distance: 455km or 765km

4,500m or 10,500m climbing

98% off-road

6 or 11 days of cycling


TOUR OF KARAMOJA

This signature cycling tour only takes place once or twice a year. It includes the most amazing cycling highlights in Eastern Uganda and leads up to the spectacular Tour of Karamoja. The Tour of Karamoja is Uganda’s ultimate wilderness bike tradition, through the untamed savannah of Northeast Uganda. Expect a wonderful trip full of rich cultural encounters, dramatic scenery and Africa’s finest wildlife.

The 10 or 15 days wilderness bicycle tour begins in Kampala and ends in the most Northeastern corner of Uganda: Kidepo Valley National Park. On our way to Karamoja we will pass amazing natural wonders like the Ssezibwa Falls, Mabira rainforest, the source of the Nile and the wonderful Sipi Falls. Once arrived on the lower savannah plains in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, the official Tour of Karamoja commences. The route and accommodations of the Tour of Karamoja section of this trip will be confirmed a few weeks before departure, but we can promise you that it will be something you will never forget.

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. In the afternoon/early evening you will have a meet and greet with the guide and driver who will brief you and help you setup your bicycle.

 

Day 02: Cycling across Lake Victoria / Transfer to Pian Upe

If you are joining the 10-day tour, then you will leave early by car to do a 9-hour transfer to MT Elgon region. A short 20km ride in the afternoon will prepare you for what’s coming during the Tour of Karamoja. The 15-day tour will start with an easy ride on the outskirts of Kampala that will take you to the shore of Lake Victoria, where you will take one of the original wooden fishing boats to cross. The 15-minute boat ride across world’s second largest lake will cause a dramatic change of scenes. Leaving the busy capital of Uganda behind us we glide our way into a greener, tranquilly other side that is absent of motor vehicles. The cycling trail will lead you through small forests, tiny villages and give you a good display of rural life in Uganda. On our way we will pass by the majestic Ssezibwa Falls that have great cultural value for the local Buganda tribe. [breakfast, lunch and diner included]

 

Toughness Distance 69km
Technicality Altimeters +966 / -877 m

 

*Day 03: Discovering the Source of the Nile

A 62km ride will take us to the source of the longest river in the world. Discovering this location has been a key important goal of many quests in the 19th century. Eventually it was in 1858 when British explorer, John Hanning Speke, claimed to be the first European ever to sight Lake Victoria, believing it to be the source of the Nile. On our way to this magnificent find we will pass through a beautiful section of Mabira rainforest and cruise through one of the many vast tea fields in the area. We will spend the night on the shore of the mighty Nile river. [breakfast, lunch and diner included]

 

Toughness Distance 62km
Technicality Elevation +856 / -999 m

 

*Day 04: Breathtaking views from Wanale Ridge

After breakfast a 3-4 hour transfer will take us to Mable, lying on the foot of Uganda’s highest mountain, Mount Elgon. Geologists estimate that this 4321m tall giant is at least 24 million years old, making it the oldest extinct volcano in East Africa. After lunch we will challenge a small part of when climbing to Wanale Ridge. This ridge houses three spectacular waterfalls and has an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding area. The trail that leads to the viewpoint is not that long but is a well-known challenging climb for the local cyclists [breakfast, lunch and diner included]

 

Toughness Distance 29km
Technicality Elevation +1050/ -1050 m

 

*Day 05: Climbing to Sipi

Today you will be served a wonderful but challenging climb to the small village of Sipi, known for its wonderful waterfalls. We will ascend down from 1,156m to 1,775 meters. Climbing the slopes on the base of Mount Elgon, we will pass through nice single track trails, steep ascends and some nice descents. Look out for the many coffee plantation and washing stations that you will find on the road. The Sipi Falls area is particularly famous for locally grown Bugisu Arabica coffee, which only grows at an altitude of between 1,600 and 1,900 meters. Fancy a cuppa? [breakfast, lunch and diner included]

Toughness Distance 67km
Technicality Elevation +1623 / -983 m

 

*Day 06: Cycling the land of the giants

Enjoy today’s ride through the land of giants. We will ride some excellent single-track trails from Sipi to Kapchorwa, the capital of long distance running and home to semi gods like Olympic gold medalist Kiprotich and world champion Cheptegei Kapchorwa. Since our ride will be short we will have half a day to spend on other optional activities if you feel like. What do you think of abseiling from Sipi waterfall, doing a coffee tour, support a local running programme by joining a training with kids? [breakfast, lunch and diner included]

Toughness Distance 48km
Technicality Elevation +1333 / -1136 m

 

*Day 07: Down the mountain into savannah

Today’s scenery will dramatically change from dense lush green forests to open dry savannah. During a beautiful and technical 12km descent you will literally cycle from one climate into another one as we approach Pian Upe, Uganda’s largest Wildlife Reserve. We will sleep in basic bandas in the middle of the Reserve, enjoying typical simple but nutritious local food. [breakfast, lunch and diner included]

Toughness Distance 52km
Technicality Elevation +248 / -1058 m

 

Day 08 - 12: Tour of Karamoja

Although the official route for this magnificent cycling tour will be published only a few weeks before the actual start we can already tell you that it will be awesome! Ancient nomadic trails, forgotten missionary’s roads and muddy wildlife tracks make this tour a true adventure. The scenery, varying from vast savannah plains dotted with wildlife to the rocky mountainous surrounding will blow your mind away. Expect numerous encounters with the Karamojong who have been able to maintain their ancestral cultural heritage and customs dating back to thousands of years, due to the decades of isolation. During the Tour of Karamoja you will be cycling around 80-100km per day with climbing meters anywhere between 400-1000 meters.

 

Toughness Distance 430km
Technicality Elevation +4500 / -4500 m

 

Day 13: Safari drive in Kidepo Valley National Park

After so many days of cycling it’s time to sit back and relax. While you can enjoy your afternoon chilling out, the day starts with a beautiful guided game drive through Kidepo Valley National Park. Kidepo is one of the most isolated parks of Uganda, but it is one of the best virgin places to experience wildlife. With the largest buffalo population in Uganda you won’t be able to miss one of the massive herds of these magnificent animals. But chances are big you will find zebras, giraffes, hartebeests, waterbucks, elands, warthogs, jackals, Uganda kobs and maybe even lions, leopards, hyenas or cheetahs. Too many to mention.

 

Day 14: Transfer to Entebbe

A 8-hour drive back to Kampala awaits. We will stop for lunch on the way and have dinner at a wonderful guesthouse at our final destination. [breakfast, lunch and dinner included]

 

Day 15: 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.

 

* please note that these days are only for the 15 day tour

What is included

This cycling adventure includes:

Service 10-day tour 15-day tour
Transport to and from airport
Transport to starting point and pick up from endpoint of Tour of Karamoja
5x Nights Camping facilities (bring your own tent)
Lodging accommodation on all other nights
All meals as indicated in itinerary
Boat crossing Lake Victoria
AMREF Emergency evacuation insurance
Participation in Tour of Karamoja
Park entrance fee at Kidepo Valley National Park
Drive safari in Kidepo Valley National Park
Tour of Karamoja Cycling Jersey

This cycling adventure doesn’t include:

 

Service Package 01 Adventurer Package 02 Luxury
Dinner on day 01
Tips for staff
Personal health/third party/travel insurance
Drinks during and after meals
Costs for optional activities
Rental of bike, helmet or GPS unite
Flight tickets, visa, vaccinations
Corona related test and certificates

Accommodation

Day 01: Conveniently situated family run B&B

You will be staying in a family run bed and breakfast located in a quite and green suburb of Kampala, 10 minutes drive from Kampala city centre. The area has several restaurants, bars and coffee houses at walking distance and is a great and peaceful way to be introduced to the capital of Uganda.

 

Day 02: Cabin in the middle of the jungle

This lodge is set within Mabira Forest, Uganda’s second largest forest, where you find yourself surrounded by nature’s beauty. Your cabins with ensuite facilities and an individual forest viewing deck assures peace and privacy. Tired, muddy and sweaty? Take a refreshing dive in the pool!

 

Day 03: Safari tent with Nile view

The secluded safari tents with lush terraces offer stunning views of the Nile. The trees boast a multitude of tropical bird life and monkeys, and the ‘riverside showers’ alone have become famous for the incredible scenery they overlook. The perfect place to enjoy a cold beer and amazing sunsets.

 

Day 04: Hotel overviewing the slopes of Mt Elgon

Set against the backdrop of the slopes of Mount Elgon in the heart of Mbale City this hotel offers a nice place to come home to after a day of cycling. The rooms offer breathtaking Mbale skyline views and spectacular panoramic views of the Wanale Hill. And there is a swimming pool!

 

Day 05: Breakfast at Sipi Falls

With a spectacular view of one of the magnificent Sipi Falls this place has something special to offer. Imagine having breakfast with both the sunset and the waterfalls as a backdrop. Unforgettable!

 

Day 06: Sleeping in the land of the Giants

This guesthouse is the perfect base to explore the green and unspoiled beauty of Mount Elgon. The panoramic views, spacious garden and delicious food make you feel being in bit of paradise in dusty Kapchorwa.

 

Day 07: Wild night out

Situated in the heart of Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve and with no luxury around, this will be your wildest night of the tour. You might hear laughing hyenas, roaring lions or an occasional warthog passing by. But don’t worry, the camp is guarded by armed specially trained rangers. You will sleep in camping tents that you will bring yourself

 

Day 08-12: Basic accommodation during the Tour

During your participation in the Tour of Karamoja you will spend most nights camping with your own tent. The last day you will spend in more upgraded lazy camping style at a lodge in Kidepo Valley National Park.  The type of accommodation for Tour of Karamoja can be upgraded for an additional fee.

 

Day 13: Lazy camping in Kidepo

You will be staying in furnished safari tents with shared bathrooms. The views into the park are vast and magnificent with an occasional herd of elephants or buffaloes passing by.

 

Day 14: 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

Full Day Whitewater Rafting the Nile

USD 140,-
Day 03

Coffee Tour

USD 25,-
Day 06

Guided Hike to Sipi Falls

USD 15,-
Day 06

Abseiling Sipi Falls

USD 60,-
Day 06

Running Experience

USD 25,-
Day 06

Night Drive Safari Pian Upe

USD 100,-
Day 07
Other services

Service
Price 10-day
Price 15-day

Bike and helmet rental

USD 125,-
USD 275,-

Accommodation upgrade to single room

USD 50,-
USD 50,-

Accommodation upgrade during Tour of Karamoja

TBD
TBD

Tent, mattress and sleeping bag rent for ToK

USD 50,-
USD 50,-

Flying back from Kidepo to Kampala

TBD
TBD

Backpack or Camelbak rent

USD 25,-
USD 55,-

GPS device rent (Garmen Etrex 20)

USD 25,-
USD 55,-
Tour dates 2021

Nov 20 - 30th

Group Tour Price PP

10-day: USD 1999,- 15-day: USD 2999,-

Private Tour Price PP

10-day: Groupsize = 1pax USD 2683,- Groupsize = 2 pax 2145,- Groupsize is 3 pax or more USD 1999,- 15-day: Groupsize = 1pax USD 4969,- Groupsize = 2 pax 3289,- Groupsize is 3 pax or more USD 2999,-

Category
Multiday Tour, Tours, Uganda
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