Home > 12 Days Hiking Mountain Rwenzori and Big Game Safari

The Rwenzori – the fabled Mountains of the Moon – lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes 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, fairytale scene. Queen Elizabeth on the other hand is endowed with grasslands which settle wildlife such as Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, warthog, lion, leopard, hyena, giant forest hog as well as elephants. Topis can only be discovered in Ishasha and forest primate found in Kyambura gorge in addition to Maramagambo forest.

Trip Highlights

    • Mt Rwenzori Hiking
    • Queen Elizabeth National Park
    • Nature Walks
    • Scenaries
    • Stop Over at the Equator
    • Igongo Cultural Visit

Day 1: Kampala- Mt Rwenzori National Park (Travel time +4hrs)

A very early rise today and together with your guide you will transfer by private vehicle south-West to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You will stop over at the Uganda Equator for some photo shoots and a visit to the Craft Village. You will then head towards the western part of Uganda to the town of Mbarara where you will take your lunch and visit the Igongo cultural center.

After lunch you will go for a museum tour where you will get an insight into cultures of people in western Uganda then proceed to Mt Rwenzori National Park. Dine at your place of accommodation and relax the rest of the evening as you prepare for a thrilling experience of hiking the following day. Dinner and overnight at Equator Snow Lodge (High end), or Hotel Margherita (Midrange) or Rwenzori Trekkers Hostel (Budget end) Meal Plan (Dinner)

Day 2: Mt Rwenzori Hike – 1,667 Meters Climbing to 3,171 Meters (Climbing Time +5hrs)

This trek starts at Trekkers Hostel in Kyanjiki 12 kilometers from Kasese past Kilembe. Best to start by 8.30am but can leave as late as 10am. Meet your guides and briefing. You walk 2.2km to the UWA rangers post at 1,727metres.

Here the rangers brief you on the day’s activities and rules of the National Park.

From here the first two kilometers climbs steadily through pristine montane forest, with tall trees thick undergrowth and a multitude of different species of birds and primates. Then a fairly strenuous climb up a main ridge to your first night at Samalira Camp. As you leave the rangers post you walk along a path through tall grassland and ferns which gives way to magnificent pristine forests. As this is a new route the forests are untouched and carry a wide variety of trees and plants. Many species of birds can be heard and seen in this rich environment. The first few kilometers climb steadily crossing several small streams and rivers then we start climbing the ridge. As we climb the trees become taller and straighter and it is common to see and hear many types of primates, on the left you may hear troupes of chimpanzee echoing around the valleys. Particularly around our lunch spot at 2,570m it is possible to see troupes of 20 or more black and white Colobus monkeys or Blue monkeys as they dash through the trees.

After lunch we continue to climb steadily passing a rock shelter (2,785m) previously used by poachers to hunt primates and dika (small antelope) after the rock shelter the climb enters the bamboo zone and becomes steeper. As we near the top we break out of the bamboo to fantastic views of the valleys and hills below looking across to Lake George and Queen Elizabeth National Park in the distance. The equator lies just north of Lake George. Samalira Camp is at 3,171 meters, meaning views or lookout and offers great views of the surrounding landscape and Kasese town. (Mobile network available at this camp) Dinner and overnight at Samalira Camp.

Day 3: Mt Rwenzori Hike – 3171 meters climbing to 3380 meters(Climbing Time: +4hrs)

After a hearty breakfast we commence walking at 8.15am and initially climb steadily then cross a small stream and the climb then become steep for about 200 meters up a narrow moss covered ridge. The thick moss covering the ground and rocks under the giant heather trees is spectacular and we ask you to help preserve this pristine environment by keeping to the pathway. The views give us the impression that we could fly as we look across the many ridges and valleys far below. You can see Kilembe village deep in the valley and across Lake George. After a relatively short climb the trail becomes less steep as we pass over Chavumba (meaning heaven) at 3,316m we then cross a small flat valley to climb up a steady ridge through moss covered trees and misty forests to the top of the ridge at 3,515 meters. Here we descend steadily for about one kilometer before descending a steep drop of 200 meters into the Nyamwamba valley and a well earned lunch break at Polies Rock Shelter 3,249 meters.

After lunch we climb steadily above the Nyamwamba River for 1.6km though old giant heathers covered in old man’s beard moss to Kiharo Camp at 3,380 meters directly at the base of some good granite rock climbs of 20 to 40 meters with towering peaks above. Dinner and overnight at Kiharo Camp

Day 4: Mt Rwenzori Hike – 3380 meters climbing to 4200 meters (Climbing Time +4hrs)

After an early breakfast we climb a short steep incline through the narrow valley with large moss covered rocks. This area is stunning as you weave through the narrow passes near the foot of towering peaks till you reach the wider upstream Nyamwamba River. From here you climb steadily along the valley floor with small bogs and many giant lobelias. Both sides of the valley are lined with sheer cliff faces as we near the confluence of the Nyamwamba and Namusangi valleys. Our third camp at 4,065 meters is above Lake Kopello and has spectacular views looking down the valley of nine glacier lakes, the Namusangi valley. Dinner and overnight at Camp 3.

Day 5: Mt Rwenzori Hike – 4030 meters climbing to 4450 meters (Climbing Time: +5hrs)

We start by ascending to pass through Bamwanjara Pass then descend to Kachope Lakes the top of the pass trail offers spectacular scenery of the main peaks ahead particularly on a clear day. On the right one can see McConnell’s Prong named after a British explorer and geologist. The Kachope Lakes area is one of the three known areas where on a misty day one may catch a rare glimpse of the Rwenzori leopard, which is very dark sometimes nearly black as it blends in with the black basaltic rock surroundings. Little research has been done on this animal yet it is rarer than the snow leopard, which has gained so much attention in recent years.

After passing Kachope Lakes we climb to McConnell’s Camp at 4,160 meters where we prepare for the early ascent to Mt Baker. Dinner and overnight at McConnell’s Camp (Camp 4).

Day 6: Mt Rwenzori Hike & Descend – 4160 meters climbing to 4842 meters (Climbing time: +7hrs)

Set off by 6.30am to climb the Mt Baker Peak 4,842 meters. Ascent time from McConnell’s Camp (Camp 4) to the top is three to four hours and descent three hours. This is a steep rocky climb where you need a good head for heights as some sections like the crevice climbing down to the glacier has a sizeable drop off the side. Although steep Mt Baker is considered non-technical except in the snow season (wet season) of April-May and September-October nevertheless safety ropes will be used at all times on steep sections. After climbing up you descend along a crack in the rock face to the glacier and a short 300 meter walk to the peak.

If we have fine weather or a break in the cloud the views of the main peaks of Margherita, Alexandria, Stanley’s plateau and the glaciers are fantastic as you see the splendor of these beautiful snow capped mountains. The view is awesome!! After absorbing this lifetime experience we walk back across the glacier climb back up the crack in the rock face and descend to McConnell’s Camp. Dinner and overnight at McConnell’s Camp (Camp 4).

Day 7: Mt Rwenzori Hike Descending from 4160 meters to 4006 meters(Descending Time: +4hrs)

Today you walk from Camp four down to Camp three past Kachope Lakes and up and over Bamwanjara Pass. Here you have good chances to see hyrax sitting at the entrance to their rock shelter. Their main predator is the Rwenzori Leopard Panthera pardus Ruwenzori which is rarely seen. The leopard has been heavily poached in the past and there are few left however on a rare occasion on a misty or overcast day you may be lucky to see one briefly as they move between the rocks. Dinner and overnight at Camp 3.

Day 8: Mt Rwenzori Hike Descending (Descending Time: +5hrs)

Today we descend via the Namusangi valley across open Moreland and large areas of tussock grass. As this is a valley floor it is rather wet and at times quite boggy. It is a good idea to have rubber boots for this section. We continue down the valley passing several small waterfalls and moss covered valleys until we reach the steep rocky section above Mutinda with fantastic views of Mutinda Peaks directly ahead. We turn left just as before the river drops over a sheer cliff to the Mutinda valley to walk down several steep slopes until we reach the valley floor. Here we again cross the river before climbing up to the Mutinda Rock Shelter. The Mutinda Rock Shelter is large enough for 80 to 100 people to take shelter from the weather as offers a dry night for our last night. Dinner and overnight at Mutinda Camp.

Day 9: Mt Rwenzori Hike – Descending  (Descending Time: +8hrs)

Distance from Mutinda to Kalalama Camp is 5.1km plus from Kalalama to the Rangers post 11.6km. 7am start as we descend down a series of rocky streams and valleys often passing or rock hopping across the rocks to Kalalama Camp 3,134 meters. As we near Kalalama Camp we pass though a beautiful valley dotted with Giant Lobelia. After passing the Lobelia garden we climb to reach Kalalama Camp which is perched on a high ridge overlooking the Kilembe valley and Kasese town. Here we have a quick lunch before continuing to descend down through the bamboo forests. Here we cross to the ridge climbing to Samalira camp just above the lunch spot on day one. Here we have a short break before we walk the final distance through mountain montane forest to the Rangers Post 1,727 meters. After debriefing, we sign off and walk down to Trekkers Hostel. Some fast walkers have descended to the rangers post by midday however the majority of people arrive at the rangers post around 3pm. Dinner and overnight at Equator Snow Lodge (High end), or Hotel Margherita (Midrange) or Rwenzori Trekkers Hostel (Budget end) Meal Plan (Dinner).

Day 10: Mt Rwenzori National Park To Queen Elizabeth National Park (Travel Time: +2hrs)

After breakfast, early morning drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park which is Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. After relaxation, lunch will be served at the lodge and thereafter visit the famous bat caves at Maramagambo Forest. The cave has a viewing room built through funding from the Center for Disease Control in which visitors can observe the bats as well as the pythons that live alongside them. Enjoy a guided nature walk through the forest and head back to the lodge. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge (High end) or Enganzi lodge (Midrange) or Simba Safari Camp (Budget end) Meal plan (FB)

Day 11: Queen Elizabeth National Park (Game Drive & Boat Cruise)

With wonderful memories of the previous day, you will have an early breakfast as you prepare for a game drive in the Kasenyi area of the park. During the drive, you will be able to view and take photos of the Elephants, Lions, antelopes and buffalo among others. Return for lunch at your lodge. After lunch at your lodge, you will enjoy a 2 hour boat ride along the Kazinga channel which is an oasis for many of the fascinating species that inhabit the park, and taking a boat tour along it gives visitors the chance to cruise just meters from hundreds of enormous hippos and buffalos while elephants linger on the shoreline. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge (High end) or Enganzi lodge (Midrange) or Simba Safari Camp (Budget end) Meal plan (Full Board)

Day 12: Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kampala(Travel Time: +7hrs)

After breakfast, Check-out and head back to the capital Kampala, with stops in Mbarara for a delicious lunch. Later proceed to Kampala or Entebbe to a place or hotel of choice where your guide shall drop you or be transferred to Entebbe International Airport to catch up with your out bond flight back home or to your next destination. Meal plan (Breakfast and Lunch)

Includes

    • Mt Rwenzori Hiking
    • Batwa Experience
    • 1 Game Drive
    • Boat Trips as Per The Itinerary
    • Maramagambo Forest Visit
    • Lunch en-route
    • Park Entry Fees
    • Trasportation on a 4 x 4 Vehicle
    • Safari Guide
    • Accomodation & Meals
    • Porter Fee
    • Rubber Boots
    • Climbing Ropes & Harness with Carabinas & Crampons

Excludes

    • Visa
    • International Flights
    • Nature Walks
    • Airport Transfers
    • Alcoholic Drinks
    • Cigarettes
    • Personaal Expenses
    • Activities not included in the itinerary
    • Personal Hiking Gear Sleeping Bag, Warm Jacket/Sweater and Gloves