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Uganda safari for mountaineers, reaching the highest point on the 5,109-meter high Margherita peak in the Rwenzori mountains. This is one of the most rewarding experiences in Africa. Though the mountain ranks third among the highest mountains of Africa, many climbers consider climbing the Rwenzori as the most challenging on the whole African continent. Join this tour and climb it! it Ends with a relaxing in Queen Elizabeth park Uganda a game drive boat and a game drive chances to see the big 4
You will stay in various accommodations in Uganda. You will stay at Margherita Hotel in Kasese for the first night, /Boulevard Guesthouse at Nyabitaba Hut for the second and eight-night, John Matte Hut for the third night, Bujuku Hut for the fourth night, Elena Hut for the fifth night, Kitandara Hut for the sixth night, Guy Yeoman Hut for the seventh night, and in Bush lodge for the ninth night.
Your safari guide will pick you from your hotel and drive to Kasese passing via Queen Elizabeth National Park. On the way, you will have a stopover at Mpambire to see the royal drum makers, as well as at the Equator for photography at this amazing place. Proceed to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, keeping an eye out for wildlife. Dinner and overnight will be at Margherita Hotel in Kasese.
Early in the morning, after having a cup of coffee, you will drive to Nyakalengija trailhead (1,600 meters). Meet porters and guides and begin hiking up to Nyabitaba Hut. Walk through the matooke plantations on the side of the steep foothills, past the local Bakonjo homesteads. Continue with the trail along the Mubuku River, through landslides. After crossing the Mahoma River, climb steeply through bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut. Dinner and overnight will be at Nyabitaba Hut.
From Nyabitaba, you will follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Passing through the bamboo forest, traverse through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From the Nyamileju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia, and groundsel. Finally reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for dinner and overnight at the hut.
From John Matte Hut, the trail drops down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog, the home of giant lobelias. Jumping from tussock to tussock, the bog is finally crossed but rarely without the feet sampling some of the freezing ooze below. The Upper Bigo bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt Baker to the south and Mt Stanley to the west. Bujuku Hut, well-located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass. Dinner and overnight will be at the hut.
Leaving Bujuku, the trail takes you through more bog while climbing the steep slopes west of the lake and through the magical Groundsel Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4,372 meters. At the head of the gully, a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail is divided into two. The trail on your right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders, while the trail on your left leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes. Dinner and overnight will be at the coolly and icy Elena Hut.
For those aiming at reaching Margherita peak (5,109 meters), continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. To reach the summit of Margherita, the climb takes about 5-7 hours depending on the weather conditions and the pace of climbing this mountain. This tough walk takes you over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice, and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. Note that this climb is for only physically fit and technical climbers. Climbing on to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness, and coolly weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita the highest peak of the Rwenzoris.
Given the high altitude and the tough conditions even if you do not reach the peak, don’t get disappointed. Prepare for your return through the Scott-Elliot Pass where there are spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara Lakes. After the trail that passes you through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders, descend past the Kitandara Lakes for dinner and overnight at the Kitandara Hut.
From Kitandara, take on the trail that ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the mountain to Freshfield Pass. At this point, you can view into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, take on the long trail passing the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. Dinner and overnight will be at Guy Yeoman Hut.
Take on the path down to Nyabitaba Hut. The path can be slippery and muddy and therefore requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. Remember this is part of the adventure within this mountain. Dinner and overnight will be at Nyabitaba Hut.
Descend gently down the muddy paths to the trailhead, finally arriving in Kasese towards lunch time. After having lunch in Kasese, drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Proceed to the Kazinga Channel for a launch cruise where you may see a wide variety of animals such as hippos, elephants, solitary buffaloes, and a vast array of birds that come to drink. Dinner and overnight stay will be at Mweya / Jacana.
Wake up for an early morning game drive. Take breakfast and depart for Kampala reaching late in the evening.
Note: Children are not allowed to participate in this climbing tour.
There will be Fort Portal city tour for you to enjoy.
Bosco is the founder of Enchanted Uganda Safaris Limited and a safari guide. He is a tour guide by profession.
The Rwenzori Mountains, dubbed mountains of the moon, are situated in western Uganda on the east side of the western Africa rift valley along the Uganda-Congo board. Covering about 120 kilometers in length and 65 kilometers in width, these rugged and steep mountains ranges was gazetted as Rwenzori Mountains National Park in 1991 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The park is known for its fascinating beauty made of a combination of six spectacular snow-capped peaks that include Africa’s third highest peak - Mt Stanley’s Margherita peak (5,109 meters) - plus many glaciers, V-shaped valley, multitude of fast flowing rivers with beautiful waterfalls, clear blue skies, a unique stratified vegetation with beautiful plates life.
The park is known for the unique flora plus a number of species endemic to Albertine Rift Valley and several that are endangered in the park. Some of the outstanding unique flora encountered in the higher zones of the mountain ranges include the giant heather, ground heathers, ground-sells, ericas, and lobelia of the tree heath.
The mountains have five distinct vegetation zones that change with altitude. A broken montane forest zone occurs below 2,400 meters. A bamboo zone occurs up to an altitude of 3,000 meters. A tree heath vegetation zones of giant heather, frequently over 10 meters high, extends up to 3,800 meters at the small altitude, although on better soils a tangled undergrowth punctuated by mixture of small trees predominates and Afro-Alpine moorland zone upward to 4,400 meters.
The park has a diversity of wildlife that includes 89 species of mammals, four species of diurnal primates, and 15 species of butterflies. The wildlife in the park varies with the altitude. However, most of them inhibit the lower slopes. Some of the wildlife encountered include the Rwenzori colobus monkey, hyrax, forest elephants, chimpanzee, and L'Hoest's monkey.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is an important birding area (IBA), hosting about 217 species of birds of which 17 species are endemic to the park plus many Albertine Rift endemic. The forest zones at 1,800 meters have a diversity of birds species including the Rwenzori turaco, barred long-tailed cuckoo, long-eared owl, handsome francolin, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, bush shrike, several varieties of barbets, greenbuls, apalises, illadopsis, flycatchers, and crimsonwings.
The Rwenzori is a world-class mountaineering and hiking destination, ranked among the top most interesting hiking destination in the world. This is highly attributed to the challenge they present as well as the magnificent beauty that makes it the more adventurous. There are two hiking trails, the six days central circuit and the three days Mahoma nature trail.
The central circuit is the main trails for hiking the Rwenzori. It takes about seven days of trekking. Skilled climbers can trek to the summit of the snow-capped Margherita peak. The three days Mahoma nature trail is a short loop of about 28 kilometers. It is less strenuous than the circuit and can be trekked in one to three days. It is for nature walks in the Rwenzori Mountains.
The Rwenzoris, the fabled Mountains of the Moon, lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo, and rich moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting fairytale scene.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120 kilometers-long and 65 kilometers-wide Rwenzori Mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics as well as some of the world's rarest vegetation. The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. A nine- to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita - the highest peak - though shorter non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda, spanning the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi, and Rukungiri. Its location is approximately 376 kilometers (234 miles), by road, southwest of Kampala. The area of the park extends from Lake George in the northeast to Lake Edward in the southwest and includes the Kazinga Channel that connects the two lakes.
The park is named after Queen Elizabeth II. it is home to 95 species of mammal and over 500 species of birds. The area around Ishasha in Rukungiri District is famous for its tree-climbing lions, whose males sport black manes, a feature unique to the lions in this area. The park is also famous for its volcanic features, comprising volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe, from which salt is extracted.
Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalo and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains
As well as its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more. With an astonishing 5,000 hippos, 2,500 elephants, and over 10,000 buffalo thriving in its grasslands and shorelines. Queen guarantees sightings of some of Africa’s most iconic species. Hearing the elephants’ calls reverberate around Queen’s crater-filled valleys is a magical experience.
Other common herbivores include warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda kob and topi, as well as the sitatunga antelope. Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an incredible treat as it contains a variety of habitats that range from savanna to wetlands to lowland forests. This diversity is reflected in the list of over 600 bird species, the biggest of any protected area in East Africa. A majority of the birds found in this area are regarded as famous birds of East Africa and are a must-see for birdwatchers in Africa!
Queen’s most elusive inhabitants are its felines: lion, leopard, serval, and some smaller cats. Lions are found throughout the park but the most renowned live in the southern sector of Ishasha, where they rest on the limbs of fig trees. Solitary leopards are nocturnal and fiendishly well-camouflaged, making a glimpse all the more rewarding! The smaller cats are also predominantly nocturnal and best spotted on night game drives. Access by road is 438 kilometers from Kampala on a good tar road that leads to the main gate turn-off. From there, it is 20 kilometers on a dirt road.
There will be chefs who hike with you preparing hot meals every day with fruits, bread, honey, cereals, milk, and juice.
For those who prefer something a little less strenuous, neighboring Bakonzo villages offer nature walks, homestead visits, home cultural performances and accommodation, including home-cooked local cuisine.
Entebbe International Airport
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