cycling and mountain biking in Uganda (1)
Western Uganda offers breathtakingly beautiful terrain for mountain biking through valleys, rivers, and indigenous plants. PHOTO/SAFARIFRANK

In western Uganda, mountain biking is possible through valleys, rivers, and indigenous plants that are both jaw-dropping and breathtakingly beautiful.

There are some incredible mountain biking routes in western Uganda, including riding through valleys, rivers and flora that is both breathtaking and breathtakingly beautiful.

Uganda offers a wide variety of fascinating and enjoyable mountain riding and cycling tracks. As a result, riding is possible throughout the year in Uganda, thanks to the country’s temperate climate. 

During the wet season, however, many paths become more difficult to navigate. You should be prepared for a thrilling, adrenaline-pumping mountain riding trip in Uganda no matter what.

Is mountain biking considered cycling?

Biking and cycling almost always involve the use of a bicycle as a transportation means. When it’s claimed that these two words have identical meanings, why do some people insist on using one over the other instead?

Let’s start with biking

An essential component of biking is the use of a bicycle. Ride the bike on paved or unpaved roads, bike trails in the mountains, or even rugged terrain. 

Some people use the term “biking” to explicitly refer to mountain biking, and this is generally connected with riding a heavier duty bicycle on harder terrain.

For the most part, mountain riding is done in natural settings such as forests, mountains, or parks. Initially, it was a recreational activity in California. 

The earliest bikers to participate in the sport were known as cruisers. An upright seat and balloon tyres are included in the single-speed model. It has fewer gears, making it ideal for those who just want to ride and not worry about shifting gears. 

For mountain biking and off-road biking, mountain bikes are increasingly popular in Uganda.

Then what is cycling?

Any activity that requires riding a two-wheeled bicycle (or a unicycle or a tricycle) is considered a form of cycling.

While cycling can be an enjoyable activity, it is also a common mode of transportation around the globe. 

As a result, cycling has become a popular tourist activity as well. Cyclotourism, or bicycle tourism, is the practice of cycling around a particular location.

Cycling is also a popular low-impact type of exercise that has numerous health advantages

Because it has been shown to promote a healthy weight, boost mental health, increase coordination and balance, strengthen the core and legs, and reduce the risk of heart disease, cycling is a popular form of exercise for many individuals.

As much as these terms are often used interchangeably, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the terminology used by bicycle enthusiasts and riders. 

It may not matter to some people, but in others, even the most minute distinctions matter.

Cycling and mountain biking activities in Uganda

In some way, every region in Uganda offers mountain biking options. 

For the case of mountain biking, in Uganda, it’s well-established, well-supported, and sure to satisfy riders of all levels, whether they’re on a man-made course or a steep mountain track.

It’s possible to go mountain biking in western Uganda and ride through valleys, rivers, and indigenous plants that are both breathtaking and breathtakingly beautiful. 

It’s hard to beat the Elgon hills in eastern Uganda for beauty. All other views pale in comparison to this one.

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Mountain biking is available in every region of Uganda in some form. PHOTO/The Explorations Company

Mountain Biking and Cycling Trails in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable ForestEntebbe’s Ssese Island, Uganda’s Mount Elgon National Park and Lake Victoria island cycling have the easiest and most popular riding routes.

  • Lake Victoria island cycling 

A lovely location free of traffic, pollution, and hustlers is only a 30-minute boat journey away from hectic Kampala. 

You’ll pass through charming towns and picturesque landscapes on your way through some of Uganda’s top mountain bike trails in this area. 

On the route, you’ll encounter a mixture of big gravel fire roads and single trails. 

Genuine Uganda is waiting to be discovered when you meet the warm people who live there! About a 20-kilometre ride at a leisurely pace is ideal for beginners.

  • Mount Elgon Biking Trails

To go to the town of Kapchorwa from the Sipi trading centre, you can ride your bike up Chema hill. 

Views of waterfalls and the Karamoja plains can be seen along this 1.5-hour hike. Sipi River Lodge has bicycles for rent.

  • Bwindi biking trails

To go to Nkuringo Nteko village, the southern area of Bwindi, you’ll have to cross the Ivy River over a recently constructed bridge and climb up the mountain for 13 kilometres. 

As you walk through the forest, keep an eye out for interesting creatures like bushbucks, red-tailed monkeys, colobus and black-and-white monkeys. 

You may also see a variety of forest birds and forest elephants.

Both Buhoma Community Rest Camp and Nkuringo Walking Safaris offer a morning bike ride that lasts between four and seven hours. 

Ride the rift in western Uganda

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For mountain biking, the sport is well-established and well-supported in Uganda, so it’s sure to satisfy riders of all levels, whether it’s on a road or a steep mountain track. PHOTO/SAFARIFRANK

Travellers and tourists can join in on this. 

Aiming to immerse all levels of riders into the stunning surroundings, the organisers have dubbed this event ‘Africa’s Most Adventurous Cycling Event’.

About 70-100 bikers are expected to participate in the event, which takes place on the floor of the Rift Valley, among impala antelope and, from a distance, buffalo and elephants, into the cool, lush foothills of the highlands above, where monkeys swing from trees and tea plantations thrive.

The ‘up course’, which begins at Uganda’s lowest point, 615 metres, and ends at the country’s highest peak, 1685 metres, offers a unique challenge. 

Downing into the valley and observing how it unfolds in front of you is what the ‘down course,’ as it is called. Cyclists who take the ‘beast course’ ride down and back up the mountain. 

A local clay track makes up around 85 per cent of the route, with a mountain road on asphalt making up the remaining 15 per cent.

This is an adventure bike, and while the clay trails are excellent, there are also rockier, more challenging sections. Cyclo-cross, gravel or mountain bikes are the best option. 

Riders can bring their bikes, or they can rent them at the event.

Conclusion

To see more of Uganda, tourists and travellers can extend their trips before or after by opting to go for cycling or mountain biking in Uganda. 

The beauty of all this is that the activity is possible throughout the year, all you need is to either rent a bike or come with yours from home.

Last but not least, for an all-inclusive tour experience in Uganda, view our guide to White water raftingBungee JumpingVisit Mount MuhaburaGorillas in UgandaSsese Islands, Cost of Gorilla TrekkingMurchison Falls National ParkLake Mburo National Park and Semuliki National Park.