Getting to Kagulu hill in Buyende district was pretty easy, google maps did it all. It was a smooth drive from Jinja town, my choice of lodging. Before driving to Kagulu, I enjoyed a cup of Kombi Koffee and a rolex to warm up the muscles. Then I hit the road. Along the way, you will see several impressive hills that you might think are Kagulu hill, but they aren’t. Keep driving!
On arrival at 6pm, I had one hour before dark and needed to spend it wisely. Based on advice from the guides, I took the quick steep climb along the slopes of the hill, directly to the top section of the staircase. For an unfit soul like myself, getting to the top was gruesome. Only dare to look back if you aren’t afraid of heights!
At the top, one has a clear view of: the surrounding vegetation in Buyende district where this hill is located; Lake Kyoga and Serere in one direction; and Kamuli and Kaliro districts to the other direction. Unfortunately, the guides are not as knowledgeable as you would expect, and appeared to simply make up stories along the way. If you are interested in the history behind this hill, it’s best to read up online.
With only a few minutes of day light left, and as part of my energy saving strategy, I took a quick 360 spin to take it all in. Going down the stairs was a slow tiring process punctuated by multiple sit-down stops and a chance to capture the sunset.
If you plan to hike Kagulu hill, try getting there by 5 pm so that your climb is not rushed. And for the physically unfit like myself, taking the stairs two-way is a wiser decision. At the top, take time to walk around and visit the secret caves. Start the descent by 7 pm as the sunset is best viewed from the lower section of the staircase.
Wrap it up by paying the guides the agreed amount (always negotiate before the hike). I used a guide from Century Heritage Kagulu (0772220011/0700575013).