Are you eager to take part in physical challenges that test your fitness, but are still wondering where the best destinations to do this in Africa are? Worry no more because the Pearl of Africa, Uganda, is waiting for you.
Apart from the primate safaris and wildlife safaris which are enjoyed by most tourists visiting the country, the Republic of Uganda is known for unique mountaineering tours, like the one which will take you to the top of Uganda on Mount Rwenzori from where you can see the lowest point in Uganda, the Albertine Rift Valley.
Uganda stretches over an area of approximately 241,038 square kilometers and is famous for its beautiful mountains, of which there are around 2,854 across the different regions. Out of the 2,854 mountains in the country, there are about 5 mountains which are suitable for hiking in Uganda, thus ranking the country among the best mountaineering safari destinations in East Afa.
Legendarily known as the "Mountains of the Moon," the Rwenzori mountains are a range of mountains in eastern equatorial Africa situated on the border between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The snowcapped mountains feature the highest peak in Uganda and the third highest on the African continent – Margherita - after Uhuru of Tanzania and Batian of Kenya. The permanently snow-capped mountains on Rwenzori are a UNESCO World Heritage Site regarded as one of the most dramatic and challenging hiking destinations in Uganda and the entire African continent.
The highest peak is Margherita, which is 5,109 meters above sea level, and is located on Mount Stanley, one of the mountains of the Rwenzori Range. Other mountains include Mountain Speke (4,890m) Mount Baker (4,843m) Mount Emin (4,798m) Mount Gessi (4,715 m) and Mount Luigi di Savoia (4,627 m).
The glacier mountain is protected by Rwenzori Mountains National Park which is home to various attractions such as over 70 mammal species, about 217 bird species, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and a unique vegetation zone. Mount Elgon
Mount Elgon is the oldest extinct volcanic mountain in East Africa and the second largest mountain in the Republic of Uganda after Rwenzori. Elevated at a height of 4,321 meters, the highest peak of the mountain range is known as Wagagai. On the border of eastern Uganda and western Kenya, Mount Elgon offers a variety of hiking options that includes adventurous climbs to the summit of Wagagai. Aside from the highest peak, the mount also consists of other peaks like Sudek (4,302 meters), Koitobos (4,222 meters), Mubiyi (4,211 meters) and Masaba (4,161 meters).
Protected by Mount Elgon National Park, there are other features to see during your mountaineering safari apart from the mountain and these include the caldera, the warm springs by Suam river, the beautiful vegetation and several wildlife species like elephants.
One of the Virunga Mountains, Sabyinyo Mountain rewards hikers with stunning views of the surroundings during the challenging climb to the summit. The mountain is the oldest volcano of the ranges positioned north-east of Lake Kivu, one of the African Great Lakes (and west of Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda). Its highest point is at a height of 3,669 meters and it marks the intersection point of the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Crossing different national parks such as Virunga, Volcanoes and Mgahinga national parks, the slopes of the mountain are home to a number of endangered mountain gorillas.
Located in the Northeastern part of Uganda, Mount Moroto is one of the chains of volcanoes along Uganda’s international border with Kenya, that begins with Mount Elgon in the south, Mount Kadam and Mount Morungole. With a summit of 3,083 meters, the mountain is surrounded by a forest reserve that protects a range of habitats from arid thorn savanna to dry montane forest. The mountain is enclosed by a nature reserve that hosts several species which include over 220 bird species, monkeys, wild cats and many others.
Lying within Kidepo Valley National Park in the north eastern part of Uganda, Mount Morungole is another mountaineering destination in Uganda. With a height of 2,749 meters, Mount Morungole is near the border with Sudan in the rugged semi-arid Karamoja province. During your adventurous hike, you will enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings as well as entertainment from the locals.
In summary –
It is well known that Uganda has over 10 National Parks that with beautiful nature and exciting wildlife. A Uganda safari tour is never complete without safari activities like mountain trekking in Ruwenzori and Elgon Mountains, Gorilla trekking in Bwindi , as well as chimpanzee and big five viewing.
Rwenzori Mountaineering Services and Rwenzori Expeditions can help you plan and customize your hiking trip to the 5 best mountaineering destinations in Uganda which may encompass multiple adventures including expeditions to see mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and other wildlife.
This is a guest post.