Your tour guide will be waiting for you on arrival at the Kigali international airport to welcome you to the land of 1000 hills. Dinner and overnight at Kigali serena hotel (luxury)
Have breakfast and be ready for pick up by our company tour guide. You will begin your day with Kigali city grand tour. Places to visit before your drive to volcanoes national park include the Gisozi genocide site, local craft shops and local markets. You will later have lunch after which hit the road driving north of the country to Volcanoes national park in Musanze province. Dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury), Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge / La Palme (Mid-range), Muhabura Hotel (Basic).
Today you will wake up early for a quick cup of coffee and with your guide drive to the park head offices. Assemble for briefing by 7:30 about the do’s and don’t when you meet gorillas. This is a standard precaution to protect the health of the mountain gorillas and the visitors. You will also be divided in groups of 8 people depending on your level of fitness. After the Briefing and assigning a gorilla group to trek, you will drive to the head trail of your gorilla group where the trek will begin. At this point you will descend into the forest with a lead from an experienced local guide who will be in position to answer all your question as you trek in search for your gorilla family. This trek can last from 30 minutes to 6 hours hiking through bamboo trees. The length of your trek depends on how far into the forest your gorilla group has moved. Once you meet the gorillas, only one hour is allowed with the gentle species so as not to exhaust them. In this one hour, you are allowed to take pictures, video recording but don’t forget to take time and take in this magical moment! Once the hour is done, descend back to the head trail where you entered the forest from. In The afternoon have an optional tour of the Lake Burera and Ruhondo located within the vicinity of Volcanoes national park.Dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury)/La palme Hotel (Deluxe)/Muhabura Hotel (Budget)
Early morning after your breakfast, with a packed lunch from your hotel proceed to the Kinigi headquarters for registration and briefing a, you will be escorted by the Ranger guides to Hike Mt. Karisimbi, the fifth highest snowcapped mountain of Africa. Trekking is via Bisoke side and up to an altitude of 3700m where you will have dinner and overnight, half way Mt Karisimbi.
Early in the morning, continue the Summit Mt Karisimbi 4507m, where you will enjoy the beautiful scenery. Then descend down the volcano, and transfer to lake kivu. Dinner and overnight at Lake Kivu Serena hotel (Luxury)/ Palm gardens resort (Deluxe)/ Paradise Marahide (Budget)
early morning breakfast to your hotel and drive crossing into Congo – Goma town reaching at Kibatsi village head trail of Nyiragongo Volcano. The hike starts by 9:30am. Nyiragongo is an active volcano that shows signs of erupting. Hiking this mountain takes about 5 to 6 hours Overnight at the campsite located at the Nyiragongo volcano rim
After descending Nyiragongo, head on to have lunch and then cross boarders into Uganda. Dinner and overnight Gahinga lodge (Luxury), Mutanda safari lodge (midrange), Golden monkeys guest house (Budget).
An option on relaxing all day or an afternoon Kisoro tour and visiting Lake Mutanda, after lunch. Lake Mutanda is known for its large numbers of Otas and one can swim in the lake if they wish too. You will have a quiet afternoon as you canoe around the the lake using the local canoes built by the local people of Kisoro.
After an early breakfast embark on the journey through the rolling hills of kabale heading towards kasese. We will drive through Queen Elizabeth national Park and finally in Kasese town. In the evening we will go through all equipment needed as Rwenzori Hike is going to be our highest summit. Sleep at Magherita hotel (Upmarket), Sandton hotel (midrange) and Trekkers hostel (Budget).
Meet the mountaineering guide for briefing and equipment check, after start off a steady walk with a steep climb for the last kilometer. Start at Trekkers Hostel at 1,450meters and sleep at Sine Hut at 2,596 meters being a height gain of 1,146 meters
Guides generally brief clients at the start of the trek or the night before.
The trek starts at Trekkers Hostel in Kyanjuki, which is situated 1,450 meters above sea level and 12 kilometers from Kasese town. 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 you pay the gate entrance fee and the rangers brief you on the rules of the National Park.
Afro Montane Forest Zone. This is a steady climb through pristine forest with multitudes of birds and may be a chance of seeing a wild chimpanzee or blue monkey scampering off through the forest. The vegetation is really something with a wide variety of species and as if out of the film Tarzan the swinging, lichen covered vines are awesome. Enock's Falls are just 200meters from Sine Hut and offer a splendid opportunity to capture a screensaver for your memories. Top is typical of the vegetation on the trail climbing to Sine Hut which cross below Enock's Falls. On right is the falls you see as you sit on the verandah of Sine Hut. The wooden hut here is a set between tall forest trees on a narrow ridge, with ten beds and a large verandah 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.
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 metres 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 (Usunea 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. This valley is unique with many Giant Heather trees creating a beautiful atmosphere often shrouded in mist. Eventually you get to Mutinda Camp which is set near a small river which drops of a waterfall and offers a chance to wash and refresh and relax or, you may wish to climb up to the top of the Mutinda Lookout (one and a half hours up and one hour down) 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.
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. We 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 Weismann's 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 (Lobelia gibber a). There are a many Red Forest Duiker (Cephalophuc nigrifrons rubidus) which are a sub-species only found in the Rwenzori Mountains. In the past they have been very hard to see due to the thick vegetation but since the fire, which burnt across the alpine region of the Rwenzori Mountains, they are now more easily seen in the new shorter growth. The area is covered with tussock grass, everlasting flowers (Helichrysum), St John's Wort (Hypericum becquaeritii), giant groundsel (Senecio adnivalis) and Giant lobelia (Lobelia gibber a). 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 (GPS reading N 18.312 E2953.457) in case of the need for rescue by helicopter. Bugata Camp at 4,062 metres
6.2km starting at 4,062 meters climbing over 4,450 meters sleeping at 3,974meters. 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 (Nectariniajohnstonu Dartmouth) 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 Bamwanjara Pass with Mt Stanley on left, Mt Speke centre, Mt Baker right in the valley. On reaching the top of Bamwamjara Pass you get excellent views of all the main snowcapped peaks where we have a small shelter for you to rest and enjoy the scenery. The walk down to Kachope Lakes is steep and often very muddy but offers fantastic views of the lakes and McConnell's 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. Butawu Camp at 3,974 metres.
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 honor the Italian Kingdom and Queen Margherita hence our naming 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.
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 2am have 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 going is easy however the climb down toMargherita 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 aluminum ladder. This route is much safer than the original ladders and clients may attach 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 top 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 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 is awesome and your goal is achieved! After summiting you then descend directly to Butawu Camp 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.
Late breakfast at 8.30 am 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 the 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. Sleep at Bugata Camp and descend direct to base Camp in one day OR you can get an early start, take lunch at Bugata Camp then descend to Mutinda Camp. Sleep at Mutinda Camp then the following day descend to the Base Camp.
Descend to Base Camp getting to the base camp by lunch time where you will de-brief and awarded certificates for hiking and after we will transfer to Fort Portal. Sleep at Kyaninga Lodge (Luxury) Fort motel (Midrange) Rwenzori Guest house (Budget)
After an early lunch we will head off to Kampala which is the main Capital city of Uganda, well known for nice night Life and difference cuisines of restaurants, which we will explore in an evening dinner in one of the restaurants in Kampala. We will arrive Kampala by approximately 5pm and after refreshing, driver will be ready to pick up for dinner at 7pm. Sleep at Emin Pasha Hotel (Luxury) Forest cottages (Midrange) Fat Cat hostel (Budget).
After breakfast start off our visit through uganda’s main city Kampala, visit the old Tombs of the kings of Buganda ( Kasubi tombs) visit Namugongo Shrine, Bahai Temple, Uganda Museum, Old Kampala Mosque and after winding off our trip in Entebbe. Sleep at Boma Guest (Luxury) Papyrus guest house (Midrange) Sunset motel (Budget).
Transfer to the airport depending on arrival flights.