Uganda like many parts of Africa has over many several millennia experienced considerable volcanic activity along the East African Rift Valley, which has left behind an assortment of volcanic peaks. These mountains that are now extinct are protected within the confines of national parks, and offer stunning areas for trekking for both inexperienced hikers and experienced mountaineers who welcome a challenge.
On Uganda’s western frontier are the Rwenzori Mountains; the highest block mountain in Africa, in the east is Mt. Elgon, the oldest and largest solitary volcano in Africa, and in the extreme southwest, are the extinct Virunga Mountains where some of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas live. The distinction that Uganda’s peaks present is the favourable Ugandan climate and the outstanding scenery around and on these mountains with all manner of wildlife and plants, that make hiking and mountaineering in Uganda a truly unique and rewarding experience.
Nature treks in Uganda, especially inside her 10 national parks, unveil the most fascinating sights and sound of nature, and are the perfect compliment to whatever main attraction brings visitors to the various parks. In Murchison Falls Park, the 30minute trek from the base of the hills to the top of the falls is the best way to experience the majesty of the Murchison Falls. Lake Mburo National Park is one of Uganda’s smallest parks and is the only one that is entirely accessible on foot, accompanied by a ranger guide.
Both Bwindi Impenetrable Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park offer a variety of nature walks to the heart of the ancient Batwa near their former homes in the forest. Kibale Forest in Kibale Forest Park is home to over 351 tree species, many of which stand over 55m and some that are over 200 years old, inhabited by about 650 chimpanzees and over 375 forest birds. Kidepo Valley Park is a vast wilderness that is a gem to explore on foot, particularly the 50m-wide bed of sand of the dried up Kidepo River. Queen Elizabeth Park offers many walking trails along the Ishasha River and through the dense Maramagambo Forest, exploring the forest under a lush canopy and surrounded by a range of birdcalls.
In Mt. Elgon Park, hikers can combine various trails that offer beautiful waterfalls and hot springs, rich wildlife and birds, and spectacular views of the dry Karamoja plains. Semuliki Forest in Semuliki National Park is recognised as one of the most bio-diverse forests on earth where species have been evolving for over 25,000 years and can be explored and has well-developed trails for walks. Nature walks in Rwenzori Mountains Park are famous for the fascinating flora in the five remarkable and distinct vegetation zones.
Wherever your safari takes you in Uganda, much of the rural landscape and the diverse cultures can be enjoyed on foot on guided walking tours.