Gorilla Trekking in Uganda- Rwenzori Expeditions
Gorilla trekking offers one of Africa’s most profound wildlife encounters which is unique and every travelers dream when he select a vacation to East African ( Uganda , Rwanda , DR Congo) – their populations, even in protected reserves, are counted in hundreds rather than thousands. So rare are Mountain gorillas, that trackers are able to give them individual names and identify their faces and personalities easily.
Dont miss to go gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda & Democratic Republic of Congo with Rwenzori expeditions that offers unique gorilla safaris to visit the mountain gorillas in the magic Bwindi Impenetrable National Park , Mgahinga National Park, Virunga National Park & Volcanoes National Park without leaving out Kahuzi Biega National Park that is hosting the Eastern Lowland Gorillas.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda:
Planning to visit the mountain gorillas while on Rwenzori & Gorilla trekking in Uganda? Rwenzori expeditions do tailors the unique gorilla safaris to visit the two gorilla trekking spots in Uganda which are recommended for gorilla safaris.
Note : We Recommend that travelers who wish to visit the gorillas and rwenzoris , your trip should be tailored when your starting with the Mountain gorillas and later explore the Rwenzori mountains with the certified rangers and porters for great safari experiences with the local company that expertise in primates and Rwenzori Trekking.
Where to go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has 21 gorilla families which are open for trekking in the four sectors that make up the national park ( Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo and Rushaga). The trekking in Bwindi is slightly different from Mgahinga because of the nature of the landscape. Bwindi is a rain forest with thick undergrowth and varying landscape, you will have experiences of both uphill and downhill on your hike. Before you book your Safari lodge it is important to know which sector you will track because the location is quite far apart.
Primate Visas to cross borders ( Uganda, Rwanda and Congo)
In the Virunga Region, there are mountain gorillas that cross borders without any passport or visa to secure entry into another destinations. Virunga Mountains are shared between Uganda , Rwanda and Congo which are all home to the primates like mountain Gorillas , Golden Monkey. Mountain Gorillas don’t pay mind to political borders, so populations across the Virungas are relatively fluid. Uganda has an edge, however, since Bwindi alone is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas.
The mountain gorillas are often found in the undergrowth feeding on the vegetation as they rest and or groom each other. The leader of each gorilla family or group is a silver-back which is very protective of the family, if frustrated it will grunt and beat its chest before moving off with the females, offspring and mature males.
To enjoy the experience of gorilla trekking, you need to prepare adequately starting with booking your gorilla safari with Primate Safari experiences who will plan your entire safari including the lodges and purchase of gorilla permits for the selected dates.
12 Days Gorilla Trekking , Wildlife & Rwenzori Climbing
Spending time with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National park under the watch of the experienced Uganda wildlife ranger explore the jungle without compass is a unique experience that is offered by Rwenzori Expeditions on 12 Days Gorilla Trekking & Rwenzori climbing via the Kilembe trail. Dont miss to see the tree climbing lions in the wilderness of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the boat cruise & Game drive with park ranger or private Safari guide from experts.
This 12 Days Gorilla Wildlife & Rwenzori Trekking via Kilembe trek is the luxury trip to Rwenzori and its the alternative for the 12 days Gorilla Wildlife & Rwenzori Climbing via rwenzori Central Circuit trail which is the oldest that was used by Abuzz expedition with Rwenzori Expeditions.
Trip Summary 12 Days Uganda Gorilla , Wildlife & Rwenzori Trekking.
Day 1: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking Experience
Day 3: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park via Ishasha Sector
Day 4: Game drive & Boat Cruise
Day 5: Kilembe Camp to Kalalama Camp
Day 6: Kalalama Camp to Bugata Camp
Day 7: Bugata Camp to Hunwick Camp
Day 8: Hunwick Camp to Magherita Camp
Day 9: Magherita Camp to Hunwick Camp
Day 10:Hunwick Camp to Kiharo Camp
Day 11: Kiharo Camp to Base Camp
Day 12: Transfer to Entebbe
Detailed 12 Days Rwenzori & Gorillas – Kilembe Route.
Day 1:Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park/Mgahinga gorilla national park
Upon the arrival at Entebbe International airport, you will meet your guide/driver for your departure to Bwindi Impenetrable national park or Mgahinga gorilla national park for gorilla trekking experience. You will start with a short briefing about the trip and then start off to the southwestern direction with a stop at the equator for photography and proceed to Fort portal for lunch and then arrive at the park in the evening hours. Check in at the lodge of your choice for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Gorilla trekking experience
Have breakfast at the lodge and drive to the park headquarters for briefing about the gorilla trekking experience. By the lead of the game ranger, hike through the park rain forests in search of the endangered mountain gorillas and upon sight, you will be allowed to spend an hour in their presence as you enjoy their daily lifestyles like feeding, mating, playing and among others. After, you will drive back to the lodge for lunch and then go for an optional cultural experience where you will meet the Batwa locals for a cultural experience where you will enjoy their cultural practices like dances, songs and others.
Day 3: Drive to Queen Elizabeth national park via Isasha sector
Wake up for your tasty breakfast at the lodge and drive to Queen Elizabeth national park via the Isasha sector where you will spot the rare tree climbing lions and other animals. You will then proceed to Enjojo lodge for lunch and later drive to the lodge of your booking for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Game drive and boat cruise
Wake up for your early breakfast and proceed to Kasenyi for a morning game drive where you will enjoy the beautiful sunrise in the wild as you spot various animals including the early hunters – lion, leopards, leopard and several animals. You will after drive back to the lodge for lunch and later proceed to an afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga channel where you will spot numerous aquatic animals like hippos, Nile crocodiles and several bird species.
Day 5: Kilembe Camp to Kalalama camp
Depending on where you have spent your night before (Most Recommended is Rwenzori Backpackers you will head to the Uganda Wildlife Authority headquarter for briefing, and start on the trek through various vegetation covers with chances of encountering various bird species and monkeys. Troops of monkeys are seen hanging or jumping from one tree branch to another. There is a steep climb with many high steps as you enter the Bamboo zone, which is muddy and slippery, thus making movements so slow. You will stop at Sine for lunch and later proceed to trek up to Kalalama Camp for the dinner and overnight: Dinner at Kalalama Camp (3147m). The
Day 6: Trek from Kalalama Camp to Bugata Camp
After Breakfast, you will set off for the wonderful trek to Bugata Camp with stop overs at the Mutinda Camp for the beautiful view of the rivers and lakes along side over vegetation covers that are unique in the wilderness of Rwenzori Mountains. You will enjoy your lunch at Mutinda camp at 3.688m, that was named after the Mutinda Peaks found within the park and later proceed to connect to Bugata camp by passing through the Valleys and crossing Big bogs which requires you to have unique waking gears. You will Have your dinner and overnight at Bugata Camp.
Day 7: Bugata Camp Trek to Hunwick’s Camp
You will enjoy breakfast and later start on the walk along the ridge, crossing several wet areas and small rivers flowing from both Mount Baker and the fresh fields pass.
Here is possibly the best place in all the Rwenzori to observe the Malachite Sun bird as it feeds on the many lobelia flowers and a known breeding site.
Dinner and overnight at Hunwick camp.
Day 8: Hunwick Camp to Margherita Camp
From Hunwick’ camp you will pass down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitandara which is very stunning with deep water and beautiful vegetation. From here you climb up Scott Elliott’s pass then up the ridge to Margherita Camp 4,485 metres which is situated between some huge rocks and offering some shelter from the strong winds. This is the very spot where the Duke of Abruzzi camped when making his climb to Margherita Peak in 1906.
Climbing up to Scott Elliott Pass which is an amazing as you walk through and rising up the ridge of Mount Stanley to Margherita Camp at 4,485 meters which is below Elena Camp. Later you will proceed to connect to Hunwick camp where you roll be spending your night.
The Ellen Camp is the one that was used by an Italian Prince Luigi Amadeo di Savoia, and Duke of the Abruzzi in 1906 during their expedition into Rwenzori Mountains. While at Hunwick camp you will be able to view the Scenic view of the famous Mt Baker, Scott Elliot Pass and some of the Rwenzori glaciers.
Dinner and overnight at Margherita Camp.
Day 9: Ascend to Margherita Summit and back to Hunwick camp
You will wake up at 2:00am for your early morning breakfast, after which you will set off for the longest and strenuous walk to the summit of Margherita which will start at 3:00am The early movement to Margherita peak of Mount Stanley is mainly aimed at reaching the glaciers before sunrise since the heat from the sun causes the glaciers to melt, thus making the roots to be totally impassable.
Hiking through the steep heights to Margherita peak requires enough physical strength. Proceed with your hike over the glaciers close, after then you will climb to an exposed section of the rock, which is bolted and roped, to get on the ridge running up to the top of the Margherita peak at 5.109m
Upon reaching the peak, you will be endowed by the beautiful scene of the whole country, as you are now at the highest point of Uganda. You will descend at 10am from the peak due to the weather issues, after which you will descend to Hunwick’s camp for dinner and an overnight stay.
Note: Due to this change in weather we have set a strict turn around time of 10am so if you do not reach the peak before then you must turn around regardless of the disappointment in the interests of safety.
Day 10: Descend to Kiharo Camp
You will set off from Hunwick Camp and start to descend to Kiharo Camp as you enjoy the scenic view of the Rwenzori Mountains. During this trail, you will be rewarded with impressive views of the three peaks of Mount Stanley, Mount Baker and Mount Speke as well as the Scott Elliot pass before reaching Oliver’s pass at 4,505m.
The total distance between Hunwick’s Camp and Oliver’s pass is 3km. The trail then cuts across be to Weismanns peak to the confluence of the Nyamwamba River which flows down through Kilembe and Kasese to Lake George in Queen Elizabeth National park.
Note: If you wish to climb Weismanns Peak 4,620 metres from Oliver pass you may do so at an extra cost of $20 each. On a clear day you get fantastic views of Margherita and Mt Stanley, Mt Speke and Mt Baker.
The confluence then meanders down the valley to Kiharo camp, which is established in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 11: Descend to the base of the Camp
After morning breakfast at the Kiharo Camp, you will start to descend connecting to the base, the distance Kiharo Camp to the park gate 16km and another 2.8km down to Trekkers Hostel. Time to walk 5 to 8 hours. The trail down the Nyamwamba Valley is mostly downhill and absolutely stunning with beautiful views, moss covered rocks along the river, cascading waterfalls, deep valleys and forests
A few kilometres from Kiharo Camp the path turns off to the right to pass along the river. In the clear areas you may catch a glimpse of a Duiker quietly feeding in small clearings as you pass along the river. After waterfalls we climb up and over a high ridge then down though the dense forests with stunning views of the valley below. We stop at Forest View Camp for lunch before proceeding back to Base Camp. Upon the arrival, meet your guide for your transfer to Sandton Hotel in Kasese for dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Drive back to Entebbe International Airport
Wake up for your breakfast at the lodge and meet your guide for your transfer back to Entebbe International airport for your departure flight. You will have an en route lunch and arrive at the airport in the late afternoon hours.
What to Budget for Rwenzoris.
Affordability is in the mind of the beholder and the value of desired experiences is a personal matter. The Prices offered by Rwenzori Expeditions depend on the trail that you have selected to explore Rwenzori Mountains. Rwenzori Central Circuit is cheaper than Kilembe trail but the experience of RTS is unique and note comparable to the RMS.
Group or family vacations to Rwenzori mountains are cheaper and so consider traveling in a big group size or family trips as you will save on the costs. Check on tailor-made safaris are planned specifically to meet your own personal budget and needs.