Practical Information – Tips – Advice for Hiking-Climbing in Uganda and Rwanda
Find here the Best Hiking – Climbing Safari Advice and Tips
Uganda and Rwanda are a hikers paradise – there are many Hiking Trails that you go on in both countries, getting you out of the vehicle and hitting the trails. We give you the Practical Hiking – Climbing Safari Advice and Tips for Uganda and Rwanda that you will find most helpful.
Hiking and Climbing Safaris are different from other safaris including many nature walks. They take more effort – more planning and coordination, they also take different clothing, footwear, the use of porters, walking sticks and more.
In Uganda and there are various walking safaris and hikes reflecting the biodiversity of the country – You can hike the length of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and on to Lake Mutanda where you paddle in an ancient looking dugout canoe.
Take several days in and around the Kibale Forest Jungle, climb the Volcanoes at Mgahinga Gorilla Park or Mount Elgon, hike the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains of the moon, hike around Queen Elizabeth Park, Murchison Fall Park, Lake Mburo Park, Kidepo Valley Park and that is just the beginning.
There is no park in Uganda where you cannot hike or take a Nature Walk – all Hikes and Nature Walks inside of the National Parks and Wildlife Reserves require using an armed Ranger for your well-being.
In Rwanda you can explore the largest Montane Forest in all of Africa – Nyungwe Forest National Park from short 3 hour hikes to all day and even three-day hikes (130 kilometers plus hiking trails) in one of the best primate and birding parks in East Africa -hike and climb the Mountains that cook and enjoy the views along the way – there is the new Congo-Nile Trail that is up to a ten day hike through the land of a thousand hills, tea and coffee plantations.
You can hike in places in Akagera National Park which is Rwanda’s only Savannah park and is quite different from the rest of the country being Rwanda’s only Savannah Park.
There are also hikes, nature walks, birding walks outside of National Park that are great opportunities to mix the Nature of Rwanda and Villages, Culture while on a hike such as the long Congo-Nile Trail.
Here are some practical tips, advice, and information that will allow you to plan ahead as to what to pack and then wear for your hikes in Rwanda and Uganda. What you wear while on a hike in Rwanda or Uganda is quite important – the below will be most comfortable for you.
Please Note: This is not for Climbing the Peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains
Best Hiking – Climbing Safari Advice and Tips in Uganda or Rwanda:
Hikes and Nature Walks are in the Wild of Africa in Uganda and Rwanda and it takes a bit of common sense for your well-being. All Hikes and Walking safaris are with a Ranger in Uganda or Rwanda since you are in the wilderness and one needs to take precautions to be on the safe side without paranoia.
Common Sense needs to be applied and that begins with what you will wear including the right footwear.
When actually going on the hike or walking safari or primate – listen to your Guide and his or her pre-hike orientation and instruction while on the trails. This way you can enjoy your Hakuna Matata Worry- Free Safari with us.
Dealing with Animals in the Wild while Hiking:
This is not a walk in a park in the West – This is the African Wild and you are dealing with Wild Animals whose behavior you cannot predict.
Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Golden Monkeys are habituated – a process that takes up to two years for them to become used to be around human. All other wildlife is not and can be unpredictable.
When you see animals, the ranger-guide will attempt to stay downwind from them which is especially important when it comes a mother with young ones.
Please Note: No past client has ever been hurt by a wild animal while hiking, on a walking safari or primate trek. Bright clothing causes wildlife to shy away, stick with neutral colors.
Encounter with Snakes while Hiking:
Encountering Snakes while on a hiking safari in Uganda or Rwanda is a rarity. Most visitors on safari never come across any snakes except for a python lazily resting in the sun while on a game drive.
Snakes most often move away when they sense people approaching them and are long gone by the time you reach the spot.
Hiking, Primate Treks, Nature Walks those are activities where you rarely encounter a snake, much less one that is hostile with the intent of attacking.
If you encounter a snake, stay calm and stop, back up slowly or remain still – no running or shouting.
Hiking – Nature Walks Etiquette:
Please listen to the Ranger-Guides during the initial orientation before the hike begins. Once the actual Nature Walk, Hike, Trek begins, move in a quiet manner. Be alert to your surroundings so that you do not miss anything, at the same time watch signals from your guide also listen when he does speak pointing things out to you.
Keep the guide suggested distance from wildlife and do not attempt to get closer to animals without the ranger-guide telling you that it is ok. This for your safety and your well-being.
If you are taking pictures your ranger-guide will make sure safety is maintained while you are pre-occupied with taking pictures, listen for any verbal instructions from your guide. On Gorilla, Chimpanzee Treks no flash is allowed.
Do not walk away from Lodge or Tented Camp:
Lodges, Tented Camps are often located inside or just outside of National Parks where wildlife and even predators may roam.
Lodges and Tented Camps in themselves are quite safe and there have been no harmful encounters with animals.
To be on the safe side, one needs to remember that you are not familiar with the area around and near the camps where you are staying.
It is good not to wander beyond the camp perimeter unless you do so with a guide. Often there may be hippos, elephants or even predators.
Tourists rarely encounter any problems, actually the first of its kind here – a Dutch woman in 2015 wandered from her camp alone near the River Nile, Drones, Dutch and Ugandan Officials never found her and her search continued for a lengthy period of time – Stay safe.
The level for most one day-hikes climbs of Volcanoes takes a moderate level of fitness. Some prepare themselves for such things as long gorilla treks, hikes, and climbs by running, working out, losing weight.
We will not put you on an extreme hike but have made sure that moderately fit visitors to Uganda and Rwanda will be able to complete their hike or climb.
The longest Volcano Climb in one day can be up 10 hours in length. It is not the most difficult hike – climb but one of the longest. There is also the altitude gained and some people suffer from shortness of breath not being used to hiking up in mountainous regions.
Hiking and Climbing in Rwanda and Uganda take wearing the right clothes to protect you and keep you comfortable on your one day hike or climb. The link above will also show you what to wear on forest and savanna hikes.
The best insect repellent that works with both Mosquitoes and Tsetse Flies is the Australian product “RID”.
When going on a Nature Walk, Hike, Gorilla Trek, Volcano Climb the terrain matters and a walking stick that often can be purchased locally will come in handy. These are sticks that are most often taller than a person and give good support on slippery slopes such as in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest and the Rwenzori Mountains Foothills
It is suggested that you have a day-pack where you put a light rain jacket, packed lunch or snacks, drinking water and most often you will need at least 2 to 3 liters.
Using a Porter is not only a freeing experience for you in that you have nothing to carry, it is a freeing experience for your Rwandan or Ugandan Porter.
There is nothing demeaning about using a porter but it is an empowering of a Ugandan or Rwandan person and their family
In some locations especially for those longer hikes, you can use a porter to carry your backpack – this actually helps someone from the community to support their family and lightens your load.
Assist a family and use a porter.
You can spend several weeks hiking through Uganda alone and we do offer a two-week hiking safari through Uganda.
Here you will find some choice spots for the hiking enthusiast in the Pearl of Africa – Uganda.
This includes hikes in the Savannah Parks, Hikes in Tropical Rainforests, exploring the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountain of the Moon including a three-day hike into the Rwenzoris called the Mahoma Trail.
Take a look at hiking Safaris that we offer in Uganda, they are gaining in popularity as more and more want to get out of the Vehicle in the African Wild.
We will work with you in every way possible to make your Hiking Safari a success -we hope that our Walking – Hiking Safari Advice and Tips were of help to you. we can also arrange a Nature Walking Safari for you in one of the parks in both Uganda and Rwanda.
It is time to start planning the time of your life on a hiking climbing Safari in the heart of Africa – Rwanda, and Uganda. We look forward to hearing from you.
Enjoy Remarkable Rwanda and Uganda, the Pearl of Africa on foot.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the Best Hiking – Climbing Safari Advice and Tips for Uganda and Rwanda and a hiking Safari in Uganda or Rwanda.