“MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON”-11 DAYS RWENZORI MOUNTAINS-UGANDA

The park is located 400km west of Uganda. This Mountain is characterized of steep and slippery trails, and frequent rains. It extends to maximum altitude of 5109m above sea level and is commonly known as “The Mountains of the Moon”. To the hikers, Rwenzori Mountains is believed to be the most challenging of all African mountains. It’s also rated as Africa’s tallest mountain range only exceeding in altitude by Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. Scenic glacier peaks can be seen for miles while hiking. Numerous flora and fauna at the slopes of the Mountains may be seen enroute through rain forest inhabited by monkeys and birds to tall bamboo forests, and the moorland area where giant lobelias at higher altitude may be seen. Bujuku River and Lakes provide a good view as well. Accommodation in the Mountains will be in shared huts, however not too comfortable and with less privacy.

The itinerary below will take you through Mt. Rwenzori an optional extension for Gorillas in Bwindi or Queen Elizabeth for wildlife or better still, Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park.

DAY 1: On arrival at Entebbe Airport after you have gone through immigration check; please proceed to the exit lounge. There look out for our company representative holding a sign card with our company name or your names and will meet and transfer to your hotel; Cassia hotel in Kampala Bed & Breakfast

Day 2: Briefing on your safari. Depart for Kasese, via Queen Elizabeth National Park. Set off on the southbound road at 10am. On the way see the royal drum makers, stand on the Equator and bargain at the roadside markets. Descend through the Queen Elizabeth National Park with optional game drive, keeping an eye out for game if time permits, continue ahead for Kasese.
Overnight: Equator Snow Lodge (FB)

Day 3: Begin the climb - to Nyabitaba Hut (2650m). After breakfast drive to Nyakalengija trailhead (1600m). Your driver/Guide will help you make final arrangements for a guide and porters. Begin hiking up to Nyabitaba hut. Walk through the banana shambas on the side of the steep foothills, past the typical Bakonjo homesteads with the children waving you on! Follow the trail along the Mubuku River, through landslides and up and down rocks and bluffs. Cross the Mahoma River and climb steeply through bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut for overnight (FB).

Day 4: To John Matte Hut (3350m). The trail from Nyabitaba drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. A steep ascent through bamboo forest, traversing a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From Nyamileju rock shelter, on clear days, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be glimpsed before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. The final stretch to the hut is across a tiring bog, the first of many for which the mountain is infamous (FB).

Day 5: To Bujuku Hut (3900m). Immediately after John Matte Hut, the trail drops down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog, 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. A spectacular setting but it can be very cold, even for the Rwenzoris. (FB).

Day 6: To Elena Hut (4541m). Leaving Bujuku, through more bog, the trail climbs the steep slopes west of the lake, passing through the magical Groundsel Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. At the head of the gully a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail splits into two. The right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders. The left path leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes. For those sleeping at the basic Elena Hut be prepared for a cold and icy night (FB).

Day 7: For those climbing Margherita peak (5109m) continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. Depending on the weather and the individual's acclimatisation, it can be a four to seven hour walk to the summit of Margherita. This is a tough walk over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. It is only for the physically fit and is a technical climb that requires roping up, crampons and appropriate equipment for cold, windy and icy conditions. It is best to attempt the final climb in a minimum group of 4 - two climbers and two guides; (a supplement for the extra guide has to be paid for at the time of booking). Climb on to the glacier, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Subject to altitude sickness, fog and weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita, crown of the Rwenzoris. Due to the altitude and the tough conditions not everybody will make it to the summit so do not be disappointed if you do not. Returning to Scott-Elliot pass, there are spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara Lakes. Once over the pass the trail enters an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders. Descend to the Kitandara Hut for overnight, past the Kitandara Lakes. (For those who do not wish to climb the peak, a more restful day walking from Elena Hut to Kitandara Hut 4,023m.) (FB).

Day 8: To Guy Yeoman Hut (3260m). From Kitandara, the trail 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. On a clear day there are views into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, the long muddy descent continues, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 (FB).

Day 9: To Nyabitaba (2650m). The path down can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on to and requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. An overnight stop at the Nyabitaba Hut is a pleasant rest after the exertion of the previous days (FB).

DAY 10: Descend to Nyakalengija (1600m). This is usually a gentle descent down through muddy paths and enroute numerous birds, blue tailed monkeys and occasionally rhinoceros chameleons may be seen. Arrive in the afternoon in time to Lunch in Kasese. Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Enjoy an evening game drive and stay at Kyambura Game Lodge. All meals included.

DAY 11: Transfer time (appx.8hrs): Morning game drive then departure: This day transfer to the airport in Entebbe. Check in has to be done 2hours before departure time. After check in, there are duty free shops in the hallway for your convenience as well as coffee shops and a bar before your evening flight home. Bed, Breakfast & Lunch

Rates 2014-15
2-3pax $3170
4-7pax $2850
8-12pax $2550
Tour leader $1500

The package includes:
• Airport Transfers & Ground Transfers
• Lodge/Hotel Accommodation on arrival and overnights as per itinerary
• Huts-for Accommodation in the Mountains
• Mountain food & bottled drinking water
• Guides and porters,
• Park entry fee
• Cooks, Gas for cooking
• Air Rescue by AMREF
• Fuel, rescue fee and government tax

The package excludes any cost of personal nature like:
• Tips
• Visas
• Hire of climbing and other equipment required each at $25
• Laundry
• Souvenirs
• Personal drinks and cigarettes
• International Air ticket and related costs
• Personal Comprehensive Insurance covers


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