Enjoy hiking, nature walks, and mountain climbing expeditions in Uganda, a country that is mostly plateau with some rolling hills and low-lying mountains. The highest Peak is in the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda.
The southwestern part is mostly hilly i.e. Kigezi highlands, with a lot of terraced hillsides and rain forests. The biggest forest area being in Mabira, the central part, visitors can enjoy nature walks to see a lot of forest species.
Other areas include Budongo royal mile with large numbers of primates and other areas like Kibale forest, Maramagambo forest & Bwindi.
Hiking in Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano located on the eastern border of Uganda & Kenya standing at 4,321 m. Lucky hikers can enjoy being amongst the park’s primates, birds, and rare tree species.
The nature trails lead past caves and Sipi falls and an overnight camping option is available. Many primates, birds, and rare tree species can be seen on the 7 km bamboo trail to Kapkwai cave.
The 5 km walk to the Chebonet Falls and 3km walk to the Kapkwai caves follow the ridge view trail. There is also an 11km hike to the Tutum Cave. The Jackson’s Summit and Wagagai Peak can be seen from the viewpoint through Nabuyoga loop, also a visit to the Khauka caves in Wanale takes 3 hours.
Short day hikes are available in Budadiri covering the Mudagi Cliffs, Sasa River Camp, and Drigana lower falls and are great for bird watching, nature walks, and overnight camping.
Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains
The Rwenzori Mountains provide opportunities for nature walks within the central circuit zone. At 5,109 meters – Mount Stanley is the highest peak, and the Rwenzoris are the highest mountain ranges in Africa.
Mountain Climbing expeditions to this world heritage site are also available. Nature Trails are available up to Lake Mahooma and Buraro chimp forest, walks through the communities of Kichwamba to reach the Karangura ridge, and hiking to Bundibugo area through Bwamba pass.
The communities of Ruboni and Turaco View also offer guided forest walks of various lengths just outside the park. Visitors can follow the River Mubuku and glimpse views of Baker and Portal Peaks as they hike up to 2,300m above sea level.
On a clear day, it is even possible to view the snow-capped Margherita Peak – a truly spectacular sight. Along the way, keep an eye out for chameleons, squirrels, Vervet monkeys, and many birds.
Hiking & Nature Walks in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
A hike through the forest to the deep Sabyinyo Gorge – a massive gash in the flank of Mount Sabyinyo – provides good birding opportunities and the chance to find the Rwenzori Turaco.
A Nature walk takes 4 hours and passes through the Rugezi Swamp which is fantastic for bird watchers. The nature walk to the Congo border transcends different vegetation zones.
Hikers can cite the calderas on top of the Gisozi hill and look out for Kisoro and Bunagana towns and be captivated by the Lake Mutanda. The golden monkey track is a gentle steep but interesting 2-hour trek through the former farmland to the bamboo forest.
On a clear day, you may view the Virunga Volcano range and come across buffalo and duiker.
Nature Walks in Lake Mburo Park
Guided walks in Lake Mburo are available and are open to anyone as long as they are accompanied by a ranger guide. A guided walk from Rwonyo will lead you to a salt lick where most of the animals are attracted to the salty rocks.
The nature walks on the western side of the lake begin early in the morning at 7:00 am for 2 hours. Visitors can encounter hyenas and hippos.
Another opportunity to see forest birds and mammals is when you hike through the woodland walking to the top of the hill where you will be rewarded with views of 9 of the 14 lakes. Rubanga forest also is an area of interest to birders and nature walkers.
Nature Trails in Queen Elizabeth Park
One of the more active ways to explore the scenery & landscapes of Queen Elizabeth Park is by nature treks.
One of the best places for this includes the Maramagambo forest, the Mweya Peninsula with its scenic views, and the Ishasha River where you may spot a variety of forest and savannah species with an opportunity to get extremely close to hippos – on foot while remaining safe.
The Mweya Peninsula offers savannah and woodland species with beautiful views of the famous 40km Kazinga Channel and bold warthogs. Other places to enjoy nature trails include the explosion craters in the park and the Kyambura gorge which has a variety of birds and primates to see.
Hiking in Kidepo Valley National Park
The Kidepo Valley is one isolated place but left to be discovered in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda. Hiking at the Lomej Mountains situated in the park starts at 7 am.
Shorter guided walks of around two hours can be taken through the Narus Valley extending over a 5km radius from Apoka Tourism Centre. Visitors can also wander along the splendid Kidepo River Valley between banks of attractive Borassus palm forest.
Namamkweny Valley can be reached in 1 hour from Apoka. Visitors can also meet members of the ‘IK’ tribe during hikes to the Morungole Mountains outside the park.
Nature Walks in Lake Bunyonyi
You don’t want to miss walking around Lake Bunyonyi’s waters while listening to bird songs and the tearing water while consequently feeling the fresh breeze of the Lake and the community around. An interesting walk can be done along the lake’s shores and it involves tourists moving on different islands in Bunyonyi.
Hiking & Nature trails Murchison Falls National Park
The vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison and the surrounding conservation area can be explored on foot.
Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests provide sightings of many primates and birds, while around the Nile-Lake Albert Delta, 2 to 4-hour guided swamp walks offer possible sightings of the Shoebill when the water level is low.
After an afternoon boating upriver, you can also hike 45 minutes through woodland to the top of Murchison Falls for a completely different experience of this magnificent waterfall. This is an experience that brings all the senses into play: watch waves of white water tumble hypnotically through this 6-meter chasm, listen to the roar, taste the spray on your face, and feel the rock shake beneath your feet. Sheer sensory overload!
If you don’t fancy the trek to the top, stop off at the north bank during your game drive, and walk down a set of steps to stand within meters of the rapids. Visitors to this park can enjoy short treks starting from Sambiya River Lodge or Mubako Junction, both on the south bank, or a walk along the north bank from Paraa, passing the Emmy River.
All walks last from 1½ to 2 hours.
Nature trails & Hiking in Bwindi Impenetrable
There are six main nature trails in Buhoma – Bwindi for those who wish to explore the “impenetrable forest”: Muyanga Waterfall Walk which departs from Buhoma along the River Ivi-Nkuringo trail and culminates in the sensational sight of the falls plummeting 33 meters.
The Rushura Hill Walk passes through one forest shared by two countries. On a clear day, you can view Lakes Edward and George and the Rwenzori Mountains as well as the conical peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes. The Muzubijiro Loop is a 6km walk around a hill, where you will encounter primates and birds and enjoy a view of the Virungas.
The Ivi River Walk is a 14km trail and takes around 7 hours. The trail passes a place known as Mukempunu – meaning “a place of pigs” – where wild pigs can often be found.
The Buhoma-Nkuringo Trail takes three to four hours, and crosses right through the park, connecting the two villages and offering impressive views of the misty hillsides as you ascend the hills towards Nkuringo. The Habinyanja (Railegh) Trail takes 4-6hrs.
After crossing the Munyaga River, it takes in a fairly steep ascent of the Habigorogoro and Riyovi Ridge overlooking the Buhoma River. Following the steep ascent, keen hikers can enjoy a more relaxed gentle slope to the mighty Habinyanja swamp.