Busoga Kingdom has over 350 clans most of which claim to have originated from Bunyoro Kingdom. One such clan is the Igaga Clan, the biggest in the Kingdom under a single cultural leader, the Igaga. The first Igaga, Prince Byaruhanga, migrated from Bunyoro, crossed the Koki chiefdom of Kamuswaga, sailed on L. Victoria, and landed in the current forest of Kityerera, around 1350. He moved to Bukowe Hill in Bugweri chiefdom, sighted the Nhenda Hill, and settled there. He produced children one of whom, Mutamba (Kawanguzi), migrated and founded the Busiki chiefdom.
Chief Byaruhanga established the first administrative unit in the Busoga Kingdom, the Busambira. With the headquarters located on the Nhenda hill, it became the dispersal area for the clan. To date, the hill is used by traditionalist and moderate religious people, for meditation and worship.
Nhenda Hill, just a 15 minutes drive from Iganga town, overlooks Busoga; from it, one can sight Jinja and Kagulu Hill far in North of Busoga. At its top, there are two water reservoirs believed to give fortune and answered prayers to people who bathe in them or who sprinkle themselves with the water. Mzee Kisubi Fredrick, the clan elder, asserts that “at one time the region was very dry, hot and dusty. I went on the hilltop and prayed for rain, and rain got me on the way back.”
The Igaga clan is proud that three-quarters of the nation’s Busoga political leaders are either of the Igaga clan or their distant oﬀspring, a fortune given by Nhenda hill.
Some of the Igaga leaders are the National Speaker, Rt, Hon. Kadaga Rebecca, and the Deputy Prime minister of the Busoga Kingdom, Owek. Dr. Lubega, to mention but
a few. It is also claimed that the first agreement with the colonial masters in Uganda, around 1887, was made here and in 1932, the colonial government built a rest camp that exists up to today. Upon a visit to the hill, one will witness true Kisoga culture; one will watch ancient worship, taste traditional foods and learn about local medicines (all the plants on the hill are said to be medicinal).
Traditional music and dances for entertainment on the hill can be arranged upon prior booking. The hill is also rich in birdlife, ﬂora, and fauna. It is very good for both holiday camping and picnics. From the source of the Nile, it is a one-hour drive to Nhenda via Iganga town. Kigulu Cultural Museum is close by and Nhenda is a 2-hour drive from Kagulu hill. Aﬀordable accommodation can be sought at Mum resort. Alternatives like Hotel Continental and Mwana Highway hotels can be found in Iganga town.Read More
Yearning for an adventure that will renew and rejuvenate your positive energy, why not head out for a hiking encounter that will leave you with tears of joy. Here are some recommendations across Uganda. The one thing they share in common is that they are full of jaw-dropping scenery and gentle gradients. This makes “summiting” them possible even for those who are less physically fit. The experience they offer is perfect for team building and bonding with loved ones. Writes Solomon Oleny
At an altitude ranging from 2,227m and 4,127m, Mghahinga is a visual masterpiece soaring high in the clouds. It has three summits that will catch your eye and carry you into endless vastness of the sky.
Looking at them from a far, you are bound to think they offer the same hiking experiences as they are all have a pyramid shape. Make no mistake, they don’t! And no, there can never be a better way to find out than hiking them all. As matter of fact, if you are looking to shade some weight the adventurous way, Muhavura is a perfect “gym”. Due to its steep gradient, it offers a hike that is sweaty, though climbing it is an assured way of feeling the alluring freshness of the mountain. At its top is a crater lake with a scenic beauty that revitalizes the inner most being.
On the other hand, Mountain Mghahinga is hard to miss, if you are looking to take a gentle hike to relax the mind and stretch the muscles. It takes the average hiker five hours to climb it and 2-3 to descend it. Ever wondered what it is like to be in three countries at the same time? If the answer is Yes, Mt. Sabinyo is more than happy to make your dream come true.
At its summit is a vantage point where the borders of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda unite in harmony. You can have one leg in Rwanda, the other in Congo, your hands in Uganda, and your heart in no man’s land.
You can never know Kamuli District is truly paradise unless you have had a bird’ view of it from Kagulu Hill’s towering summit. And that is where a two hours hiking challenge comes in. It has a clear trail that best suits the kind of traveler who likes pleasure without pain. It overlooks a peaceful green village, vast blue rivers, and Lake Kyoga. This trail is to be experienced, lived, savored. It will not disappoint, no! The thing that lures the most is that it has concrete steps. This provides an experience that is easy to tame. Kagulu is believed to be the first point the Basoga settled in—following their secession from the Bunyoro Kingdom in around the 17th Century.
It is not a must that everyone who goes to Rwenzori must hike it all the way to its highest summit. For that, the mountain has one to three days of hiking trails for the kind of adventurer who wants to just have a good time in the jungle. In general, they offer more of a mental challenge than a physical one. It is effortlessly easy to explore them thanks to the many bridges and ladders that had been erected over their impassable features like rivers. There are guides and porters to help out whenever need be, however, you could also complete it without any support. All one needs is a compass and a map of the park.
What to know?
Rwenzori has two main trails in the above regard, Rwenzori Central Circuit and Kilembe Trail. The former is for budget clients and the latter high end tourists. A day’s excursion will cost roughly $100 and $350 respectively. The fee covers for a full board excursion.
Thanks to its location in a semi-arid setting, the weather at Lira’s Got Ngetta Hill is not punishingly cold. This will lessen your vulnerability to altitude sickness.
Located in Ngetta, a rocky zone in the outer edge of Lira town, Ngetta is a magnificent solid rock standing at about 4,500ft above sea level. As you beat its hiking challenge, you will encounter several monkeys and birds. The natural attraction boasts of over 50 recorded butterfly species.
Legend has it that around the 16th century, the present day tribes of Teso, Karamojong, Acholi, Langi’s Kumams and Japhadola all belonged descended from this Hill. The best part of the story is that hiking it is free, like most of the other hills on this list.
Wanale is that hill with jagged slopes, located in the outskirts of Mbale Town and yes, it is from it that the town got its name. It is a grass green mountain that soars into the clear blue skies.
A visit to this place will leave you with immense respect for this hilly land upon whose soils Uganda’s favourite coffee is grown. Arabica is its name, an enchanting beverage with a crisp, sharp and pleasant aroma. Like Elgon, a Mountain to which Wanale belongs, its sheer size, clear waters, and green vegetation make it way better than any theme park. That is why I call it paradise. But as is typical of paradise, it’s towering summit is not easy to reach. Only those who are patient enough to endure a two hours’ hike get to experience the champagne panoramic views it offers. From the bottom, Mbale looks very well planned and organized. However, from the top, the town looks like a beautiful mess. It looks busy and crammed with buildings. It is surrounded by virgin swamps and farmlands.
In contrast to the tradition that the higher one climbs the cooler it becomes, the temperatures start to rise as you ascend Mountain Moroto, one of the highest Mountains in Karamoja(10115 ft above sea level). This makes scaling its serrated edges fun.
There isn’t much to see here in terms of scenery. Much of its trail is walled by a thick concentration of vegetation that blocks visibility across. This doesn’t translate into boredom though. The guides here are really funny storytellers with heaps of jokes.
Mountaineering is largely about attitude. If you go with a negative attitude, you will get knocked off very easily. Go with a positive mindset and I guarantee you, the results will be impressive.
Be sure to drink enough water as you ascend. It goes a long way in helping you acclimatize.
June is the rainy season in Uganda. If hiking this month, warm clothing and a boot with good treads are a must-have.Read More