Combining Uganda’s most unique experiences, this 10 days safari is magical in its own way. It is an amalgamation of adventure, luxury, learning and wonder. Perfect for every kind of traveler. Undertake this trip and get closer to the world’s most endangered primates in Bwindi national park, climb on the slopes of Africa’s highest mountain range – Rwenzoris or explore Lake Bunyonyi, the continent’s second deepest lake. Whatever you think of; this trip presents it all in one package.
10 Days Mount Rwenzori & Gorilla Trekking Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
Pick up after breakfast from your place of accommodation in Kampala and off you travel to the south west of Uganda. Lake Mburo national park is located along Masaka – Mbarara highway, only 240km from Kampala making it the nearest national park to Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
The journey is soon interrupted by a stop at the equator monument 1.5 hours away from Kampala where you have a chance to take pictures, a cup of coffee, shop some crafts and a local experience that proves the world divided into two halves – northern and southern hemispheres. Proceed for more 2.5 – 3 hours until you reach Lake Mburo national park for lunch and immediately go for an afternoon boat cruise. The boat trip along Lake Mburo allows you to enjoy scenic views of the clear waters, dotted with hippos, crocs, birds and numerous mammals lined on its banks. The boat trip lasts for approximately 3-4 hours. After the cruise, drive back to the lodge to check in, relax and overnight stay.
Day 2: Game Drive & Evening Cultural Tour
Take an early breakfast, ready to embark on a sensational day of re-discovering one of Uganda’s most beautiful savannah park, with a sunrise game safari as well as an evening cultural encounter with the locals. Depending on your place of accommodation, a game drive in Lake Mburo national park is best done at dawn when the sun is rising; to better spot early risers as well as nocturnals while returning to their hideouts.
Numerous savannah species can be sighted such as buffaloes, giraffes, Impalas, leopards, Uganda Kobs, oribis, Bushbucks, waterbucks among the many primates and bird species. The game drive lasts for about 3-4 hours, and you retire before noon to relax, have lunch and
prepare for a sensational community tour later in the evening. A community tour in the evening will take to a local homestead to experience authentic Ankole cultural lifestyle, and the day by day activities that are carried out by the locals.
Or you can even participate in activities like milking, grazing, making of some simple crafts, attending “ekitaramo” – a traditional night discussion besides a camp fire where ancient tales are told by elders. Retreat from this experience and travel back to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi & Sunset Canoeing
Leave Lake Mburo National park and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi – arguably Africa’s second deepest lake after Lake Tanganyika. Traverse through the sweeping landscapes of Ankole which will later introduce you to the towering highlands of Kigezi region, and view part of the Virunga volcanoes, that underlay the boarder of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo.
Upon arrival, you will have lunch and in the afternoon take a pleasant sunset canoe trek; the boat cruise will expose you to up to 29 islands that make up this wonderful lake. Also visit the indigenous fishermen as they cast their nets in search of a day’s meal from this rich lake. Overnight stay at the shores of the lake.
Day 4: Sunrise Boat Cruise & Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Undertake a sunrise lake excursion with a motor boat to view the various communities that live on the shores of this lake Bunyonyi; have breakfast, and later transfer to Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi national park is one of the few destinations that harbor an amazing population of endangered mountain gorillas with a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which cuddles evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, marshlands and health. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 5: Gorilla Trekking & Batwa Encounter
Have an early breakfast at 6:30am and by 7:30am be ready at the park headquarters to attend a pre-trek briefing by head ranger. In this briefing, you will be told what to expect and how you are expected to behave while trekking and during the one – on – one encounter with a given gorilla family.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park involves hiking through thick and boggy jungles searching for the rarest primates on earth. The experience lasts for approximately 1-8 hours depending on the movement of the allocated gorilla family. You are only allowed to stay with the gorillas for only one hour before you descend to the park headquarters then after to the lodge for refreshment and lunch.
Relax for the rest of the after at the lodge admiring the cool breeze from the forest and later in the evening join a local guide to visit Batwa communities located on the edge of Bwindi forest. Learn about their history, enjoy their songs, traditional dances and buy some of their crafts not only as your souvenirs but also as a way of giving back and supporting local projects.
Day 6: Transfer to Rwenzori Mountains
This morning, check out of your lodge and embark on the journey to Rwenzori Mountains – the highest mountain in Uganda, located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth national park along the Uganda-D.R. Congo. You can choose to take an enroute game drive in Ishasha sector to explore the magnificent tree climbing lions. Ishasha is the southernmost sector of Queen Elizabeth national park and boats a reasonable number of tree climbing lions which are some of the highlights of this park. After the encounter, drive on to your booked lodge at the base of Rwenzori Mountains.
Day 7: Sine Camp
On this first day of adventure, begin at an altitude of 1,450 meters above sea level, and spend a night at 2,596 meters above sea level at Sine Hut or at Kalalama hut at an altitude of 3,134 meters for the fit hikers. This section of the hike presents unequalled views of the lowlands,
Lake Edward and the plains of Queen Elizabeth national park.
The trek begins by ascending through the floor of the valley which is an afro-montane forest zone characterized with tall gigantic trees typical of the altitude here. This forest presents chances of spotting blue monkeys, several bird species and primate species, plus the splendid
views of Enock’s falls. It is a steady hike of about 6 kilometers, until you cross a river to the Sine hut.
At 2,596 meters is Sine camp set amidst tall afro-montane trees along a narrow ridge, and trekkers have an opportunity to sit outside and enjoy the pleasant views of the forest, waterfalls and a campfire in the night where various stories and legends can be told by guides about this historical mountain.
Day 8: Samalira Camp
Depart Sine camp this morning and trek upwards through bamboo forest zone. It is relatively a very steep climb but climbers are rewarded with beautiful and inspiring views beneath. Along the climb, there are tiny patches of forests, and several birds can be sighted as they seek
refuge here and feast on fruits and berries.
Calls of the endemic Rwenzori Turaco can be heard quite clearly, plus other different bird species. Arrive at the Heather zone at an altitude of 3,000 meters which is characterized by the giant heather trees which are magnificent and tall with a height of up to 15 meters. Pass via the Kalalama camp (3,147 meters) if you stayed at Sine camp the previous day. This spot has magnificent views of the valleys below, as well as Queen Elizabeth national park and Lake George.
Climb further along the beautiful mossy ridge, passing through more heather forests at 3,515 meters and later take a descent to a breathtaking flat valley, marked with lobelia plants. From here, take a short ascent to Kyravilla and descend again through a magnificent moss covered ridge to Samalira Camp.
Day 9: Descend and Overnight stay at the base
This is the last day of this adventure. It begins with a decent down through the bamboo zone and back into the Afro Montane Forest Zone teeming with different bird and primate species. Pass via Omusita Rest Area, slope down until you join a trail along River Nyamwamba,
encompassed with lush flora, birds, forest mammals, etc. proceed to the park headquarters, relax and take some snacks. Overnight stay at the base.
Day 10: Transfer to Entebbe & Departure
After breakfast, you embark on a long journey back to Kampala for overnight stay or to Entebbe airport depending on your departure flight schedule.