20 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking , Wildlife & Rwenzori Hike
Day 1. Transfer from Kigali to Bwindi/Mgahinga
On this day, the guide will pick you up from your hotel in Kigali or at the airport and then transfer to Bwindi or Mgahinga depending on where you will be tracking the gorillas. The drive will take around 5-6 hours depending on where you will be staying and border crossing. In Bwindi. You will check in at Rushaga gorilla camp and have lunch. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Day 2. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi
After breakfast at the camp, the guide will drive you at Rushaga trekking headquarters where your permits will be verified. You will be briefed by the park guide about the activity and the start the trek.
As you trek the gorillas you will expect to spot some of the other primates that live in the forest and also various bird species. The activity will take between 4-6 hours depending on where the gorilla group you are trekking will be that day. When you find them, you will be given an hour to see the gorillas as they go about their daily life, and also take photos. You will then return to the camp, refresh and have lunch. You will then check out of the camp and transfer to Kisoro, which is about an hour drive. Check in at countryside guest house where you will have dinner and spend the night.
Day 3. Transfer to Queen Elizabeth with game drive in Ishasha
After breakfast at the camp, you will check out and transger to queen Elizabeth national park through the Ishasha sector. Ishasha sector is the southern region of the park which is a home to the famous tree climbing lions. You will do a game drive in Ishasha where you will expect to see animals like lions, buffalos, warthogs, elephants, and different antelopes like waterbucks, kobs, topi among others. Drive to bush lodge, check in and have lunch. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 4. Game drive and boat cruise
After an early breakfast at the lodge, you will do a game drive through the park. The game drive will take about 4 hours and you will expect to see animals like lions, leopards, elephants, kobs, waterbucks, buffalos, baboons, warthogs hippos among many others. You will then drive to the mweya peninsula where you will have lunch and prepare for the afternoon boat cruise on the kazinga channel. This channel is a water body is 40 km long and joins Lake George to lake Edward. At 2pm you will go the boat cruise. As you cruise, you will expect to see animals like hippos, buffalos, elephants and many others. You will also expect to different see water bird species like the African fish eagle, egrets, cormorants, pelicans, pied kingfishers, among many more. The cruise will take about 2 hours. Drive back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 5. Transfer to Kasese
After breakfast at the lodge, you might choose to do another morning game drive. Have lunch at the lodge and then drive to Nyalengija (Rwenzori base). Check in at Mihunga lodge where you will have dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Nyakalengija (1615m) – Nyabitaba Hut (2651m)
You will be required to arrive at Rwenzori mountaineering services offices at Nyakalengija early in the morning. This will make you get ample time to rent equipment for hiking and be availed guides. Rwenzori mountain hiking will begin at the park Headquarters which is about 1,646 m. You will walk past typical mud and wattle and the Bakonzo homes to Rwenzori national park gate. You will then move through the tropical forest and tall elephant grass, walking past typical “mud and wattle. Through this trip, you may hear voices of primates. Dinner and Overnight stay at Nyabitaba Hut.
Day 7: Nyabitaba (2651m) – John Matte Hut 3505m
On this day after breakfast, you will Shift from Nyabitaba to John Matte Hut. Crossing the Kurt Shafer Bridge at the confluence of Bujuku and Mubuku rivers. By turning right the bridge you will begin to climb the central circuit in anticlockwise direction which is much more difficult and adds a considerable danger your porters and you. You will climb steadily through the bamboo forest. After about five hours of travel from Nyabitaba, you will reach the hut at Nyamuleju. If the day is very clear, you will see from the rock near the hut. Dinner and overnight stay at Nyabitaba. Dinner at Overnight Stay at john matte.
Day 7: John Matte – Bujuku Hut (3962m)
On this day, you will transfer from John Matte hut across the Bujuku River to the lower Bigo bog. You will move on a board walk that was created to make movement through this boggy area much easier. A steep Section past the hut leads to upper to Bigo bog, a boardwalk has been constructed up to Lake Bujuku. You will have a lunch break at a beautiful narrow stream at the upper end of this bog. The southern end of the lake is in a majestic setting, with Mt. Baker to the South, Mt. Stanley to the west and Mt. Speke to the north. Dinner and Overnight stay at Bujuku Hut.
Day 9: Bujuku - Elena (4541m)
Leave Bujuku hut after breakfast to a newly newer trail. This trail raises and falls twice before finally climbing steeply through magical moss draped groundsel vegetation about 4,372 m. While at the steepest section a short strong ladder after which a right hand branch will lead to Elena Hut 4,430 m. It is the steep rocky trail which when hot can be slippery. You will then continue straight, a few steps below the pass, there is a sheltered spot for a very good break before Elena Hut. In case the weather is bad, the rain, snow and wind can occur in any season. Dinner and overnight at Elena hut.
Day 10: Elena Hut (4541m) to Margherita peak - Kitandara hut (4027m)
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 Ireen Lake, mount Speke and the surrounding environment. From Margherita, Prepare for your return through the Scott-Elliot pass, where there are spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke and down to the Kitandara Lakes. After the trail that passes you through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders, descend past the Kitandara Lake. Dinner and overnight stay at the Kitandara Hut
Day 11: Kitandara – Freshfield Pass – Guy Yeoman-Nyabitaba (2651m)
Today, from Kitandara, take on the trail that ascends steeply up the headwall, 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 into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, take on the long trail passing the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. Overnight at Guy Yeoman
Day 12: Nyabitaba to Nyalengija and transfer to Kibale
From Nyabitaba, you will descend through the tropical forest and crossing some rivers and streams back to the base. You will expect to see the three horned chameleons, black and white colobus monkeys as well as various bird species like the Rwenzori turaco. It takes about 3-4 hours to get back to the base. The guide will be there waiting for you and then you will transfer to Kibale forest national park, this will take around 3 hours drive. Check-in at Isunga lodge, refresh and have lunch. Dinner and overnight at Isunga lodge.
Day 13. Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest national park
On this day, 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 a 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 8am, mid-morning; starts at 11am and in the afternoon; starts at 2pm.
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 refresh and have lunch. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 14. Transfer to Murchison falls
After breakfast at the lodge, you will check out and then transfer Murchison falls national park. This journey takes about 6-7 hours with a stopover along the way for lunch. Check in at red chilli where you will have dinner and spend the night.
Day 15. Game drive and boat Cruise
After an early breakfast at the camp, you will go for a game drive around the park. Murchison Falls National Park is a national park in Uganda and managed by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. It is in north-western Uganda, spreading inland from the shores of Lake Albert, around the Victoria Nile, up to the Karuma Falls. Together with the adjacent 748 square kilometres Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the 720 square kilometres Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park forms the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. The game drive will take around 4-5 hours and you will expect to see animals like, lions, leopards, elephants, Giraffe, warthogs, zebra, different antelopes like kobs, dik dik, Jackson’s hartebeest, waterbuck, topi, among many more. You will also spot some birds like dwarf kingfisher, Goliath heron, white-thighed hornbill and great blue turaco among others. You will return to the camp and have lunch. At 2pm. You will go for a boat cruise on the Victoria Nile which is part of the great river Nile. This will take about 3 hours and you will expect animals like hippos, elephants, buffalos, crocodiles, as well as various water bird species like African fish eagle, pied kingfishers, pelicans, cormorants, marabou storks among many more. The cruise will take you up to the bottom of the magnificent Murchison falls, which is a beautiful place to take photos of the falls and the surrounding vegetation. Return to the camp have dinner and spend the night.
Day 16. Game drive and transfer to rhino
After breakfast, you will check out of the lodge and the go for a game drive around the park. There are various trails in the park which you can follow as you look for animals. You will expect to see giraffes, buffalos, lion, leopard, waterbucks, warthogs among other as well as various savannah bird species. Return to the camp, have lunch and then transfer the rhino sanctuary, check in at Amuka lodge where you will have dinner and spend night.
Day 17. Rhino tracking in Ziwa Rhino
After breakfast at the lodge, you will go the sanctuary and track the white rhinos. The activity will take about 2 hours. You will be led by a ranger guide and expect to see the rhinos moving in the sanctuary. You will then return to the lodge and then have lunch. You have the whole afternoon to yourself to relax. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 18. Transfer to Kampala. City viewing and night life
After breakfast at the lodge, you will transfer to Kampala. Check in at Speke hotel where you will have your meals and spend the night. You will have a city tour on foot where you will visit the different markets around the city. You can as well choose to do the tour on a boda boda.
Day 19. Mabamba Swamp Birding
After breakfast at the lodge, you will drive to mabamba swamp. You will move on a canoe boat while in the swamp as you look for the famous shoe bill. You will expect to see other different bird species that live around this swamp. After the activity you will drive back to the hotel
Day 20. Transfer to the airport
After breakfast at the hotel, you will check out and the guide will drive you back to Kampala. The guide will drop you at your hotel in Kampala/Entebbe or Entebbe airport for your flight back home.