distance: 400 - 220km

3,000 - 6,500m climbing

95% off-road

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7 days of riding


The Trip
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 Rwenzoris. 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.

Route Overview
Route Overview

Detailed itinerary

Day 01: 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.

 

Day 02: 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 Distance 50km
Technicality Altimeters +621 / –547 m

 

Day 03: 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 Distance 62km
Technicality Elevation +905 / –1315 m

 

Day 04: Straight 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 concentration of hippos and numerous Nile crocodiles.

 

Toughness Distance 76km
Technicality Elevation +204 / -220 m

 

Day 05: 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 visisted. Expect a challenging ride with just under 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 Distance 60km
Technicality Elevation +931 / -395 m

 

Day 06: Monkey trail

Another challenging day of climbing, ranging from singletrack through rural areas to wide dirtroads 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 Distance 56km
Technicality Elevation +1535 / -735 m

 

Day 07: 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 Bunyoni 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 Distance 40km
Technicality Elevation +692 / -1056 m

 

Day 08: Crossing the equator

We will leave after breakfast in order to digest some few good kilometres 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 bushcamp 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.

 

Day 09: Lake Mburo Tracks

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 bushcamp 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 Distance 33km
Technicality Elevation +340 m / -344 m

 

 

Day 10: 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.

What is included

The mountain bike adventure includes:

Transport to/from airport

Support vehicle

Accommodation

Other transportation that is not optional

Breakfast, lunch and dinner during the trip

Bicycle cleaning and maintenance

English speaking guide and driver

AMREF emergency evacuation insurance

Snacks and water during the trip

The mountain bike adventure doesn’t include:

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

Flight tickets

Costs for optional activities

Upgraded accommodation (single or self-contained)

Accommodation

Day 01: Cozy guesthouse

You will stay at a small and quite AirBnB in Kampala. This is an excellent place to slowly get used to the Ugandan vibe. It’s run by Red Dirt so technical support and feedback are within a hand’s reach.

 

Day 02: Homely feel guesthouse

You will stay at a lovely guesthouse which was the very first guesthouse that opened its doors in Fort Portal. The guesthouse will make you feel at home, not in the least because supper is served at 7pm at one large table for all the guests. The hearth-warming hostess loves to mingle with her guests and will make you feel at ease.

 

Day 03: Adventurous safari tent

You will spend the night at a luxurious tented camp. Located on the border of the national park it offers superb possibilities to view wildlife. The twin safari tents are equipped with comfortable beds and charging sockets. You will sleep peacefully with the sound of hippos on the background.

 

Day 04: Romantic bandas on the river bank

Accommodation is situated in a beautiful setting along a river. Although it’s situated just outside the official borders of Queen Elizabeth National Park you are still surrounded by wildlife such as birds, antelopes, monkeys and an occasional elephant. The wooden bandas are very comfortable and the dining and bar area offer a great view of the environment. If you’re hot and dusty, try the mini-pool to refresh.

 

Day 05: Beautiful view over bwindi national forest

This night you will sleep in a superb guesthouse located at the border of Bwindi Impenetrable NP. Its balcony offers a magnificent view of the park and (if you are very lucky) provides a first row seat for viewing mountain gorillas that come to forage outside of the forest.

 

Day 06: tents on the jungle border

We will spend the night at a camp which consists out of basic permanent tents. However its unique selling point is the magnificent view over the tropical rain forest. You will sleep with the sound of tropical birds and gorilla roaring at the background. Because of the high location of the lodge it might get chilly at night. Don’t forget to bring a sweater. The local population of red tailed monkeys will come to say goodbye the next morning after breakfast.

 

Day 07: Unique geodomes with splendid lakeview

If you are planning to propose, our overnight place in the middle of Lake Bunyonyi is the perfect place for it. The geodomes are thatched huts that are semi-open and offer a view of Lake Bunyonyi that is hard to beat. Even if you’re not planning to ask your partner for eternal commitment, this place has much to offer. Relax at the lakeside or dive into this bilharzia-free lake to wash away the red dirt. Don’t forget to taste their mouthwatering crayfish salad or chocolate rum balls.

 

Day 08: Safari tents in the park

Located at 5 minutes from the Lake Mburo park entrance, this campsite offers you a genuine safari experience. You will do some glamping and hear the roaring sounds of wildlife on the background. You might even spot some antelopes walking up the campsite during breakfast.

 

Day 09: Great guesthouse near Lake Victoria

Your last night in Uganda will be at a very cozy guesthouse with a spacious terrace overviewing a beautiful green garden. The rooms are basic, but self contained. An ideal location to unwind and relax and brag about your adventure at the campfire.

Optional activities & Costs
Optional activities:

Activity
Price
When

Bodaboda city tour

USD 45,-
Day 01

Lake Victoria MTB tour

USD 45,-
Day 01

Boat safari

USD 30,-
Day 04

Chimpanzee tracking

USD 125,-
Day 04

Full day game drive

USD 125,-
Day 04

Half day game drive

USD 100,-
Day 04

Community Walk

USD 5,-
Day 05

Gorilla tracking

USD 625,-
Day 06

Night game drive

USD 100,-
Day 08

MTB loop in Entebbe

USD 45,-
Day 10
Other tour costs

Activity
Price
When

Bike and helmet rental

USD 140,-

Accommodation upgrade to single room

USD 250,-

Accommodation upgrade to room with private bathroom facilities

USD 200,-

Backpack or Camelbak rent

USD 40,-

GPS device rent (Garmen Etrex 20)

USD 40,-


Tour dates 2019

Jan 10th - Jan 19th
Mar 7th - Mar 16th
May 30th - Jun 8th
Jul 18th - Jul 27th
Oct 10th - Oct 19th
Dec 5th - Dec 14th

Price group tour

USD 1569,-

Price private tour

1 pax: USD 2999,-
2 pax: USD 1799,-
3 pax or more: USD 1569,-
get in touch for prices for larger groups

Category
Mountain bike, Multiday Tours, Tourbike