Rivers in Uganda. When you think about Uganda safaris, what often comes first at the back of most nature lovers is gorilla trekking or wildlife viewing in general. But there is a lot more to explore on Uganda holiday than wildlife/game viewing. Uganda is one country that is naturally endowed, and remarkably, it has a long list of scenic rivers worth exploring on your next trip. These natural wonders add to the list of about 165 beautiful Lakes, numerous rift valleys, etc that make Uganda a true pearl of Africa.
Other than their serenity, the rivers in Uganda also support aquatic life like hippos, crocodiles, water birds, and more. Here is a list of amazing rivers in Uganda that one must explore on their next tour to this wildlife haven.
The River Nile
Listed among the world’s longest rivers, the Nile River has its source right here in Uganda. The River Nile flows over 6650 km till it empties its water into the Mediterranean sea. Its drainage basin covers 11 countries, and interestingly, for any adrenalin adventure seeker, the source of the Nile in Uganda is the right place to be.
Visit Jinja, a famed adrenaline adventure capital of East Africa, and enjoy a myriad of activities. Adrenaline adventures to spark your travel spirits at the Source of the Nile River in Jinja include whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, boat cruise, kayaking, jet boating, tubing, and more. The River Nile flows covering other parts where it takes different names like Albert Nile, Victoria, and White Nile. The Nile River in Uganda originates from Lake Victoria, one of the world’s largest tropical lakes.
Located in the western side of Uganda, River Kafu is 180km long. It flows through the Northwestern districts of Uganda such as Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Luweero, Hoima, Kyankwanzi, and Masindi. River Kafu has its source in the swamp which is found 12 km Northeast of Kitoma village, Kibaale district in Western Uganda. This scenic river pours its water into Victoria Nile, Masindi port-Masindi district, Northwestern Uganda. Its landscape features interesting bird species, papyrus swamps, and dense bush thickets.
Situated in the Southwestern side of Uganda, the Katonga River is one of the scenic rivers and remarkable tourist sites worth exploring on your next visit. This river flows out of Lake Victoria and empties its water into Lake Wamala, while one of its streams flows westwards into Lake George. Lake George is connected to Lake Edward by the Kazinga channel.
Katonga River flows through Ibanda, Sembabule, Gomba, Bukomansimbi, Mityana, Kiruhura districts. It is fed by several tributaries along its course to Lake Edward. At its banks, you will find unique flora and adjacent to it, there is Katonga Wildlife Reserve where it takes its name. Katonga Reserve is one of the iconic destinations in Western Uganda.
Founded in 1998, Katonga Wildlife Reserve is home to warthogs, Uganda Kobs, bushbucks, reedbucks, impalas, sitatungas, otters, elephants, black and white colobus monkeys. Over 150 bird species are also supported at Katonga, and they include the African fish eagles, papyrus gonoleks, saddle-billed storks, grey-crowned cranes, and more.
Sezibwa River lies within Central Uganda, and it takes its name from the Luganda word “Sizibwa kkubo” meaning “my path can’t be blocked.” Sezibwa River begins its journey from the wetlands between Lake Kyoga and Lake Victoria. It flows Northwards emptying its water into Lake Kyoga. Its source is right in the Buikwe district, close to Ngogwe. It enters L. Kyoga in Kayunga district, but it first flows via Mukono district, East of Kampala. It is at Sezibwa where the famed Ssezibwa waterfall is also found.
The Sipi River is where the charming Sipi waterfalls originate from. The Sipi falls is set at the edge of Mt. Elgon, and it is strategically positioned offering incredible views of the sweeping Karamoja plains. This stunning waterfall lies in Kapchorwa district, Eastern Uganda, about 4-5 hour drive from Kampala city. The word Sipi is derived from a locally grown plant known as “Sep” which looks like a wild banana, a valuable medicinal plant species. Most tourists to Sipi, travel mainly to hike through the 3 waterfalls which are located in varying altitudes; 85m, 75m, and 100m.
Other beautiful rivers in Uganda include River Mayanja, River Semliki, River Manafwa, River Aswa, River Mpologoma, River Muzizi, and more.