12 days Uganda hiking and biking tour

virunga volcanoes ugandaWestern Uganda is one of the most beautiful places in Africa. It is endowed with breathtaking scenery, mountain ranges including the Rwenzori and Virunga, rolling highlands, rainforests, hundreds of crater lakes and much endemic wildlife. The Albertine rift valley cuts through the region which left a trail of beautiful volcanic features and protecting within a rich ecosystem. It is by far the best place for biking and hiking adventures in Uganda.

Day 1: Kampala – Fort Portal

You will leave Kampala at 7.30am and travel to Fort Portal in western Uganda. Expect to get there by mid-day and check into your accommodation for lunch and relaxation. Later in the day you will head out for a short sightseeing tour near the town, hiking to view points to see the breathtaking landscape, and beautiful nature. Return to the accommodation in the evening for your dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Biking tour in Fort Portal

After an early breakfast at about 7am, you will set out for a biking tour to explore the magnificent volcanic landscape of Western Uganda. Led by a knowledgeable local guide you will set off from Fort Portal taking Kichwamba Road towards the Semuliki Valley, ride along an off-the-beaten road that meanders into the western Rift Valley.  You will enjoy breathtaking views of the rift valley escarpment, and the verdant countryside. You will pass through rural communities and see their way of life, ride past farmlands, see the captivating long-horned cattle. For the nature enthusiasts, you will see plenty of wildlife such as birds, butterflies, species of plants, monkeys, etc… The one way ride will cover about 28km, and the entire round trip will take 5 – 6 hours with breaks in between. Dinner and overnight in Fort Portal.

Day 3: Biking tour – transfer to Rwenzori National Park

Today you will cover a 32km trail, setting off from Fort Portal, take Kibale Road and to off-the-beaten tracks passing through villages, tea estates and wind up to the Crater Lakes field in Kasenda. This area has over 50 Crater Lakes that form the magnificent beauty across the lush hilly landscape which is backdropped by the Rwenzori Mountains. Return in afternoon and depart for the Rwenzori National Park in the neighboring Kasese district.

Day 4: Rwenzori hike: Nyakilengija (1648m) to Nyabitaba Hut (2651m)

Have early breakfast, transfer to the Nyakilengija, and meet your hiking team of porters, chef, rangers, guide, and security personnel. After briefing and acquitting with the team, begin the trek to Nyabitaba hut (2651m), covering a distance of 10km for 5 -6 hours and ascending 1200m. Crossing through fields, bamboo forest, high elephant grass and thick bushes, this climb offers a variety of wildlife. The legendary three-horned chameleon is hard to miss. Primates such as Blue Monkeys, Black-and-white Colombus are some of the common primates. The birding enthusiast will record quite some species. Rwenzori has more than 217 species including 17 Albertine Rift Endemics. The Rwenzori Turaco is a lifer!

Day 5: Rwenzori hike: Nyabitaba Hut (2651m) to John Matte hut (3505m)

From Nyabitaba Hut the trek to John Maate will cover about 6km, ascending for about 762 meters. You will encounter a number of rivers and waterfalls, and do a lot of climbing over rocks and walk through slippery muddy ground. With less than 2 hours to reach John Maate hut you cross into the Giant Lobelia, vegetation that occurs in very high altitude tropical areas of Africa’s mountains. The final one hour to the hut is walked through heather. John Maate, 3,414 meters, rewards with views of the glaciers of the Margherita Peak on Mountain Stanley.

Day 6: Rwenzori Hike: John Maate to Nyakilengija

You start descending back to the park offices quite, retracing your trekking trail that lead you up. You will make a stopover at Nyabitaba hut for lunch, thereafter continue down to Nyakilengija. The walk takes up to 6 hours. Bid farewell to your climbing team, meet the driver and transfer to your accommodation.

Day 7: Rwenzori to Bwindi

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and leave for southern Uganda near Bwindi Forest National Park. The landscape gets more mountainous as you go further south. You will therefore meander around highlands covered with beautiful terraces and lush forest. You will make a stopover for lunch en-route. Arrive in the late afternoon, check into your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 8: Nkuringo Walking/Biking tour

Have early breakfast and transfer to the trail head for the walking adventure that will include trekking through the awe-inspiring Bwindi Forest. Enjoy the breathtaking views of misty landscape and distant views of the three Virunga volcanoes that span the Rwanda – Uganda border. You will cross the Kashasha and River Ivy. The trek through the forest will be slow paced to observe plenty of nature including various species of plants, monkeys, forest elephants, lots of birds and butterflies. You will also visit to the beautiful Munyaga Falls which are located deep in the forest. At the end of the trail you will be driven back to the lodge.

Day 9: Relaxation

This is a relaxation day, but includes a boat ride on the Lake Mutanda during the early morning to enjoy the soothing atmosphere on the lake and breathtaking views of the surround islands and Virunga volcanoes. You also get to visit some of the islands, and observe some nature such as birds, otters, etc…

Day 10: Hiking Mt. Sabinyo (3,674m)

Be up for early breakfast and transfer to Mt. Sabinyo for the trek up this beautiful Virunga volcano which is the most exciting of the three volcanoes because it is located at the intersection of the three countries Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo, thus providing you with the best views of the Virunga volcanoes across the three countries. It has unique formation, with three peaks which look like spaced teeth hence its name “Sabinyo” which translates to “old man’s teeth”. It has many craters along the slopes and such a rugged terrain which make the hike a challenge but then more fun.  Also, the hiking trail of Sabinyo is available only on the Ugandan side. You get high enough to reach the alpine vegetation. There is plenty of beautiful nature to observe during your hike. At the top of Mt. Sabinyo you are able to move between the three countries by taking a few strides. This is a full day hike that will take up to 4 – 5 hours trekking up and roughly the same to come back down.

Day 11: Kisoro to Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, check out and head northwards to Lake Mburo National Park. You will make a stopover in Mbarara town for lunch. Thereafter proceed to the park and transfer to your accommodation at Rwakobo Rock overlooking the beautiful savanna and woodland of the park. Later you will set out for short walk on the rocks and enjoy wonderful views of the park.

Day 12: Biking through Lake Mburo National Park, travel back to Kampala

After breakfast, set out for bike ride into the park and observe a plethora of wildlife. The park has a big volume and variety of herbivores and this attributed to the rich grasslands and diverse habitats and also absence of predators like Lions to hunt them down.  You will have herds of zebras grazing within meters. There are plenty of giraffes, buffaloes, impalas, eland, waterbuck, bushbuck, and warthog. Return to the lodge for early lunch, check out and travel to Kampala.

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