Do you want to ride the Raddest trails in East Africa…
Ok here’s what you need to know…
I’ll give you a brief description and then links to Trailforks for the routes or trail maps. If you don’t have trailforks then download the app and then download the UGANDA country map.
I’ve been riding in Sipi Falls and the Mount Elgon region since circa 2010. There are a few main trails that I ride and that I’ve developed, and then a few different loops you can do. The main areas to ride are directly from Sipi Falls, with an Enduro zone called mini-Utah next to Fingers Rock, to get to this you ride 4km up the Kapchorwa road and turn off in the trading centre of Chema. There are 5 main trails here but quite a few different variations, you can ride down and push back up and ride the rest or ride down, boda around and do another full lap. They’re called, Black Mamba, Manson’s Fairytale, Stoney, Tabon Aret.
There are loads more trails all around so just explore and have fun! A note on these trails. They will still be there as they are for the most part walking and donkey trails, but there’s been no trail maintenance since early 2019 so they could be severely eroded from the huge rains in 2019. So take it steady. Please stop and say hello to everyone along here and tell them Mr William says hi!
You can do a nice more chill circuit going up from Sipi and get to the edge of the national park and visit the top of the third waterfall, unfortunately not as pretty as it once was due to the very controversial development of a water project there. Also from here there is a cool ride on the upper road to Kapchorwa with great view the whole way.
Teryet / Mulungwa. (Kapchorwa)
For the ultimate Enduro day tour then get an early start and drive up through Kapchorwa to Teryet where the Ugandan government is building (very slowly) a high altitude training camp for the runners. This place is the home of Olympic champions and you’ll see them all out training in a morning! Start in Teryet and park / offload outside the training camp, it’s best to stop here depending on your car, as the road beyond is crazy steep and in poor condition. From here ride 3km on the road it goes down then up and you’ll end up in Mulungwa, say hi to Jackson and take some tea and chapati in the duka. From here you can see all the way off the mountain to your destination. Ngenge almost 30km away and nearly 2km below. Once you start from Mulungwa you’ll see a conical pyramid like mound on the savannah below – that’s Ngenge. Have a driver meet you there, it’s about 1hr45min drive back to Sipi, or go onward to Pian Upe NP or Moroto.
The trail itself is epic – it’s a mix of single track, fast flowy, drops, rocks, technical rock slabs, then a few fast fire road sections to link things up, past houses, through fields, under banana plantations across streams, all ridable and endless descent, when you hit the main road to Kenya stop at the local duka for a soda and some biscuits then keep going. That will bring you out to the plateau and then Dragon Lady. Read about this trail in the blog post ‘Photo Epic: Elgon Enduro’. Plan to take around 4 hours for the descent.
If you need a driver to drive your own car for you then use Ronnie or Michael. Both are good drivers and have done this route multiple times– Ronnie usually drives Matatu’s so can be busy so for both call ahead a day or two to book them in. Guide price is 40,000 ugx for a day of driving. (Ronnie +256 703 816 074) (Micheal +256 700 244 492). If you want to use a taxi then call Mr Bush +256 754 479 125, not sure how much he will charge, but he’s also done the route before so knows the way.
Download the route from Trailforks and enjoy!! The two main trails are called Chameleon and Dragon Lady. this is the route here:
Karamoja. Moroto. Mt Moroto.
Firstly if you don’t know anything about Karamoja and the Karamajong then watch this:
Karamoja is a special place, with incredible people, I feel lucky to have helped develop some trails there are to call some of the folks there friends. For all things Karamoja, for tours, travel, accommodation bike hire, good coffee and good people then Kara-Tunga is the place to be and Theo Vos is the man to see!
OK I’ll talk about the trails.
For some XC routes then talk to Kara-Tunga – there are loads of options and you can do some cool cultural tours visiting manyata’s and cattle markets as you ride.
For Enduro fun check the routes on trailforks here:
That will give you the main zone, but it seems that all the trails are no longer on the map. Basically you can ride out from Moroto town, turn in at the seminary and take a wide loop around the base of the mountain which will bring you up to a school via a few manyatas. Ride through the school and up behind their toilet block onto the hill. You’ll get to a cool traversing trail that will feed you along the escapement and there are a number of super fun short enduro style trails coming off here. Names such as ‘Julius’ magic’, ‘Pat’s $40 hooker’ and more. It’s a cool zone to explore I’ll give you a screenshot of the trails here and maybe share a proper map later (I can’t find it right now.) Your best plan is to hook up with Kara-Tunga and take a guide – perhaps Julius if he’s available – as these guys helped dig the trails and know the zone. It’s a great way to spend a day. Note that it get’s super hot and dusty and windy here, plan accordingly!
I’ve lots of great friends in Kenya and used to drive over multiple times a year to ride and race.
There are a number of zones with great trails and a number of zones with the potential to be incredible.
I’ve ridden the most around Iten where Simon Blake of Cycle East Africa has been based for years developing great quality trail. It’s called the Home of Champions, it’s where all the best distance runners train including World Record holder and legend, Eliud Kipchoge. Iten is a cool place to be, looking out over the Kerio Valley, it’s a badass place to paraglide too. Just a RAD place all round, and cheap to stay!! You can also fly into Eldoret which is just an hours drive away. Check the trails on trailforks here:
A recent addition and favourite trail is BOW – upper and lower – what a great way to descend to the valley! Epic!!
If you want more info get in touch with Simon:
Only an hour outside Nairobi Kijabe has great trails and an annual Enduro, check out some of the trails here:
Actually I’ve never ridden here, but it’s also close to Nairobi, has an annual Enduro and looks ace! Find it on Trail Forks just South West of Nairobi on the Map.
My buddy Pete lives out on the coast and has been developing trails out here for the last few years.
In 2019 Rwanda had it’s first Enduro – it’s a cool story how that came about – read about it in the News Feed the trails were built by legendary trail builder Rene Damseaux of RAD Rides MTB and are super super cool. The trails are basically right in town, they’re all in the one zone and you can moto-shuttle (small motorbike taxi) back up the tarmac hill to the top. There are some trails on the other hill too but not marked on trailforks. The trails may have been washed out, but if you’re in Kigali I highly recommend you check these out. Link below: