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 N/ Park.
Pick up after breakfast from your place of accommodation in Kampala or Entebbe and thereafter begin a 4-5 hour drive to the south west of Uganda. Lake Mburo national park is one of the smallest and nearest parks to Kampala.
It is situated close to the highway that connects central Uganda to most destinations in south-western Uganda, including Queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks, Lake Bunyonyi, etc.
The first halt is made at Uganda equator, which is located in Kayabwe Mpigi district, 80kms south of Kampala. While here, have a chance to observe and confirm that the world is indeed divided into 2 hemispheres, north and south and be lucky to stand astride the earth’s division point and take pictures for memories.
From here, drive for more 2-3 hours until you arrive in Lake Mburo National Park via either Nshara or Sanga gates. Reach the hotel, check in,have lunch and immediately continue to Lake Mburo for the afternoon boat trip.
The boat takes off at exactly 2:00pm and offers endless opportunities to admire scenic views of shimmering lake marked with hippos, several endemic and rare birds, crocodiles, and so many mammals lined along the lake shores.
Lake Mburo boat trip goes for about 3-4 hours and after the cruise, join your driver at Rwonyo jetty who will drive you back to the lodge to refresh, dinner and night stay.
Day 2: Lake Mburo N/park: Game Drive & Evening Cultural Tour.
After breakfast, get ready to begin a sensational day of exploring one of Uganda’s most adorable savannah parks, scattered with acacia trees and a sunrise game safari will expose you to the beautiful resident mammals and rare species of birds.
Depending on your lodge, a game drive in Lake Mburo national park is best began between 6:00am – 6:30am just before the sun rises; to be able to sight early risers with ease and nocturnals as they return to their dens.
Lake Mburo permanent resident species including zebras, buffaloes, impalas can be sighted as well as the recently introduced giraffes, the elusive leopards, lions, etc. other mammals to look out for are; waterbucks, Topis, Elands, Uganda Kobs, Bushbucks, oribis, plus many primates and bird species.
Lake Mburo game drive goes for approximately 3-4 hours, and you drive back to the lodge before noon to relax and take lunch.
Rest in the afternoon, as you organised for another unequaled community tour in the evening. This tour within the community will allow you to experience the true Ankole ways of life, daily activities, dress code, etc.
Alternatively, join the locals and participate in activities like grazing cows, milking, milk preservation activities, manufacturing simple local crafts, local hunting, or attending a night camp fire with elders dubbed “ekitaramo” where ancient stories are told, cultural songs are sung and traditional dances performed.
Day 3: Lake Mburo to Lake Bunyonyi & Sunset Canoeing
Leave Lake Mburo National park and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi – arguably the second deepest lake in Africa 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 southern most sector of Queen Elizabeth national park and a famous home to a significant population of tree climbing lions which are the safari highlights in this section of the park as well as Uganda at large.
After the game safari to explore tree climbing lions, continue on the drive to your lodge at the foothills of Rwenzori Mountain ranges.
Day 7: Hike to Sine Camp.
This first day’s adventure starts from an altitude of 1,450m ASL and hike up to 2,596m ASL where you will spend the night. Stay either at Sine Camp or Kalalama camp which is a little bit higher at 3,134 meters. At this point, you have magnificent views of the lower slopes of Rwenzori, as well as Lake Albert and Queen Elizabeth national park’s Savannah plains.
Start the hike by climbing through the valley floor which is characterized by afro-montane forest zone with tall trees endemic to this kind of altitude. Numerous primates can be spotted in this montane forest, including blue monkeys as well as birds, and the magnificent Enock’s falls.
Sine hut is just across the river, 6km away on a steep climb. While here, climbers have the chance to sit outside on a campfire to admire splendid views of the waterfalls, forests and different ancient stories associated with the mountain can be told.
Day 8: Sine hut – Samalira Camp
Leave Sine camp in the morning and begin an ascent via a zone of bamboo forest . It is quite a very steep hike but trekkers are soon rewarded with adorable and pleasant views below them. There are small pockets of forests and numerous bird species along this hike.
The sound of Rwenzori Turaco, a famous endemic bird of this region can be heard quite clearly as well as several other species of birds. You will reach the heather zone located at an altitude of 3,000m ASL and associated with giant heather trees which are tall and gigantic to a height of 15 or more meters.
If you slept at Sine camp the previous night, pass through Kalalama camp at 3,147 meters which is a scenic place with Queen Elizabeth national park views and Lak George.
Trek via the beautiful mossy ridge, through heather forests located at 3,515 meters and later descend to a breathtaking valley, dotted with lobelia plants. Take another short ascent from here straight to Kyravilla and slope again through moss covered ridge up to Samalira hut where you will have a night stay.
Day 9: Descend. Accommodation at the base camp.
On this last day of 10 days adventure, start it with a steep descent through a bamboo zone and later into Afro-montane area teeming with various species of birds and primate species.
Trek through Omusita Resting Area and descend up to where you join a path along R. Nyamwamba, characterised with flora, forest mammals, birds, etc. Proceed down until the park headquarters, have some snacks and transfer to your lodge at the foothills of the mountain where you will spend your night.
Day 10: Transfer to Entebbe & Departure
After breakfast, leave Rwenzori area and begin a long trip back to Kampala for overnight stay or drive straight to Entebbe International airport if your flight leaves on the same night.