Rwenzori And Gorilla Trekking: Perfect Itinerary for Hikers
Rwenzori And Gorilla Trekking: The Perfect 12 Days Itinerary for Hikers. If you want to see the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and climb Mount Rwenzori, this 12-day Rwenzori and Gorilla Trekking is the way to go. Both Entebbe, Uganda and Kigali, Rwanda are suitable beginning and ending points for your Rwenzori and Gorilla Trekking adventure. For your perusal, I have provided a complete schedule of the 12-day Rwenzori And Gorilla Trekking Safari.
Ruwenzori Climbing & Mountain Gorilla
Detailed Itinerary: Rwenzori And Gorilla Trekking
You will be picked up from your Entebbe accommodation in the morning and driven to Kasese, with stops along the way at the Uganda Equator and for lunch.
Day 2. Hike to Sine Camp 2596metres
After breakfast, you’ll take a short drive to the Trekkers Hostel for a briefing before setting off on your journey. The trek begins at Trekkers Hostel (1,450 m), continues to Sine Hut (2,596 m), and ends at Kalalama Camp (3,134 m), but those in good physical shape can continue on to Mutinda Camp (3,975 m) for even more breathtaking views.
To begin, we make our way up the valley floor through the dense woods of the Afro-Montane Forest Zone. Blue monkeys may be spotted scurrying through the trees as you make your way up this gradual ascent. A group of 15–20 of these black and white Colobus monkeys may be spotted playing in the treetops by curious tourists. The L’Hoest monkey, one of the cultural symbols of the Bukonzo, is sheltered by the King or Omusinga, and occasionally a wild chimpanzee can be heard calling in the distance. Trees, bamboo groves, low bushes, flowers, fungus, and lichen- and moss-covered vines dangling from towering trees all contribute to the impressive scenery. Located within 200 meters from Sine Hut, Enock’s Falls provide a fantastic backdrop for a memorable photo.
At Sine Camp, located at an altitude of 2,596 meters, we have wooden cottages tucked amid towering forest trees on a small ridge, where you can sit and take in the sights of the Afro-Montane forest and a magnificent waterfall plunging over the rocks below. There are other customers who would rather sit outside by the campfire and have a conversation with the guides about the mountains and local life. There are various types of birds in and near Sine, which is slightly below the bamboo zone. Enock waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery and climbing vine, is about 150 meters from the camp. In a word, stunning. Sleeping at Sine allows you more time to hike to Mutinda Camp’s 3,975-meter Mutinda Lookout the next day, if you’re so inclined (and if you’re feeling particularly fit).
Day 3. Hike to Mutinda Camp 3588metres.
At 8:30 a.m., you’ll begin your trek, and almost immediately afterward, you’ll enter the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone, where the ascent is fraught with high stairs. During the rainy season, the bamboo area becomes muddy and slick, making movement difficult. The forest and air are wonderful as you make your way up 551 meters in elevation and 1.8 kilometers to Kalalama Camp in the Heather-Rapanea Zone, where you may pause and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee before continuing on to Mutinda Camp. The path crosses several tiny streams and comes dangerously close to moss-covered waterfalls as it winds up and over several small knolls along a ridge top and then lowers down the side of the valley before climbing again. As you continue your ascent, you’ll come across a gorgeous mossy river tumbling over the rocks below the towering Giant Heather trees, the trunks of which are coated in green moss and from which old man beards (Usnea lichen) dangle. The trail winds its way steeply up the deep valley, which is home to a stunning array of flora. Because to the abundance of Giant Heather trees, this valley has a lovely, mysterious aura.
Climbing the Mutinda Lookout in the afternoon (one to two hours up and one hour down) will reward you with breathtaking panoramas of the Rwenzori Mountains, Kasese town, and Lake George, as you stand on moss-covered rocks at an altitude of 3,925 meters. Climbing Mutinda, at an elevation of 3,975 meters, is a good way to acclimate and lessen the risk of high altitude sickness for clients who are planning to summit Margherita or any of the big summits.
Rest your head at Mutinda Camp, which is situated at an altitude of 3,582 feet.
Day 4. Hike to Bugata Camp 4100metres.
The path to Bugata Camp becomes quite muddy during the rainy season, but you may avoid sinking to your knees by hopping from tussock to tussock. Before reaching the Namusangi Valley (3,840 meters), with its spectacular waterfalls and fantastic views of the Mutinda Peaks in the distance, you must first cross the Mutinda valley, which is covered with tussock grass and everlasting flowers mixed with many Giant Lobelias. The trail progressively ascends from Namusangi Valley’s floor to Bugata Camp, located at an elevation of 4,100 meters.
Day 5. Hike to Hunwicks Camp 3974metres.
The Bamwanjarra Pass is the route to Hunwick’s Camp. We have a cabin at 4,450 meters at Bamwanjarra Pass, which is reached through a short descent from Bugata Camp after crossing a hill. On a clear day, the pass provides breathtaking panoramas of the three principal peaks. The path winds its way through the valley’s lower reaches, skirting the border of a number of bogs and a dense forest of evergreens such as moss, giant groundsel, and lobelia. It is here, among the abundant lobelia flowers, that the Malachite Sunbird is most likely to be seen, and it is also known to breed. Eventually, you’ll reach Hunwick’s Camp, which sits above a deep valley and offers fantastic views of Mount Stanley, Mount Baker, Weismanns Peak, and McConnell’s Prong after a long ascent up and over a ridge.
Day 6. Hike to Margherita camp 4485 metres.
From Hunwick’s, we make our way down and over the valley floor to the lovely and deep Lake Kitendara, surrounded by lush, verdant mountains. Margherita Camp, at 4,485 meters, is reached by continuing up Scott Elliott’s pass and along the ridge, where it is nestled amongst massive rocks that provide protection from the wind. The Duke of Abruzzi stayed here in 1906 during his expedition to Margherita Peak.
Day 7. Summit Margherita peak 5109 metres.
Get up at 2 o’clock in the morning to eat breakfast before setting out for the summit of Mount Stanley at 2:30. Despite being in the midst of its driest season, the peak is frequently engulfed in thick clouds and snowfall between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m., all within a span of 10 to 15 minutes due to the clouds’ rapid ascent from the vast Congolese rainforests. In January and February of 2017, customers were trapped and unable to walk due to strong snow storms that are often only seen during the wetter months. As a result, they returned to Margherita camp well after dark, with one party returning at 11 o’clock at night, completely fatigued. As a result of the weather shift, we have mandated a rigorous turn around time of 10am; if you fail to reach the top by then, you must, despite your disappointment, turn back for your own safety. As the margins of the Margherita glacier retreat, the ice is increasingly steeper, with one piece of roughly 200 meters having a gradient of more than 60%. In addition, as the ice thins, it caves in from underneath since much of the blacker has melted. It is crucial that customers comprehend and follow the advisors’ suggestions for passage.
Staying on Stanley glacier and ascending to a nice vantage point on a rocky outcrop on the southern border of Alexandra Peak is what we recommend for clients with less mountaineering experience so that they may take in the breathtaking panoramas of Congo and the lower mountain ridges.
The descent from the peak (5,109 m) to Hunwick’s Camp (3,874 m) is a direct one.
Day 8. Descend down to Kiharo Camp 3640metres.
The 11 kilometers to Kiharo Camp A four-to-seven-hour walk is required.
The first part of the day is a climb from Hunwick’s Camp along a ridge to McConnell’s Prong, from which you can see all three summits and Scott Elliott’s Pass, before continuing on to Oliver’s Pass at 4,505 meters. Hunwick’s Camp is located 3 kilometers from Olivers Pass’s summit. Downstream through Kilembe and Kasese, the Nyamwamba River eventually empties into Lake George in Queen Elizabath National Park, where the trek ends.
You can pay an extra $20 per person to start your ascent of Weismanns Peak at Oliver’s Pass, which is located at an elevation of 4,620 meters. The views of Mounts Margherita, Stanley, Speke, and Baker are spectacular on a clear day.
Kiharo Camp is located in a steep valley with towering rocks and lush vegetation, and the trail meanders down the valley after crossing the confluence. After leaving each bog, you’ll have to cross a ridge of stones and soil that looks out of place, but was actually driven there by glaciers that melted and ceased moving, leaving behind a mound of boulders and debris.
Day 9. Descend down to the Basecamp 1450metres.
Kiharo Camp is 11.2 kilometers from the park entrance, and Trekkers Hostel is another 2.8 kilometers beyond that. Take between five and eight hours to walk. The Aadvark Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park is where you’ll be spending the night.
The scenery along the way down the Nyamwamba Valley, which is mostly downhill, is among the best in the Rwenzori Mountains, with its moss-covered rocks along the river, flowing waterfalls, deep valleys, and woods. It took us six years, but we finally figured out how to get across this section of the trail and make it accessible to tourists. McConnell, a geologist and explorer, attempted to climb this valley in 1937, but he was unsuccessful and had to retreat, leaving the valley unexplored till now.
The trail branches off to the right a little distance from Kiharo Camp in order to follow the river. Duikers are nocturnal and can be seen silently foraging in little clearings near the river. You could also choose to walk down the river, bouncing from rock to rock as you go. The river turns quite treacherous a short distance downstream, with numerous waterfalls, forcing us to abandon the river in favor of a narrow hilltop. We reach the river again at the bottom, where there is a large rock shelter. There is an impassable pair of waterfalls ahead, so after crossing a little creek, you ascend up a gradual hill and then turn back down to the river. There are a plethora of birds, primates, dikers, and hyrax in the lovely woodland that lines this stretch. A fitting culmination to an unforgettable journey.
Near Queen Elizabeth National Park, spend the night at the Buffalo Safari Lodge.
After making your way to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, you’ll spend the morning on a game drive in neighboring Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Drive to Lake Bunyonyi for a night of rest and recreation before continuing on to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for your gorilla trekking adventure.
After 12 days of hiking the Rwenzori Mountains and visiting the mountain gorillas, it’s time to head back to Entebbe or Kigali and catch an evening flight home.
End of the 12 Days Rwenzori And Gorilla Trekking Itinerary
The Packing List for this Rwenzori And Gorilla Trekking Itinerary
Insect Repellent, Torch/Flashlight – and Spare Batteries, Wet Wipes, Water Bottle, Camera, lenses etc, Comfortable walking /hiking boots & socks, Gardening gloves for gorilla tracking, Sandals / strops / walking shoes, Hat & Sunscreen, Rain Jacket, Sweater / fleece, Binoculars (game/bird watching), Leave your jewelry behind, Long sleeved khaki trousers
Entrance Fees, Hiking Fees for 8 Days, Hiking Gear, Transportation, Pre and post accommodation for the hike, meals and an English speaking Guide, Game drive in Queen National Park, Gorilla Trekking permit of $700 Per person Per trek, Camping in the mountain, accommodation and all meals.
Visa and flights, tipping, insurance and any other person expenses.