Mountain trekking safaris are some of the best ways to experience the wild natural side of Africa. Most camps are sited in private conservation areas, where walking and night drives are accepted. On most mountain trekking trips, visitors are accompanied by local tour guides and porters who will carry your camping equipment and food during your hike.
Where to Go Mountaineering in Africa
Mountain Trekking in Uganda
Mountain trekking in Uganda is conducted on Mount Rwenzori in Western Uganda and Mount Elgon in the East.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Gazetted in 1991, Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the spectacular scenery and unique vegetation of these mountains. It spans over an area 192 sq km. The Park has a rich of bio-diversity of flora, fauna and ichthyofauna. The rift valley floor shelters diverse wildlife.
With its lofty snow-white peaks, and undefined as “Mountains of the Moon“, the Rwenzori mountain Ranges attract a number of adventure travellers. Perched in Western Uganda on the Uganda-Congolese border, Mount Rwenzori is just like a crown in Uganda. The massive range of Rwenzori rises to a height of 5,100m which makes the third highest mountain in Africa.
Mountain guide will be hired from mountain Rwenzori mountaineering services who will guide you to incredible breath taking landscapes, fresh waters, flora and fauna that make Rwenzori a unique world heritage site. Porters and equipment and purchase food in Kasese town. Much as the mountain is known to offer the best hiking opportunities in Uganda, but it’s known also for its challenging hiking and climbing possibilities.
Rwenzori Hiking Trails
Most hiking circuits to the Rwenzoris are normally arranged for 6-7 days in company of tour guides from Mountain Rwenzori Mountaineering Services. The company also offers specialized mountain equipment, porters (escorts), safari vehicles, etc.
There are a number of hiking and trekking trails available on Mount Rwenzori. Important trails are Nyabitaba Camp (at 2,650m); John Matte Camp (at 3,380m); Bujuku Camp (at 3,977m); Elena Camp (at 4,541)Guy Yeoman Camp (at 3,450), etc. Have a look at little information about these important trails of Rwenzori Ranges.
Nyabitaba Camp – It is one of the most important trails for trekking. It provides trekkers or adventure enthusiasts a wonderful opportunity to see the breathtaking sight of mighty mountain peaks. Hikers go through the dense forests where there get a glimpse of Monkeys, and Mountain Elephants.
John Matte Camp – This is one of the most famous trekking points in the Rwenzoris. It is a series of many majestic Portal Peaks. The Mobuku and Bukuju Rivers are also beautiful to see. The afternoon treks offer better visibility of the gold-stuck Margherita and Alexandria Peaks.
Bujuku Camp – The beautiful Lake Bujuku is the most scenic attractions along this trail. It is very popular among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts coming from different parts of the world.
To enjoy the hikes to the fullest, hikers need to have hiking shoes, ice axes for safety, rubber boots, and crampons to ease the walk on the snow, harnessers and snow gaiters. Usually the first resting point is at Mahoma River.
Other Attractions for Rwenzori Trekkers
Mobuku and Bujuku Rivers, Kitandara Crater Lakes
Best Time for Rwenzori Hiking
The best period to hike Mount Rwenzori is during the months of January and February and June to August during which the weather conditions are at its best.
Rwenzori Hiking Trails
Mount Elgon Trekking
The mountain has a park protected area which is 3,200m above sea level. The park itself covers an area of 715 sq km. The Park is renowned for its amazing numbers of forest monkeys and small antelope.
Other wildlife found the Park are elephant and buffalo. A checklist topping 300 birds includes many species not recorded elsewhere in Uganda.
Hiking Mount Elgon is one of the most fascinating adventure activities in Uganda. Elgon is a 4,321m high extinct volcano and it is the second highest mountain in the country after the Rwenzori Ranges. It situated in East Uganda in Kapchorwa District also straddling the Kenya border. The mountain has four major peaks namely; Wagagai, (highest peak at 4,321m), Kiongo (4303m), Mubiyi (4210m) and Jackson’s summit (4165m).
Elgon Hiking Trails
The Budadiri Trail: The trailhead at Budadiri lies 20km from Mbale town. The trails take up to average 7 to 8 hours walk.
The Sasa Trail: After breakfast we’ll take a full day on the Sasa Trail to see the dramatic landscapes from the high altitude and moorland. It will take you 4 to 5 hours walk to reach the campsite. Altitude of the day: 600m.
Kapkwata Trail: This is the most scenic trial and the hike passes through the bamboo, heath and moorland up to the Piswa Camp (at 2,850m). Trail traverses a 7km loop across the River and the Southern rim of the gorge.
Other Attractions for Elgon Trekkers
Ancient beautiful caves, cliffs, Suam Gorge, Kiongo peak and Sipi waterfalls
Accommodation is available at Rest Camp, Jinja Nile Resort, Piswa Camp, Mude Camp
Best Time for Elgon Hiking
Due to the unpredictable rainy season, it can be wet any time of the year although the most reliable season is between December and February. It is also reasonably high and it is advisable to prepare adequately.