12 Days Rwenzori Hike, Gorillas & Chimpanzee Tracking
The 12 days Rwenzori hike, Gorillas and Chimpanzee trekking safari takes you for Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park, Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and 7 days Rwenzori trek in Rwenzori Mountains national Park.
Detailed Itinerary for 12 days Rwenzori Trek, Gorillas and chimpanzee Tracking
Day 1: Transfer to Kibale National Park – Visit the Bigodi Swamp and Crater Lakes.
Early in the morning, you will be picked from your hotel or Entebbe International Airport, by Bushtroop tours and safaris expert driver guide.
He will brief you about the 8 days Uganda gorilla trekking and Maasai Mara safari, then after you will be transferred to kigale forest national Park, with an en route break in Fort Portal.
You will arrive in time for lunch at the hotel, check in, rest a little, and then proceed for the afternoon Bigodi Swamp walk and the crater lakes visit.
The Bigodi Swamp is one of the best birding habitat in Uganda. It is also a home for smaller primates and antelopes like the Sitatunga. The crater lakes are an amazing natural creation that resulted from the formation of the East African Rift Valley.
Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 2: Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale – Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Rise up early in the morning for breakfast, then depart for Kanyanchu Visitors center for chimpanzee tracking briefing.
Thereafter you will go into the Bush to look for the chimpanzess. Chimpanzee trekking may take between 2 hours to 5 hours with an inclusive 1 of being close to them as watch them play, breastfeed their children, as well as jump from one tree branch to another.
From here, you then return to the park headquarters to pick your certificate upon your successful chimpanzee tracking activity followed by lunch break at the hotel.
After a while, embark on your drive with the guide to Bwindi Impenetrable forest, where you will arrive in the late evening for dinner and overnight rest.
Day 3: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi – Visit the Batwa Pygmies
Wake up early in the morning for breakfast and leave for the park office for briefing about gorilla trekking rules and regulations.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi takes between two to six hours on average. Chances are high that you might also encounter other small primates, birds, butterflies and rare plants. Upon finding them, you will be allowed to spend at most 1 hour in their presence, then return to the park head quarters to receive a certificate of successful Gorilla trekking for the group assigned.
Lunch will be at the hotel, after then you will visit the pygmies for a cultural retreat, so that you can learn about why they were evicted from the park, yet they were the first inhabitants.
Dinner and Overnight at the Lodge
Day 4: Transfer to Nyakalengija
In the Morning, have your breakfast, and leave for Kasese. You will reach in time for check in and lunch at the hotel. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the hotel/Lodge as you prepare for your next day adventure trip.
Day 5: Nayakalengija to Nyabitabah
Morning breakfast at the camp then head to RMS headquarters where you will be briefed about the whole hike. From Nyakalengija, trek through the Bakonzo settlements to mount Rwenzori national park gate for registration before entering the park. Along the trek, you might encounter among others forest elephants, chimpanzees, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, duiker, and three horned chameleon. Bird species are; Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared Owl, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Strange Weaver, Archers’ Robin-chat, Rwenzori Batis among many others as well as various tree and plant species. You will expect to see some of them.
Dinner and overnight at Nyabitaba hut.
Day 6: Nyabitaba to John matte hut
Have breakfast at the hut, then trek through the lush shrubs and forest for about 30 minutes to the Kurt Shafer bridge which is between the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Trek through the bamboo mixed with montane forests and slippery moss-covered rocks for several hours. As you hike, expect to see various bird species that live in the forest.
Continue then with your hike up to Nyamulejju rock shelter from which you will rest for lunch, as you enjoy spectacular views of Mount Stanley and mount Speke on a clear day. After here, continue through the alpine forest to John Matte hut where you will have dinner and an overnight.
Day 7: John matte to Bujuku hut
Rise up for breakfast, and cross river Bujuku, then walk through the forest to the lower bigo bog, which is home to the giant lobelias. You will jump from tussock to tussock, and possibilities are high that you will definitely step on mud, which makes it quite challenging.
However, walking boards have been introduced to reduce strain, thus making it easier for trekkers to walk through easily. You will also see giant lobelias, everlasting flowers and groundsels. You will then hike up along a ridge which joins to the upper bigo bog. There is also a board walk up to Lake Bujuku. After the board walk you will try to move through the remaining small boggy area without the walk boards to Bujuku hut. At this point, you will enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Bujuku, mount Speke, Mount Baker and mount Stanley. At this point you are able to ascend mount Speke and Mount Stanley.
Day 8: Bujuku to Elena hut
Wake up early for breakfast, then hike for 5-7 hours to Elena hut. You will trek through the sides of the upper Bigo bog, then through the steep slopes to the slopes of Lake Bujuku. The trail then ascends westwards through the 4372 meter Scott-Elliot pass, and you will pass through more swamps and the thrilling Ground gully. You will hike over a steep section at the top of the gully using a metal ladder.
The trail meets at a junction where, the left trail leads to Scott-Elliot pass descending to Kitandara Lakes whereas the right trail heads to the Elena Hut and on a steep trail above large boulders to Mt Stanley.
Elena hut settles on the rocky part of Mount Stanley are which is very cold. At this point, you are close to the highest point of the Rwenzori mountains and you will have a direct glimpse Mount Baker and Mount Speke. Sometimes it is hard to view these two mountains because they are covered by fog. Have dinner at Elena hut then spend the night.
Day 9: Elena hut (4563m) – Kitandara (3979m)
On this 5th day, wake up by 2am, enjoy breakfast at Elena hut, set off with your warmest gear, along with your harness, warm hand gloves and headsock, have your headlamps and helmets and make sure you have sunglasses in the day pack. Hike to the top of mount Stanley, Magherita peak, through the Stanley plateau. While you will use ropes on steep rocky areas, yet crampons, and ice axe will be used on the glacial parts.
Reach the bottom of the margherita glacier, after trekking for hours. This is the most tiring part Rwenzori hiking experience. You will hike through this glacier to the top of mount Stanley, margherita peak (5109m), where you will enjoy the impressive view of the Ireen Lake, mount Speke and the surrounding environment. Descendafter lunch to Elena Hut then later on proceed to Kitandara hut through the Scott Elliot pass. This is the most beautiful the most beautiful point of the Rwenzori. Have dinner at Kitandara then spend the night. If the group is big, you might spend another night at Elena hut and continue the following day.
If you do not wish to climb Mt. Stanley, you can combine days 4 and 5 into a single day by taking a different trail from the Bujuku Hut up to Scott-Elliot Pass to Kitandara Lake Hut for dinner & overnight.
Day 10: Kitandara hut (3979m) – Guy Yeoman hut (3505m)
Wake up early for breakfast, then carefully move forward through the slippery base of Mount Baker. From Kitandara, the trail rises steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and proceeding along the southern side of the Rwenzori Mountain to Fresh field pass, then to the rock shelter at Bujangolo, the base camp for the historic excursion by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906.This will take you around 5-7 hours then reach Guy Yeoman hut which is located at the banks of river Mubuku, have dinner and spend the night.
Day 11: Guy Yeoman to Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija
From Guy Yeoman, slope further to Nyabitaba through the bamboo forests. The path down can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on to and requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. After about 5 hours of walking you will reach Nyabitaba hut where you will take alunch break. Then continue to descend for more 3 hours to the head office to pick your certificate for a successful climb to margherita peak, then later proceed to the lodge for an over night.
Day 12: Transfer back to Kampala – Igongo Cultural Centre – Equator crossing – City Tour in the Evening
After breakfast, journey back to Kampala through Kabale and Kisoro. You will enjoy breathtaking scenery of the highlands and valleys. Lunch will be in Mbarara (Igongo Cultural Centre) or at Equator crossing in Kayabwe (Masaka District), where you can take great photos.
On reaching Kampala for checkin, you can spend the evening resting in your hotel, you can opt to enjoy a nightlife in the city.
Dinner and Overnight at the hotel in Kampala
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