A combined 6 days Rwenzori adventure and chimpanzee tracking safaris that comprise of 2 days finding the chimps and another 3 days attempting to climb the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda. It is more of a safari and mountain climbing kind of adventure. It is an active kind of expedition that will have you walking more and getting physically involved. A 6 Day tour in Uganda where you will spend 2 days tracking the chimps then another 3 days trekking the Rwenzori mountains. It is a combination tour featuring a safari and a mountain trek. Kibale Forest National Park takes centre stage as we take a hike in search for the Chimpanzees deep in the lush green forest then afterwards head over to the slopes of Mount Rwenzori for our trek. This tour starts in Kampala and ends in Kampala with the main activity being chimpanzee tracking and Ruwenzori hiking taking a total duration of 6 days.
About the Rwenzori Mountains
Rwenzori Mountains National Park was officially declared a national park in the year 1991 and is both recognized as a World Heritage site and a Ramsar site. The park covers an area of about 996km2. . The highest point on Rwenzori Mountain is the Margherita Peak that stands 5,109m above sea level and it stands on Mt Stanley, a mountain that stands on the border that separates Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. one amazing fact about the Rwenzori is that in AD 150, geographer Ptolemy from Alexandria in Greece, gave these mountains the name “Mountains of the Moon”.
Rwenzori is located in the South-Western part of Uganda and Entebbe International Airport is the nearest airport to Rwenzori National Park. From the airport, you can take a shuttle or minibus to Rwenzori or to Kampala, another minibus to Kasese then Kalembe if you are using public transport..
When to go
The best time to hike the Rwenzoris is during the dry months of between December and March or from July to September.
Need to know
You will need a tourist visa for entering Uganda, a process that can be done easily done online and usually take a few hours to be sent to you via email. For a 90 days visa, it would cost you about $50 (USD currency only)applications can be done online here – visas.immigration.go.ug.
Why choose the Rwenzori over Mount Kilimanjaro?
Since the Rwenzori mountains are not as popular as Mount Kilimanjaro, they do not attract as many climbers as Mount Kilimanjaro, meaning that, the routes are less crowded and the high altitude vegetation is more lively. Even though Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest in Africa, Uganda’s Rwenzori mountain range is one of Africa’s top hiking destination, holding three of Africa’s five highest peaks.
Transfer from Kampala to Kibale National Park
Tranquil Kilimanjaro representatives in Uganda will pick you up at the airport in Entebbe then transfer you to your hotel or lodge in Kibale for lunch and briefing about your 6 days Rwenzori trek and Chimpanzee safari. The drive from the airport to your lodge in Kibale will take a duration of about 7 hours including the stopover you will make a Mubende for a lunch break. When you reach Kibale lodge you will take dinner and overnight.
Chimp tracking -transfer to Nyakalengija
After your breakfast at Kibale Lodge or similar, you will head over at the Kibale headquarters for permit verification and briefing about your trip before you begin your journey deep into the rainforest. Trekking takes a duration of about 4 hours or even more depending on the location of the chimpanzees. Along the way, as you pursue the chimps you will encounter other primates as well, like the black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, other monkeys, various indigenous plant/tree species as well as a variety of bird species. You will head back to the lodge for a brief lunch stop and refreshments then a day’s rest before checking out of the lodge for a trip to Kasese – Nyakalengija where you will check-in at the equator snow lodge for dinner and overnight.
Nyakalengija – Nyabitaba
After breakfast at Equator Snow Lodge or similar, you take a short walk to the starting point of the hike, the meeting point between you and your trekking crew that includes the guides and porters. where you will find your guide and porters. Day three of your 6 days Chimpanzee tracking and Rwenzori trek marks the beginning of your Mount Rwenzori climb after a successful chimpanzee tracking safari. Your hike begins at Nyakalengija crossing through the bamboo zone and terrain filled with high elephant grass, dense bushes, climbing rocks then crossing River Mahoma. Along the way, you might see white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, three-horned chameleon and various bird species like the Rwenzori Turaco. The trek takes a duration of about 4-5 hours from start to finish which is at Nyabitaba hut, where you will rest, have dinner and overnight stay.
Nyabitaba – John matte
Day 4 of this 6 days adventure is the summit day. After dinner, you will wake up early and make a final push to the traversing the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, which is the meeting point of the Bujuku and Mubuku rivers. Continue with your ascent through the bamboo forest, slippery moss-covered rocks for a few hours. A climb to the top of Nyamulegeya rock will reward you with a stunning view of Mount Stanley and Mount Speke. You will then trek to John matte hut whereby; you will have a clear view of Mt. Stanley and the Margherita glacier, weather permitting and if the sky is clear. Dinner and Overnight and John Matte Hut.
John matte – Nyakalengija
After early morning breakfast at the John Matte Hut, you will hike a little more to see the giant lobelias before descending down the mountain to reach Nyakalengija. You will then proceed further to the Equator Snow Lodge where you will have dinner and overnight.
Drive to Kampala
Today marks the last day of your 6 days Chimpanzee Tracking and Rwenzori Mountain Trek with a hearty breakfast at the Equator Snow lodge or similar then check out. Your awaiting driver will then transport you back to Kampala with a stopover along the way at Mubende for lunch then proceed with your journey back to town in Kampala, Uganda. The driver will drop you at the place of your choice, preferably at your hotel in Kampala/Entebbe or the airport for your flight back home.
English speaking trekking guide and Porters
During the trek, you will be accompanied at all times by a Rwenzori Mountains guide. Porters will join the group as well to help to carry the luggage. There will be 1 porter per hiker to carry his/her personal luggage. The other porters carry food, charcoal, cooking utensils, and a gas cylinder among others.
Accommodation during the trek is included in the price. You will spend your nights on the mountain in huts along the main circuit of the Rwenzori, such as the Nyabitaba hut, the John Matte Hut or the Bujuku Hut.
All meals are included during the trek. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served every day while on the trek. There is always powdered milk, chocolate drink, bread, sausages, packed juice, apples, chocolates, beef, rice, Irish potatoes, peas, and sandwiches. Lunch is not included on the first day of the trek.
Permits and Entrance Fees
In order to trek in the Rwenzori Mountains national park, you need a hiking permit and you need to pay the park’s entrance fees. These are included in the price of the trek.
Hiking equipment such as crampons, ice ax, harness, helmet, gumboots are included in the trek.
You will have to make your way to Kampala, the starting point of this trek. Flight tickets to Uganda are not included in the price of the trek. In order to know which airlines fly to Entebbe International Airport (EBB), you can have a look at their website.
Transfer to Nyakalengija
This trek starts from Nyakalengija. You will have to make your way to this town. If you need help with the transfers, let us know and we can arrange it for you.
Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation in Kampala.
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.
Sleeping bag and other equipment
Sleeping bags are not included in the trek, you will have to bring your own. Other necessary trekking equipment such as trekking boots, and warm gear are not included.
Any personal expenses that may take place during the trek, such as buying snacks, souvenirs or alcoholic drinks are on your own account.
As you hike the Rwenzori, you will not be provided with bottled water. You will get the water from the rivers and streams in the mountains because it’s clean. The locals drink it and they are okay. But if you don’t trust it, it’s okay to add some water filters to your water to avoid any inconveniences (these won’t be provided by your trekking company).
Tips for the guide and porter are not included in the price of the trek. You decide how much to tip, but if you got a good service from your guide, be generous.
How high is Rwenzori?
Where are the Rwenzori Mountains located?
What does Rwenzori mean?
Who named Mt Rwenzori?
Why is Mt Rwenzori called the Mountain of the Moon?
What is the highest point in Uganda?
Which is the highest peak in the Rwenzori Mountains?
How were the Rwenzori Mountains formed?
The formation of the Rwenzori mountains dates way back to about 3 million years ago. Unlike other volcanic mountains, the Rwenzori ranges are formed by uplifted blocks of crystalline gneiss, quartzite, amphibolite, and granite rocks.