WALKING TOURS IN UGANDA
Discover the nearest and furthest attractions in the Pearl of Africa on foot. Usually when travelers are planning for their trip to Uganda, they consider being transferred in a 4WD vehicle, it’s remarkable to explore Uganda in a car though there are places a vehicle can’t reach but your feet can take you.
Walking tours take you to places you can’t reach by a vehicle, walking through different national parks will give the feeling of being in a true African Wilderness. There is also an opportunity to see certain attractions at a closer range unlike while you are in a vehicle. Below we have listed some of the destinations in Uganda where you can go for a walking tour.
Kampala Walking Tours
Explore Uganda’s capital on foot. You can opt for a half day walking tour where you can discover even the hidden attractions around Kampala.
Just like other beautiful cities, Kampala can also be best explored on foot. This means that visitors will have enough time to walk through the city and its outskirts to see various treasures of the city both new and old.
Kampala is comprised of an amazing set up including noisy markets, Shopping Malls, busy streets, tasty street foods. Even the people are hospitable and almost 90% of them can speak English so it is easier to associate with them. While there you get a chance to learn about the culture and history of Kampala and also the way people live in this city.
Among the places you can visit include; the National Theatre, Hindu Temple, craft shops where you can buy souvenirs, the Independence monument, Kampala City Square, different religious sites like the Gadhafi Mosque, Namirembe Cathedral as well as a tour to the slums in the outskirts of the city.
Lake Mburo National Park
Apart from game drives, this Park can also be explored on foot. The whole national park is open to tourists that want to engage in guided nature walks. The different locations to enjoy walks include Rubanga forest, the salt lick at Rwonyo, and the hilltops which have great views and also it’s breathtaking to walk along the shores of the lake.
A guided walk through Rubanga forest is fascinating especially to visitors that are interested in birding, this forest is a birder’s paradise and has spectacular views. You can also opt for an organized walk to the salt lick at Rwonyo, this site hosts a number of wildlife which come around to enjoy the salt licks consisting of soil and water.
There is also a morning nature walk that takes about two hours and it is conducted in the western part of the park where tourists have a chance to see hippos entering and coming out of water and also hyenas heading back to their dens.
Visitors that want to explore more can go for a hike through the woodland where they will have the best views and see number of mammals and birds. They can also hike to the top of the hill where they will have the best view of about 9 of the 14 lakes in the region. Hikes require prior preparation including wearing the right clothes for the hike, enough water and packed lunch, of course visitors are escorted with a ranger guide.
Semuliki National Park
Located in a remote area in Bundibugyo district called Bwamba County, is Semuliki National Park. It was gazetted in 1993 hence one of Uganda’s newest Parks. It is made up of the most ancient lowland forest that hosts about 53 mammals, 30 species of butterflies, 305 tree species, and over 441 bird species. Therefore the famous activities done in this park to enjoy it to the fullest are nature walks and hikes.
There are three trails in the park that give the tourists the most rewarding walking experience while in Semuliki.
The Kirumia Trail; it is a great trail for birders since it hosts a number of birds. You can spot the Blue Turaco, Red-necked falcon among others. It is a 13km trail that goes through the forest towards the Semuliki River and tourists need about 8 hours to do a round trip back to Kirumia, the walk has to start early around 8am in order to have the best of this walk.
Red Monkey Trail; this is also known as the primate trail whereby along it one can spot different primates including the De Brazza’s monkey, red tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys and baboons . It is an 11km track that goes through the center of the park near the eastern border from the Sempaya site towards River Semuliki. Along this trail you can also see various woodland birds, forest elephants, antelopes, duikers and forest buffaloes.
Sempaya Nature Trail; it takes about 3 hours to cover this 8km trail. Along this trail you get a chance of seeing the Sempaya Hot Springs. These are made up of two hot springs; the male and female hot springs. You can also see some primates and birds along the way.
Kibale National Park
Apart from being one of Africa’s finest research sites and well-known for Chimpanzee Trekking, Kibale is also a great destination for walking safaris located in Western Uganda. It hosts over 375 bird species, 70 mammal species including 13 primate species.
Tourists can enjoy walks through the forest where they will have chance to see different tree species, chimpanzees, birds as well as monkeys. Kibale National Park also gives opportunity to tourists to engage in Night walks; when the forest residents go to rest, the rare nocturnal creatures are active in the night and hence can be spotted in the night using powerful torches.
Nocturnal creatures that can be seen include; the bush babies, crickets, nightjars, serval, potto, and rare civets. The night walks start at around 7:30pm from the camp and can go for about 1 to 2 hours.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Walking safaris are one of the common ways to explore fully the attractions in Queen Elizabeth especially Wildlife and its spectacular landscape. The sites include; Ishasha River, Maramagambo forest and the Mweya Peninsula which offer spectacular views of the woodland and savannah, it is here that you get too see various bold warthogs running around the place.
Walking along the banks of Ishasha River in the southern part of the park is fun, visitors are able to see a number of mammal species, the savannah and forest bird species. This is also a unique chance to watch animals like hippos at a closer range while on foot.
There are also many walks that can be taken in the lush Maramagambo forest, this forest is among the remaining forests in Uganda and walking through it is rewarding, easy and enjoyable since the paths are well-defined. You can have an organized walk through the forest with the UWA ranger guide to the Bat caves which host over one thousand fruit bats.
Murchison Falls National Park
This is Uganda’s largest National Park and it offers the best sights to its visitors. Walking through the park gives you the chance to explore the Park’s savannah grasslands and forests on foot. There is a number of flora and fauna to see, as well as different bird species.
The nature walk trails go through areas around the Albert delta, Rabongo forest and Kaniyo Pabidi. There are other short walks around the southern and northern banks of the River Nile which take around one to two hours.
For those that are interested in adventure, they can hike up to the top of the falls, to see the world’s spectacular and most powerful waterfalls. This hike takes about 45 minutes for those that are physically fit.
Mountain Elgon National Park
Enjoy the best views in the Eastern Part of Uganda on peaceful walks in and outside Mountain Elgon National Park. Some of the views include the famous Walls of Death known as the Mudange cliffs found at the edge of the park in a tropical forest. Also along the tracks to these cliffs visitors are able to spot the baboons, black and white colobus monkeys and the blue monkeys.
There are also organized community walks by the local guides to the spectacular Sipi falls. These walks take you to all the three viewpoints of the falls and also get to know how the people live in the community. In Kapchorwa, you can go for a sunrise walk at around 6am from the Noah’s Ark Hotel to Tewei Hill which is a good site to watch the sunrise spread across the massive Karamoja Plains at the bottom of Mount Elgon.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Walking and hiking around the slopes of the Virungas gives tourists the opportunity to see various forest birds, bamboo forest, wild vegetation, Rugezi swamp and the magnificent views of the surrounding villages and lakes.
A walk through the jungle to the glorious Sabinyo Gorge offers a chance to spot the Rwenzori Turaco and other bird species, this walking tracking also goes through Rugezi Swamp which hosts various bird species hence a beautiful site for bird lovers. The walk can go up to four hours.
Also visitors can walk to the border of Congo and Uganda, the vegetation types vary as you walk. You can spot fantastic calderas at the top of Gisozi hill. In case there is enough time, visitors can also head to Bunagana and Kisoro towns to have great sights of Lake Mutanda and its islands.