Hiking tours : From savannah grasslands, rolling hills, forests, waterfalls, lakes, rivers and snow-capped mountains, Uganda is surely gifted by nature. The pearl of Africa has been ranked as one of the top tourist destinations on the continent, something that has stood the test of time. The attractions in the country are never ending and range from the famous wildlife, beautiful waters and a magnificent landscape while on Hiking safaris.
Hiking tours are one of the most tiring yet rewarding activities one can do in Uganda. Because of the country’s unique landscape, she possesses a number of mountains, hills and waterfalls all great for hiking. From the Rwenzori Mountain and the Virunga mountains in the West to Elgon in the East and from the Murchison to the Sipi falls, Uganda is the place to be when considering hiking.
Sitting along the border of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, the Rwenzori Mountains are one of the three constantly snow-capped mountains on the continent. They are also Uganda’s highest mountain ranges and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Rwenzori Mountains have the third highest peak (Margherita on Mountain Stanley) in East Africa after Mountain Kilimanjaro and Mountain Kenya; it stands at 5109 meters above sea level.
The Rwenzori Mountains are quite a challenge to hike but all worth it. The mountains were ranked the best in Africa for climbing and hiking and ninth in the world overall because of their scenic beauty and great views at the top. There are a number of routes that can be taken to the top of the mountain with the longest trail (central circuit) taking 6-8 days and longer for slower treks. This comes with a chance to climb to the highest peak if you’re extreme and fit enough.
Hiking the Rwenzori Mountains is open to tourists all year round. The hiking packages vary per tour operator, so you should consult with you tour operator before you take the hike.
At 4321 metres above sea level, Mountain Elgon is the 4th highest mountain in East Africa respectively. The mountain lies at the border of Uganda and Kenya and her highest peak Wagagai standing at 4321 metres lies on the Ugandan side. When hiking Mountain Elgon, you will encounter wildlife along the slopes and vegetation zones of the mountain as well as caves and falls among other things that give you scenic views.
The trail takes 4 to 5 days along two major routes. The Sasa trail goes through a whole lot of bamboo forests and is more direct to the peaks while the Piswa trail is gentler. Whichever trail you find yourself on, enjoy your hike!
You can hike the Elgon mountain trails anytime of the year.
The Virunga Mountains
Found in South western Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a hike on one of the 8 Virunga volcanoes is a great way to wrap up your gorilla trekking experience in any of the three countries. Uganda has a share of three of these mountains along her borders with Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mountain Muhabura, translated ‘’the guide’’ in the native dilect stands at 4127 metres making it the highest of the three Virunga mountains. Hiking this mountain takes about 8 hours and you’ll get amazing views into Rwanda and Uganda as well as a small lake at the top.
Mountain Sabinyo translated as “Old man’s teeth” because of its rough terrain, Mountain Sabinyo stands at 3660 metres above sea level. The 8-hour hike at Sabinyo involves persevering a rough terrain but at the top, you will realize you can see three countries at the same time; Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
At 3474, mountain Gahinga this is the smallest of the Virunga mountains. It is in between the other two mountains and is easier to hike; a hike is about 6 hours going through a bamboo forest. Mountain Gahinga once had a lake at the top which become a swamp.
These falls along the base of Mountain Elgon are arguably the most benevolent falls in the country. They are a group of three falls at 85, 75 and 100 metres and are very good for day hikes. A hike takes about 3 full hours to complete. You can hike the Sipi falls any time of the year. The falls are about 3 to 4 hours so you can travel to the falls and hike on the same day.