrol, bird guide, access fees & boat hire and all taxes. Lunch NOT included but can be organized.

5. 1 day white water rafting on the Nile in jinja

For the adrenaline junkies, Uganda is one of the best white water rafting destinations in the world. The River Nile in Jinja has a section where adrenaline junkies take on the mighty rapids of the Nile for a full day.

The trip itinerary will be as follows.

You will leave Kampala at 6.30am and drive to Jinja. Meet the rafting company and after briefing you begin the adventure. The rafting day is broken down with a lunch break.

At 5pm you will end the rafting and return to Kampala.

Price of tour depending on number of people:

                  No. Pax 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Price per person $278 $183 $153 $138 $129 $123 $119

Price covers for: transportation in a tour van, driver, petrol, full day rafting and lunch.

6. 1 day rhino tracking at ziwa rhino sanctuary

The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only in Uganda where rhinos live in the wild. The species of rhinos at the sanctuary is the white rhinos which are known not be aggressive like the black rhinos. The sanctuary offers a guided walk on the sanctuary to see the rhinos. The sanctuary also has many other animals including antelopes, monkeys, baboons.

The trip will be as follows:

Leave Kampala at 6.30am prompt and drive north to Ziwa rhino sanctuary in Nakasongola District. It is a 2.5 hours drive. On arrival you shall meet the sanctuary guide for introduction and briefing and thereafter set off on a trek to find the rhinos. You will watch the rhinos from a safe distance as shall be guided by the guide. After 1+ hr at the sanctuary you shall drive to Kabalega Diners for lunch and later drive back to Kampala.

Price of tour depending on number of people:

                  No. Pax 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Price per person $266 $173 $144 $130 $121 $115 $111

Price covers for: transport in a tour van, petrol, driver, entrance fees, rhino tracking fees, lunch, and taxes

7. Day excursion on Lake Victoria, escape to an island (Bussi, Bulago)

Want to escape from the hustle and bustle of Kampala City or Entebbe, Lake Victoria offers the ideal and easiest place to get away and unwind while enjoying several activities on Africa’s biggest lake. You can visit an island and spend time at a beautiful resort, and while there can go fishing on the lake, enjoy a cruise on the lake to watch birds and local fishermen going about catching fish the local way, visit a fishing community etc…

Two easily accessible islands with beautiful resorts are Bussi Island and Bulago Island

On Bussi Island there is Park Shoebill, a lovely resort with an adventure park that will treat you to an array of challenges. If you are not the adventure type you can spend the day relaxing away at their lovely sandy beach while taking in the scenery across the lake and enjoying the cools breeze. Bussi Island is a 30 minutes cruise from Nakiwogo Landing site in Entebbe. Park Shoebill provides the transportation.

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