Mountain Hiking in Uganda is found in eastern Uganda Mountain Elgon National Park where the activity takes 4 to 5 days. In the west of Uganda, there is Mountain Muhavura, Sabyinyo, and Gahinga in Mgahinga National Park where the activity takes less than 10 hours. The adventurous activity can be done by both experienced and inexperienced hikers. Mountain Rwenzori National Park offers a challenging and exciting hike of 8 days but there are also short day hikes.
Rwenzori – Mountains of the Moon Hike
The Rwenzori Mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Uganda that offers world-class hiking and mountaineering experiences. The Rwenzori hike takes around 8 to 10, and you’ll be able to visit the Margherita on Mountain Stanley, the highest peak in the range at 5109 meters. The upper Rwenzori is tougher to climb as it’s muddy and you might be subject to altitude sickness.
If you’re not an experienced hiker, there are other shorter, walks that still offer beautiful views and scenery. Regardless of which route you choose to take, you’ll enjoy mountain views, different vegetation zones, and a diverse array of animals. This park is home to around 70 different mammals and nearly 220 bird species some of which can only be found in this mountain range. The best time to summit the Rwenzori Mountains is during the driest months – from December to February and June to August.
Climb Mount Elgon
Tourists find Mount Elgon to be a fun and exciting alternative to the more challenging climbs available in East Africa. The hike requires no special equipment or experience, you can choose between a long hike and a short day hike. To climb this peak, you’ll need to take a Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) guide with you from the park. The shortest and most direct route is the Sasa route. This route is a four days round-trip, with the first day being the hardest. You should come prepared for rain and chilly nights.
The best time to summit Mount Elgon is during the driest months from December to February and June to August.
Hike Virunga Mountains in Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park protects the Ugandan side of the Virunga Mountains. The Virunga Mountains are a chain of extinct volcanoes that form part of a larger nature reserve that extends into Rwanda and DRC. Mountain gorillas roam freely between Rwanda and Uganda since the nature reserve extends over national borders. Mgahinga National Park is also home to the endangered golden monkey and the vulnerable Batwa pygmies.
Guided day hikes to each volcanic peak of the Virunga Volcanoes leave on demand daily from 7 am at Ntebeko gate. All hikes require a good level of fitness and go on for around 7 to 9 hours.
Mount Muhavura is the highest peak in this park. The name is translated to mean “The Guide” in the local language. The top has a clear lake about 36 m wide and provides panoramic views into Rwanda and Uganda with amazing photographic moments. The hike takes about 8 hours.
Mount Sabyinyo is the second-highest peak in the park. The name translated from the local language ‘Old Man’s Teeth’, because of the rugged summit divided by deep gorges. A climb up the mountain to the peak involves walking a ridge with striking drops into gorges in Rwanda and Uganda with the final hike having ladders. Once at the top you will be in Rwanda, the DR Congo, and Uganda at the same time. The journey takes about eight hours.
Mountain Gahinga is the smallest of the Virunga Volcanoes. The name translated from the local language means “Small Pile of Rocks”. A hike takes you about six hours round-trip, going through a pure Bamboo forest. Mt Gahinga once had a Crater Lake on top but it has since transformed into a lush swamp.
Mountain hiking in Uganda offers you beautiful scenic views as you take on established trails on the different mountains. In Uganda hiking for multi-day trips is done in Rwenzori mountains national park and Mt Elgon national park. The Virunga Volcanoes in Uganda offer a 1day hike.