The shopping scene in Kampala is an interesting mixture of the past and present, with both African and Western elements in shopping centers that can be either simple or complicated.
In some parts of Kampala, you can even find markets and towering shopping complexes within walking distance from one another.
Luxury goods can be found in shopping complexes such as Garden City. Here, you will be met with a multitude of Western and modern shops designed to attract the richer Ugandan crowd and the foreign tourists.
These shopping complexes are much like the typical shopping malls back home, with supermarkets, fast food joints, and a variety of outlets to choose from.
However, the real shopping experience in Uganda happens with your trip to the local markets.
Here in Uganda, the fruits and vegetables are always fresh, with nearby trees and farms well taken care of by Ugandan farmers.
While these markets are a far cry from the upscale shopping complexes, it is here where you would be able to experience the real spirit of Uganda.
Visit the UWEC
The UWEC, or the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, is located on Lake Victoria’s shores.
Opened in 1952, the UWEC is a must-visit for tourists looking for an educational or leisure tour with the animals.
This 72-hectare establishment was originally a reception center for animals from the wild that have been endangered, injured, ill, orphaned, or confiscated from smugglers and poachers.
Today, the UWEC is an educational and conservation facility that has earned recognition and respect not just in Africa but also in the whole world.
Tourists who visit here are able to observe indigenous wildlife that live in three different natural habitats: the savannah, the wetland, and the forest.
In UWEC, it is hoped that you will not only learn about the animals but also develop a genuine caring for them.
Try whitewater rafting
Whitewater rafting is a watersport that gives you an adrenaline rush perhaps like no other.
There are only a select number of sites in the world where the waters are fit for this sport. One such site is in Jinja.
In the city of Jinja, there are shops and centers where you can have a whitewater rafting session arranged for you and your companions. If you’re lucky, there would be no queue, and you would be able to get into the raft right away.
Now a word of caution: While the guides are very much capable of steering the raft on their own, it is still important that you listen to everything that they say, especially if it’s just your first time.
White-water rafting is a unique experience that combines the thrill of crashing through the rough waters with the teamwork required for the activity. If you are looking for an extreme adrenaline rush, look no further than Jinja and its white waters.
There are several mountains in Uganda that are perfect for hiking; most of these are huge volcanoes that are now extinct.
Located in different parts of the country, these hiking destinations can cater to both novice and expert hikers. Certainly, there is a suitable trail for everyone.
Some of the mountains in Uganda that are perfect for hiking are Mt. Elgon, standing 4,321 meters and located in eastern Uganda; Mt. Moroto in northeastern Uganda; Mt. Muhavara in southwestern Uganda; and the famous snow-capped Rwenzori mountain ranges.
Hiking in these mountains will be much easier and less dangerous if you go with a guide. The guide will be able to choose a path and destination for you to suit the level of hiking that you prefer, whether you like it easy, with mostly flat paths, or difficult, with steep inclines and narrow passages.
If you include hiking in your trip itinerary, remember to keep safe. Bring all the required safety gear, and always be with a partner.
And don’t forget to enjoy the views that you can see of beautiful Uganda while atop its majestic mountains.
Yes, skiing, in Central Africa and right at the equator, no less!
The Rwenzoris Mountains in Uganda are the most glaciated mountain range in Africa. And yes, people can actually ski there.
Because of global warming, the snow at the top of the Rwenzoris may be gone in a few decades, so better enjoy it while it’s still there.
While a lot of people have gone on safaris in Africa, and certainly, most of us have skied before, the experience of skiing in the mounts of the equatorial region will certainly be a tale worth telling to your disbelieving wide-eyed grandkids someday.