Mountains in Uganda, at a glance

Uganda’s most popular mountain range is the Rwenzoris. The Rwenzoris are accessible via 2 trekking routes: the Kilembe Trail (Southern Circuit), and the Central Circuit.

At Brilliant, we only organise treks for the Kilembe Trail because it offers the best views of the soaring peaks, stunning lakes, and glaciers.

Located on the Ugandan-Kenyan border, Mount Elgon is an extinct shield volcano which first erupted more than 24 million years ago. Wagagai Peak (4,321m) is the eight highest peak in Africa.

Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura, and Mount Sabyinyo are a part of the Virunga Mountains. This chain of volcanoes is located on the border between Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda.

Mountains in Uganda

Mount Stanley

The tallest of the six peaks in the Rwenzori Mountains, Mount Stanley towers over southwestern Uganda. With a height of 5,109m, Mount Stanley is the third highest mountain in Africa, after Kilimanjaro (5,895m) and Mount Kenya (5,199m).

A trek to the summit, Margherita Peak, is physically demanding and you need some experience in high-altitude trekking. Experience in ice-hiking also helps, but is not essential as you will be taught by the trekking team.  

A typical Mount Stanley trek involves 8 days of hiking. You will ascend to the summit of Margherita Peak on day 6.

Mountains in Uganda

Mount Baker

Mount Baker is the sixth highest mountain in Africa and its summit, Edward Peak, reaches a height of 4,844m. The summit was first reached by an expedition led by Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi, in 1906.

Mount Baker, Mount Stanley, and Mount Speke form a triangle that encloses the upper Bujuku Valley.

Until recent years, Mount Baker had a glacier. However, in 2020, Klaus Thymann’s expedition confirmed that Mount Baker and Mount Speke no longer have glaciers.

The summit of Mount Baker is reached via Hunwick’s Camp. The ascent from Hunwick’s Camp to the top is around five hours and the descent takes 3 hours.

Mountains in Uganda

Discover the Rwenzori Mountains

Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon is known for its tremendous size and its excellent hiking trails. Mount Elgon has the largest surface area of any extinct volcano in the world.

Trekking at Elgon requires no specialist climbing equipment, and this makes it a popular alternative to trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains.

Mount Elgon National Park is home to 2 tribes, the Sabiny and the Bagisu. The Bagisu tribe revere Mount Elgon as the physical manifestation of their founding father, Masaba.

Mount Elgon is home to a vast array of wildlife, from elephants and buffalo on its lower slopes, to primates in its dense montane forest. Mount Elgon National Park is also a birder’s paradise as it is home to over 300 species of bird, including the African blue flycatcher, and the African goshawk.

Mountains in Uganda

Mount Muhabura

Mount Muhabura is an extinct volcano with a height of 4,127m and it is visible from Lake Mutanda. Muhabura’s elevation makes it the third highest of the eight major mountains in the Virunga Mountains, a branch of the Albertine Rift Mountains.

Mount Muhabura means ‘the guide’ in Kinyarwanda, the official language of Rwanda.

Hiking is the major activity at Mount Muhabura. Unlike Mount Baker and Mount Stanley, this steep hike usually takes a single day. Trekking at Muhabura is an excellent choice for adventurers who lack experience in high-altitude trekking.

The trek is demanding, but it provides spectacular views of Lake Edward, Bwindi, and the peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Mount Muhabura in the background of Lake Mutanda.

Mount Gahinga

Nestled between Mount Muhabura and Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga (3,473m) is smaller than its neighbours.

Derived from the Kinyarwanda word for ‘a small pile of stones’, Gahinga has a gentle hiking trail that is suitable for beginners.

Gahinga is known for its iconic bamboo forests which house a vibrant range of wildlife, including the endangered mountain gorilla

Mount Gahinga has a swampy caldera on its peak which is around 180m wide. Gahinga Lodge is a superb base for your adventures on the mountain.

Lake Mutanda is a freshwater lake in southwestern Uganda.

Mount Sabyinyo

Mount Sabyinyo is locally known as ‘Old Man’s Teeth’ due to the summit's resemblance of worn teeth, and the summit has religious significance for local tribes.

Sabyinyo is the oldest volcano of the Virunga Mountains and its height is 3,669m.
Sabyinyo offers several hiking trails which have varying levels of difficulty.

The trails follow the mountain’s three peaks, the first of which is the Sabyinyo Gorge trail. This trail takes you through dense vegetation, and it is a popular route for bird watchers.

Trekking up to the second peak will bring you to the Ugandan-Rwandan border.

The third peak is the most physically demanding, but the trail intersects the Ugandan, Rwandan, and Congolese borders. Taking this route will allow you to stand in all 3 nations simultaneously.

The starlight by the shores of Lake Mutanda.

Thinking about visiting Uganda?

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