10 days cycling tour in Western Ugandafrom
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP
Seeing the Rwenzori mountains
Cycle through wildlife and amazing nature
riding through Queen Elizabeth national park
enjoy the peace outside of town
Visit and cross the equator
Close encounter with the wildlife
Distance = 220 – 400km
Elevation = 3000 – 5000m
Terrain = 95% off-road
Days = 7 days of riding
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeCycling
Activity Level Challenging
The trip through West-Uganda will be the most unique and beautiful nature and wildlife mountain bike trip you will ever make. We’ll cycle past breath-taking lakes and through the jungle of one of world’s only habitats of mountain gorilla’s, followed by a thrilling safari ride on your iron horse through one of Uganda’s national parks to see lions, buffalo’s, elephants and much more. Experience local culture by riding through beautiful African villages and meeting its friendly inhabitants, while slaloming between magical crates lakes with a backdrop of Uganda’s massive mountains: the Ruwenzori. Too much to mention!
But be aware, you’ll have to work for it! We’ll cycle from Fort Portal to Kisoro and then through Lake Mburo and will cover between 200 and 400km with quite some elevation meters. This is not for the faint-hearted, but very much do-able if you have a adequate fitness level. If this is a bit too much for you or you just feel a bit tired during the trip, don’t worry! Every day there is the option to choose to cycle a long or a short route.
Transport to/from airport
Other transportation that is not optional
Breakfast, lunch and dinner during the trip
Bicycle cleaning and maintenance
English speaking guide and driver
Snacks and water during the trip
Tips for staff
Personal health/third party/travel insurance
Drinks during and after meals
Costs for optional activities
Early check-in (before 10am) on day 1
Rental of bike, helmet and/or GPS device
Costs for optional activities
Upgraded accommodation (single or self-contained)
WELCOME TO UGANDA
Welcome to Uganda! Our experienced drivers are waiting for you at the airport in order to transfer you, your bike and other luggage in a safe way to Kampala. If you arrive early you can explore the wonderful capital of Uganda. Visit the national museum, one of the many historical sites or go souvenir hunting at local markets.
TRANSPORT & RWENZORI VIEWS
A morning transfer takes you to Fort Portal and to the edge of Uganda’s rainforest. Though there is no longer a fort, the town is known as the heartland of the nearby tea-growing area and sits under the majestic Rwenzori Mountains. After lunch we will test the bikes with a 50 km ride through small villages and the countryside. The day will end with a sundowner at one of the most beautiful crater lakes in the area.
Toughness Altitude 600hm
Technicality Distance 50km
PASSING MAGNIFICENT CRATER LAKES
A 35 or 62km trip along Uganda’s central location of crater lakes. These magnificent sceneries will steal your heart. We will have a picnic lunch at one of the crater lakes and if it’s a hot day we can go for a swim. After lunch we will continue our way until we reach the main road. While we will experience a typical Ugandan bar and have some end-of-the-day drinks, the bikes will be loaded on the van. A 2-hour car transfer will bring us to the border of Queen Elizabeth National Park. On the way we will cross the equator where we will stop for a photo. We overnight safari-style, sleeping in tents, with animals roaming in and out of the camp and the sounds of hippos and hyenas accompanying our star-lit dinner.
Toughness Altitude 600hm
Technicality Distance 62km
RIDING THROUGH QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
An exciting day as we cycle directly through the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to 95 mammal species and over 500 bird species. We ride on a flat, wide gravel road through the savanna and have the chance to see wild animals such as buffaloes, elephants, several types of bocks and maybe even the famous tree-climbing lions whose males sport black manes. Don’t worry, our vehicles will be driving right behind you and you don’t need to worry about being lunch for any animals. We will sleep at the border of the park, near the Ntungwe River. Want to do more than cycling only: an optional boat safari on Kazinga Channel in the morning will give you a good chance of viewing elephants, buffalo and several antelopes that come to drink water. The Channel also attracts a varied range of birds and holds one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippos and numerous Nile crocodiles.
Toughness Altitude 200hm
Technicality Distance 76km
RIDING FROM SAVANNA TO JUNGLE
A marvelous change of scenery today as we leave the flat savanna behind and climb up to the rainforest. On the way we will pass by a lovely tea plantation that can be visited. Expect a challenging ride with just less than 1,000 m of ascending ahead of us. Considered the world’s capital of gorilla tracking, our destination Buhoma lies at 1,500 metres above sea level. In the afternoon we can go for a short hike along the river and through the village to visit some local projects.
Toughness Altitude 1100hm
Technicality Distance 60km
Another challenging day of climbing, ranging from single track through rural areas to wide dirt roads straight through the rainforest. We will be on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, thusly named for the thick stands of bamboo and ground cover of ferns, vines, and other plants that severely hinder direct access on foot. This is also home to half the world’s population of the highly endangered mountain gorillas. As we will be high we have some stunning views to take in. It is very likely that we will encounter a monkey or two, and if we are really, really lucky a family of mountain gorillas. We will start our day at 1,500 m and end it at 2,300 m, so expect a chilly evening when the sun goes down. Our cottages will be basic tonight, but with a superb view over the forest.
Toughness Altitude 2000hm
Technicality Distance 56km
THE LAKE OF THE 1,000 SMALL BIRDS
We will cycle straight through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in order to reach civilization again. Though we descend more overall than we climb, it doesn’t mean we won’t still have some major hills to tackle today. Once out of the forest we will see some impressive terraced fields where the locals grow a variety of crops. Be sure to look out for island-dotted Lake Bunyonyi in the distance. Meaning “the place of little birds” the lake is believed to be Africa’s second deepest and has 29 islands of all shapes and sizes. We will have lunch on the shore of the lake and afterwards take a 45-minute boat ride to the tranquil island where we will stay the night.
Toughness Altitude 1600hm
Technicality Distance 40km
CROSSING THE EQUATOR
We will leave after breakfast in order to digest some few good kilometers in order to reach Lake Mburo National Park. We will have lunch at Igongo Cultural Center, which promotes the cultural heritage of south-west Uganda, particularly the Ankole, through artefacts, a cultural village replica and a heap of info. Soon afterwards we will approach Lake Mburo, where we will stay at a bush camp on a stones’ throw from the park entrance. Have dinner and sleep with the sounds of roaring wildlife on the background. If you are in for an optional night safari drive, this is your opportunity.
RIDING NEAR LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Wake up and have your breakfast when looking out over the park. In the early morning there is a high chance that animals might have approached the basecamp to graze. After breakfast we will do a short cycling trip along the borders of the park. Expect to encounter zebra’s, antelopes and buffaloes on the road! In the afternoon will leave for a 4-hour ride back to Entebbe. For the second time we will cross the equator where we shall make a short stop.
Toughness Altitude 200hm
Technicality Distance 35km
DEPARTURE FROM ENTEBBE
Depending on when your flight leaves you can do some sightseeing in Entebbe. Walk on the beaches of Lake Victoria or visit the zoo or botanical garden in one of the greenest and most peaceful cities of Uganda