This 12-Days Rwenzori Mountains and Primates express Tour will take you to Bwindi forest for a Gorilla trek, Kibale forest For Chimps, and Rwenzori to hike the mountains of the moon one of the highest points in Africa.
Day 1: Kampala/Entebbe to Bwindi national park
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our guide, or else he will pick you up from your hotel in Entebbe and then transfer you to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The drive to Bwindi will take between 7-8 hours.
Day 2: Gorilla tracking
Have early morning breakfast at the lodge and then drive to the park headquarters to have a short briefing about the gorilla trekking rules and regulations, and later enter into the jungle to start the search for the endangered species ( Mountain Gorilla Trekking). Gorilla Trekking in the jungle will take you around 4 hours or more and you will be allowed to spend an hour with the gorillas after returning to the park headquarters for the gorilla trekking certificate,
Day 3: Transfer to kasese-Nyakalengija
After Early morning breakfast, you will start to drive to Rwenzori National Park passing through the Queen Elizabeth national park for a short game drive to search for the tee climbing lions, buffalos, warthogs, elephants, and different antelopes like waterbucks, kobs, and topi among others. You will then proceed to Nyakalengija. Check-in at Mihunga lodge
Day 4: Nyakalengija (1600m)-Nyabitaba hut (2660m)
After breakfast at the camp, you will go to RMS headquarters where you will be briefed about the whole hike. Start the hike from Nyakalengija through the Bakonzo settlements to the Rwenzori mountains national park gate where you will be registered before entering the park. You will start the central circuit trail trek through the thick tropical with high elephant grass and dense bushes.
This forest is home to various animal species like forest elephants, chimpanzees, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, duiker, and three-horned chameleon among many more. Some of the bird species include; 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.
It’s about 8km from Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba hut. Dinner and overnight at Nyabitaba hut.
Day 5: Nyabita hut (2660m)-John Matte hut (3420m) Between 5-6 Hours
Have breakfast at the hut, you will move through thick shrubs and forest for about 30 minutes to the Kurt Shafer bright which is at the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. You will then move through the bamboo mixed with montane forests and slippery moss-covered rocks for a couple of hours. As you hike you will also expect to see various bird species that live in the forest.
You will continue to move up to Nyamulejju rock shelter where the first hikers used to at times camp and also spend the night, you will have a stopover here for lunch. At this point, you will have a view of Mount Stanley and Mount Speke if the weather is clear. You will then continue to move through the alpine forest to John Matte hut where you will have dinner and spend the night. The hut is near river Bujuku and most hikers take a bath there, the water is so cold but so refreshing as well. You will also have a view of the Margherita glacier which is on mount Stanley between Alexandra and Margherita peaks.
Nyabitaba to John Matte is about 11km.
Day 6: John Matte hut (3420)-Bujuku hut (3930m)- Between 4 -6 hours
After breakfast at the hut, you will cross river Bujuku and through the forest to the lower bigo bog. This is a swampy area in a valley and is home to the giant lobelias. This area used to be the hardest part of the Rwenzori since the area is so boggy, jumping from one tussock to another was not so easy for most hikers more so females.
Currently, there is a walk board up to the end of the boggy area which makes the walk much easier for trekkers. As you move you will expect to see giant lobelias, everlasting flowers, and groundsels. You will then take a steep hike along a ridge which will lead you to the start of the upper bigo bog.
There is also a boardwalk up to Lake Bujuku. After the boardwalk, you will try to move through the remaining small boggy area with no walk boards to Bujuku hut. At this point, you will have a view of Lake Bujuku, Mount Speke, Mount Baker, and Mount Stanley. At this point, you are able to ascend mount Speke and Mount Stanley.
Distance from john matte to Bujuku is about 5km. dinner and overnight at Bujuku.
Day 7: Bujuku hut (3930m)-Elena hut (4563m)
Have breakfast at Bujuku hut then continue with the hike to Elena hut, which is 5-7 hour hike. You will move through the sides of the upper Bigo bog. You will then hike through the steep slopes of Lake Bujuku. Elena’s hut is on 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.
Sometimes it is hard to view these two mountains because they are covered by fog. Have dinner at Elena’s hut then spend the night.
Day 8: Elena hut (4563m) – Kitandara (3979m); Full Day 10-12 hours
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, Magherita peak, through the Stanley plateau and Magherita 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 to Elena Hut for Lunch and later proceed to descend to Kitandara through the Scott Elliot pass to Kitandara, it is 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.
Day 9: Kitandara hut (3979m) – Guy Yeoman hut (3505m)-
Have breakfast at Kitandara then move through the base of Mount Baker, which can be slippery so you will need to be so careful. From Kitandara, the trail ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the Rwenzori Mountain to Fresh field pass. From the pass, the long muddy descent continues, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo,
The base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. This will take you around 4-6 hours then reach Guy Yeoman hut which is located at the banks of river Mubuku, have dinner and spend the night.
Day 10: Descend back to Nyakalengija- Kibale Forest
on this 10th day of your 12-Days Rwenzori Mountains and Primates Have breakfast at Guy Yeoman hut then descend back to Nyakalengija which is about 6 hours. The Safari Guide will be ready to pick you up from Nyakalengija transfer to Kibale forest National park passing through the crater lakes and arriving at the hotel in the late evening. Dinner and overnight at Kibale Forest Camp.
Day 11: Chimpanzee tracking
On this day of your 12-Days Rwenzori Mountains and Primates, you will drive to Kibale forest national park headquarters after breakfast at the lodge where you will be briefed about chimpanzee trekking and the park in general. Most tourists visit the park to trek chimpanzees. Apart from the chimps, the forest is home to other primates like monkeys, mangabey, baboons, wild pigs, various fish species among others. Chimpanzee trekking can be done in the morning; which starts at 8 am, mid-morning; starts at 11 am and in the afternoon; starts at 2 pm.
You will then start the trek through the forest to look for the chimps. Unlike gorillas, chimpanzees keep moving around the forest and jump from one tree to another as they go about their daily life. So do not expect to find them in one place. As you trek the chimps, you will expect to see other primates that live in the forest as well as various bird species like the great blue turaco. You will then return to the lodge to refresh and have lunch. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 12: Transfer from Kibale forest national park-Kampala
After Morning breakfast, you will start the journey to drive back to Kampala at a relaxing pace; Arriving in Kampala in the afternoon hour. Have breakfast at the lodge at 7 am, check out of the camp drive back to Kampala, and drive back to Kampala and End of your 12-Days the Rwenzori Mountains and Primates