MOUNTAIN BIKING AT SIPI RIVER LODGE
By Will Clark
Real Mountain biking on Real Mountains!!
the years mountain biking has grown to become one of the most
popular sports in the world, offering something for everyone
- for some it’s just a way to keep fit or commute to
work, for others it’s an adrenaline rush taking on serious
trails at high speed!
biking in Uganda has been around for many years with many
outfits running trips around the country with a mix of bike
rentals and organised tours. Whilst all these trips are fantastic
in their own right, there hasn’t yet been much that
offers what I would consider ‘proper’ mountain
biking. This is where Sipi Falls and Mount Elgon come in!
on the side of a mountain offers Sipi Falls and the surrounding
area almost endless possibilities for biking with a mix of
trails over various distances and varying levels of difficulty.
Over the last few years of exploring we have opened up a few
main routes in the area. The nature of the routes is a downhill
single track – mostly compacted
local trails which are perfect for riding and almost always
empty of people – and murram
trails to climb back up. We have a great new route that after
climbing up to a cliff band and crossing the river, takes
you into the National Park, through the forest and back down
through the villages on some challenging trails. The biking
in itself is incredible, add the fact that the scenery is
some of the most stunning in the entire country and you’ve
got the perfect combination for achieving the best day ever!
is that whilst the trails can be challenging they actually
cater for all abilities – it’s
up to you how fast you ride and you can always jump off the
bike and walk certain sections that may be a bit too much
lodge there are currently just three bikes for hire although
we are making a plan to bring in a fleet of quality bikes.
For now we recommend bringing your own bike. Once up in Sipi
we’ll point you in the right direction or if you prefer
we’ll send you out with a guide who can show you the
last two years we’ve hosted the ‘Annual Sipi Falls
mountain bike race’, a cross-country race over a 19km
course. This event is slowly growing in popularity and is
a great weekend event. The fastest time was posted last year
with a time of 1hr 26mins over a mixed course of technical
downhill some steep climbs and fast descents. It’s a
relaxed atmosphere and we really try and encourage everyone
to join in. The winner gets a bottle of whisky and we have
a champagne podium for the top finishers!!
mountain biking in Sipi Falls is still in its infancy we see
unlimited potential in where it can go. We have the perfect
terrain for all types of biking. There are unlimited routes
for exploratory rides through the villages, short easy routes
for the whole family, or for the serious downhill riders there
are 100’s of km of ridges and cliffs to explore and
open up new routes. Another exciting possibility is to climb
Mt Elgon with your bike! The route up Mt Elgon is a trail,
not too steep and technical (depending which route you take),
so my next trip is going to be hiking up and riding down!
That’s a downhill route starting at 4321m and finishing
back in Sipi at 1795m!! That seems like way too much fun for
me, and a bonus is you’ll get back down so quickly that
you’ll save money on park entry fees!!
you’re into your biking get yourself here and check
out the trails – you’ll
be wondering why you hadn’t been here before!! If you’re
new to the sport then why not give us a call and we’ll
show you the ropes in one of the most stunning parts of the
River Lodge offers a wide variety of accommodation, a great
whisky collection and secure parking for your bike! So call
us today, get yourself out East and enjoy the good times!
River Lodge is 3 hours drive from Jinja near the Kenyan border.