Kasese, Uganda, came to prominence as a copper mining town, but the closure of the Kilembe Copper Mines mean that modern-day Kasese is a little past its sell-by date. However, it is still visited by travelers who are making their way to the Rwenzori Mountains and Queen Elizabeth National Park, for which Kasese is the gateway town.
Located nearly three hundred fifty kilometers west of Kampala, it's a six-hour journey on public bus, and just an hour from Port Portal. Kilembe, at the foot of the mountains, is a thirty-minute ride in a shared car and Katunguru, for Queen Elizabeth National Park is one hour away.
You can stay at a hostel in Kasese, Uganda, but most travelers wanting to tackle the mountain hikes move on to Kilembe village twelve kilometers away. Kilembe is interesting to walk around, as it was a mining town. Now, you can tour the derelict buildings, though some have been refurbished for housing. It's still a spookily empty place, but it has a trekkers' hostel, from where the compulsory guides plus porters and equipment can be organized for overnight hikes in the mountains. The hostels in Kasese, Uganda, and Kilembe can also organize the necessary permits and fees.
The Rwenzori Mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the tallest mountain range in Africa. Treks from one to nine days are possible, though the Weissmann Trail at six days is the most popular, but try and avoid April and October, the rainy season. However, it does tend to rain on the mountains at all times of year, so prepare for wet and muddy conditions.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is where four of the Big Five can possibly been seen. It also harbors a staggering five hundred bird species as well as crocodiles, chimpanzees, and several species of antelope. The black-maned, tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector are world famous. Katunguru village does have some cheap accommodation options, but the nearest hostels are in Kasese and Kilembe.
Hi, I'm Londonroad,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Kasese hostels. Welcome.