There is no doubt that these two activities are the most exciting activities I have ever enjoyed in all my safaris in Africa and most importantly in Uganda. It was a ten day trip which took me time while preparing. We booked the flight plus all the requirements we were to use while on the tour as it was described by Moses a tour consultant at 4×4 Car Hire Uganda suitable agency.
On reaching Uganda we were given our vehicle which we had hired for a self drive and we went to Airport View Hotel, early in the morning of the following day after a warm break first we traveled to Mount Elgon National Park which took us almost 6hours on the way east of Kampala and Uganda at large, and at around 3pm we started our nature walks within the bamboo trails to Kapkwai caves. Throughout the hike we came across the different tree species and the rare bird species in this trail, view points to the different caves and waterfalls and this took us around three hours. while in the park
We had our overnight at Forest Exploration Center Banda’s and early in the morning, we headed to wanale through the Nabuyoga loop which gave us an alternative view point of the wagagi peak and the Jackson’s summit. Hiking in these areas took us around four hours; from there we went straight to Budadiri which was our shortest day hike among all the hikes we did around Mount Elgon national park.
This provided us with an opportunity of observing the Mudagi Cliffs and Sasa River; we also associated with the Bamasaba who are the main settlers along the steep slopes of the mountain. In the evening we came back to Forest Exploration Center Banda’s for an overnight, on the third day we headed to the park for a guided mountain climbing and we were provided with experienced park rangers who even gave us security during the course of our mountaineering.
We used the Sasa trail which was the shortest route to the peak, this took us four days and we started from Budadiri town approximately an elevation of 1250m from where we passed through the Bamasaba land to the peak. This was a tiresome activity but it was so interesting as on the peak one can see the world’s largest caldera which was formed by now an extinct volcano of Elgon long time ago.
With matters regarding accommodation, we used to camp around the demarcated areas on the slopes, we carried our food plus all other utilities including drinking water. The cold weather condition at the peak plus the blowing wind did not make us wonder because at that point it was as if we were at our homeland United Kingdom during the winter season. Therefore we were not affected a lot by the conditions.
The next day after enjoying the wonderful features at the peak we had to descend down the slopes which took us two days. In this process we interacted with the Bamasaba who showed to us how they prepare their favorite dish known as Malewa plus some of their cultural and traditional practices. On reaching at the park’s headquarters, we signed out and we had a tour around the Mbale town and in the evening, we went back to Entebbe for our departure.
What I can say about hiking in Uganda while doing a self drive tour is that it is so advantageous since it helps one to be physically fit and also share with the local people around. Hiking can be done in all the national parks of Uganda and therefore before hiking, one needs to be with hiking gadgets since Uganda’s rain is uncertain, so it can occur any time while in the action and even the paths being muddy during the rainy seasons. We carried rain jackets plus gumboots and these facilitated our movements throughout the deep bamboo forest.