Hiking and Nature Walks in Uganda

Uganda is an African safari country where tourists have a range of activities that enjoy. In other words, tourists can carry on all their different activities in the same destination without having to do others in other countries. For example, gorilla trekking, chimp trekking, golden monkey tracking, game drives, canoeing, launch cruise, white water rafting, community visits, spot fishing, nature walks and hiking.

Best Hiking Trails in UgandaUganda has numerous hills and mountains where hiking takes place. each of the mountains offers different experiences depending on the nature in terms of height, smoothness or ruggedness and the surrounding. Furthermore, each mountain or hills have more than one trail and each of the trails give varying experiences too. Some highlands are gentle sloping while others are steep, the wildlife at each of them is different. It is interesting to hike on the Rwenzori mountains, the Virunga volcanoes, Mt. Elgon, Morungole mountains and other short hikes like hiking to the top of the falls in Murchison falls national park and to the Sipi falls where you are rewarded with sights of the most beautiful landscapes. Nature walks on the hills of Fort Portal take you to crater lakes with historical beliefs attached to them.

The best experiential Hiking Trails in Uganda

Mountain Rwenzori Hikes

Also known as ‘mountains of the Moon”, the Rwenzori mountains are the highest in Uganda sitting at an elevation of 5,109m above sea level. It is the second to Mt. Kilimanjaro in height and it is usually covered by snow throughout the year. This is one of the main destinations in Uganda where hiking takes place. there are several trails though which the ranger guide leads hikers to through different vegetation at different heights on the mountain. Most of the parts of the mountain are forested and also keep primates like baboons and monkeys, reptiles and a variety of birds.

As you move to higher elevations, the experience gets so wonderful as you watch the valleys in between various ranges, the areas of the regions like the towns at the bottom of the mountain and lakes like George. It takes about 8-10 days to reach the apex of the mountain where the area is stunning with snow. This snow melts and is a source of several rivers in the Rwenzori region and was even thought of being the source of the longest river the Nile.

Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Trail

The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker trail was recognized as one of the best 20 Hiking trails in the world by National Geographic. The trail is in two countries that is Uganda and South Sudan. In Uganda, it is in the northern side through Murchison falls national park to Gulu and it also extends to the southern parts in Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve passing along lake albert. However, this trail is not yet completely established because of the unrest in South Sudan. You’ll have an adventurous experience on the part of this trail that is the Western rift escarpment in Kabwoya wildlife reserve that goes down to Lake Albert.

Nature walks in Bwindi national park

Bwindi national park is a famous destination because of Uganda’s prime tourist activity- gorilla trekking. Remember that these gentle giants live on highlands and so the park has several hills and in the neighborhood are more. So you can hike from inside the park or outside the park. One of the most interesting and famous trails is the hike in the park that takes hikers through the forest to Lake Mutanda. As you hike through the trail, you may come across some residents of the forest like chimps, gorillas and you’ll see a lot of birds that live in this forest.

Moving through forest trails with the Batwa Pygmies

The Batwa are one of the groups of people that are visited by tourists because of their history, their culture and life style. They are the original inhabitants of Bwindi forest and they lived there before they were evicted around 1992 when the forest was being designated as a national park. In the forest, they lived as hunters and gatherers and did not destroy it for purposes of farming. The cultural values and ways of these people have been kept alive by conducting cultural hikes through the forest to places where they lived, how they did their daily work especially hunting and gathering, what they used to construct their houses in the forest and more. In Bwindi, Batwa cultural hikes take place in Buhoma and other places in Mgahinga national park and Buninga forest.

Kibale forest trails

Kibale forest is famous because it is a home to a great number of primates including chimps and many kinds of monkeys and baboons and is referred to as the world’s primate capital. There are trails that lead hikers to different parts of the forest including the nocturnal forest walk which is 12 km long.

On your Kibale safari, you can also move through the trails of Bigodi swamp which is located close to the park and there you’ll see more primates, lots of birds and mammals. Also ask about the top of the world hike and view a vast area of the region.

A drive of less than an hour to Fort Portal leads you to another area where you’ll enjoy smooth hikes to Amabere caves. “Amabere” means “breasts” and the beliefs about these caves will be narrated to you by the guide. You’ll further hike to the top of the hills where you’ll see crater lakes that make this region a beautiful place that you should not miss visiting.

Semuliki valley trails

Semuliki valley has different trails for nature walks and hiking experiences through the savannah and forest and also to the hot springs. As you walk through the trails, along river semuliki you’ll see crocodiles and hippos, in the forest you’ll see monkeys and many birds. This place is perfect for bird watching.

Hiking in the valleys of semuliki also offers an opportunity of sighting other animals of the park such as elephants and more other mammals.

There’s the trail that takes you through the forest to the Hot springs where we have the male and female hot springs.

Mt. Morungole trail

Hiking on Mount Morungole is one of the most thrilling hikes to take on in the world. The 8-hour hike leads you to a place where the Ik people live, the only way to meet these people in their village. The Mt. Morungole trail is just outside one of the most wilderness destinations in Africa- Kidepo Valley national park in the northern parts of Uganda. The population of the Ik people in this area is small, just about 11,000 people. If you want to hike in isolated places where you are immersed in wilderness trails, then this is the hike to go for in Uganda.

Hiking in mgahinga national park and climbing on the volcanoes

This is one of the best hiking destinations in east Africa. Mgahinga national park is also known for gorilla trekking but also has several trails on the volcanoes in the region. You can choose to hike on Sabinyo, Gahinga or Muhabura. Each of these offer varying amazing experiences and scenic views.

Beside the volcanoes, other great hiking adventures take place at the border trail and the gorge trail. You’ll see different birds and spectacular scenic views and the diverse beautiful green flora.

Hiking and Nature walks in queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth national park is the second largest national park in Uganda covering a total area of 1,978sq km. it has many sites where you will enjoy hikes alongside the wonderful wild animals that are sighted in the areas. The prime hiking site in the park is the Kyambura Gorge which you’ll experience when trekking for chimpanzees. There are also beautiful butterflies and a variety of birds in the forest in the gorge.

Other hiking trails are at Maramagambo forest where you’ll also be rewarded with sightings of snakes and butterflies at the bat cave.

Still in queen Elizabeth, hiking along the Ishasha River hiking trail is interesting as you watch the birds and other wildlife around the river and the surrounding area. You may also choose to go hiking in some areas near the oar like Kalinzu forest which is also a home to chimps.

Nature walks take place at Mweya Peninsular where you can search for mangoose, go birding, or move around to have the beautiful views of the waters of the bodies around the area.

Kalinzu forest trails

Part of Kalinzu forest is located on the escarpment of the western rift valley. Just in the neighborhood of Queen Elizabeth national park, Kalinzu forest is a natural habitat for chimpanzees. There are 4 hiking trails which will lead you to points where you’ll get grand views of areas and landscapes like Mt. Rwenzori, Lake Edward and Kazinga channel. Hikers in this forest will see some of the gorgeous bird species and other animals that live there such as monkeys.

The forest trails of Kasyoha-Kitoma

The Kasyoha-Kitoma forest is one of the beautiful sites in Uganda that have not yet been well known by many. It is located near Queen Elizabeth national park on the southern part of Kazinga channel and lake George. This forest is a home to primates like baboons and monkeys, birds and hiking through its trails offers great scenic views of the crater lakes in the neighborhood. Other places that you’ll visit when you are at the forest is the cave which is located nearby and the museum.

Lake Mburo hiking trails

Lake Mburo national park is one of the small national parks in Uganda but it is one of the destinations where you can do nature walks in any part and hiking the top of the hills to watch the region. Since most of the animals in this park are not very violent, there are numerous trails for nature walks around the park. You are guided by a ranger in the morning to watch nocturnal animals before they get back to their dens and diurnals when they are still active. The nocturnal that you may spot are hippos and hyenas.

Within Lake Mburo national park are hills here hikes take place and on the top of these hills, you are able to view the 9 great lakes in the region. Other areas near Lake Mburo where great experiential hiking takes place is in Rubango Forest.

Mount Elgon and Sipi falls hiking trails

Mount Elgon on the eastern border of Uganda with Kenya has various trails for hiking. Climbing to the top takes about 4 days but you can choose to have shorter hikes of one day or half a day. It is not so steep and can be climbed even by people who do not have much hiking expertise. You however need to be strong and healthy.

The Sipi falls in the same region are reached after hiking through some plantations. The experience is exciting as you get to the top where you’ll watch the water flowing over the rocks. There are three waterfalls in Sipi you can choose to have a half day or a full day hike.

Mabira forest hiking trails

Mabira forest previously used to be the biggest in Uganda but because of encroachment, it is now the second largest forest after Budongo forest. Mabira forest is located on the high way to Jinja and it is a home to a variety of birds and primates among others. There are trails that lead to inner parts of the forest through which a guide takes you till you find you way out again after about 2 hours. Some areas of this forest are covered with canopy and are a little dark. The forest walk is put as part of other activities and can be conducted even by children and any other person since it doesn’t require fitness. You can have this forest walk as you travel to Jinja or Sipi or Mt. Elgon for other tour activities.

Kibiro salt Garden and Fishing Village hike

This village is located near Hoima on the lower part of the western rift escarpment and it can be included on the safari as you transfer to or from Murchison Falls national park. There is no road that takes you to the especially during the wet season and the best way to reach there is by moving on foot. The hike takes 3 hours and once you reach there, you’ll be able to see the salt gardens and fish which is got from Lake Albert.

Murchison Falls national park trails and Hikes

There are various trails in Murchison falls national park where visitors can choose to go for hiking. One of these is the trail that leads to the top of the falls. It is the most famous hike because of the wonders that are seen at the top of the site.

Other trails are located in forests Budongo and Rabongo where you are led by a guide through the forest. Sightings in the forest include chimps, birds, monkeys and baboons among others.

Soon the Baker Trail shall be opened for hiking and it will go through Murchison falls national. This will be to hike and go through the path that Sir Samuel Baker and his wife Florence Baker used when they were moving around that region of the country.

Hiking in Kabwoya Wildlife reserve

This wildlife reserve is a great destination for hiking and nature walks. You are guided to sites where you’ll have spectacular views of the landscape and the western rift escarpment and you can also hoke to the Sir Samuel and Florence Baker Point.

During the hikes and nature walks, animals that you’ll see in this area are warthogs, impalas, Uganda kobs and more.

Kabwoya wildlife reserve is a home to over 400 species of birds and bird lovers will have breathtaking experiences as they hike and walk in this reserve.

Hiking tips

Since Uganda has a variety of hiking destinations and trails in different areas of the country, there are differences in what is required and depending on the area chosen for hiking, we advise you on the things to carry, the right clothes to pack for the hike and the charges at each of the trails as well as other necessities like accommodation and more.

Adventure in the wild safaris will help you add a hiking activity conveniently depending on your preferred itinerary and the number of days you wish to spend in the country.

Best hiking safaris in Uganda

Among the areas where the best hikes and trails are in Uganda as listed above, visitors select areas they prefer, it could be one or more. We conduct hiking safaris to any of these areas and the best is always encountered on hiking safaris in Uganda. Hikes that take longer days are those on Rwenzori mountains, followed by Mt. Elgon, the Virunga volcanoes and then the rest are normally short ones.