303: Rwenzori Mountain Climbing and Gorilla safari

Ref: 303, 18 days

303: Rwenzori Mountain Climbing and Gorilla safari

$6315 per person

This adventure holiday includes trekking Uganda’s magnificent Mount Rwenzori and seeing the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Uganda is the home of the legendary Mountains of the Moon and the magnificent Mount Rwenzori. This adventure holiday takes you to south western Uganda to trek this breath-taking mountain range and to see the amazing endangered mountain gorillas.

You’ll visit Lake Mburo National Park for the chance to see a wide variety of birds, as well as zebras, various antelopes, giraffes, buffalos, hippos and more. Take on the challenge of the 8-day trek to the Margherita peak at 5109 metres. Track the chimpanzees of Kibale before you fly back home.

 

Highlights

  • Track and then spend an hour with a gorilla family
  • Enjoy abundant wildlife and spectacular views in the national park
  • Search for the elusive shoebill stork on a local canoe
  • Enjoy a boat ride on Lake Mburo and a guided nature walk
  • Stop at the equator for photographic moments
  • Track man’s closest relative the chimpanzees in Kibale
  • Trek to the summit of the mountains of the moon – Mt Rwenzori

 

Overview

 

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport

Day 2: Drive to Kibale National Park. Swamp walk

Day 3: Chimp tracking. Transfer to Kasese

Day 4 – 12: Mt Rwenzori climbing – reach its highest peak Margherita

Day 13: At a relaxed pace, transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park

Day 14: Gorilla tracking

Day 15: Transfer to Lake Mburo national park. Night game drive

Day 16: Game drive. Boat cruise on Lake Mburo

Day 17: Safari walk. Travel to Nkima Forest Lodge

Day 18: Birding in Mabamba. Return to Entebbe. Flight home

 

When is the best time of year to visit Uganda?

Although Ugandan seasons have become less predictable in recent years, peak seasons usually coincide with dry seasons. When choosing your dates consider:

  • Uganda is an all-year round destination with a pleasant climate and temperatures averaging in the mid 20s0C. The huge variety in altitude means temperatures vary around the country (but this also means increased biodiversity J)
  • Flight prices often increase in European holiday seasons
  • There are fewer tourists in low seasons so you can have the place to yourselves!
  • Many hotels offer all-year prices so the price of your visit may not change much between seasons
  • Most major roads going from the capital, Kampala, up-country are tarmac. Conditions on murram roads may worsen slightly in rainy season
  • Rainy season can be good for birding as there is more food (bugs) available
  • If you are targeting certain birds, ask our advice on breeding, migration seasons
  • If you plan to climb the Rwenzori mountains, ask our advice about the best times
  • Hiking may be better in dry seasons.

 

Please note

Permits are required to track gorillas. The minimum ages is 15 years. Gorilla permits are limited to eight people per gorilla family. Permits are also required to track chimps and the minimum age is 12 years.

Please read the information about primate tracking on our primates web page and remember to look at our suggested packing list.

 

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1
Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be met by your guide who will be with you throughout your safari. He/she will drive you to your hotel.
Accommodation: Boma Hotel – Entebbe Meal Plan: D
2
Day 2: Drive to Fort Portal, towards Kibale National Park
Depart Kampala for Fort Portal (approx. 5 hours). The route is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterises so much of Uganda.  An evening swamp walk in Bigodi wetland sanctuary affords you the chance to spot a variety of resident bird species and primates including white colobus monkeys.
Accommodation: Turaco Treetops Lodge - Kibale National Park Meal Plan: B, L, D
3
Day 3: Chimpanzee tracking. Transfer to Kasese
After an early breakfast, your guide will drive you to Kanyanchu visitor’s information centre for your 08:00 briefing before setting off with your group to search for the chimpanzees. Once you are with them, spend one hour watching the chimps eat, play and groom before returning to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. This afternoon, you transfer to Kasese approx. 2 hours. You will journey through beautiful Ugandan country side, enjoying the picturesque scenery of the crater lakes. Relax at the trekkers camp ahead of your adventure to the summit the next day.
Accommodation:Trekkers Hostel - Kasese Meal Plan: B, L, D
4
Day 4 – 12 Ascend Mt Rwenzori to its highest peak Margherita
The 9 days thrilling ascent to Africa’s third highest point, takes you through farm land, stunning landscape, forests, across rivers, big bog, beautiful lakes, climbing on to the glaciers, ice, cross the Stanley Plateau with spectacular views of Mt Stanley and Bakers and on to the highest peak of Margherita. There is so much to see along the way up and back down.
Accommodation: Camps on the mountain and hostel. . Meal Plan: B, L, D  
5
Day 13: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Today, you transfer to Further south to Bwindi Impenetrable national park – home of the endangered mountain gorillas and also a UNESCO world heritage site. Have a relaxed afternoon at your lodge.
Accommodation: Engagi Lodge – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Meal Plan: B, L, D
6
Day 14: Thrilling moments with the endangered mountain Gorillas
07:30 Prepare yourself for a-lifetime experience in the forest tracking Bwindi’s enchanting giants, the endangered mountain gorillas. After a briefing, you will join your group and trek through the forest in search of your gorilla family, which can take anything from 3 to 8 hours. Once you find them, spend an hour watching these enchanting creatures going about their daily business in their natural habitat.
Accommodation: Engagi Lodge – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Meal Plan: B, L, D
7
Day 15: Travel to Lake Mburo National Park. Night game drive
Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park (approx. 5 hours) stopping at Igongo Cultural Centre for a local lunch and a quick peep in the museum. Continue to the park (approx. 1.5 hrs). Check in at your lodge, perched high up on a rock with spectacular views over the vast savannah landscape. Later, go for a night game drive accompanied by a ranger guide.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock - Lake Mburo National Park Meal Plan: B, L, D
8
Day 16: Game drive and boat cruise on Lake Mburo
Search for wildlife, including the eland, giraffe, impala, zebra, buffalos on a game drive. After lunch at the lodge, you can relax on a 2-hour boat cruise and view a variety of bird species. The drive back from the lake offers the chance to see more animals.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock - Lake Mburo National Park. Meal Plan: B, L, D
9
Day 17: Guided nature walk and transfer to Nkima Forest Lodge
07:00 What better way to start your day than an early morning guided nature walk with a park ranger? Learn how to identify plants and track animals as you enjoy wildlife viewing at a close range. Return to the lodge at 09:00 for a full breakfast and then start your journey to Nkima Forest Lodge near Mabamba wetland.
Accommodation: Nkima Forest Lodge – Mabamba Meal Plan: B, L, D
10
Day 18 Birding in Mabamba. Return to Entebbe. Flight home
At 07:30, take a local wooden canoe and begin the search for Uganda’s most sought after bird – the Shoebill and learn from your guide how the local community has benefited from conserving the swamp. After, return to Entebbe an hour and half away and visit the crafts village for some last minute souvenirs to remind you of your trip to Uganda. Later, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. Meals: B, L, D  

Guide price: from US$ 6,315 per person

 

Based on 2 adults sharing a double room in mid-range accommodation and travelling in a safari Land Cruiser (all our safaris and tours can be adapted to high-end, mid-range or budget versions)

 

The price for every safari depends on the number of people travelling, their ages, the time of year, whether or not international flights are included, the type of transport and accommodation used and the activities undertaken.

 

We calculate according to the specific dates of your booking because after we publish our itineraries some things may change. For example, hotels may increase their prices, exchange rates fluctuate, the government may introduce new taxes or some discounts may become available. Unfortunately, we also have to pass on surcharges imposed on us by, for example, airlines when fuel prices or airport taxes are unexpectedly increased.

 

 

We would be happy to prepare a quotation, based on your requirements. We normally include most costs in the price so all you need to bring with you is ‘pocket money’ for items like drinks, tips and personal shopping e.g. souvenirs.

Price includes

1 gorilla and 1 Chimpanzee tracking permit each

Mountain climbing

Full-board, non-air-conditioned accommodation

Private safari vehicle with driver and fuel for this itinerary

All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary

Mineral water in transit

All government taxes

Price does not include

International flights

Visas

Travel insurance

Personal expenses: alcohol, laundry services and souvenirs

Tips (normally 5–10% and around $100 for your guide).