Mountain Biking in Uganda
For mountain biking enthusiasts, Uganda is an array of exciting and exhilarating mountain biking routes. Uganda’s weather allows for cycling any time of the year. However, most routes become a little more tricky during the rainy season. Either way, you should be prepared for an exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping mountain biking in Uganda experience.
Every region in Uganda offers mountain biking opportunities in some form or another. Whether it’s a human-made course for experienced trick riders or a steep mountain trail, mountain biking in Uganda is well established, well supported, and sure to satisfy any level of rider.
In western Uganda regions, mountain bike trails will take you through the spectacular valleys, rivers, and indigenous woodlands. Being on top of the Elgon mountains in Eastern Uganda is one of the most spectacular places. This view is unsurpassed by any other.
Uganda is relatively compact and flat, making it ideal for travel by mountain bike. New-quality bikes are not available in Uganda, so you should try to bring one with you (some airlines are more flexible than others about carrying bicycles; you should discuss this with your airline in advance).
However, if you’re prepared to look around Kampala, you can buy some decent second-hand bikes from a few private importers for as little as US$65: check the roadside shops in Katwe or shop opposite Old Kampala Police Station.
Main roads in Uganda are generally in good condition, and buses will allow you to take your bike on the roof, though you should expect to be charged extra for this. Minor roads are variable in condition, but you’re unlikely to encounter any problems in the dry season.
Several of the more far-flung Uganda destinations would be within easy reach of cyclists. Before you pack that bicycle, consider that cyclists — far more than motorists — are exposed to an estimable set of hazards on African roads. The ‘mighty-is-right’ mentality usually displayed by Ugandan drivers (see self-drive) is doubly concerning to cyclists, who must expect to be treated as second-class road users and display constant vigilance against speeding buses, etc.
It is routine for motorized vehicles to bear down on a bicycle as if it simply didn’t exist, hooting at the very last minute and forcing the panicked cyclist to veer off the road abruptly, sometimes resulting in a nasty fall. Should this not put you off, do at least ensure that your bicycle is fitted with good rear-view mirrors, a loud horn, and luminous strips and that you bring a helmet and whatever protective gear might lessen the risks.
Cycling at night is certainly not recommended.
Mountain Biking Trails in Uganda
Uganda Trails is the best-established biking safari company in Uganda that can better experience mountain biking in Uganda. The company started by Juan Dobler has excellent trails around the country and from Kigali, Rwanda, all the way. The website www.uganda-trails.com lists mountain biking trails you’ll connect with. Call +256 793382481 or write to [email protected]
The simplest and most common biking trails in Uganda are in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Ssese Island in Entebbe, and Mount Elgon NP.
Biking Trails in Bwindi
13-kilometer trail follows a well-maintained path from the park headquarters at Buhoma crossing the Ivy river via the newly constructed bridge and uphill to Nkuringo Nteko village, the southern section of Bwindi. You may see exciting forest dwellers like bushbucks, black-and-white colobus & red-tailed monkeys, chimps, various forest birds, and forest elephants on the trail.
The 4-7 hour bike trip departs in the morning and is organized by either Buhoma Community Rest Camp under the “Ride for a Woman“ community development initiative or Nkuringo Walking Safaris.