Discover the “Mountains of the Moon” – the Rwenzoris during this rwenzori trekking and wildlife safari! Its highest point is Mt. Stanley’s Margherita peak with 5,109m, which is the third highest in Africa. Because of its beauty and diversity UNESCO named the Rwenzori Mountains a World Heritage site in 1994, and World Geographic named it one of the best hikes in the world. Totally untouched and undoubtedly, this is one of the most beautiful treks in the world. The park covers 996 square kilometers. It is located in western Uganda about 6 hours drive from Kampala. The Rwenzori mountains range is most known especially for its extraordinary flora and the different vegetation zones. The vegetation zones are as following: mountain forest zone (1500 – 2500 m); the bamboo zone (2500 – 3000 m); the heather and rapenea zone (3000 – 4000 m), which is characterized by the giant heathers Erica, but also giant lobelias and Senecio; the Alpine Zone (4000 – 4.500 m) with everlasting flowers or Helichrysum. The lower peaks are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers,” creating an enchanting, fairy-tale scene. The landscape in the area swiftly shifts from thick bamboo, heather zone into the afro alpine. These landscapes act as hosts to a shrieking 217 species of birds and 17 endemics. At about 1800 meters of height, the variety of birdlife will leave you captivated with sights at the Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, White-starred Robin among the others. 70 species of mammals are also part of the exploring list as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation. Above 4,500 meters the snow and glaciers add that special dimension to the astonishing views throughout this pristine mountain range. Trekking the mystic Rwenzori Mountains National Park during the rwenzori mountains trekking is a truly fantastic and unique experience. Trekking rwenzori tour is possible any day of the year however the months of June, July and August then late December, January February are the driest and best months to trek although some say the wet seasons are the best as the mountains are often covered in snow making specular scenery.
This 12 day Rwenzori mountains trekking tour leads you to Margherita Camp (4,485m). From above, you will have a look at different camps down as you are awarded with spectacular views of nature and pleasure. After this ultimate trekking experience your journey is far not over! Your tour takes you also to the beautiful landscape of Queen Elisabeth National park.
Day 1: Transfer from Kampala to Rwenzori Mountains National Park
We will depart from Kampala at 7:00am driving western Uganda, wonderful landscapes, Large tea plantations and dense forests will be viewed along the way, we will make a stop in fort portal for lunch before we proceed to kasese district home of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park (The Mountains of the Moon), we will continue up the base camp in a village called Kyanjuki 12 km from kasese town for an overnight. Dinner and overnight at Margherita Hotel / Trekkers Hostel
Day 2: Trekkers Base Camp (1,460m) – Sine Hut (2,580m)
The trekking starts at 8:30 am After briefing at Trekkers Hostel in Kyanjuki which at 1,460m above see level. From Trekkers base camp to Mulyambuli Rangers post at 1,730m is about 2.4km and here we check in to Rwenzori National park for short brief about the park rule by the warden. After briefing and registration, we shall continue on a descent walk through the giant ferns and tall tree zone to enter the Afro Montane Forest Zone. Though the Afro montane zone we have a chance to encounter different bird spices, Blue monkeys feeding on fruit trees, three horned-chameleon, the wild chimpanzees calling through the forest, Rare L’Hoestmonkeys, and a variety of tree species with lichens and moss covered vines hanging from tall trees, flowers, low shrubs creating one of most amazing paradise on earth. Continue through banboo thickets to arrive at Sine hut at 2,580m for an overnight, this wooden hut has 10 beds standing on a narrow ridge with a fantastic view of the waterfall crashing over the rocks below.
Day 3: Sine Hut (2,580m) – Mutinda Camp (3,690m)
Trekking starts at 8:30 am after breakfast, we cross the river and start a steep climb to enter the typical bamboo zone which is rather muddy and slippery during wet season. Through this banboo zone we climb 550 m altitude and a distance of 2 km to the former camp 7 which is Kalalama camp at 3,147m to rest and perhaps have a quick drink before we continue through the Heather zone to Mutinda Camp. From kalalama to Mutinda camp, the trail meanders up and over small hills then dropping down the valley crossing several streams, moss covered waterfalls, small gardens of giant lobelias. Short break before climbing steadily a beautiful mossy river flowing down over the rocks under the heather tree branches covered in a green moss with old man beards. The last part of the trail to Mutinda camp twists and turns as you climb up a deep valley with a variety of flowers like the everlasting flowers and other plant species often covered in the mist. Eventually you reach Mutinda Camp which constructed under a huge rock for an overnight, from here you can still climb up to Mutinda Lookout3,930m to have the wonderful view of some peaks like Weismann, Kasesetown and lake Gorge.
Day 4: Mutinda Camp (3,690m) – Bugata Camp (4,062m)
Starts at 8:30 after breakfast Climbing from 3,690m to 4,062m for distance of 4.9km, the path is very boggy and wet mainly during the wet season. This trail is dominated by tussock grass, everlasting flowers, many giant lobelias and Nyamusagani valley with many ups and down, many streams and bogs the trail climbs steadily to 4,062m at Bugata camp which is way up to Bamwanjara pass above the Bugata lakes with a wonderful view of Weismann’s peak. Bugata camp has solar lights, good toilets and bathroom, here you can get a warm shower in you talk nicely with your head guide, Diner and overnight.
Day 5: Bugata Camp (4,062m) – Butawu Camp (3,974m)
Commencing trekking at 8:30am, the trail climbs through several long flat bogs up to bamwanjara pass ridge where you may have a good view of some major peaks like, Mt Speke centre, Mt Baker right hand and Mt Stanley on the left and many glacial lakes, continue down the pass with many rock habitants for rock Hyrax on the side of the path up to the top of bamwanjara pass where you have yet another excellent view of all the major snowcapped peaks. Continue down to Kachope lakes very steep and often muddy but with a wonderful view of the lakes and beyond. Butawu camp 3,974m is set on a ridge high above Butawu river which flows from Scott Elliot pass through kitandara lakes and fantastic view of the snowcapped Mt Baker. Diner and overnight
Day 6: Butawu Camp (3,974m) – Margherita Camp (4,485m)
After breakfast we start from 3,974m climbing to 4,485m Margherita camp, walking along the ridge crossing down many rivers flowing Mt Baker and high hanging rock below the path, up to Scott Elliot pass where the trail joins the central circuit with great views of the alpine and snow covered rocks. Margherita camp is at 4,485m just below Elena Hut which is at 4,550m sitting on a bare rock. Diner and overnight
Day 7: Margherita Camp (4,485m) – Butawu Camp (3,974m)
Wakeup at 4:30am for a quick snack before we start climbing to Stanley Glacier before sunrise, the climbs starts at 4,485m and from here it can be difficult if covered in snow but once you get Stanley glacier it gets easier until you start again with Margherita glacier which can be very challenging and slippery in bad weather. The climb up Margherita glacier is very steep and it requires someone to have a enough fitness. There is a section with a fixed rope and a six metre aluminium ladder just before your final ascent to the top of Margherita Peak, we spend a few minutes at the summit depending on the weather descend down to Butawu Camp for an overnight.
Day 8: Butawu Camp (3,974m) – Bugata Camp (4,062m)
After breakfast we descend down to Bugata Camp for an overnight.
Day 9: Bugata Camp (4,062m) – Samalira Camp (3,147m)
This will be our last night in the rwenzoris at Samalira camp 3,147m and from here you have a great view of Queen Elizabeth national park and Lake Edward.
Day 10: Samalira Camp (3,147m) – Trekkers Base Camp (1,460m) & Transfer from the Rwenzori Mountains to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Journey Time: 2 hours
Accommodation: Kyambura Gorge Lodge or Katara Lodge (Luxury), Kasenyo Safari Camp or Marafiki Lodge (Midrange), Marafiki Safari Lodge (Budget)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Starting at 8:00am we shall descend down to Kilembe along the ridge through the bamboo zone and Afro montane forest to Trekkers base camp and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park for dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 11: Morning Game Drive through Kasenyi Savannah Plains & Afternoon Boat Safari on Kazinga Channel.
Accommodation: Kyambura Gorge Lodge or Katara Lodge (Luxury), Kasenyi Safari Camp or Marafiki Safari Lodge (Midrange), Marafiki Safari Lodge (Budget)
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After breakfast 7:30am we shall go for a relaxed morning game drive through the kasenyi plains in search for the big five, visiting the fishing village on lake George and the salt mining lake before we return to the Lodge for a warm Lunch. In the afternoon we shall drive to Mweya through the channel track to be in time for the 3:00pm afternoon boat cruise along the natural Kazinga channel which joins Lake Edward in the south to Lake George in north of Queen Elizabeth National park. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 12: Travel from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Entebbe with a Stopover at the Equator Line.
After breakfast we shall drive to Entebbe with a stop at the equator line for the water experiment and souvenir shopping, arriving in time for departure depending on flight time.