12 DAYS UGANDA GORILLA TREKKING AND RWENZORI HIKING SAFARI.
This 12 days safari combines gorilla trekking and Rwenzori hike in two national parks that is Bwindi and Rwenzori mountain national park. Trekking the remaining refugees of mountain gorillas is amazing as you view them feed or groom their young ones. Also, a hike to the highest point in Uganda which is Margherita peak, passing through interesting trails and impressive mountain scenery.
Day 1: Arrival and transfer to a hotel.
Welcome to Uganda the pearl of Africa! Your driver-guide will transfer you to the hotel room after a warm welcome at the airport. In case you arrive early, you will have a short city tour where you will visit the Uganda museum having the history and cultures of Uganda. Overnight will be at the booked hotel
Day 2: Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Have an early breakfast and then head to Bwindi national park passing via Masaka-Mbarara. You will have a stopover in Kayabwe at the equator where you will take memorable photos and maybe buy souvenirs. Later on, proceed with the journey through Mbarara town to Kisoro and find your way to Bwindi impenetrable national park.
The park is famous for harbouring mountain gorillas that are found in Virunga conservation area. The destination is also good for birding with over 350 bird species including 23 Albertine rift endemics. On arrival, you will check in at the accommodation site for dinner and night stay.
Day 3: Gorilla trekking day.
Gorilla trekking is worth an experience while on your safari, and this starts after a briefing at the park headquarters where you will be instructed on the trekking rules and regulation by the park ranger guide. This is done after breakfast and then head to search for these beautiful creatures with the help of the armed park ranger guide. You will be allowed to enjoy the presence of these species for only an hour but trekking time can be between 2-4 hours. You will be awarded a certificate of recognition after the trek.
You have options activity of visiting Lake Mutanda or the Batwa community after lunch. While on Lake Mutanda, you enjoy the canoe or boat ride and for Batwa, enjoy their culture as you learn about their language, dishes and music.
Day 4: Transfer to Rwenzori national park via Kasese .
Have an early breakfast and travel to Rwenzori mountains national park where you will have a chance to trek to the Margherita peak. The journey is amazing as you pass through the Kigezi highlands and Queen Elizabeth national park.
The drive through this park is you spot different animals like buffalos, warthogs, elephants, and different antelopes like waterbucks, kobs, and topi among others. Proceed to a safari loge in Nyakalengija.
Day 5: Nyakalengija (1600m)-Nyabitaba hut (2660m).
After breakfast at the camp, you will go to the park headquarters where you will be briefed about the whole hike. Start the hike from Nyakalengija through the Bakonzo community settlements. The hike will be through the thick tropical with high elephant grass and dense bushes.
You will view different bird species like the Rwenzori blue turacos, long-eared Owl, Handsome Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Archers' Robin-chat among others with other primates like the black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons among others.
Day 6: Nyabita hut (2660m)-John Matte hut (3420m).
Cross the Mubuku and Bujuku River after breakfast and you head to john matte hut. Move through the bamboo mixed with montane forests and slippery moss-covered rocks for a couple of hours. As you hike, enjoy more wildlife like the bird species, plant species among others.
Have a stopover at Nyamulejju rock where you will have a view of Mount Stanley and Mount Speke if the weather is clear and also enjoy your lunch. Later on, after refreshing up, continues to John Matte hut for your camping night and dinner.
Day 7: John Matte hut (3420)-Bujuku hut (3930m).
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 oozes below.
The Upper Bigo bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the West. The next stop will be at Bujuku hut where you will spend a night.
Day 8: Bujuku hut (3930m)-Elena hut (4563m).
Have breakfast at Bujuku hut then continue with the hike to Elena hut, which is a 5-7 hours hike. You will move through the sides of the upper Bigo bog. You will then hike through the steep slopes of Lake Bujuku.
Elena hut is at the rocky part of Mount Stanley and the area is too cold. At this point, you are at the highest mountain of the Rwenzori and you will have a direct view of Mount Baker and Mount Speke and they are covered by fog most of the time.
Day 9: Elena hut (4563m) – Margherita peak- Kitandara (3979m).
This day you will have to wake up as early as 2am. Have breakfast at Elena hut then hike to the top of Mount Stanley, Margherita peak, through the Stanley plateau and Margherita Glaciers. The guide will teach you how to use the equipment while on the ice. At the top, you will have a view of Irene Lake, mount Speke and the surrounding environment.
Then descend back to Elena and proceed to Kitandara and this most beautiful place in the mountain of Rwenzori. This is where you spend a night.
Day 10: Kitandara hut (3979m) - Guy Yeoman hut (3505m).
Take on the trail that ascends steeply up the headwall after your breakfast, 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 the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. The trail will take you to Guy Yeoman hut where you will spend a night.
Day 11: Descend back to Nyakalengija- Kampala.
Have breakfast at Guy Yeoman hut then descend back to Nyakalengija which is about 6 hours. This will be the end of the Rwenzori trek. The Safari Guide will be ready to pick you up from Nyakalengija transfer to Kampala a journey that takes about a 6hours drive. This will be a tiresome day and on the arrival, you will have your dinner and sleep.
Day 12: Transfer to Entebbe and a short visit to Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC).
This will be the last day of your safari, you will have the option of visiting the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (former zoo) to spot different wildlife captive like the chimpanzee, olive baboons, lions, cheetah, and leopards or visit the local markets like Owino, Nakasero market among others.
You will then be dropped at the airport in Entebbe after lunch or any time depending on your scheduled flight.