Mountain Climbing in Uganda has not been famous among the travelers in the country’s tourism industry with many of the tourists preferring to do wild life activities compared to the mountain activities. One of the reasons for the infamous preference is the risk attached to the climbing and the wilderness in the climbing areas. The lack of climbing equipment has also prohibited many individuals and groups from accessing the activity. Regardless of the above, a handful of climbers have kept pushing their passions across countries reaching to Uganda’s numerous hill and mountains.
Uganda, the pearl of Africa has been blessed with a number of mountains where one can do mountain climbing, camping, Gorilla tracking, bird watching, research, cultural adventure and several other activities.
This piece aims at focusing more on mountain climbing, below are the best mountain climbing areas in Uganda arranged in order. The criteria used were direct interactions with previous mountain climbers in Uganda.
1. Mountain Rwenzori
The Ruwenzori Mountains, written as “Rwenzori Mountains” are located on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The highest peak is 5,109 meters and there are snow caps on the upper ranges.
Rwenzori Mountain has several water streams that are believed to feed the Nile River. Mountain climbing in these mountains is done throughout the year. Other activities done during the mountain climbing are camping, animal trekking, wild meat feasting and hiking.
Climbing the mountains takes about Eight days and on a mid range budget, it costs about 700 dollars per day. This rate includes car rental, camping, meals and a full time tour guide.
2. Mount Elgon
Elgon Mountain is located in Mbale district in the far eastern part of the country. The mountain is on the border of Uganda and Kenya with several hills believed to have cultural meanings. The commonest hill is the Waniale hill located close to Mbale town that is believed to be a source of blessings according the Bagishu, the natives of the area.
The highest point is “waggagai” that is entirely in Uganda.
Despite lack of evidence, this mountain is believed to be 24 million years old making it the oldest extinct volcano in East Africa.
The name Elgon originates from the Masai culture and climbing this mountain takes approximately 6 days and a cost of 600 dollars per person.
Other activities done in this area are water massage at Sipi falls, Cultural adventures in Budwale and wanale hills, Bududa Cross view in Bududa hills, Bull fighting and camping at the Elgon base.
3. Mountain Moroto
Moroto Mountain is located in North eastern part of Uganda and its highest peak is approximately 3,083 ft. The name Moroto originates from “Moru Tu” meaning the western mountain according to the karamoja languages.
The native languages spoken around the Moroto Mountains are Ngakarimajong, Lugishu, Itesot and Lugbara. Climbing the Moroto Mountains is usually done in Moroto district, approximately 461km from Kampala, climbing takes approximately four days.
Other activities around this hill are game drives in Kidepo national Park, Cultural experience in Kotido, Camping and road trips in Karamoja sub region.
4. Mountain Muhabura
Mountain Muhabura also known as mount Muhavura is an inactive volcano located in the virunga mountains along the Uganda-Rwanda border.
Mountain Muhavura is the third highest mountain in the Virunga Mountains with a peak of 4,127 meters and is part of the albertine rift, the western part of the East African rift.
The mountain is part of the volcanoes National park in Rwanda and Mghahinga National park in Uganda.
Climbing this Mountain takes about 5 days and approximately 650 dollars for the entire climbing exercise.
Other activities done besides the climbing include gorilla trekking, boat cruise, bird watching, camping and cultural safaris.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda costs about 700 dollars per person for Foreigners non residents and 600 dollars for foreigners’ residents.
5. Mount Stanley
Mountain Stanley is the third highest mountain in Africa after Mountain Kilimanjaro and Mountain Kenya. It is the highest mountain in Uganda and democratic Republic of Congo.
5,109 meters high, the peak are high enough to support the glaciers. It is named after a journalist and explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley and is part of the Rwenzori National Park.
Climbing this mountain takes about 12 days during the dry season and 14 days during the wet season. One planning to climb this mountain costs about 800 dollars for car rental, camping, tour guide and other simpler trekking activities.
The climbing can be supplemented with other activities like camping, hiking, trekking, water activities, studies and cultural walks around the Rwenzori region.
Recommended time for Mountain Climbing in Uganda
It is advisable to plan your mountain climbing adventure in the dry seasons of the country. This is because the mountains aren’t so slippery and the roads are passable unlike in the dry seasons when the roads are impassable.
Gorilla trekking is also done best during the dry seasons since the animals are out to feed and can easily be seen.
During the dry seasons, car rentals are relatively cheaper since the companies don’t have bookings and this applies to the hotel reservations.
In the wet seasons, the companies hike their rates because they expect to spend more money since the roads are slippery, muddy and the cars can easily get an accident.
Conclusively, it is cheaper to travel to Uganda during the dry seasons compared to the wet season.
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