In this 13 days safari that combines Hiking Mount Rwenzori and Tracking the endangered Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park situated in the western part of Uganda, expect a test of determination and winning spirit rewarded with unforgettable memories of the different breathtaking sceneries.
You will use the central circuit trail to Hike to the peak of Mountain Rwenzori for approximately 7-8 days while crossing the Tropical forest, meandering rivers, and local homesteads.
You will be using the central trail that takes approximately 7 days for a strong, healthy and passionate person to arrive at the peak of Margherita while enjoying spectacular views towering above Mount Stanley, lake Kitandara, River Bujuku, and Mubuku.
Don’t be surprised to see different bird species, such as the Rwenzori Turaco, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Long-eared Owl, Archers’ Robin-chat, and Handsome Francolin, Primates such as L’Hoest’s monkeys, black and white Columbus, mammals and so on.
Gorilla trekking will be done Bwindi impenetrable forest national park that plays host to about half of the world’s endangered Mountain Gorilla species, roaming around the four sectors of Ruhija, Buhoma, Rushaga and Nkuringo.
Our selection gives your eyes what to watch and enjoy at every stop, be it during a city tour, sightseeing, relaxation at the beautiful lakeshores of Lake Bunyonyi and cultural encounter with the Batwa pygmies. Nights will be spent at different campsites while hiking to the summit.
Day 1: Pickup and city tour
As you arrive at the airport, our driver-guide will be waiting for you with your name tag, smiling and willing to give you a happy reception. As you meet, he will brief you about all the aspects of the trip before driving to the reptile village to watch some of the reptiles such as snakes, different chameleon species, tortoise, and so on, go ahead for lunch in the city before visiting the Museum and the local markets where you will buy one or two items that you need during the trip. Thereafter, proceed for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Transfer to Mountain Rwenzori national park
Start your morning with a cup of coffee before hitting the road to Kasese, on a 6-7hour drive through a very scenic route composed of eye-catching sceneries of rolling hills, homesteads and flora.
The conservation will be unending as the driver-guide takes on the tarmac and marram road, with a lunch stopover before proceeding for dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 3: Start the Hike from Nyakalengijja to Nyabitaba camp
It is on this day that the long-awaited journey to the rugged slopes of Rwenzori starts, but first, you will have breakfast, then check out of the lodge with all your luggage as you go to the park’s headquarters where you will join other friends on this move, although few fail to reach the peak, there are over 30000 people who hike to the summit annually, characterized by a strong spirit of hard work and determination.
Our expert guide will brief you on what you should expect during the hike, as well as locate you’re a potter who will help in carrying your luggage. Thereafter, the journey will kick start from Nyakalengijja through the homestead of the Bakozo people where you will be registered, then proceed, for approximate 8km, crossing a lush forest that offers asylum to some primates such as white and black Columbus, hyrax, mammals such as the forest elephants, birds such as the Rwenzori Turaco and the three-horned chameleons among others. You will be having breaks when you feel tired but the overnight will be at Nyabitaba campsite.
Day 4: Depart Nyabitaba Hut for John Matt camp
On this day, expect to cover 11kms during the hike. So wake up very early and have a heavy breakfast, before starting a journey, passing through a safe alpine forest and lush bush, with an interesting view of river Bujuku and Mubuku, and several bird species on the way.
Lunch stop will be at the former campsite, Nyamulejju rock before proceeding with the journey, with spectacular views of mount Speke and Stanley up to John Matte camp where you will have dinner and overnight, but with a remarkable opportunity of bathing at the shores of river Bujuku as many hikers do so.
Day 5: Proceed from John Matt camp to Bujuku Camp
5km will be your coverage on this day, so, start with breakfast, exit the camp and move past river Bujuku crossing a forest and a swamp which is a dwelling place to the gigantic Lobelias.
Hiking past this place is a bit strenuous and the most difficult for most of the hikers, especially ladies, the area is muddy and hilly. The good news is that some boardwalks have been put to simplify the hiking exercise as you pass through the swampy areas, to Bujuku camp, where you will get the clear views of Mount Speke, Mount Stanley, Lake Bujuku, and Mount Baker. Sum up the day with dinner and overnight at the pack
Day 6: From Bujuku camp to Elena camp
Have a heavy cup of coffee then start the journey, using the help of your support sticks, on a 6-7 hour walk, crossing the steep slopes of Lake Bujuku to the top using ropes and a ladder to 4372 meter Scott-Elliot past swampy areas.
There are two trails, one that goes to Scot-Elliot and the other to Elena where you will have your diner and overnight. It is at a section of Mount Stanley which is the highest of Mount Rwenzori and giving you spectacular views of Mount Speke and Baker. You must clad on warm clothes because this area is very cold.
Day 7: Depart Elena camp for Kitandara huts
At this point is when the saying “the end justifies the means comes to reality” as you will be required to wake up as early as 2 am for the ultimate possible challenge. Clad on very warm clothes and hand gloves as instructed by the experts because this is the most difficult part of the trekking that requires both physical and emotional stability.
The hike takes you to the Margherita peak and Mount Stanley summit following the Stanley valley, using a rope and other equipment when clearing the glaciers and ice, these include ice axes and crampons.
Move past the Stanley glacier to Margherita glacier (5109m) where you will have a clear view of the spectacular Mount Speke, Irene Lake, and the distant features. Then after enjoying the unforgettable activities, start descending to Kitandara camp where you will have dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Hike from Kitandara hut to Guy Yeoman Camp
You will continue with the journey to the bottom as soon as you are done with breakfast, a journey that takes approximately 6-7 hours to Yeoman hut situated at the banks of Mubuku River, after going through a slippery slope with some parts being muddy.
Never the less, you will get a chance of sighting the rock where Duke of Abruzzi sheltered, in 1906. Though lunch will be enroute, the night will be spent at Guy Yeoman Hut.
Day 9: Carry on from Guy Yeoman to Nyakalengijja
Start your day with a cup of coffee before picking up your luggage and moving on with a journey that will last for roughly 5hours, with a lunch stop at Nyabitaba hut, and then proceed for another three hours to Nyakalengijja, where you will arrive in the evening, then drive to Kasese town for refreshment, dinner and overnight.
The route from Guy Yeoman requires a lot of carefulness since it is both muddy and slippery with nothing to hold on apart from your stick.
Day 10: Depart for Bwindi impenetrable National Park for Gorilla trekking
Start your day with a cup of coffee, after which you will drive off to the Jungle of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for a rewarding mountain trekking experience the next.
It takes approximately 4-5 hours to reach the Buhoma sector where you will relax as you wait for dinner and overnight at the lodge. The drive goes through both smooth tarmac and later a marram road that tends to be very muddy during the rainy season.
Day eleven: Tracking Gorillas and cultural experience
After having a sumptuous breakfast, you will drive to the sectors headquarters where briefing and document verifications will be done. This is by an experienced and knowledgeable park ranger who will explain to you how to conduct yourself while with the Apes as well as allocating you to a gorilla family to trek, one of your own choice and preference.
The tracking experience can last for up to 6 hours depending on how far the primates have moved and your fitness, then one extra hour is given to you to watch them feed, play and the female nurse their young ones.
After, have lunch then relax a bit before going for a cultural experience with the Batwa pygmies who will take you through some of the thrilling performances, sing legendary songs and exciting dances. These carried on with their ancient behaviors of hunting and gathering, and are believed to be one of the oldest cultures on earth. After being taken to the different caves, return for dinner and overnight at your lodge.
Day 12: Depart for Lake Bunyonyi exploration
You will have breakfast before driving off to Lake Bunyonyi for a rewarding rest after eleven days of back to back activities. The lake is compared to Switzerland in Africa because of its scenic views, calm serene and beautiful flora.
There are over 27 islands of which most of them have historical significance, most especially the punishment island where all young girls and boys who were got indulging in sexual acts where punished. End the days with a delicious meal and overnight.
Day 13: Departure
This is a day to say goodbye to Uganda after 13 days of adventure, it all begins with breakfast then a drive back to Kampala while enjoying the scenic views of the backdrop of Virunga ranges, vegetation and the scattered homesteads.
Make a stopover at the equator to witness the magical demonstration of how the earth is divided into two, have lunch and proceed to either Entebbe international airport or your hotel.
End of the safari