Have you ever visited Muhabura ranges in South Western Uganda? Do you know of any tourist attractions in this area? On this page, we will show you all you must know about mount Mufumbira ranges in Southwestern Uganda.
Mufumbira Ranges stand tall and dominate the horizon like islands in the cloud-shrouded sky. Everywhere you turn; your eyes cannot resist but look at them.
Formed as a result of volcanic activity, the mountains are a major attraction in the Kisoro District and a great influence on the way of life of the local people.
For the first-time traveler, however, the chilly breeze from these mountains is enough to confine you to your bed for days on end, and yet the locals go about their daily chores unbothered, as long as it does not rain.
According to the natives, these peaks are three of the six that make up the Virunga ranges which mark the southern limit of the Albertine rift valley, divided between Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo.
The Virunga ranges are home to more than half of the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas. It is 6:00 pm; I am seated on the porch of Golden Monkey Guesthouse, my home for the few days I will be in Kisoro. Sheeba Hanyurwa, the proprietor of the guesthouse, is giving me a crash course on how to survive in this cold part of the country.
Muhavura in Kifumbira, the local dialect, means guide. It is believed that if you are lost and happen to see Muhavura, it will help you get your bearings hence guiding you to your destination. On the other hand, Gahinga means a heap of stones. Locals say a superior being put the stones in one place to create land for the people to farm and Sabinyo, shaped like a molar tooth, is named after an old man’s tooth.
A story goes that a man who fled from his people with only one tooth left in his mouth took refuge on one of the hills. One day, lightning struck and he fell losing his only molar.
The molar is said to have created a dent on the hill, hence the name Sabinyo, owing to its shape. Sabinyo offers a breathtaking view of Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. Standing on top of it, As Hanyurwa continued to tell me about the spectacular place, I started longing for extra clothing just to keep warm.
From my seat, I could see clouds moving as the skies darkened; mist descending, birds flying and hills adjacent to mountains with terraces that can be compared to a neatly patched quilt. The fusion of the terrain and the surrounding beauty captivated me.
Down one of the roads, I was privileged to see women with babies strapped on their backs, balancing baskets on their heads, while men transporting foodstuffs on the bicycles cycled home.
Following closely behind them were children returning home from school. Kisoro has two seasons — wet and dry.
July to September is considered the peak of the dry season and the rest of the year is wet. The weather favors the growing of Irish potatoes and beans. “Every three months, locals harvest Irish potatoes and sort them according to size. The small potatoes are kept as seeds for the next planting season, while the big ones find their way to the markets.
During the Irish potato harvesting season, some shops close, while others are turned into stores for Irish potatoes,” Hanyurwa says. A sack of Irish potatoes now costs sh80,000 in Kisoro, up from sh20,000 less than a year ago. This Irish potato region in southwestern Uganda is approximately 540km from Kampala city and about 80km from Kabale town. It was carved out of Rwanda in 1910 by the colonialists.
According to the Uganda Districts Information Handbook, 2022, Kisoro used to be part of the Kigezi District. In 1980, when South Kigezi was renamed Kabale District, Kisoro became a sub-district and also doubled as Bufumbira County. Covering 662 square kilometers, the mountainous sub-district has a population of over 386,681 people.
Although agriculture is carried out on a small scale due to limited land and the hilly terrain, the district ranks among the top food baskets in Uganda. Farmers sell some of their produce to middlemen who in turn sell them to consumers in urban areas.
The district is also famous as a tourist destination. It’s a treasured item, the park, is 14km from Kisoro town. You need a Four-Wheel-Drive to conquer the hilly terrain that takes you to the park. Along the way, you get to see farmers tending their terraced gardens, the numerous hills habituated by families in either tin roofs or grass-thatched houses, and children running up and down the rugged terrain.
But as you draw closer to the park, you soon forget about the bad road as the refreshing cool breeze from the evergreen forest blows in your direction as though to welcome you. The sound of River Ntebeko as it flows can best be described as hypnotizing. Philip Sebagenzi, the manager of Amajembere Iwacu Community camp, says Ntebeko originates from Mount Mgahinga. From its source, it flows 50km downhill and spreads into small channels that supply the community with water.
If you visit the park intending to stay for just a day, then think again. Though gorilla trekking is the park’s most popular activity, a day’s visit is not enough for one to enjoy all the allures of the park. However, like trekking, they come at a fee. From forest walks that can last eight hours, if you went up Mt. Muhavura and back, to enjoying the view on community walks and reading about the way of life of gorillas, the 12 hours in a day are certainly not enough.
By interacting with community guides, you will learn how to differentiate one gorilla from the other. “Through the palm, nose, and fingerprints, one can identify a gorilla. And it is by looking at them that they give them names like Mark, Beijing, and Nshuti,” he says.
The Guide adds that when a silverback (adult male gorilla) thumps its chest, the sound can be heard 500m away. This is one of the ways it demonstrates its strength. Kisoro has two market days that feed its population with items ranging from fresh food to clothing. On Monday or Thursday, residents will be seen flocking to the designated market area.
Some traders get to these markets aboard Fuso trucks, dangerously packed like merchandise. As these trucks navigate the hilly terrain, outsiders can only at best hold their breath, because the whole experience is scary.
The main market, which is now located in the town, used to be situated in the Uganda-DR Congo. However, it was relocated owing to the tense political situation in the 1990s which culminated in the 1994 Rwanda genocide and the subsequent unrest in DR Congo, which led to the overthrow of the Mobutu Sese Seko regime. Nevertheless, the market still attracts traders from Rwanda and DR Congo.Read More
It is a honeymoon? Is it love you want to celebrate? What better way to express this than by taking a boat cruise? Uganda’s lakes and rivers are more than just waters, they come with sceneries to die for. Tranquility takes center, the breeze is soothing, the beauty simply out of this world and the experience sticks to mind. But the wild is magical too. Join the View Uganda team on a five-spot boat cruise.
1. A dreamy Lake Albert awaits.
When the boat docks, we guarantee you will be smiling. For emphasis, we shall repeat: By the end of this two-hour trip, the memories you would have collected will leave you smiling. It starts with encountering of plenty wildlife whilst still ashore; reptiles, birds, you name them, exciting! But that you will soon learn is just a teaser; this entire experience is capped with thought-inducing sunsets and pure relief. A tangle with nature, a sun so soothing you wander into the what-ifs of life. You live and let live whilst on the waters of Lake Albert.
It remains one of the most informative sightseeing tours in Western Uganda. Offering a relaxing way to learn about puzzling tectonic earth movements that led to the formation of the Albertine rift valley. It takes place aboard a wooden boat powered by twin-turbo engines. What a gentle experience this boat, managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority, provides. Arguably the most stable boats on Ugandan waters that boast of comfort so fulfilling it allows for dreams.
The adventure is fun and exciting, but also informative. The guides on site know so much about the area. You will be impressed by how they value the environment, and the special role that each animal in Semuliki National Park has in sustaining its eco-system.
The cruise unfolds at a gentle pace, allowing you to see all types of birds that prey on fish possible. The biggest highlight is spotting Uganda’s most sought-after species, the shoebill. Imagine encountering a pre-historic bird that has defied odds and outlived extinction since the time dinosaurs still walked the earth.
The longevity of the tour is perfect. It is long enough to allow you to see all the animals on your bucket list but also short enough not to make you bored.
Cost: The tour costs roughly 50,000 UGX and can be booked through the luxury lodges in the park. One such lodge is Ntoroko Game Lodge.
It continues tomorrow… who wants to go Sports Fishing on Lake Victoria
2. Canoe cruise on Lake Mulehe, so picturesque!
It captures your heart with intriguing sights and sounds of Lake Mulehe. Found in Kisoro District(South-Western Uganda), it is a scenic crater lake that has a healing effect on the mind, body, and soul.
You will have a calm paddle aboard a dug-out canoe that is small and made for an intimate connection. Be prepared to get award-winning pictures of green hilly landscapes with plantations of Irish potatoes on their faces. The bonus is a mix of dormant and active volcanoes that perfected the beauty of the Virunga region with their sky-hugging summits. In their shadows are well-organized villages of locals, most of whom hail from the Bafumbira tribe.
As the sun rises gloriously, it creates clear blue skies which are beautifully reflected in this lake. This creates a powerful and energizing environment for adventure and re-discovery of one another.
As you ride on, you will encounter lots of birds with soothing music for your soul, like the malachite kingfisher. But that’s half the story. The trip is just what you need to cool off and reflect on how far your relationship has come. Why? As opposed to being powered by a motorized engine which would disturb your peace, the canoe is steered by paddles.
The Kayaking option is equally so much fun, a great physical workout too! There is enough paddling to do. Throughout, you will be in the company of an extremely enthusiastic guide who is knowledgeable about the area.
If you love swimming, you can take advantage of the lake’s bilharzia free state and jump in for a refreshing dip. The fish are quite curious and swim right up to you- so cute! You’ll have absolute peace of mind considering lake Mulehe doesn’t have any hippo or crocodile.
Cost: The adventure costs roughly 50,000UGX per person and can be booked through the various safari lodges in Kisoro.
3. The wild Murchison Falls National Park boat ride
Take a boat cruise in Murchison falls National Park, we dare you! Not that it is a bad dare, the thing is, this is more of an exploration of the wildlife of this park, and thus more than just a tour. It is no wonder it attracts over 200,000 tourists annually! The cruise takes place on River Nile aboard a big boat with a lower and upper deck. Imagine how electrifying it would be to cruise on the world’s longest river? Yes, a wonder that that started flowing even before Moses freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Imagine that!
This beautiful biodiversity hot spot is home to tons of birds, reptiles, aquatic species, and mammals like buffaloes, elephants, Uganda kobs, and giraffes. All these can be easily spotted this a sightseeing boat cruise destined for the mouth of the river. During this two-hour experience, you will ride past small swamps systems with schools of hippos cooling of the heat with a swim.
Should you look keenly into the water, you will see gigantic crocodiles camouflaging with surrounding rocks. Their eyes are glued to the shoreline to stalk prey that has come to quench its thirst. The guide who will be entrusted with looking after you speaks so much about conservation and sustainable tourism. Their love for the park will make you want to stay there forever.
Like a true climax, the best part of this boat ride is watching the majesty of the Murchison Falls unveiling ever so thunderously in your eyes. This, on top of experiencing wildlife in its habitat, is what makes this boat ride one die for.
Cost: In short, the tour is good value for money and thus highly recommendable. Costs between Shs30,000 -120,000 depending on whether you are an East African, Foreign Resident, or Foreign tourist.
4. Time to go fishing on Lake Victoria
First of all, safety is germane! The entire excursion is a tale of a well-organized and executed affair, complete with attention to safety. Before we delve into it, not that Lake Victoria is one of the very few freshwater bodies in the world that are still lonely save for a lone canoe in a distance. This should allow you to rediscover what you like about each other without feeling like your privacy is compromised.
It helps that the temperature in and around the lake is friendly all year round. Listening to the calm waves gently splashing the side of the boat will heal your mind and soul of whatsoever is troubling it. If sportfishing with Wild Frontiers, your trip will be guided by a two-man team that had done this over 200 times now. They will make sure you are well taken care of from start to finish. Even better, the boat is well suited for deep lake trolling.
At the genesis of this adventure, a briefing about the rules and regulations must be held. This is to ensure that all are versed in the safety and operations of the boat and only then will you get into the nuts and bolts of your mission. To go fishing! The activity is easy as there are not many Dos and Don’ts. The artificial lures are designed in the shape of prey that is a delicacy for giant tilapias and Nile perch.
The ever-so-patient instructors make the activity doable even for a novice. Throughout the excursion, there is no rush to get you back to shore, you will fish until you are were happy to pull in the lines. The crew’s knowledge of the lake is hard to beat. They know where, when, and how to hook the biggest catch. It might take lots of minutes before landing on a good catch, this makes the victory worth a huge celebration like a lottery win. Luckily, there is lots of beer on board. Did I say there was lunch too? Well, you bet there is. The day will end with a brief visit to one of the many islands on the lake whereof the Equator passes. Imagine that!
Costs: An average of $125 with Wild Frontiers, a sports fishing agency based in Entebbe
5. An adrenaline dose from Rafting River Nile.
Are you feeling plain old? Did plain stick maybe? If you are just bored of the relationship, then this adventure is exactly what you need. In fact, put it on your bucket list for valentine, you will not regret it! It entails overriding 8 major rapids of the river that are well spaced over a scenic 24-kilometer stretch. Imagine that!
This pushes you to the limits and enables you re-discover your strength, or just how good you are at maneuvering through challenges. All that initially seemed impossible will fizzle off. And dare we add, this could go a long way in trivializing all the hurdles that seemed unmovable. And oh, this is regardless of whether you chose the half-day or full-day excursion, you will leave with both physical and emotional rewards.
Over 1,000 who don’t know how to swim have successfully and safely rocked the adventure since its inception over 20 years back. This is partly because safety is the main concern of the rafting agencies and standards of their equipment are second to none.
Before the experience, a breakfast to fill you with sufficient energy ahead of your expedition is served. You will then be split into groups of six people each with similar appetites for adrenaline. Each will be led by a coach who has been rafting for over 10 years. He will ensure you are comfortable but most of all confident to rock the day. Shortly after boarding the raft boat at a calm stretch of the river, he will give you a safety briefing—purposed to enlighten you on how to have a trip that is free of regret and fear.
Having rafted countless times before, the safety crew knows the river very well and will keep you safe throughout. You will swiftly come to your rescue just in case you fall out of your boat after it has hit a high wave. The rapids you will counter are on the bigger side but prior to confronting each, the raft will be consulted to determine which line to pass.
This will limit the number of times your boat flips upside down. The beauty of rafting the Nile unlike an ocean or sea is that its water is not salty, it is fresh. As such, neither your eyes nor skin will be damaged. On the contrary, they will look exquisite and renewed in the end due to the healing effect of the mineral-rich water.
A photography crew will be stationed at different strategic parts of the river to get highlights of your excursion. Halfway into your adventure, you will have a lunch stopover at one of the islands surrounded by exhilarating rapids and a rich concentration of beautiful birds
Costs: The average cost for a full day raft is $125Read More
My very first mountain-climbing attempt was Mount Wati, in Arua district, West Nile. Mount Wati stands at approximately 1,250 meters above sea level and it is believed that back in the day, rebels used to hide in the mountain to monitor advancing government soldiers. Today, the mountain makes for a
great hike, a chance to bond with nature, and an opportunity to experience very scenic views from the top.
I arrived on a Friday just before sunset and set camp right next to Miriadua falls. The falls are stunning and the gushing sound made the campsite feel very homey as if to say “welcome, you are not alone.” Miridua falls made for a practical camping spot too as the cascading water created a great shower spot that evening. My trip was during the dry season and our guide, Gerald Iga, insisted that we didn’t even witness half the beauty of the waterfall, as it gushes with even more power and vigor during the rains.
The next morning, and the group I traveled with, began the much-anticipated hike. We drove about one hour from Miriadua falls to Mount Wati and started our hike from the base of the mountain at about 11 am. The climb was a test of perseverance and patience. Trekking through savannah grassland and steep rocks, we felt the hot West Nile sunrays on our backs and stopped occasionally for rest and my personal energy boost of water (mixed with glucose), groundnuts, and biscuits. Our guide was very helpful and he led us as we navigated the rocks, at some points on all fours! It’s hard to describe how thrilling and enjoyable the experience of mountain climbing is. As you climb, all vanity ceases and all dependency relies on your instincts and Mother Nature.
Climbing with a group is a bonding experience like no other. As much as you have yourself, I’d say a first-timer is more likely to summit when climbing with others. As the great African proverb goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” One step at a time as you climb and truly live in the present moment, you never quite know when exactly you will reach the top as it all depends on the group pace. We encouraged and supported each other along the way and through dry grass, through bush and thicket, through the rocks, we kept ascending.
The summit was surreal. A sense of accomplishment engulfed me as I overlooked the vast savannah. At that moment, we were standing at the highest point in West Nile! Triumph and jubilation filled the air. I rested, relaxed, took pictures, and gazed at my surroundings. I was proud of myself, and I knew that very moment would be indelibly etched in my memory.
The mountain descent was a shorter expedition though nonetheless challenging. Resisting the pull of gravity, we made our way back through the rocks and eventually onto the mainland. I completed the hike at about 6 pm and headed straight to camp to freshen up, enjoy a bonfire, and indulge my palate with local dishes of the Angara, Enyasa, and Osubi.
On Sunday, we made our way back to Kampala. Both fatigued and excited, nostalgia for Wati and the entire experience immediately sank in as we set off. On our way, we stopped at the market to buy some kitenge (East African cotton printed fabric) which is much more affordable in the West Nile region than in Kampala city. I still haven’t made a dress out of my kitenge, but when I do, I know that I’ll have something to remember my first mountain climbing experience and the glory of the West Nile.Read More
Are you in Uganda? Then you just can’t miss this awesome dose of adrenaline rush. Many even call it the top adventure to do in Uganda’s adventure capital, Jinja. It entails overriding 8 major rapids of the river that are well spaced over a scenic 24-kilometer stretch. Regardless of whether you chose the
half-day or full-day excursion, you will leave with both physical and emotional rewards.
If you are feeling stressed, the roller coaster-like ride will treat your mind and soul to internal healing and nourishment.
Over 1,000 who don’t know how to swim have successfully and safely rocked it since it began taking place over 20 years back. This is partly because safety is the main concern of the rafting agencies and standards of their equipment are second to none.
To start the day, you will be served breakfast to fill you with sufficient energy ahead of your expedition. You will then be split into groups of six people each with similar appetites for adrenaline. Each will be led by a coach who has been rafting for over 10 years. He will ensure you are comfortable but most of all confident to rock the day. Shortly after boarding the raft boat at a calm stretch of the river, he will give you a safety briefing—purposed to enlighten you on how to have a trip that is free of regret and fear.
Having rafted countless times before, our safety crew knows the river very well and will keep you safe throughout. You will swiftly come to your rescue just in case you fall out of your boat after it has hit a high wave. The rapids you will counter are on the bigger side but prior to confronting each, the raft will be consulted to determine which line to pass take through. This will limit the number of times your boat will flip upside down. The beauty of rafting the Nile unlike an ocean or sea is that its water is not salty, it is fresh. As such, neither your eyes nor skin will be damaged. On the contrary, they will look exquisite and renewed in the end due to the healing effect of the mineral-rich water.
Our photography crew will be stationed at different strategic parts of the river to get highlights of your excursion.
Halfway into your adventure, you will have a lunch stopover at one of the islands surrounded by exhilarating rapids and a rich concentration of beautiful birds.Read More
For art lovers, the recent launch of the Leonardo Opera Omnia Exhibition undoubtedly welcomes the news. The exhibition that will be running from 19th November 2019 to 5th January 2020 at the Uganda National Museum in Kitante has caused quite the rave. According to the Uganda TRead More
The African Language and names are quite dramatic. Never shying away from saying it as is seen. So, if you are searching for historical attractions with legendary stories that are reminiscent of Roman mythology, narrow down your search to Mabere Ga Nyina Mwiru. It is a cultural and Eco-tourism
gem found at one of the most impressive waterfalls of Fort Portal. You can think of Fort Portal as one of Uganda’s most scenic town, lying in the shadows of Mountain Rwenzori.
In the thick of this tour, one must follow underground trails that lead into chambers of ancient caves made of solid lava ash. Created as a result of volcanic eruptions that rocked the Virunga region over 500 years ago, these natural caves are well preserved, with zero interference from humans. And as such, they still boast beautiful rock formations. This includes a thriving system of bristling stalactites hanging from the rocks overhead, and stalagmites surging up from the ground.
Scientists maintain that they were formed when calcium carbonate reacted with water from an adjacent waterfall that flows from Uganda’s highest Mountain, Rwenzori. The bi-product of this reaction is a milky substance that drips from the “tits” of rock formations that resemble breasts. “That is how locals came to call it: Amebere Ga Nyina Mwiru, meaning the breasts of Nyinamwiru,” one Ignatius, a guide at the site notes.
Interestingly though, historic stories beg to differ; legend passed on from generations among the Batooro insist that the “breasts” were cut off from the chest of a beautiful Mutooro girl called Nyinamwiru. This followed the orders of her father King Bukuku of Toro, a decision based on a prophecy that she would one day get married and have a son, Ndahura, who would kill the king and take over his throne.
A hike through Mabere Ga Nyina Mwiru will enable you to absorb the area’s extraordinary wildlife and the fascinating history of the Bachwezi dynasty. This heroic tribe of Bantu cattle keepers lived here prior to their mysterious disappearance prior to the 19th century. As you stand by the permanent waterfall, the fascinating steaming sound and cold breeze engulf all and sundry.
Throughout this family-friendly tour, the guide will help you safely navigate through a labyrinth of caves and appreciate all their unique features. You can crown your guided visit here with a hike to the neighboring Kalyango hills and Kyenganywa hill. From their summits, you will see some of the most scenic crater lakes of Africa.
Such a gentle hike; it often jokes that even patients recovering from a hip surgery could take it on. The beauty about this is that it is also easy on the little ones and can be explored as a family.
What to know
If traveling in peak and rainy months like, bring a pair of waterproof shoes like gumboots. The trail gets quite messy with a lot of water and mud during this time. If you get wet, they will give you a chance to shower and change afterward at the cottage here. The tour costs Shs7.500Ugx for locals and Shs10.000 for non-Ugandans.Read More
Since its inception, the chair has morphed into shapes, fascinating shapes. But as you sit on your comfy couch in your sitting room today after a long day at work, in Karamoja, people swiftly sit on wooden stools after, well, a long day in the field. It’s the way of life. And the Karamajong has an attachment to these
wooden stools. To them the T-shaped masterpiece curved off tamarind trees, they are all they have.
No, they are not complaining, why would they? They are not. They are contented with them, because these wooden stools, old-fashioned as they are, perform diverse duties. Traditionally called Ameto, these wooden stools are viewed as historical tools in Karamoja. They are symbols of history. That’s why, like the rest of the world races to buy those fancy couches with cushions, the Karamojong don’t join the queue. With these wooden stools which can last as long as 15 years if kept well, they are covered. In them, they find comfort.
Talking to people in Karamoja, they will tell you heartfelt stories about these wooden stools. Each one of them has a story, a good story about the stools. Me? I use it as a pillow. For me, I use it when I am grazing my cattle. For us, we use these stools at parties. And many more stories. They could be wooden and hard in the eyes of other people, but not to the Karamojong. For them, they look at them as pillows to sleep on.
As the rest of the world rests their heads on cotton-made pillows to sleep, people in Karamoja rest their heads on these wooden stools. And all is fine with them. No one will complain about a backache or an ache in the neck. No one will complain of being an insomniac either. To them, it is a normal routine. The Karamajong are renowned cattle keepers.
As they herd their cattle for pasture, they use these wooden stools for resting on them. It’s a good sight to capture; as they sit on these stools and watch over their cattle, their hands across their stubble, wrapped in their traditional attire. It’s spectacular, the sight. Also, as they go milking; they put the stools on the ground, sit on them as they pull the cows’ udders for milk.
Even as they hold parties and different ceremonies around the region, these stools help them. They have no plastic chairs, like the rest of the world. These stools aid them to accommodate guests. To them, these stools are part of them. Yes, they could be wooden, but nothing beats history. Having it is a symbol of maturity and a ticket to mingling with elders as they discuss fundamental issues of the tribe. As they sit on them, unbeknownst to the rest of the world, the Karamajong are seated on history.Read More
Though it boasts of a 200-year-lifespan, this will be a brief one, albeit a must-read. See, the Old Kampala Mosque is one of the places you must visit whilst out here in the City. For most adventurers in pursuit of religious tourism, it is just right— offering a sophisticated taste of elegance, architecture, and brilliant artistic
inscriptions from all the six continents of the world
It should have been up and proud by the time the current Museveni-led government came into power, but the construction of the mosque stalled after Amin fled Uganda following the overthrow of his government in 1979. The politics of it all would be that the president then, Milton Obote who more Christine-inclined didn’t think this pertinent whilst Iddi Dada Amin put it on his radar. Historians tell of how fast it was erected whilst Amin was on the throne and how quickly the construction came to a screeching halt under the Obote government and the others that followed.
But its savior, the fallen Muammar Gaddafi was decades away and would come to its rescue. Aside from offering an impressive history and culture, the house of worship which was named after fallen Libyan President Muammar Gadaffi has a distinctive Minaret that stands at over 100 feet atop old Kampala Hill and 1,210M above sea level. From here, adventurers can get some much-needed fresh air from the hot day plus the most breathtaking 360 degrees of Kampala and the seven Hills of Kampala. No other hill in Kampala offers such.
And yes, today, it is one of the largest mosques in the world and seats up to 15,000 worshippers and can hold another 1,100 in the gallery and over 2,000 in its lower terrace. Its lighting is a beauty to partake in the night, adding to a glorious scene that makes for Kampala’s hills by the night.
Women need to be prepared to wear a dress and cover all their hair if visiting the Mosque (provided). While exploring the holy sanctuary is free for Ugandans, it comes at a fee of shs10,000 for non-citizens.
The memory of climbing Kagulu hill stays arched in our brains. See, just like the Great Wall of China, climbing the rocky Kagulu Hill might look easy on the eye but quite the opposite. Standing at 3,600ft above sea level, Kagulu Hill is found in Buyende District (Busoga Kingdom) about 30kms from Kamuli Town in Eastern Uganda.
It is said to be at the center of Busoga’s cultural heritage because the hill is believed to be the first migration and settlement center in the Busoga sub-region. It is said Bunyoro kings sought sanctuary and spent their leisure time on Kagulu hill. The hill also comprises caves, small crater lakes which are said to have formed the first settlement of the earlier traditional rulers of the Babiito clan, which governed Busoga. Word also has it that Prince Mukama was among the first Bunyoro traditional rulers to conquer Busoga and to settle in the caves of Kagulu hill.
The hill, with gigantic rocks, offers adventurers a challenging climbing experience. In fact for the last two years, Busoga Tourism Initiative has been organizing the ‘Kagulu Rock climbing challenge’ where people from different walks of life take part in climbing the hill to the top. The challenge is indeed a test of one’s patience and resilience because 30metres uphill, one begins to feel the intensity of the climb. Most at this point begin walking 17 View Uganda Apr-Jun 2014 on all fours and the breathing gets heavy. Some are saved by small rocks bundled together which act as a source of support on which they clutch as they climb. It is at this point that climbers are sieved. Those determined to climb to the top go ahead whereas to some this marks the end of their experience.
The steep climb eases as one approaches about 100 meters to the top. Here you can stop crouching and move on your feet although with great caution because you are almost halfway through your journey and it gets tricky stopping to look behind where you have come from.
The best news is that at this point man-made stairs come in handy to the climber’s rescue. These help you to move close to 200 meters to the top.
Considering how steep the stretch of bare rock on which the stairs are, the person who had them constructed clearly had tired climbers at the back of former president Iddi Amin who ordered the construction of the stairs in 1975. From this point onward, climbing to the top of the hill is a walkover of sorts.
The only shortcoming at this point is the one set of stairs because those making their way downhill always scramble for space with those fighting their way up. But at the end of the day, everybody is sorted either way.
Finally, at the end of the stairs stands a monument building, this signifies the end of the challenge. This is after approximately one and half hours! Many may say, one and a half hours is a short period but unless somebody has participated in the challenge or otherwise climbed Kagulu hill, they will not know how long one hour can get.
At the peak of the hill is a monument that all climbers anticipate reaching. Although ideally, the monument should mark the end of the adventure, a keen climber will notice that about 200 meters from the peak are another attraction. There are rocks beautifully piled in a way you could think gigantic men arranged them.
Aside from this, those who reach the peak can view the beautiful waterfalls that flow from the top of the rocks, the ancient historic caves, and Lake Kyoga as it joins with the River Nile. A view of the Soroti District is also clear at the peak.
All in all, climbing this rock is an experience of a lifetime. It tests your stamina and endurance but more exciting and memorable is the way one is soaked in sweat by the time they descend to the foot of the hill.
The Kagulu adventure has become an excellent experience even for those who have been taken on the challenge several times. In fact, one should not rest until they have reached the summit of Kagulu to experience the splendor of nature at its best. Whereas it is not a must to get to the top, it is a worthy try and all tourists should endeavor to reach.Read More
the capital of Bugisu. A giant in its own right. Mbale, a city located about 230 Kilometers east of Kampala is the picture of pride and calm. Yes, a beautiful show-off! But the shy kind, almost never out there but remains fulfilling. Like a gateway to ‘heaven’, the eastern town has views to behold. As soon as you step out of the Tirinyi road and step foot into the town realms, a view unfolds before you.
A hill that could pass for a mountain with a strip of waters sauntering down shows face. It seems to define the city, appearing on nearly every angle, like a guardian of sorts. No, that is not Mount Elgon, it is Wanale hill. Calm and watchful, again, a beautiful show-off. Mount Elgon, one of the highest peaks in East Africa, is about 60km north-east of Mbale, but still the pride of the east.
Until it was split into many little districts, Mbale was home to plenty of beautiful spots. Today, it sits shy surrounded by all this beauty, not too far away. For example, Mount Elgon National Park which provides a gateway for those looking to access Kapchorwa’s Siipi Falls from the east was in Mbale. Together with the luscious green Mount Elgon, a mountain that borders Kenya to the East was in Mbale, the National park is a must-see for every tourist seeking put the eastern district.
Bulegeni and Butandinga Cliffs, though 50 Km away, were still in Mbale and boy are they nature’s own little whispers of beauty. Nice that the Bufumbo and Wanala Forest Reserves stay within the district realms. And that the tomb of the colonial darling Semei Kakungulu Tombs is just 5 Km away. One of the favorites of the locals, you should try a picnic up there.
What makes Mbale work
The thing is, Mbale provides travelers with all the amenities they need to be comfortable, while still allowing for a touristic experience just minutes and no more than a few hours away. Take Simu and Sisi falls, for example, just minutes away from this buzzy eastern town.
And in case you are wondering if you can camp whilst out in the east, then worry no more, Bulukyeke-Bukigai Hills sit complete with a campsite and decent enough shelter should the outdoors turn gloomy. The place is bursting with history, a favorite of the colonialists that sought out Mbale back then. Don’t forget the Kakoro Rock Paintings, history comes to life there.
Should it be during the cultural season of circumcision, please try to seek out the Mutoto Circumcision site which luckily is within the town. Here, dance and culture and celebration, a peek into the Bugisu culture really is what happens. Young boys turn men, the drum beckons, the locals’ wiggle, and all but culture are what defines the moment. The alcohol is in plenty, it’s a festival, one permitted by the gods of Bugisu out here.
The accommodation in Mbale is tailored to fit every budget. Yes, you will find rooms from a little lower than $10 all the way to $100. Most of these places will have food and allow for quick access to the city’s nightlife spots. Street food is mostly sold alongside loud music. The restaurants serving local food should mostly be done by 9 pm, so try to catch all the locals’ meals then, unless on special orders. Don’t forget to try out Malewa, a delicacy by the Bagisu, a tribe that calls Mbale home. But also, Mbale is home to the ripe bananas, arguably the best in the country, support the vendors if you can.
When it comes to transport, private cabs for hire can be sought in nearly every public transport stage and could range from $40-100 a day. If you are looking to have the real Mbale city experience, then remember that Mbale could be one of the biggest bicycle cities in Uganda. No, for a self-ride, out there, they are called the boda-boda. They are also motorcycles, these still bear the name boda-boda. In fact, most of the riders have been licensed by the municipality, and stages are gazetted for them.
When seeking out Mbale from Kampala city, there are buses and commuter taxis headed there every single hour. These can be found in the bus park and old taxi park and a fee of no more than $6 should suffice. Enjoy the district with one of the best temperatures in the country.Read More