Budadiri to Sasa River Camp
This day hike takes you from Budadiri up to Sasa River Camp inside the National Park, and back. The round trip is over 20 kilometers making this ideal for the really energetic. If you don’t fancy giving your legs such a workout, no worries, there are ways to cut the distance down by half or more.
Stay an overnight at Budadiri
Fix a turn around time and go along the trail as far as you can comfortably in that time.
Since the hike takes you inside the National Park, you need to organise a permit and a guide. Conveniently, there’s a Park office in Budadiri. Make the arrangements the day prior to the hike, but pay on the day (that way, you can pull out if it rains).
Make sure you get an early start. After about 5km up the steep path from Budadiri trading center (either on foot or boda), you will turn left up small paths through many fields and across a stream until you reach the Cliffs of Death, the boundary of the national park. (Optionally you can turn around here and avoid paying – though a guide is still highly recommended.)
So many Beautiful flowers and plants. The cliffs can be muddy and of course steep – however, with the ladders (not vertical) there is no mortal danger, but watch your step. (It is not recommended to cross this section in heavy rain.)
Above the cliffs another world awaits. A canopy of trees with monkeys swinging, vibrant birdsong with a mini dirt highway cut through the thick ferns on the jungle floor. After an hour of moving steadily up, you will reach a clear zone with long green and silver bamboo punctuating the chest-high foliage.
From here, it is a pleasant stroll to Sasa River Camp (where trekkers usually camp the first night), right across the chilly river.
It’s a a long way down, the same way you went up. A good pair of boots and a walking stick can ease the journey somewhat.
How to get there?
From Mbale (about four hours east of Kampala): from the clocktower at the center of town, head up Kumi road. Head to Budadiri. The drive is about forty-five minutes.
Where to stay?
Rose’s Last Chance is where most travellers stay. Simple rooms, good food and right opposite the National Park office. Rose can also help you get organised for the hike.