Are you looking for an invigorating activity to participate in while for a safari in Africa? Come visit Uganda and you will be rewarded with the best mountain hiking opportunities with memories that last a lifetime. The most unforgettable hiking experiences in Uganda can be achieved from Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Mount Elgon National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
Mountain Hiking/Volcano Climbing In Mount Elgon
Most trekkers to Uganda find climbing Mount Elgon the most interesting alternative to the more challenging hikes within other Volcanoes in East Africa. It is also very accessible throughout the year, is less congested because fewer tourists climb it and has numerous of the same attractions with cooler climate and lower altitude. Hiking/climbing to the summits of Mount Elgon does not necessarily require special equipments and technical experience. Several hiking trails exist within Mount Elgon and they include;
The Sipi trail-the longest trail that involves a 56 kilometer round trip for 4-6 days. It crosses the north-western mountainside via Tutum Cave and passes the Caldera until it reaches the Wagagai Peak. What starts a gentle hike becomes more challenging on the third day onwards.
The other trail is the Piswa trail that takes about 7b days through a 49 Kilometer roundtrip. This trail is the most gentle but the longest of all the trails within Mount Elgon, starts at Kapkwata village (on the northern side of the Mountain), passes the soft wood plantation to the popular Podocarpus forest.
The Sasa trail is another another popular hiking trail within Mount Elgon, and is the toughest but the Shortest trail to the summits of Mount Elgon and passes through the Community farm land to experience life within the Bamasaba farming establishments and Bamasaba culture that involves Public Make Circumcision. Entire trip lasts 4 days and begins from Budadiri Town (at an altitude of 1250 meters above sea level).
Mountain Climbing/Hiking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mountain/Volcano climbing within Mgahinga National Park is conducted from the three Volcanoes that form part of the enormous Virunga Massif that stretches across three countries-Mounts Gahinga, Mount Sabinyo and Mount Muhabura. All these three spectacular Mountains/Volcanoes can be climbed up to their summits and each of them usually lasts a full day.
Mount Sabinyo that is shared by Uganda, DRC and Rwanda stands at 3669 meters above sea level and can only is climbed from the Uganda side. Hiking/climbing to the Peak of this Volcano takes 8 hours to complete the 14 kilometer round trip, which involves passes through a steep ride to the Peaks (three peaks)
Climbing Mount Muhabura that stands 4127 meters above sea level takes also 8 hours for a 12 kilometer round trip. When you reach the Peak of this Mountain, you will be rewarded within the breathtaking views of the Virunga Volcanoes, Snow-capped peaks of Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward (located on the western side of the Kazinga Channel) and the canopies of the magnificent Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Mount Gahinga (3474 meters above sea level) has a swamp-filled Crater and Huge Lobelia on its Peak and takes only 6 hours to ascend to and descend from its peak. On a clear day, you will be able to sight the endangered Golden monkeys near the Bamboo Forest
Mountain Climbing in Rwenzori Mountains
Mount Rwenzori offers the most challenging climbing adventure but the most rewarding of all the climbs/hikes in Uganda. Enthusiast hikers can choose from the two incredible trails to the Peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains (also referred as the Mountains of the Moon) and has the third highest Mountains peak in Africa. These trails include;
The Central Circuit trail, is a 7 day hike and the most challenging climb, and offers a circular hike of the Towering Rwenzori. From the Mihunga trailhead, the route slopes the Bujuku valley through Nyabitaba for acquaintance before arriving the Peaks of the Mountain. Hikers who join this trail after the Bujuku Valley have to pass through the Scott Elliot and Freshfield transverses to descend via the Mubuku Valley.
Kilembe trail is the recently re-opened route that climbs the Southern slopes of the Rwenzori from the Kilembe trailhead next to Kasese Town. The trail through the wonderful Nyamwamba Valley transverses the mind0boggling glacial Lakes and some eye-popping viewpoints before connecting with the Central Circuit at Lake Kitandara.
What to Carry for Wear for Mountain Climbing In Uganda
Before travelling to Uganda for mountain climbing, carry the following; waterproof hiking boots, long sleeved shirts, long trousers, rain jacket, sweater, backpack and enough drinking water among others.
In conclusion, Mountain climbing is an important activity tourists can engage in when the visit Uganda and can be conducted within Mount Elgon National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Mgahinga National park that all offers different mountain climbing experiences. To experience what all of them offer, it is important to visit all the three mentioned National Parks.