Mountaineering & Mountain Climbing Tours in Uganda
Apart from its popularity with mountain gorillas, the Pearl of Africa is the best destination to experience mountain climbing tours and adventure with various mountains and volcanoes located in different country corners. There are short and long Mountain Climbing Tours spots to meet your skill, fitness, and expectations situated in World Heritage Sites such as Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Mt Elgon National Park. The mountaineering spots reward hikers with spectacular views of nearby communities, wildlife, and other neighborhood attractions.
The Rwenzori mountains, also known as the “Mountains of the moon,” are found along the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwenzori is the highest peak in Uganda and the third highest in the whole world. Mt. Stanley/ Margherita, the highest peak, stands at 5109m and is also one of the only three on the continent with permanently snow-capped peaks, which often melt into rivers flowing to the lowland river Nyamwamba and River Mubuku. At the base of the mountain is Mount Rwenzori National Park, which was gazette in 1991. The Rwenzori’s support an array of rare and endemic wildlife, tropical rainforests, stunning glaciers, beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and lakes.
Travelers follow different trails depending on their fitness level and the endpoint while on Mountain Climbing Tours in Uganda;
- Central Circuit- Longest trail- 8 days to Margherita.
- Muhoma Loop- easier trail- 3 days.
- Chimpanzee Trail- 1 day.
- Kilembe Trail- 1 day
- With 6 snow-capped mountains, Margherita Peak is the highest.
- Stanley/Margherita Peak – 5109m ASL the range stretching some 120 km north/south and 48 km east/west
- Speak – 4889m ASL
- Baker – 4843m ASL
- Gess – 4797m ASL
- Emin – 4791m ASL
- Luigi de Savio – 4626m ASL
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Traveling with local experts gives you an insider perspective on Uganda Mountain Climbing Tours and Safari Destinations.
Brief About Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS) is an indigenous, non-governmental organization entrusted with a concession won from The Uganda Wildlife Authority to provide trekking tourism services/support on the Central Circuit Trail within the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
They operate six mountain camps for accommodation in the mountains, arrange guides and porters for visitors, administer a campsite/accommodation at the trekking head/base, coordinate transport to Kasese, may provide food, and provide climbing and equipment rental.
The charges are inclusive of National Park entrance fees. The maximum weight permitted is 25kgs of his/her luggage as per the trip tariff. Any additional weight will require payment for an extra porter.
Other Mountain Climbing Tours Spots in Uganda
There are 8 Virunga Mountain volcanoes shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda shares 3 of the Volcanoes offering excellent day hikes with lots of unique and rare wildlife such as the Mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys, endemic birds, and mountain vegetation.
The third highest peak starts the chain of the Virungas, situated on the Rwanda – Uganda border. It is a long hike to the summit taking about 5 hours, making it tough, and coming down takes roughly the same. It has a small crater lake at the summit, which can easily be circumnavigated to get access to spectacular views of adjacent Karisimbi in Rwanda and Mikeno in DRC.
It is the smallest of the three located between Muhavura and Sabinyo, which is shorter and easier to hike. It has a larger crater lake though it is difficult to circumnavigate to gain better views.
This is the more challenging of the three to hike but the most interesting. It is located on the border of the three countries; Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC. Much as the three countries share it, Mount Sabinyo is best hiked from Uganda.
The rugged terrain and the many crater lakes on Rwanda and Congo’s sides make it difficult to hike in these countries. The volcano has three peaks that look like three spaced teeth, hence the local name Sabinyo which translates “Old Man’s Teeth,” one in Uganda and the other two in Rwanda and DRC.
Mountain Elgon (4321m)
Mountain Elgon lies in eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya, with its highest peak Wagagai situated on the Ugandan side. It was once the highest peak, but soil erosion reduced it and is now the 8th highest peak in Africa and the 4th in East Africa. Apart from climbing Mt. Elgon, one can enjoy the fascinating wildlife along the slopes, varied vegetation, caves, water pools, falls, and incredible scenery.
There are two major trails that take 4 to 5 days to the peak are; – Sasa trail or Budadiri trailhead- accessible from Mbale, is the more direct to the peaks and going through the bamboo forest.
The Sipi Falls
The Sipi Falls is arguably the most beautiful waterfall set of three stunning waterfalls (85m, 75m, and 100m) situated along Mountain Elgon’s foothills. The falls originate from the hot springs at the summit of Mount Elgon in the border of Uganda and Kenya.
You are required to pack sturdy hiking shoes, drinking water, energy snacks, a safe sleeping bag, warm jackets, and sweaters to deal with the cold nights. Please do not bring any valuables such as camera, jewellery, or electronics in all other water activities because you might lose them. You can, however, carry a change of clothes, sunscreen, towel, and medication you may need.