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20 Days Rwenzori Climbing & Kilimanjaro Hike.

Planning an adventure in Uganda & Tanzania ? Dont miss to combine the Rwenzori Mountains & Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on 20 days East African Mountaineering experience with the local mountaineers in Uganda and Tanzania.

Hike the 2 highest mountains in Africa and the popular mountains with great history.  In this safari you will hike both mount Rwenzori also known as the Mountains of the moon and Mount Kilimanjaro the roof of Africa, after the tiresome hike we shall fly to the Zanzibar Archipelago for acclimatization and explore the Island. This safari shall start at Entebbe International airport and end at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar.

Rwenzori Mountaineering You will hike the two popular routes on both mountains the Machame route on Mount Kilimanjaro and the central circuit in the Rwenzori Mountains and this safari will be specifically a fly in safari unless one’s requests.

Safari Highlights.

Day #1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport and Transfer to Kasese.

Day #2: Start the hike from Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba Hut

Day #3: Hike from Nyabitaba to John Matte Hut.

Day #4: Hike from John Matte to Bujuku Hut.

Day #5: Hike from Bujuku to Elena Camp.

Day #6: Hike from Elena Camp to Margherita peak and descend to Kitandara Huts.

Day #7: Descent from Kitandara to Guyeoman Hut.

Day #8: Descend from Guyeoman hut to Nyabitaba and back to Nyakalengijo.

Day #9: Transfer from Kasese Airfield to Entebbe to Kilimanjaro International airport.

Day #10: Acclimatization at the Lodge near the park.

Day #11: Transfer from the lodge to Machame gate and start the hike to Machame Camp.

Day #12: Hike from Machame camp to Shira camp.

Day #13: Hike from Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp.

Day #14: Hike from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp.

Day #15: Hike from Barafu Camp to Uhuru peak to Mweka Hut.

Day #16: Descend from Mweka Camp back Moshi.

Day #17: Fly from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Zanzibar.

Day #18: Resting Day and Acclimatization.

Day #19: Full day Blue Safari Trip.

Day #20: Spice Tour and drop off at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport.

On arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by one of our English speaking guides who will brief you about the safari and then set off to kasese. You will be transferred to the Lodge for dinner and an overnight while planning the hike of the following day.

Overnight:  snow Heights Lodge.

Day 2: Start the hike from Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba Hut

After the heavy breakfast at the lodge, you will travel to Rwenzori Mountaineering Services headquarters to be briefed about the entire hike. Begin your walk in Nyakalengija and make your way through the Bakonjo communities to the Mount Rwenzori National Park gate, where you will be registered before entering the park. The core circuit route walk will begin in the lush tropical with high elephant grass and dense vegetation.

Among the many animal species that will be encountered in this forest are the forest elephants, chimps, hyrax, black-and-white colobus Monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, duikers, and the most thought  of reptile in the mountains the three-horned chameleon.  Birds like Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared Owl, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Strange Weaver, Archers’ Robin-chat, Rwenzori Batis, and many other birds and plant species can be found. You can count on seeing some of them. The hike is about 8km from Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba hut for dinner and an overnight.

Day 3: Nyabitaba to John Matte Hut.

After breakfast, you will travel for about 30 minutes through dense shrubs and woodland to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, which is located at the junction of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. After that, you’ll spend a couple of hours walking through bamboo, montane forests, and moss-covered rocks. You can also expect to witness a variety of bird species that live in the forest while hiking.

You will continue up to Nyamulejju rock shelter, where the early hikers used to sleep and spend the night; you will halt here for lunch. If the weather is clear, you will be able to see Mount Stanley and Mount Speke from this point. You will then go through the alpine forest to the John Matte hut, where you will eat and spend the night. The hut is located near the Bujuku River, and most trekkers take a bath there because the water is chilly but refreshing. You will also see the Margherita glacier, which is located on Mount Stanley between the Alexandra and Margherita summits. The distance from John Matte to Nyabitaba is about 11km.

Day 4: John Matte to Bujuku Hut.

You will cross the Bujuku River and go through a forest to reach the lower bigo bog after breakfast at the hut. The huge lobelias can be found in this swampy valley location. This section of the Rwenzori used to be the hardest since it is so wet. In particular, female hikers found it difficult to hop from one tussock to another.

The walk to the end of the swampy area is currently made easier for hikers by a walk board. You can anticipate seeing enormous lobelias, everlasting blooms, and groundsels as you walk. The start of the upper bigo bog will thereafter be reached after a strenuous walk up a ridge. A boardwalk leads up to Lake Bujuku as well. You will attempt to reach Bujuku hut by navigating the last little, muddy region without any walk boards after the boardwalk. You can see Lake Bujuku, Mount Speke, Mount Baker, and Mount Stanley from this vantage point. You are now able to climb Mount Speke and Mount Stanley.

The distance from john matte to Bujuku is about 5km. dinner and overnight at Bujuku.

Day 5: Bujuku to Elena Camp.

PeakAfter eating breakfast at Bujuku Hut, continue the 5-7 hour walk to Elena Hut. The upper Bigo bog’s sides will be traversed by you. After that, you’ll go up the inclining hills of Lake Bujuku.  The trail ascends to the 4372-meter Scott-Elliot pass through the steep western slopes of Lake Bujuku, passing through additional marshes and the exhilarating Ground gully. A metal ladder will be used to climb over a difficult section at the top of the gully.

The trail is then split into two sections. The Elena Hut and a difficult climb above huge boulders lead to Mt. Stanley on the right trail, while the left trail descends to Kitandara Lakes and leads to Scott-Elliot Pass.

The Elena Hut is located in a chilly and rocky section of Mount Stanley. You are now on the top of the Rwenzori mountain range, where you can see Mount Baker and Mount Speke clearly. These two mountains can occasionally be difficult to see because of fog. Spend the night and dinner at Elena’s Hut.

Day 6: Elena Camp to Margherita peak and descend to Kitandara Huts.

You’ll get up at 2:00 a.m. today to eat breakfast before setting off at 3 a.m. on your walk to the summit of Magheritah Peak. To get to Mount Stanley, you must go via the Stanley plateau. You will go across the angular rocky terrain using ropes, and the guide will instruct you on how to use the crampons and ice axe on the glacier axe. This will take a few hours, and then you will arrive at the edge of the Margherita Glacier, which is the most difficult section of the seven-day Rwenzori trekking safari. The next step is to ascend to Mount Stanley’s highest point, Magheritah Peak (5107m).

Enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake Ireen, Mount Speke, and the surrounding area at this point before descending to Elena Hut for lunch and dinner.

In the alternative, you can travel to Kitandara via Scott Elliot Pass, which is regarded as the most picturesque location in the Rwenzori, have dinner, and spend the night in Kitandara Hut.

Be aware that you may decide to stay another night at Elena Hut and travel to Kitandara and Guy Yeoman the following day, depending on the size of your group.

Day 7: Kitandara to Guyeoman Hut.

You will eat breakfast at Kitandara Huts before moving through Mount Baker’s base which might be slippery. Ascending steeply from Kitandara up the headwall, the trail continues along the south side of the Rwenzori Mountain until it reaches Fresh Field Pass, spreading out from Mount Baker’s foothills. The base camp for the famous expedition led by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 is now passed by the rock shelter at Bujangolo as the long, muddy descent from the pass continues. You’ll need around 5-7 hours to get there. Once you get there, enjoy dinner, and then spend the night at Guy Yeoman Hut on the banks of the Mubuku River.

Day 8: Guyeoman hut to Nyabitaba and back to Nyakalengijo.

You will travel through the bamboo groves as you descend to Nyabitaba from Guy Yeoman. The descent may involve careful balancing over sheer muck or steep rock because there may not be anything to grip onto. You will arrive at Nyabitaba hut after around 5 hours of hiking, where you will make a stop for lunch. The subsequent three hours of descent will take you to Nyakalengija where you had begun the hike. You will proceed back to the lodge for dinner and an overnight.

Overnight: Equator Snow Lodge

Day 9: Fly from Kasese Airfield to Entebbe to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

After a refreshing night at the lodge and a marvelous breakfast, you will be transferred to the airstrip for a fly to Entebbe International airport. You will fly from Kasese to Entebbe and then you will a refreshing lunch while preparing to fly to Kilimanjaro International airport where you will once again find our guide to drive you to your respective lodge in Moshi town near the Starting point for dinner and an overnight.

Overnight: Kaliwa lodge/Pink Flamingo

Day 10: Acclimatization Day.

This day is for acclimatization but at any case of the day you can make a walk from the lodge to the neighboring villages for a cultural experience. You will go back to the lodge for dinner and an overnight.

Overnight: Kaliwa lodge/Pink Flamingo

Day 11: Transfer from the lodge to Machame gate and start the hike to Machame Camp.

After the morning breakfast, you will be driven from the lodge to the Machame park gate through the Machame village. At the park gates is the beginning of your hike but you will first get a short briefing about the Mountain.

Now that you have finished the briefing, you will go up a ridge through a rain forest on a twisting track. The trail may be muddy and hazardous further down. Here, gaiters and hiking poles are the wise ideas. You travel a short distance before arriving at the Machame Camp.

Day 12: Machame camp to Shira camp.

You will leave the rain forest glades after breakfast and continue on a rising trail, crossing the little valley and walking over a steep rocky ridge covered in heather till the ridge terminates. The path now heads west into a river gorge. It’s time to rest, eat, and sleep in the Shira campsite.

Day 13: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp.

From the Shira Plateau, you will continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As you continue, the direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, you will come to the second junction which brings you up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. You will now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Day 14: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp.

You will leave Barranco after breakfast and continue on a high slope, via the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campground. Then you will leave Karanga and arrive at the junction of the Mweka Trail. Proceed up to the Barafu Hut. You have now finished the South Circuit, which offers spectacular views of the peak from a variety of positions. Here set up camp, recover, eat dinner, and plan for the summit day. From here, one can view the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo.

Day 15: Barafu Camp to Uhuru peak to Mweka Hut.

You will resume your ascent to the peak together with the guides and porters between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers quite early in the morning  after midnight like at 2 a.m. You ascend through severe scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim in a northwesterly direction. This is the most psychologically and physically demanding part of the journey.

You will halt for a short rest at Stella Point at 18,600 ft. and be rewarded with the most spectacular sunrise you are likely to view if weather allows. You may encounter snow on your 1-hour ascent to the summit from Stella Point. You have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the African continent at Uhuru Peak. The sunrise will be visible from the peak for faster walkers.

After the summit, you will continue straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping for lunch at Barafu. For the loose gravel heading down, you’ll need gaiters and trekking poles. Mweka Camp is located in the upper forest, so expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Later that evening, you will have your final meal on the highest mountain in Africa before retiring for the night.

Day 16:  Mweka Camp back Moshi.

After breakfast, you will continue your descent to the Mweka Park Gate, where you will get your summit certificates. It might be rainy and muddy at lower elevations. Gaiters and trekking poles will come in hand. You proceed another hour from the gate to Mweka Village where our vehicle will be waiting for you to transport you back to your hotel in Moshi for dinner and an overnight.

Overnight: Kaliwa lodge/Pink Flamingo.

Day 17: Transfer from Kilimanjaro International airport to Zanzibar.

After the heavy morning breakfast your driver will transfer you to the airport for a flight to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport of Zanzibar. Upon on arrival in Zanzibar, you will be transferred to the lodge for dinner and an overnight.

Day 18: Resting Day and Acclimatization.

This whole day will be composed of resting from the long hike of the two majestic mountains of Africa Rwenzori and Kilimanjaro Mountains. On this day you may want to go for sun bathing on the white sand beaches of Africa right in front of your lodge while getting a massage or you can go for a hot lunch at the Rock Restaurant. After the day of relaxing and resting you will go back to the lodge for dinner and an overnight.

Day 19: Full day Blue Safari Trip.

Early morning after the sunrise breakfast, you will set off to an adventure through the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean where you will get the chance to swim, snorkel, and explore the Sand beaches and some of the island’s most stunning coral reefs.

The Blue Safari includes lunch, which is a fresh seafood BBQ with fish, prawns, lobster, and other local specialties from Zanzibar. While you are on the sandbank, you will also be given fresh tropical fruits like pineapple, watermelon, bananas, and mango.

After the whole day in the blue sea you will transfer to the lodge for dinner and an overnight.

Day 20: Spice Tour and drop off at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.

Your final day of the safari and in Zanzibar will be spent visiting the spice farm of Zanzibar where you will learn about the various spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla.

You will go into more into about Zanzibar spices and their impact on the locals with the help of our English-speaking guide. You will be given spiced rice also called Zanzibar Pilau in the spice farm. After the tour, proceed to the airport in Zanzibar to catch your flight home.