Explore the wilderness of Queen Elizabeth national park for excellent game viewing and hike to the summit of Mt Rwenzori on this 12 days Rwenzori Hike and Wildlife safari. With her exceptional flora, the Rwenzori mountains are comprised of various vegetation zones. The bamboo, heather, mountain forest and Alpine zones offer an epic variation on your hiking expedition. Giant lobelias, flowers, senecio and heathers dot the mountain side as you hike to the summit. The savanna plains of Queen Elizabeth offer a relaxing encounter with Africa’s big game. Encounter 4 of the big 5 as you recover from your hike.
Safari Day by Day.
Arrive at Entebbe international airport where your safari director will welcome you and after a short briefing transfer you to your accommodation. You will have the opportunity to explore the city as you recover from your journey.
Day 1: Onto the Rwenzori.
Set off for the mountains. Located in the western part of Uganda, the 8-hour drive takes you through the different terrain that makes up Uganda. The road side markets of fresh produce give an insight on the lives of the local people. A breakfast stop at the Equator in Kayabwe allows for good pictorial moments. Enjoy the amazing views of the escarpments of the rift valley in Kichwamba before proceeding to Kasese. On arrival at the base of the mountain, check in into your accommodation. On clear day, you will have breathtaking views of the mountain peaks. Relax and prepare for your hiking expedition.
Day 2: NYAKALENGIJA (1,615m) – NYABITABA CAMP (2,651m.)
Finally, you are in the mountain. Here, your days of training, the grind and anticipated are finally here. At Nyakalengija, meet the porters and guides and get your gear ready. The trail goes through the farmlands into the park. Follow the Mubuku river onto the steep ridge leading to the Nyabitaba hut. This section of the mountain is home to various primates like chimpanzees and, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and the rare Rwenzori Turaco. Enjoy a picnic lunch with spectacular views of the mountain side. Rest at the Nyabitaba camp for the night with a nice meal made by your chefs.
Hike time: 6-7 hours.
Day 3: NYABITABA – JOHN MATTE CAMP (3,505m)
This day’s hike takes you through the forest until the Kurt Shafer bridge. The bamboo forest offers transcendent atmosphere as the wind rustles through the tree branches. The next section of the mountain is grueling, slippery because of the rocks covered by moss. At the Nyamuleju rock shelter, you are rewarded by scenic views of Mount Speke and Stanley. The giant heather, groundsel and lobelia are some of the amazing flora in the next section of the hike. Our resting place for the day is John Matte camp. Rest and recover from the day’s hike.
The hike takes an average of 7 – 8 hours.
Day 4: JOHN MATTE – BUJUKU CAMP (3,962m)
Wake up to a beautiful day on the mountain. The trail descends to Bujuku river and onto the Bigo bog. This is home to the giant lobelias. Transverse through the bog and highlight at the Bujuuku lake. Here, Mt Baker and Mt Stanley are clearly visible, offering spectacular and picturesque moments of the Rwenzoris. Proceed to Bujuku hut which is your hiking destination for this day. This hut is perfect for acclimatization for those seeking to summit the mountain. Rest and enjoy a lovely evening on this 12 days Rwenzori Hike and Wildlife safari
The hike takes an average of 4 – 5 hours.
Day 5: BUJUKU – MT. SPEKE – BUJUKU
This day’s hike you to Mount Speke for spectacular views of the Virunga ranges. You will ascend to through Stullman’s pass to the top of Speke. Here, you will be rewarded with the epic views of the Virunga national park. The hike to the peak takes 4-5 hours. Descend to the Bujuku camp where you will enjoy the scenic views of Bujuku river, Albert and Margherita. Retire for the night. The descent takes 3-4hours.
Day 6: BUJUKU – ELENA CAMP (4,541m)
Venture further up the mountain, trekking through more bog. The enchanting forest of Groundsel gully offer serene hiking. The trail takes you past Lake Bujuku to the Elena camp. Here, large boulders and Mount Stanley are an amazing back drop of the evening.
The hike takes an average of 5 – 6 hours.
Day 7: ELENA HUT – MARGHERITA PEAK (5,109m) – KITANDARA CAMP (4,430m)
Today, we summit Mount Rwenzori. Margherita peak is the highest point of Mount Stanley. The 4-5-hour hike is largely dependent on the weather and the gas left in your tank. This hike takes you over 3 glaciers, ice and slippery rock. Climb through the glaciers onto the Stanley plateau through the fog, cooler weather and exhaustion. Proceed to Margherita, the summit of Mt Rwenzori. The rewarding views and the accomplishment of your achievement replaces the fatigue of the grueling climb. Descend to Elena’s hut (2-3 hours), have a hot meal and descend further to Kitandara camp.
The descend takes an average of 3 – 4 hours.
Day 8: KITANDARA – MT. BAKER (4,843M) – KITANDARA
This day’s hike is to Mt Baker. Embark on the climb early in the morning. The trail leads through the fresh field pass and offers dramatic views of the Congo. The Edward peak is the highlight of the day. The hike to the peak takes 5-6 hours. Descend back to Kitandara camp for a relaxing evening and night.
The descend takes 3 – 4 hours.
Day 9: KITANDARA – GUY YEOMAN (3,261m)
Today’s trail ascends sharply up the headwall emanating from the base of Mount Baker. It proceeds further the south side to the Fresh Field pass. Enjoy the views of Mt Stanley and Congo. The descent takes you through the rocky trail to Bujongolo. Here the rock shelter acted as a base camp for Duke of Abruzzi’s expedition of 1906. Arrive at the Guy Yeoman camp for the night.
The hike takes an average of 6 – 7 hours.
Day 10: GUY YEOMAN – NYABITABA – NYAKALENGIJA (1615m)
This is the last day on the mountain. Break camp and depart Guy Yeoman. Descend through the cliffs of Kichuchu, continue the muddy trail, bamboo forest to Nyabitaba. Descend further to Nyakalengija.
The descent takes 7 – 8 hours
Day 11: Onto the savanna plains.
This savanna expedition not only gives you a chance to recover from your hike but also offers you a chance to explore more of Uganda. We head to Queen Elizabeth national park for amazing game viewing. In Queen Elizabeth national park, we will go for a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. Here, the largest collection of hippos calls the channel home. Spot the wildlife quench their thirst by the banks of the river. Elephants, crocodiles, buffalo, water bucks are seen on a hot afternoon. The 660 bird species found in the park are seen by these shore. Retire to your accommodation for the night.
Day 12: Transfer to Kampala.
As we conclude the 12 days Rwenzori Hike and Wildlife safari, drive through the savanna plains for excellent game viewing. The mating grounds in the Kasenyi plains offer good opportunities for spotting the big cats. Tree climbing lions and leopards are seen as they take their chances at hunting kobs. Large herds of elephants are easily spotted. On a clear day, you will able to see the mountain you have just conquered. Proceed to Kampala through Mbarara and Masaka.