The group at the school at the base of the mountain, before our hike.

Today I hiked Mount Wanale, which is just outside of our town of Mbale. It was the most challenging hike I’ve ever done (6864 feet, 2092 meters (Mt. Monadnock in NH was my highest before that, 3165 feet or 965 meters), it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and some parts were quite scary! Click on any of the pictures to see a bigger version.


Nat. Geo. ladder. Yikes. They didn’t tell me about this!


I wish I would have got more pics of the ladder, but once I was up it, I got away from it as soon as I could!


This ladder…. which I call 100% national geographic style, was about 20 feet tall, made with a whole bunch of sticks. Who knows how hold it was, and there didn’t seem to be any nails. At the ladder is where I said to my self, “Oh yeah, of course this isn’t deemed safe by the US Parks Dept or anything”. I was very scared, but only minutes earlier was I telling another girl, who was afraid of the heights and the steepness, that it’s all in the mind and you just have to power on and think about what you’re doing, not the risks. So, I tried to listen to my own advice, but I was thinking “Someone could die on this!”

On the way up we mostly just saw Africans who were working, farming, hiking up the mountain to get somewhere and even carrying big loads on their head. Even carrying the loads up the ladder!


This is us at the top.


At the top, with the waterfall in the back ground.

There was a beautiful water fall coming from the top of the mountain, a nice, cool stream with several pools, where lots of kids and young people were playing and having a great time.

river 1

Nice cool water.

river 2

Great place to sit or lay down.

me and some kids in the river

Me and some kids in the river at the top.

Oh yeah, and the Taata Kids dog, Koby, came with us! We didn’t want him to, but there was no good way to force him to stay home. Luckily he never tired and he went all the way up and down the mountain! He was carried up the ladder by one of the more experienced hikers.

me and koby at the top

Me and Koby, sitting in the shade at the top.


Mount Wanale, also known as Wanale Ridge, outside Mbale Uganda.

On the way down we took a different way, which seemed more friendly to people like us, aka, no death defying ladders. On this route we passed many people heading up the mountain for a day of fun. Many women were barefoot (sometimes carrying their shoes, I don’t get it) and some were wearing sandals that seemed totally inappropriate for hiking.

me and view down

See the walking paths down there? Those paths are about half way up the mountain.

me, turban and mountain

My new hat.


On the way down.

wanale ridge

Wanale Ridge, aka Mount Wanale, at the base as we’re leaving.

I definitely plan to hike Mount Wanale again. Some of us are even planning a camping trip at the top, which will put checks on two of my bucket list items: camping in Africa and camping on top of a mountain. SOOOO excited.



Thanks for sharing. Am looking to do this hike myself this weekend. I would hike to know how long the hike takes going both and down the mountain


It’s not too bad. Depends where you start and what kind of shape you’re in! From the edge of Mbale, it could be 3 hours to the top and maybe 1.5 hours down and back. You’ll want water and maybe some snacks!


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