14 days - Rwenzori Hike Program, Savannah And Gorillas

Destination: Uganda


Duration

14 Days 13 Nights


From

4,550 USD

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The Rwenzoris remain relatively unknown and rarely visited, and thus provide an unparalleled opportunity to explore East Africa’s mountain wilderness. There are two main trekking routes available which follow the Bujuku and Mubuku rivers, on the eastern side of the mountains. These can be combined to create a challenging circular trek through the heart of the range.

The Rwenzoris, also known as the Mountains of the Moon, lie on the border of Uganda and Congo/Zaire. Unlike the other major mountainous regions of Uganda, the Rwenzoris are not volcanic in origin but originated from uplift associated with the formation of the western Rift Valley. The highest point in the Rwenzoris (and the third highest point in Africa) is Margherita Peak (5109m) on Mt Stanley.

The Rwenzoris are noted for their vegetation-they support a luxuriant and dense forest with abundant flowering plants and the largest and most extensive stands of alpine ‘big game plants’ in East Africa. Here the giant lobelias and groundsels are even bigger than on the other major East African mountains.

Forest mammals found here include tree hyraxes, blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus, black-fronted duikers and the red duikers (endemic to the Rwenzori).

Excellent birdwatching features conspicuous regal and purple-breasted sunbirds, francolins, olive pigeons and Rwenzori turacos.



Day 1: Arrive, meet & assist.

Arrive and go through immigration procedures; upon exit, we shall be waiting for you to welcome, assist and conduct your transfer to your accommodation at The Boma – Entebbe or Similar.

Transfer Time: About 10 Minutes

Meal Plan: Bed Only


Day 2: Entebbe/Kampala - Kasese

After an early breakfast, check-out, shopping in town and currency conversion among other quick requirements. Get on board and take the journey heading westward to Fort Portal. Continue with the scenic journey to the base of the mountain and overnight at Equator Snow Lodge. All meals and bed at Equator Snow Lodge.

Transfer Time: About 7 Hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 3: Nyakalengija Base camp - Nyabitaba Hut (2650Masl).

Early in the morning, after having a cup of coffee, drive to Nyakalengija Trailhead (1600m). Meet porters and guides and begin hiking up to Nyabitaba hut. Walk through the matooke / Banana plantations on the side of the steep foothills, past the local Bakonjo homesteads. Continue with the trail along the Mubuku River, through landslides. After crossing the Mahoma River, climb steeply through bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut. Dinner and Overnight at Nyabitaba Hut.

Hike Time: About 5-6 Hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 4: Nyabitaba Hut - John Matte Hut (3350Masl).

From Nyabitaba follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Passing through the bamboo forest, traverse through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From the Nyamileju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. Finally reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for Dinner and Overnight at the Hut.

Hike Time: About 6-7 Hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 5: John Matte Hut - Bujuku Hut 3977Masl

From John Matte Hut the trail drops down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog, the home of giant lobelias. Jumping from tussock to tussock, the bog is finally crossed but rarely without the feet sampling some of the freezing ooze below. The Upper Bigo bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the West. Bujuku Hut, well located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass. Dinner and overnight at the hut.

Hike Time: About 4-5 Hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 6: Bujuku Hut - Elena Hut (4541Masl).

Leaving Bujuku, the trail takes you through more bog, while climbing the steep slopes west of the lake and through the magical Groundsel Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. At the head of the gully a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail is divided into two. The trail on your right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders, while the trail on your left leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes. Dinner and Overnight at the Coolly and Icy Elena Hut.

Hike Time: About 4-5 Hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 7: Elena Hut - Margherita peak (5109Masl) - Kitandara Hut (4027Masl)

For those aiming at reaching Margherita peak (5109m), continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. To reach the summit of Margherita, the climb takes about 5-7 hours depending on the weather conditions and the pace of climbing this mountain. This tough walk takes you over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. Note that this climb is for only physically fit and technical climbers. Climbing on to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness and coolly weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita the highest peak of the Rwenzoris. Given the high altitude and the tough conditions even if you do not reach the peak, don’t get disappointed. Prepare for you return through the Scott-Elliot pass, where there are spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara Lakes. After the trail that passes you through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders, descend past the Kitandara Lakes for dinner and overnight at the Kitandara Hut. This is an average of 8-10 hours

Ascent Time to Margherita: 5 -7hrs

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 8: Kitandara Hut - Guy Yeoman Hut (3260Masl)

From Kitandara, take on the trail that ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the mountain to Fresh field Pass. At this point you can view into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, take on the long trail passing the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906.Dinner and Overnight at Guy Yeoman Hut.

Descent Time: About 6-7 Hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 9: Guy Yeoman Hut - Nyabitaba Hut - Nyakalengija Base camp – Queen Elizabeth N.P.

Take on the path down to Nyabitaba hut early morning. The path can be slippery and muddy and therefore requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. Remember this is part of the adventure with in this mountain. This can take about 3-4 hours.

After lunch at Nyabitaba Hut, descend gently down to River Mahoma and continue to the Base camp Nyakalengijo where you will meet with driver to drive you to your hotel for an overnight or proceed to the next destination. This will also take an average of 3-4 hours

Descent Time: About 7-8 Hours

At the base of the mountain, you will be assisted by your driver/guide who shall continue with you to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Settle-in at Bush Lodge for Lunch and relaxation. Dinner and overnight at Bush Lodge. Descent Time: About 3 Hours

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 10: Sunrise Game-drive – Kazinga Boat-Launch

Wake-up to the sounds of the nature, get on board and embark on a sunrise game-drive. The vast savannah plains, swamps and forests of Queen Elizabeth are home to about 95 mammals and over 600 bird-species. Look-out for lions, leopards, elephants, warthogs, bushbucks, cape buffaloes and waterbucks among others. We shall utilize a network of trails to access animal habitats and create more avenues for you to see and experience as much as nature shall make available.

After lunch, transfer to the pier/dock to arrive on time for your afternoon boat-ride on boat Kazinga Channel. A thread of water that joins lakes George and Edward, Kazinga Channel is lifeline/habitat to Nile Crocodiles, arguably the highest concentration of Hippos on planet Earth, different species of Egrets, Goliath Herons, and Saddle - billed Storks, African Fish Eagles, Egyptian Gees and Cormorants among other bird species. The channel is a source of for Elephants, buffaloes and many other bird-species. Return to the dock and exploit the remaining part of the day in the wild.

Meals and bed at Bush Lodge.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.


Day 11: To Ishasha – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest N.P.

Watch the sunrise over the panoramic lakes George and Edward, breakfast, check-out and take an en-route game-drive as you exit Mweya Peninsular section heading to the Ishasha section that is renowned for the tree-climbing lions. We shall employ a network of trails in the southern circuit to create viewing avenues of the great predators hanging in Fig and Acacia Trees. After picnic lunch, proceed and follow meandering routes to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Settle-in at Gorilla Safari Lodge in Bwindi or Similar.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Transfer Time: About 7hrs


Day 12: Day to Track Gorillas

A chilly and misty morning, wake-up and prepare for the summit of your Uganda Safari; the encounter with the critically endangered Gentle Great Apes!! Pack lunch, water and a rain gear and attend the briefing session to be conducted by the head-ranger. After, get hold of your walking stick, carry your lunch, camera and binoculars and follow our allocated ranger-guide into the gorilla sanctuary. Follow instructions as shall be given by the ranger, maintain silence and appreciated nature. On sight of the gorillas, keep calm and watch them feed, play, swing from one branch to another and fully exploit the strictly one hour allowed in their presence. Bwindi Forest is an ancient forest with a diversity of flora and fauna for you to see, feel and experience. Return to the launch site, receive your tracking certificates and take a ride back to Gorilla Safari Lodge or Similar. Possible Batwa Community visitation if time permits.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.


Day 13: Golden Monkey Tracking - Lake Bunyonyi

Last moments in the domain of the Gentle Great Apes, breakfast, check-out and follow snaking routes via Kisoro to Mgahinga National Park Headquarters. After briefing by the ranger-guide, enter rally behind him and embark on trekking the endanger Golden Monkeys. At about lunch time, you will be back to the base, join your driver and transfer to Kisoro town for lunch. After lunch, follow meandering routes to L. Bunyonyi and settle-in at Bird’s Nest with a gentle breeze from L. Bunyonyi (Lake of little birds). Retire relax from the strenuous safari for the rest of the night. 

Day 14: L. Bunyonyi – Entebbe – Flight out.

Watch the sunrise with a panoramic view of Lake Bunyonyi; Uganda’s deepest lake, have breakfast and check-out. Get on board and join your driver-guide on a scenic road-trip to Mbarara town. Continue and break for lunch at Igongo Cultural Centre, this place also offers a platform to learn about the culture and history of the Ankole people. A visit to Igongo Museum is worthwhile. Proceed with the journey and stop at the Equator for a photo opportunity and shopping for curio items. A water flow demonstration at the Equator shall amaze you and teach you about the mysteries of the Equator. Proceed via Kampala to Entebbe, farewell dinner and finally drop-off at Entebbe airport for your long-haul flight departure.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Transfer Time: About 8hrs



  1. Road Transport throughout the trip.
  2. A gorilla tracking permit.
  3. Meals as indicated on the safari program.
  4. English-speaking driver/guide.
  5. A litter of bottled water per day.
  6. Accommodation as indicated on the safari program
  7. Rwenzori Climb for Seven Days.
  8. Activities as indicated on the safari program.
  9. Golden Monkey Tracking
  1. Visas/Entry Permit for Uganda if required.
  2. Post Tour Accommodation in Kampala or Entebbe
  3. Personal Insurance Covers.
  4. Tips, Beverages and Souvenirs
  5. All items of personal nature

A day bag (Small bag but enough to carry your packed lunch Rain gear drinking water and a camera)

A sleeping bag $25

A jogging suit

Pairs of woolen socks

Pairs of trekking trousers, cotton shirts warm

Woolen cap, gloves

A torch, headlamp including. Batteries

A trekking bag

A pair. of jogging shoes

A sun hat

Handkerchiefs

Pairs of socks

A pair. Snow glasses US $ 5

Leggings up to the knee (Gaiters)

Rain proof and warm gear

Walking sticks

Photo equipment

Pocket knife

Rubber boots US $7

  Drugs against:

Stomach upsets

Headache

An elastic bandage, Elastoplasts

Water purification tablets

Vitamin C tablets

Sun lotion

Lip ointment


Info about Uganda

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