Off the beaten track in Uganda
Uganda is the pearl of Africa and extremely divers. To explore Uganda like Winston Churchill or John Hanning Speke it is advisable to add one of these great" off the beaten Track" options into your itinerary!
Hereby our top 12!!!!
1. Pearls Of Uganda
Pearls of Uganda (http://pearlsofuganda.org) are authentic cultural community attractions and experiences located throughout Uganda, the country described by Winston Churchill as the "Pearl of Africa"! When planning a trip to Uganda be sure to visit these pearls to experience real cultural encounters that will be an inspiring and memorable addition to your Ugandan wildlife safari. Cultural and community encounters include drumming performances and lessons, village walks, medicinal plant demonstrations, handcraft workshops and shopping, community-run accommodations and restaurants
2. Rock Climbing and Abseiling in Sipi Falls
On the foot of Mount Elgon you can find Sipi Falls; A paradise full of flowers, birds, waterfalls and creeks. At least 3 waterfalls can be visited in a full day hike. Walking in this area must feel like being Adam or Eve, so make sure you don't eat from the wrong apple! To make your trip even more active you can go Rock climbing or abseiling from a 100 meter high waterfall! Let's go wild!
3. Two day rafting Tour on the Nile
Active people just can't miss the spectacular rafting trip on the white water of the Nile. Most people don't know you can do a 2-day tour as well. You might not pass the wildest rapids as you find on the general tour, but the experience of exploring an undiscovered part of the Nile with its beautiful surroundings makes this trip spectacular; Maybe even more because of the night of camping on the side of the Nile! Let's go extreme!
4. Horseback riding along the Nile
When you're in or near Jinja anyway you don't want to miss the Horseback riding. Being for 2 or 3 hours on these great horses is just one of these special experiences. The Horses are very well trained and well taken care of by its Australian owners. There are horses for both inexperienced riders as experienced drivers. The view on the Nile is great and people waving at you when you pass their local villages will just make you smile. Let's go cowboy!
5. Three - Day canoe trekking on Lake Bunyonyi
Spectacular!!! What about a three-day combination of canoeing and hiking around Lake Bunyonyi, far away from touristy areas. You get to know seven islands, stay with local families, meet the Batwa ('Pygmies') and admire views of volcanoes. Accommodation is tented and food is a mixture of traditional meals, fruits, and picnic, but as well luxury and restaurant cuisine. Let's go Canoe!!!
6. Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley is maybe the only national park left in the whole continent where you can have the park all by yourself. We believe that safari's in this park must be like safari's in Kenya 35 years ago! The great savanna landscapes and the mountains on the background make you feel like being at the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater at the same time. If you go for bush camping you have a good chance of being visited by lions and jackal.
If you meet more than 3 different cars on one day you're unlucky! Kidepo hosts as well most animal species of all national parks in Uganda, including lion, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, leopard, ostrich and cheetah. Kidepo is for sure the best kept secret in Uganda! Let's go back in time!!!
7. Trekking Mount Elgon
Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano with the largest surface area in the world (50 km by 80km) and a caldera which covers over 40km at the top of the mountain. The highest peak is Wagagai, 4.321 m. It lies at the border with Kenya in Eastern Uganda. The full trekking circuit to the peaks takes 5 days to complete, following Sasa or Sipi Trails.
We organize this tour from Sipi falls and full board accommodation before and after the trekking is included at the great Sipi River lodge that is viewing one of the many waterfalls in Sipi. 1 day of hiking in Sipi Falls is included as well to acclimatize. You need a total of 6 days. Everything is included, so you only have to bring good clothes, your camera and eh... yourself!! The best times to climb Mount Elgon are during the dry seasons of June-August and December-March. No technical climbing equipment or skills are required to reach the main caldera and the peaks, while on the way, a choice of trails are interesting because of the unique flora and fauna, waterfalls, lakes, caves, gorges and hot springs. Let's go hiking!
8. Rwenzori Mountain Trekking
The Rwenzori Mountains are a world heritage site with the most spectacular mountains of this continent. With more vegetation, endemic plants and bird species and more snow on the peaks it's much more spectacular than Kilimanjaro. It's tougher as well! Before the guides and routes were not as safe and professional as it should be but you now have a chance for the first time to see this fantastic scenery in a safe way! Matoke Tours works together with Rwenzori Trekking Services and offers many different treks.
Accommodation is in 12x20 foot 8 person permanent tents with a ten foot annex. Stretchers and mattresses are provided but you need to bring a warm sleeping bag and clothes. All treks include accommodation (camping) and meals. Equipment such as crampons, boots, harnesses, sleeping bags, woolen beanies (hat), gloves, and raincoats are available for hire.
* Options are 1 day trek, 2 day trek, 3 day trek, 4 day trek, 5 day trek, 6 day trek, 8 day trek to the peak of Mount Baker (4620 meters) and a 10 day trek to Marherita Peak (5109 meters). Let's go exploring!
9. Visit a traditional village (Namwendwa)
To meet Uganda you have to meet the people. There are several cultural programs available in Uganda, but most of them are at touristic places where many people choose to go there as a second activity. Matoke Tours developed in cooperation with Sawadee and the Dairy farmers association in Kamuli a tour whereby we specifically take an active part in their community. We don't SEE a village, but we EXPERIENCE together their way of life!
We camp in the garden of a farmer, we cook together the local food, we visit the school, we walk to the Gin (Waragi) maker, visit a local bar and we make a bike tour through the village. All guides are from the village itself and the whole community is benefitting from your visit. We guarantee you to have the warmest welcome in your life. It's just impossible to leave without a smile from ear to ear! Let's go traditional!
10. Full habituation day with the wild chimps of Kibale forest
Chimpanzee Habituation Uganda in Kibale National Park is a lifetime experience which is unique as it allows you to join Kibale's researchers and habituators during their daily activities with the chimpanzees. You will spend a full day with your closest relatives and it will be an once in a lifetime experience!
Chimpanzees have a fission-fusion community structure, which means that they are not in constant contact with one another and often forage in small parties or even alone. In order to keep abreast of the movements of the rest of the community (who may be over 1km away), chimpanzees use loud vocalizations and drumming on large tree buttresses as a means of communicating with the other members of their group. They are most vocal early in the morning and late in the afternoon, and researchers are able to take advantage of this fact for contacting them. Let's meet your relatives!
11. Sleep in a tree House in the middle of the forest
Not for everyone, but the real adventurous people don't want to miss out on this. Officially part of a lodge, but 1 km walking away from this lodge -deep into the forest- you can find a small and basic tree-house on 10 meters height! Be ready for a lot of forest noise at night and monkeys visiting you. Sometimes even the chimps!!!! Let's go back to basic!
12. Visit the Karamajong in Pian Upe Game reserve
Not many people know that Uganda is hosting traditional tribes. In the South -East of Uganda you can visit the Pian Upe Game reserve where you can find the Karamajong living in a beatifull setting of savanne with dramatic mountains on the background. The Karamajong live in traditional boma's together with their cattle. The Karamajong is related to Maasai in Kenya and dresses simular. This is at the moment the only save place to visit the Karamajong and to do something that less then 0.5% of all visitors of Uganda is doing. Let's go Karamajong!