Grand Uganda & Rwenzoris

Inquisitive Lion cub

A World Heritage UNESCO site, the Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a stunning place of nature, with snow-capped mountains, magnificent waterfalls, an abundance of lakes (some of which are permanent sources of the River Nile), and unique alpine floral that makes for a challenging yet rewarding climb.


Positioned just a few kilometres from the equator line, the Rwenzori’s are home to the third highest mountain in Africa, Margherita Peak at 5,109m, making it the perfect place for a trekking adventure, especially for those who have already conquered Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.


Our comprehensive Rwenzori Trekking Expedition includes all transfers, a fully-escorted trip to Margherita Peak, a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and an optional Gorilla Trekking Tour in Bwindi National Park – a once in a lifetime experience where you can get up close and personal with the last few remaining mountain gorillas in the world.  Starting in Uganda and finishing in Rwanda, this African Adventure was designed for those who are looking for something a little bit different.


Detailed Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive Entebbe

Upon arrival, you will be collected at the airport and transferred to Kampala where you will be transferred by boat to your accommodation on the shores of Lake Victoria. Your guide will give you a briefing about the tour and answers to any additional questions you might have regarding your upcoming safari. 

Overnight: Lagoon Resort (or similar)


Day 2: Kampala – Rwenzori National Park

Early morning you will meet your guide again who will drive to the foothill of the mighty Rwenzori Mountains. The drive will take you through the beautiful area of Fort Portal where the best Ugandan tea is harvested. You will then have your first sight of the beautiful mountain range. You will then drive to Kasese Town before starting to climb to Kilembe and Kyanjuki where you will spend the night. Your mountaineering guide for the next few days will come to your hotel to introduce him/herself and discuss the program of the coming days. 

Overnight: Trekkers Hostel

Meals Included: Breakfast


Day 3: Rwenzori National Park

First day trekking to Margherita Peak: 6,9 km - Steady walk with a steep climb for the last kilometre.  

Start at Trekkers at 1,450 meters and sleep at Sine Hut at 2,596 meters being a height gain of 1,146 meters.  

The trek starts at Trekkers Hostel in Kyanjuki, which is situated 1,450 meters above sea level and 12 kilometres from Kasese. It is best to start by 9 am but can leave as late as 11am. You walk 2.2km to the UWA rangers post at 1,727 meters, which takes about one hour. Here the rangers brief you on the rules of the National Park. You will then set off. This is a steady climb through pristine forest with multitudes of birds and may be the chance of seeing a wild chimpanzee or blue monkey scampering off through the forest. Enocks Falls are just 200 meters from Sine Hut and offer a splendid opportunity to capture a screensaver for your memories. The wooden hut here is a set between tall forest trees on a narrow ridge, with ten beds and a large veranda where you may sit and enjoy the beauty of the Afro Montane forest while you look down at a fantastic waterfall crashing over the rocks far below. Sine is just below the bamboo zone and the area around has many different bird species.  

Overnight: Sine Hut

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 4: Rwenzori National Park

Second day trekking to Margherita Peak: 6,8 km staring at 2,596 meters climbing to 3,688 meters 

After a good breakfast trekking starts at 8.30am and you soon enter the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone which is steep climb with many high steps. In the wet season the bamboo area is rather muddy and slippery making the going slow however the atmosphere and the forest is beautiful as you climb 551 meters’ altitude and a distance of 1.8km to Kalalama Camp at 3,147 meters which is in the Heather-Rapanea Zone where you can take a rest and a quick cup of tea or coffee before heading on to Mutinda Camp. The trail meanders up and over several small knolls along a ridge top then drops down the side of the valley before climbing again and in doing so cross several small streams and passing close to moss covered waterfalls. You then climb steadily along the side of a beautiful mossy river which tumbles down over the rocks under the Giant Heather trees whose trunks are covered in green moss with old man beards (Usnea lichen) hanging from the branches. The trail twists and turns as you climb up the deep valley, which has an enormous variety of plants and flowers. 

The view and the atmosphere is amazing as you stand on moss covered rocks at 3,925 meters with views across the Rwenzori Mountains and down to Kasese town and Lake George.  

Overnight: Mutinda Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 5: Rwenzori National Park

Third day trekking to Margherita Peak: 4.9km starting at 3,688 meters climbing to 4,062 meters Alpine Zone. The trail here is boggy particularly in the wet season but with a little skill you can step from tussock to tussock to make the going easier. You will cross the Mutinda valley through the tussock grass and everlasting flowers interspersed with many Giant Lobelias before we climb a steep section up to the Namusangi Valley (3,840 meters), which ends abruptly with sheer waterfalls and fantastic views of Mutinda Peaks. The Namusangi Valley is a wide valley with many ups and downs and crossing several bogs as the trail climbs steadily to Bugata Camp at 4,062 meters. Bugata Camp is situated part way up Bamwanjara Pass high above Bugata Lake with views across Lake Kopello to Weismanns Peak, which is often covered with snow then down the valley views of Lake Africa and Lake Kanganyika and the many small peaks towards Mutinda Camp. The area is covered with tussock grass, everlasting flowers (Helichrysum), St John’s Wort (Hypericum becquaeritii), giant groundsel (Senecio adnivalis) and Giant lobelia (Lobellia gibberoa). There are a many Red Forest Duiker (Cephalophuc nigrifrons rubidus) which are a sub-species only found in the Rwenzori Mountains. In the dryer season people may choose to walk directly up the valley but a more scenic trail meanders along the hilltops with fantastic views of Lake Nusuranja from Plozza Rock. From Plozza Rock you also get fantastic views down the valley of nine lakes ringed by rugged peaks and ridges Bugata Camp has good facilities, solar lights, good toilets and bathrooms where the guides may prepare some warm water in a basin for you to wash. Bugata also has a heli pad.  

Overnight: Bugata Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 6: Rwenzori National Park

Fourth day trekking to Margherita Peak: 6.2km starting at 4,062 meters climbing over 4,450 meters sleeping at 3,974 meters.

Commence trekking at 8.30am to climb up Bamwanjara Pass, the trail climbs steadily with several long flat bogs. The area is covered by everlasting flowers and Giant groundsel with the bogs being mainly tussock grass and Giant lobelia of which their nectar is the main food source of the Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia johnstonu dartmouthi) which is common in this area and epidemic to the Rwenzori Mountains. As you climb you look back to see the glacial lakes far down in the valley. On reaching the top of Banwamjara Pass you get excellent views of all the main snow-capped peaks where we have a small shelter for you to rest and enjoy the scenery. The walk down to Kacholpe Lakes is steep and often very muddy but offers fantastic views of the lakes and McConnells Prong. Butawu Camp (3,974m) is set on a ridge high above Butawu River which flows down from Scott Elliott Pass through Kitandara Lakes and has excellent views of the snow-capped Mt Baker. 

Overnight: Butawu Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 7: Rwenzori National Park

Fifth day trekking to Margherita Peak: 4.2km Starting at 3.974 meters climbing to 4.485 meters 

Walk back along the ridge before crossing several wet areas and small rivers coming from Mt Baker to join Butawu River. The walk up Scott Elliott Pass is enjoyable as you climb up over the rocks and up to Margherita Camp at 4,485 meters which is below Elena Hut and is sheltered with a ring of high rocks and the original camp used by the Italian Prince Luigi Amadeo di Savoia, Duke of the Abruzzi, who mounted a very powerful expedition in 1906, composed of biologists, surveyors, a geologist and a photographer. The Italian led team, between June and July 1906 climbed the mountains, opening a new page in the history of mountaineering and exploration in Africa, and providing an answer to the most unresolved geographical questions in the region for centuries. Some of the peaks still have the names, which the Duke chose to honour the Italian Kingdom and Queen Margherita hence the naming of this camp: Margherita Camp. From here you have great views of Mt Baker, Scott Elliot Pass and some of the high glaciers on Mt Stanley.  

Overnight: Margherita Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 8: Rwenzori National Park

Sixth day trekking to Margherita Peak: 3.5km Starting at 4,485 meters and climbing to Margherita Peak at 5,109 meters then descend to Butawu Camp at 3,974 meters. 

Wake up at 4am, grab a quick snack and start climbing so as to get on the Stanley Glacier before sunrise. The climb up from Elena can be difficult if covered in snow and ice but it is classed as a difficult scramble. Once on the Stanley glacier the hike is easy however the climb down to Margherita glacier can be challenging and slippery in bad weather. Rwenzori Trekking has recently installed a new fixed static rope with bolts every two meters leading down a ledge to the top of a six-meter aluminium ladder. This route is much safer than the original ladders and clients may secure themselves to the fixed static rope with twin lanyards from their harness. There is a couple of steel steps or rungs on the tricky bit to assist when icy, all in all this is a safe route and anyone with reasonable fitness is able to pass. It is not classed as technical and it is easy in dry conditions. The climb up Margherita glacier is steep with the first part around 30 degrees but the toe of the glacier is much steeper and requires effort. Generally, we walk across the newly exposed rocks to the other side of the glacier where it is less steep. On getting near to the top of the glacier, you will then need to climb around an exposed section, which is also bolted and roped, to get on the ridge running up to the top of Margherita Peak. On a clear day the views from Margherita Peak are incredible and your goal is achieved! After reaching the summit you will then descend directly to Butawu Camp or in the case of bad weather, you may need to stay in Margherita Camp but the following day it will be necessary to pass Butawu Camp directly to Bugata Camp.

Overnight: Butawu Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 9: Rwenzori National Park

Seventh day trekking to Margherita Peak. Late breakfast at 8.30am and start trekking by 9am. 

The climb up Bamwanjara Pass is steep and in wet weather can be rather slippery making it slow going. While crossing the pass you get the chance to see hyrax sitting at the entrance to their rock shelter warming in the sun. Their main predator is the Rwenzori Leopard Panthera pardus Ruwenzori, which is rarely seen, but occasionally people do get a fleeting glimpse. The leopard has been heavily poached for its skin in the past and there are few left. However, on a rare occasion on a misty or overcast day, you may be lucky to see one briefly as they move between the rocks. 

Overnight: Bugata Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 10: Rwenzori National Park – Queen Elizabeth National Park

Eighth day trekking to Margherita Peak  

After breakfast you will descend back to Base Camp in Kilembe where your guide will be waiting for you.  In the afternoon you will continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is home to 95 species of mammals and over 500 species of tropical birds as well as the world's largest concentration of hippos. If you feel like it, your guide will take you on a sundown safari. 

Overnight: Marafiki Safari Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 11: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Sunrise Safari & Boat cruise on Kazinga Chanel 

Starting your day with a sunrise safari, you will have a glimpse on the beautiful savannah waking up. You will then have breakfast and experience an exciting boat cruise on the famous Kazinga Chanel, a 32 km long natural link between two of the largest lakes in the area, Lake Edward to Lake George, as it meanders through the lush park with its abundance of wildlife. Be assured that Kazinga will be one of the highlights of your trip.

Overnight: Marafiki Safari Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 12: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today you make your way from Queen Elizabeth to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is home to the world famous Mountain Gorilla. Almost half of all Mountain Gorillas live in Bwindi and the park itself is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its expanse of ancient and undisturbed tropical forests dating back to the last ice age. The lush opportunities for exploration that nature has to offer in this park appear almost limitless. 

En route another highlight awaits you during a game drive through Ishasha which is in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and with that the opportunity to see the rare and unique tree climbing lions. Spotting one of the mysterious cats is a very special experience indeed as there are only two places in the world where you can find these extraordinary animals.

Overnight: Chameleon Hill

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 13: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today’s activity represents another major highlight of your Ugandan tour, as you will visit the world famous Mountain Gorillas. On this tracking adventure, you will have the exhilarating opportunity to visit the primates in their natural habitat of shady bamboo thickets and relish sensational views of lush green rainforests. Nothing however can prepare one for the impact of encountering a gorilla close up, twice the size of an average man, yet remarkably gentle and generally tolerant of human visitors. There is the additional opportunity for a nature walk, village walk or boat trip on Lake Mutanda in the afternoon.

Overnight: Chameleon Hill

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 14: Kigali

Drive back through the scenic and lush hills of Rwanda to Kigali. Any assessment of Rwanda in the context of geopolitical history and we are instantly reminded of the Genocide that devastated this tiny country in 1994. A visit to the Kigali Memorial Centre and the renowned Hotel des Mille Collines is therefore an obligation for all those interested in historic narrative. You are also going to visit the Inema Art Centre. You tour will end in the evening, when your driver will drop you at Kigali Airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Prices from: £3295.00 per person (excl. Gorilla Permit)


Please remember, this itinerary is purely for inspiration.  

If you would like to find out more about this tour, or enquire about a similar tour, customised to suit your exact needs and requirements, please complete the contact form to receive a no-obligation tailor-made quote.

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