Before or after your gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda you can experience the following visit in Entebbe and Kampala and one is Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. This sanctuary in Lake Victoria is home to around 50 orphaned chimps that have been rescued from elsewhere in Uganda and are being rehabilitated as much as possible on this thickly forested island. Day trips to see the residents are superb. Plan ahead and you can join the overnight experience and a forest-walk with the chimps, which will climb all over you. It’s a 50-/90-minute speedboat/motorized canoe ride from Entebbe to get here.
Visit Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe. While it functions primarily as a zoo, this centre is actually a world-class animal refuge that has benefited from international assistance in recent years. Most of the animals on display were once injured or were recovered from poachers and traffickers. Star attractions include chimpanzees (a good alternative to pricier Ngamba Island), southern white rhinos, lions, leopards and shoe bill storks. Keeps an eye out for the baby elephant wandering about too. If you want to get closer to the animals, there’s a variety of programmes on offer that can range from behind-the-scenes tours (adult/child $75/35), zookeeper for the day (adult/child including lunch $150/70) to long-term volunteering opportunities; book directly through UWEC for discounts. There’s decent lodging here too.
Entebbe Botanical Gardens Laid out in 1898, these expansive gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll. The highlights are its pockets of thick rain forest, which locals claim some of the original Tarzan films were made in, and excellent bird watching with 115 species (USh10, 000 per guide). You’ll see plenty of monkeys, including black and white colobus and tree squirrels too.
Bulange is the Buganda Kingdom’s parliament. Parliament sessions are held every month and are focused on issues of tradition, culture and development. The Kabaka (king) visits Bulange twice a year to open the sessions at the beginning of the year and close the sessions at the end of the year. The Lubiri is located on a stretch covering one mile and is the official residence of the Kabaka. The Kasubi Tombs are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They serve as a burial ground for some of the kings of Buganda. In Buganda it is believed that the King does not die but rather disappears. You will hear more tales from your guide and see some of the Buganda regalia at the tombs.
Gadhafi Mosque; this is the national mosque in Uganda and it was built with support from the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gadhafi. It has a rich history with its location on the original colonial capital and one of the original ‘seven hills’ of Kampala. Climb up the many steps of the mosque to see Kampala through a bird’s eye view.
Ndere Centre is located in Kisasi, a suburb of Kampala. It is a cultural centre where you are able to experience a mixture for all the cultures of Uganda is one boiling pot. The centre offers cooking lessons for traditional Ugandan meals, traditional dance classes, and amazing performances.
The Uganda Museum is a one-stop place for a historic tour of Uganda over the years. Different sections in the museum introduce you to nature, culture, technology, tools used by Ugandans over the years and traditional music instruments. Proceed to Baha’i Temple Located on Kikaya Hill in the suburbs of Kampala; this is the only Baha’i temple on the African continent. Enjoy the sight of the magnificent building and learn about the Baha’i faith in Uganda. Apart from the religious aspect of the temple, it sits on a vast piece of land with beautiful gardens with bird watching opportunities.
Craft markets; there are several craft markets in the city. Some are in permanent locations, whereas others are weekly or monthly markets. Depending on what you are looking for, visit a craft market and purchase a souvenir of Ugandan heritage from prints, to canvas, paintings and postcards. Permanent craft markets include the Buganda Road craft market, the National Theatre craft market and the Uganda Crafts 2000 ltd. Proceed for the Monuments; Kampala has accumulated several monuments over the years, which showcase local personalities and national achievements. A walk through the city will lead you to at least six monuments with different stories to tell. The Independence Monument is the most prominent in the city.