The Ultimate Guide to Mbarara – Where to stay & Best things to See and Do from Mbarara town
Mbarara is the largest town in western Uganda. Its great location along Kampala – Mbarara – Kasese highway makes it a number one stopover for those heading far deep to the western part of Uganda.
Mbarara is defined by beautiful buildings that line the streets, awesome hotels and calm atmosphere favored by the surrounding vegetation. Adding to the welcoming locals, Mbarara has plenty of local dishes that are perfect for those who fancy culinary adventures.
This town welcomes all those who are up to explore all that Western Uganda has to offer. Some of these points of interest include National Parks like Bwindi, a prominent home for the Mountain Gorillas, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, game reserves, physical features and more.
The biggest percentages of people within Mbarara are banyankole (people who are more addicted to milk)
Banks and other services. This may be a question for a new visitor to Mbarara. Don’t be worried, Mbarara is dotted by different banks that offer services daily. Some banks allow withdrawing international currency like dollars.
Other than that, there are also Forex outlets where you can exchange your money to local currency. ATMs are also positioned in every corner of the town just for people to withdraw money.
How to get there and around
There are many ways to let you get to Mbarara either from Kampala, Entebbe or any other location in Uganda. For locals getting to Mbarara from Kampala, by bus is the best option. These buses leave Kampala to Mbarara daily.
For tourists, it is more convenient with a local tour operator, they transfer you in their comfortable 4×4 safari vehicles or if not that you can book an airport taxi from Entebbe for your drive up to a hotel in Mbarara town. It takes about 5-6 hours for the drive but this depends on the speed used and en route stopovers.
Where to stay & eat in Mbarara.
Mbarara town is full of beautiful hotels and lodges that are specifically reserved for visitors to stay while within the town. Most of these lodging facilities feature onsite restaurants and bars that are meant to serve guests all meals and drinks at affordable prices.
Top day tours from Mbarara.
Below are some the day tours you can take from Mbarara town. There are good for those who are staying in Mbarara but wish for some good time out of the town.
Visit Lake Mburo National Park.
Just nearby you find Lake Mburo National Park, a protected area that is wowed by tourists for its diverse Wildlife. This Park is home to many species including Wild animals, reptiles, insects, aquatic life and different bird species.
Aquatic species such as hippopotamus, water birds are found in Lake Mburo. If you love wildlife, this is one hundred per cent for you. Some of the activities to keep you excited in Lake Mburo are game drives, camel riding and boat cruise.
Visit Igongo Cultural centre.
If you prefer culture than Wildlife, then see your way to the notable Igongo cultural centre. This historical site showcases various artefacts and traditional items that are attached to the Banyankole tribe. There are also beautiful hand made goods like handbags you can buy as souvenirs.
Gorilla Trek in Bwindi or Mgahinga.
From Mbarara, you can reach Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park for incredible encounters with the rarely seen species of Gorillas. Gorillas hide deep in the village which requires treks via rugged trails to see them.
You can only have this experience in Bwindi or Mgahinga. This unmatched experience requires a permit which costs $700 per person in Uganda. This permit is valid for use by one person on the respective travel dates.