10 Days mount Rwenzori hiking & wildlife safari overview

Explore Mount Rwenzori National Park, the most captivating hiking destination and Queen Elizabeth National Park, the second largest, most diverse and popular conservation area in Uganda  for a game drive and boat cruise.

Mount Rwenzori Hiking

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1: Transfer to Kasese via Fortportal 
  • Day 2: Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba hut
  • Day 3: Nyabitaba hut to John Matte hut.
  • Day 4: John Matte hut to Bujuku hut.
  • Day 5: Bujuku hut to Elena hut
  • Day 6: Elena Hut – Margherita peak – Kitandara hut
  • Day 7: Kitandara hut to Guy Yeoman hut
  • Day 8: Guy Yeoman – Nyabitaba – Nyakalengija 
  • Day 9: Game drive and boat cruise
  • Day 10: Transfer to Kampala

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Kampala/Entebbe>Kasese. After breakfast, the guide will brief you about the safari before you depart to Kasese via Fortportal. The journey can take about 7-8 hours depending on the productivity since there are a lot of things to see along the way like Lake Wamala, Matiri forest and Rwenzori tea plantations. Have lunch in Fort Portal before proceeding to Mount Rwenzori National Park for your dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Nyakalengija (1,615m)>nyabitaba hut (2,651m). Have an early breakfast and depart for the Nyakalengija trailhead in time to rent equipment and meet the guides and porters. After a short briefing, the guests will begin the 10km hike to Nyabitaba hut, walking through farmland on the side of the steep foothills.  The trail passes through a thick forest along Mubuku River and crosses over the Mahoma River before climbing steeply through the fern-covered slopes and podocarpus forest, finally reaching the Nyabitaba hut for the first overnight.

The hike takes approximately 6-7 hours

Day 3: Nyabitaba hut (2,651m)>john matte hut (3,505m). Early breakfast then continue the hike from Nyabitaba hut down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers.

 Then a steep ascent through the bamboo forest across a long and possibly exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock, reaching the Nyamileju rock shelter.  From here on a clear day, one can glimpse Mount Stanley and Mount Speke.  You will then pass through a zone of giant heather, lobelia, and groundsel.  Then the final stretch across a tiring bog area; one of many on this mountain trail. Arrive at John Matte hut in the early afternoon for dinner and overnight.

The hike takes approximately 8 hours

Day 4: John Matte hut (3,505m)>bujuku hut (3,962). Have early breakfast and continue with the trail. The trail drops immediately across the Bujuku River and enter the Lower Bigo Bog, home of the giant lobelias. Jumping from tussock to tussock, the bog is finally crossed; between the tussocks, one usually gets very cold wet feet from the ooze below the short grasses. The upper Bigo Bog then gives way to Lake Bujuku. When here, one can see Mount Baker to the South and Mount Stanley to the West.

Bujuku Hut is set in a narrow valley below Steinmann pass, in the shadows of Mounts Baker and Speke. Though with a spectacular setting, this area can be very cold but good for acclimatization for clients attempting the summits of Mount Stanley and Mount Speke. Dinner and overnight at Bujuku Hut.

The hike takes approximately 5 hours.

Day 5: Bujuku hut (3,962m)>Elena hut (4,430). After early breakfast, you will depart Bujuku. The trail passes through more bog while ascending the steep slopes west of the lake. You will pass through the magical Groundsels Gully. A metal ladder at the head of the gully takes you over a steep section, after which the trail splits into two. The right fork leads up to Elena Camp and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders; for those intending to climb Margherita peak. The left fork leads up to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes. This trail leads those who do not intend to climb Margherita’s Peak to Kitandara hut. You will arrive at Elena hut for dinner and overnight.

The hike takes approximately 5-6 hours.

Day 6: Elena hut (4,430m)>Margherita peak (5,109m)>Kitandara hut (4,023m). Wake up early in the morning and continue on the path to the base of the Stanley Glacier. Depending on the altitude sickness, fog, and weather conditions, it can be a 4-5 hours climb to the summit of Margherita. This is a tough walk over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice, and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. This is a technical climb that requires physical fitness, roping up, crampons, and appropriate equipment for cold, windy, and icy conditions. It is advisable to attempt the final climb in a minimum group of 4; two climbers and two guides; (a supplement for the extra guide has to be paid for at the time of booking). Climb onto the glacier, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent.

This is the final ascent to the summit of Margherita, the crown of the Rwenzori.

Upon arrival at the peak, you will have ample time to take photos and relax. Thereafter, the descent from Margherita peak begins, taking you about 2-3 hours back to Elena Hut. Have lunch and descend to Scott- Elliot pass.  Here, there are spectacular views of Lake Bujuku and Mount Speke. Once over the Pass, the trail enters an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders.

Descend to the Kitandara hut for dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Kitandara hut (4,023m)>Guy yeoman hut (3,505m). Have an early breakfast then follow the trail to Guy Yeoman hut (3260m). 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 mountain to Fresh Field Pass.

On a clear day, there are views into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the path, the long muddy descend continues, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo, which formed the base of Duke Luigi di Savoia’s 1906 expedition. Further along the trail, there is an alternative waterfall and rock shelter at Kabamba Cave, where you can overnight as an alternative to Guy Yeoman hut. 

Dinner and overnight at Guy Yeoman Camp.

The hike takes approximately 6-7 hours.

Day 8: Guy yeoman hut (3,505m)>Nyabitaba (2,651m)>Nyakalengija (1,615m). The descent from Guy Yeoman hut to Nyabitaba hut takes about 5 hours. You can opt to stay overnight at the hut or continue for three more hours to the trailhead at Nyakalengija. The descend can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on to and requires careful balancing over the vertical mud and steep rock. You will arrive at the park headquarters where you will meet the guide to transfer you to the lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, have dinner, and overnight.

Day 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will have breakfast and head out for a game drive in the Kasenyi plains exposing you to species like African elephants, African Cape buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, leopards, lions and the park boasts a record of over 600 bird species. After, you will drive back to the lodge for hot lunch and take a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. The Kazinga channel is a 42km stretch, connecting Lake George and Lake Edward with rewarding big herds of buffaloes, schools of hippos, Nile crocodiles, and different bird species like the rare African skimmers and lesser flamingos. After the cruise, you can opt for a sundowner at one of the crater lakes or transfer back to the lodge for relaxation and overnight

Day 10: Queen>Kampala. Have breakfast and depart for Kampala. Option 1 is to drive directly to Kampala with a possible visit to Lake Katwe en route.  Here one can see how the local women and youth extract the salt from the Lake.  Lunch would be served enroute as well, at a local Ugandan restaurant. Option 2 is to drive back to Kampala via Fort Portal. This is considered to be the most likable urban center in Uganda.  Here you could get a brief city tour and a local lunch.

After lunch, proceed to Kampala. Optional drop off at your hotel or at the airport for your flight. 

Accommodation is booked in accordance with your preferences and depending on your budget and availability.

Package includes

  • Pick-up and drop-off in Kampala
  • Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Services of an English speaking driver guide
  • All  park entrance fees
  • Bottled water (2 bottles per day)
  • Meals included till dinner

Package excludes

  • Activities not listed in the itinerary
  • Laundry services
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
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