Uganda

Rwenzori Mountain Trek and Gorillas tracking

Level

Moderate- Challenging

Duration

10 days

Time to travel

mid December to February and June to September are considered best months for this trip

Route

Arrival Kampala; Rwenzori Mountains National Park; Queen Elizabeth National Park; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Bunyonyi ,Departure  Kampala

Uganda is a country that will amaze you with a breath taking scenery, rich and abundant wildlife, beautiful landscape of sprawling savanna and rolling hills, crater lakes, snow capped peaks, and not forgetting the Mountain Gorillas.

Rwenzori Mountain is located in south western Uganda in Kasese comprising of Mount Stanley with 5,109m high as the highest peak, Mount Speke 4,890m high, Mount Baker 4,843m high, Mount Emin 4,798m high, Mount Gessi 4,715m high, and Mount Luigi di Savoia 4,627m high. Mount Stanley is the largest with many summits and Margherita peak being the highest point The Rwenzori mountain ranges is divided by the Uganda-Congo boundary going through the highest peak of Mt.Stanley. During this trip you will embark on 7-days trek that goes along the Mobuku and Bujuku valleys beneath the highest peaks.

Biwindi is habitat to more than half the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas. Actually there are over 300 mountain gorillas living here.

The word “Bwindi” means “darkness” and taking a hike this magnificent forest will certainly unveil to you the reason why the forest was named so. You will as well be in position to fast tell why actually the forest is also regarded as Impenetrable.

After the briefing you shall penetrate the Impenetrable Forest to look for these gentle giants under the guidance of your knowledgeable guide. The distance covered and the time taken to find your gorilla family is unpredictable as gorilla moves from place to place. They are however constantly monitored so there is almost no chance of you missing them. After successful tracking, observing and photographing the gorillas, you will return to your lodge for relaxation.

Facts:

  • Activity: Trekking, Gorilla tracking; canoeing, nature/bird watching
  • Time to travel: mid December to February and June to September are considered best months for this trip
  • Highest altitude: 5109 m
  • Route: Arrival Kampala; Rwenzori Mountains National  Park; Queen Elizabeth National Park; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Bunyonyi ,Departure  Kampala

Our operation:

Most of Rahhalah’s ground handlers and guides are locally employed ensuring more authentic experience for travelers, as well as sensitivity to local customs and cultures.

Our local guides are highly experienced and nature simply has no secret for them.

Our trip offers Uganda’s most impressive wildlife experience.

Sustainability:   

We run a low impact operation and we leave no traces behind, contributing to the efforts of protection of the local land, its people and culture.

We are committed to employing local people to the maximum extent possible. We pay our staff well and, just as important, we provide them with periodical training. In addition we emphasize on making extensive use of local products and enhance maximum economic benefits to the local communities.

As you all know 1% of our revenue go back to a local cause and Rahhalah directly takes care of that. This is our pay back promise.

ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival/ Transfer to Rwenzori Mountains National Park

On the day you arrive at Entebbe airport (morning flight) you will start on the drive to Rwenzori Mountains National  Park. With lunch in Mbarara, you  will continue to Kaseseupto Equator Snow Lodge for your dinner and over night stay.

Day 02: Trekking Nyakalengija (1615m) – Nyabitaba Hut (2651m)

The Central Circuit starts at the RMS offices at Nyakalengija. You should arrive in the morning to allow ample time to rent equipment and meet your guides and porters. The trail begins by passing through farmland to the park boundary beyond which it follows the Mubukuriver, crossing its Mahoma tributary before starting a long, steep climb up onto a massive ridge to reach Nyabitaba hut. The hike takes around 5 hours. During this part of the trip you may hear chimpanzee and see black and white colobus, blue monkey and the brilliantly coloured Rwenzorituraco.

Day 03: Trekking Nyabitaba (2651m) – MubukuRiver(2600m) John Matte Hut(3505m)

This involves a demanding 7+ hour trek up to John Matte hut. The Central Circuit ‘proper’ starts a few hundred metres beyond Nyabitaba where the trail divides into two paths. The right path leads to the peaks up the Bujuku valley while the path on the left is used for the subsequent descent. The trail leads to the Kurt Shafer Bridge which crosses the Mubuku valley just below the river’s confluence with the Bujuku valley. Beyond the river, a muddy, slippery trail climbs steadily up through bamboo forest. After a five hour trek is the start of the giant lobelia and groundsel zone, a vegetation type limited to East Africa’s highest mountains. The final hour’s walk to John Matte hut passes through a challenging bog full of extraordinary plants

Day 4: Trekking: John Matte (3505m) to Bujuku (3962m).

The route fords the Bujuku River as you cross the Lower Bigobog, A steep climb follows to reach the Upper Bigo Bog where a boardwalk has been constructed to assist walkers. In clear weather, there are superb views of Mt. Stanley at the head of this cavernous, glacier-carved valley. Above the bog, after a long steady climb over glacial moraine, criss-crossing the river, the trail reaches the lovely Lake Bujuku. The last stage of the 3-5 hour hike to Bujuku Hut past Cooking Pot Cave is perhaps the muddiest stage of the expedition. The hut is well placed for parties climbing Mt. Speke.

Day 5: Trekking Bujuku (3962m) – Scott Elliott Pass (4372m) Kitandara (4023m)

From Bujuku hut, the trail crosses more mud before climbing steeply through a forest of giant groundsels, climbing a short metal ladder to ascend the Groundsel Gully. Above the gully, a branch in the trail climbs directly to Elena Hut (4430m) for the ascent of Margherita peak on Mt. Stanley (5109m). This climb needs an ice axe, mountain boots, crampons and ropes. The main trail continues up a steep screen slope over Scott Elliot pass, the highest point on the circuit. The pass provides fabulous views back down the Bujuku valley and of Mts. Stanley and Baker towering above. Beyond the pass, the route runs downhill beneath the massive cliffs of Mt. Baker. After passing Upper Lake Kitandara, the 3-5 hour hike ends at the hut beside Lower Lake Kitandara, a beautiful site surrounded by towering peaks.

Day 6: Trekking: Kitandara (4023m) – Fresh field Pass (4282m) – Guy Yeoman (3505m)

Fresh field is a long flat traverse through tracts of fabulously colorful moss (and more mud), beyond which the long descent to Nyakalengija begins. The hike to Guy Yeoman hut takes around 5 hours. The hut enjoys a lovely location close to the Mubuku River with terrific views of the looming Mt. Baker to the North.

Day 7: Trekking: Guy Yeoman (3505m) – Nyabitaba (2651m)

Descending to Nyabitaba takes around 5 hours but with an early start it is possible to make it all the way down to Nyakalengija. Below Guy Yeoman, the route descends the cliffs of Kichuchu. Beyond Kichuchu the muddy path crosses the Mubuku River twice before climbing upwards to Nyabitaba to complete the circuit.

Day 8: Trekking Nyabitaba (2651m) - Nyakalengija (1615m).

Descending from Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija will take 2-3 hours. You will find the driver/guide waiting to continue with your other part of the trip and that will be a drive to Bwindi Gorilla’s park via Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Dinner and and over night at Silverback Lodge.

Day 9: The Ultimate Gorilla Trekking Experience

After an early breakfast, get your hiking attire on and transfer to the ranger station. You need to carry packed lunch (provided by the lodge), drinking water, rain jacket and jungle boots while the rangers will provide you with a walking stick. After briefing from the guides, set off to track your assigned gorilla group in Bwindi Forest. The distance covered and time taken to find your gorilla family is unpredictable as the gorillas move from place to place. It could take from a few minutes to several hours, depending on how far the gorillas could have moved. They are however constantly monitored and so there is almost no chance of you missing them. Gorilla tracking is one of the unique activities you will enjoy while photographing and observing the gorillas. After successful tracking you will return to the waiting car for your transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Day 10: Canoeing and Departure

After breakfast in the morning, you will go for canoeing on the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi after which you will start your journey to Entebbe airport. You will have a stop over in Mbarara town for Lunch and another stop at the Equator for viewing and some photos. You will continue to the airport for your evening flight back home and that will be the end of the 10days tour to the Gorillas and the Rwenzori Mountains.

3,853 USD

per person in a group of min 4 pax.

Trip Dates

14 September 2018

NOTES

  • This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
  • This cost is valid till 15th Dec 2017.
  • Full payment should be made 30 days prior the departure.
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.
  • All the hotels, lodges and luxury tented camps mention hereby are subject to change to similar quality ones depending on the availability.

THIS INCLUDES

  • Airport transfers
  • All ground transportation
  • Rwenzori trekking permits
  • Accommodation whilst the mountain, guide fees, porters, food, fuel, rescue fees, park entry fees and community levy
  • Gorilla tracking permits for Bwindi
  • Accommodation and all meals
  • Drinking water(bottled) in the vehicle for the entire trip
  • Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi
  • An experienced driver/guide

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International airfare
  • Visas costs and charges
  • Immunization
  • Travel Insurance
  • Community project fees
  • Excess baggage charges/ Airport taxes.
  • All soft drink/alcoholic beverages
  • Optional activities
  • Laundry charges
  • Tips and gratuities
  • All Items of personal nature

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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