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18-Day Uganda Primate Trekking and Rwenzori Mountain Adventure

The 18-Day Uganda Primate Trekking and Rwenzori Mountain Adventure tour will take you to the best of Uganda’s Primates and the Rwenzori Mountains, accompanied by game drives and boat cruises in the Savannah National Parks.

The primates that will be visited are chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, gorillas in Bwindi National Park, and golden monkeys in Mgahinga National Park.

You will also enjoy the beautiful scenery, tea plantations, coffee farms, crater lakes, and the mighty Uganda equator point.

Hiking the Rwenzori Mountains to the summit is a rewarding experience, as well as visiting local communities like the Isunga community, Batwa community, and Bakonzo community.

See Uganda hiking safari highlights below.

4-Day Waterfall Circuit Trek - Mount Rwenzori's Splendor

18 Days Rwenzori & Primate Trekking Tour Highlights

  • Day 1: Transfer to Kibale National Park
  • Day 2: Chimpanzee Trekking and Bigodi Swamp Walk
  • Day 3: Visit Isunga Cultural Community Association and Drive to Rwenzori Mountains National Park
  • Day 4: Trek to Nyabitaba Hut
  • Day 5: Trek to John Matte Camp
  • Day 6: Hike to Bujuku Hut
  • Day 7: Hike to Kitandara Hut
  • Day 8: Climb to the Summit of Margherita
  • Day 9: Head to Guy Yeoman Hut
  • Day 10: Connect to Nyakalengija and the Hotel in Kasese
  • Day 11: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP – Boat Cruise and Game Drive in the Ishasha Sector
  • Day 12: Head to Bwindi National Park and Batwa Community Tour
  • Day 13: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Day 14: Head to Mgahinga National Park
  • Day 15: Golden Monkey Trekking
  • Day 16: Head to Lake Mburo National Park
  • Day 17: Explore Lake Mburo Savannah Plains
  • Day 18: Head Back to Kampala with a Stopover at the Equator

Detailed 18 Days Rwenzori & Primate Trekking Itinerary

Uganda Attractions

Day 1: Transfer to Kibale National Park

Transfer to Kibale National Park on the first day of your 18-Day Uganda Primate Trekking and Rwenzori Mountain Adventure tour.

The journey will take you through different forests, tea plantations, farmland gardens, and then stopovers like the one in Mubende town, where you can enjoy some snacks and stretch.

The overall journey takes about 5 to 6 hours, filled with great memories.

Arrive and relax at the lodge, marking the end of the day.

Accommodation Options:

Day 2: Chimpanzee Trekking and Bigodi Swamp Walk

Chimpanzee Trekking is one of the exciting activities on this 18-Day Uganda Primate Trekking and Rwenzori Mountain Adventure tour, starting after breakfast and a briefing conducted by the park ranger guide at the Kanyanchu park office.

The briefing is crucial as it provides guidelines such as not feeding wild animals, refraining from eating, smoking, or drinking in front of animals, and maintaining a safe distance from animals.

Embark on the adventure as you venture into the forest and encounter other creatures such as L’hoest monkeys, Grey-checked mangabeys, black and white colobus monkeys, as well as various bird species like the great blue turaco.

Spending an hour with a troop/group of chimps is a highlight, with the overall experience taking about 5 hours.

After lunch, take a swamp walk in the Bigodi community, a corridor to different wildlife such as chimps, colobus monkeys, varvet monkeys, olive baboons, and numerous bird species.

Return to the lodge for your accommodations.

Accommodation Options:

Day 3: Visit Isunga Cultural Community Association and Drive to Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Visit the Isunga Cultural Community Association and embark on a community tour with a local guide.

Enjoy the beautiful tea plantations, coffee gardens, and crater lakes, and even participate in making homemade coffee.

Support the locals by purchasing Isunga coffee or other souvenirs like baskets and wood carvings.

This experience offers insights into tea, coffee, crater lakes, and the local way of life.

After this wonderful day, head to Kasese, passing through the crater lakes of Ndali-Kasenda, and reach Rwenzori Mountains National Park in the evening to check in at the lodge or hotel.

Accommodation Options:

Day 4: Trek to Nyabitaba Hut

Start your day with breakfast at the hotel/lodge and then transfer to the park offices for the briefing at Nyakalengija gate.

Here, you’ll learn about the necessary guidelines, acquire materials, hire porters, and more.

Enjoy the foothills of the mountains, inhabited by the Bakonzo people, and explore bamboo forests with different primates such as varvet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and chimpanzees.

Trek to Nyabitaba hut, which stands at 2651m above sea level, for an overnight stay.

Day 5: Trek to John Matte Camp

Begin the day with a hot cup of tea and continue trekking to John Matte.

Along the way, you’ll pass through the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers, encountering moss-covered rocks, bamboo forests, and more.

Don’t miss the Nyamuleju rock shelter and unique plant species like Lobelia, giant Heather, groundsel, and others during today’s trek.

Spend the night at John Matte hut, enjoying a great view of the glaciers at Margherita peak.

Day 6: Hike to Bujuku Hut

Wake up to a cup of coffee and embark on a hike to Bujuku hut.

Experience jumping over the bigo bog and crossing Bujuku lake.

Enjoy a picnic lunch while admiring the views of Mount Stanley, Mount Baker, and Speke.

Retire for the night after arriving at Bujuku hut, which is located 3962m above sea level.

Day 7: Hike to Kitandara Hut

Have breakfast and continue on a new trail involving both upward and downward movements, passing through the magical groundsel gully.

Begin the steep hike to Kitandara hut, taking in the beautiful scenery.

Reach the base camp for an overnight stay.

Day 8: Climb to the Summit of Margherita

Start the day early, at midnight, with headlight lamps, and by morning, you’ll witness a magnificent sunrise.

Enjoy the challenging terrain, slippery rocks, glaciers, and exposed areas.

Ropes will be essential, and it’s advised to wear heavy jackets due to the cold.

Arrive at Margherita peak, take photos, and then descend to Kitandara hut.

Day 9: Head to Guy Yeoman Hut

Descend further to Guy Yeoman hut, where you will spend the night amidst historical trails.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery, with views of Congo.

Day 10: Connect to Nyakalengija and the Hotel in Kasese

Descend to Nyakalengija gate for debriefing, including returning all hired materials.

Bid farewell to the ranger guide, porters, and cooks, then transfer to Kasese Town for your hotel stay.

Day 11: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP – Boat Cruise and Game Drive in the Ishasha Sector

Head to Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to the rare tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector.

These lions can also be found in Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania, making them a unique feature in East Africa.

It’s advised to wake up early in the morning to catch a morning boat cruise on the Kazinga channel, where crocodiles and hippos will be the highlights.

In the afternoon, enjoy a game drive to spot various animals, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, warthogs, Uganda kobs, the rare tree-climbing lions, and many others.

Accommodation Options:

Day 12: Head to Bwindi National Park and Batwa Community Tour

Transfer to Bwindi National Park, which is home to almost half of the world’s rare mountain gorilla population.

Enjoy the drive through the impenetrable forest and tea plantations.

Upon arrival, have lunch at a resort with a magnificent view.

You can take a community tour with the Batwa pygmies, where you’ll participate in cultural music and dances, learn to make fire using natural materials, and more.

Dinner will be served, and you can rest for the night.

Accommodation Options:

Day 13: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Head for a briefing at the park offices, covering various aspects of gorilla trekking.

Learn about the dos and don’ts during the trek, the allocation of the gorilla family to trek, appropriate attire for the forest, and the expected duration of the experience.

Gorilla trekking can last from 2 to 8 hours, including an hour spent with the gorillas.

Meeting a gorilla family is an incredible adventure, observing them grooming young ones, breastfeeding, foraging for food, and the silverback practicing leadership skills, among other activities.

You’ll also encounter small primates, birds, and various plant species.

After the experience, meet the silverback, the leader of the group, as he practices his leadership skills.

Accommodation Options:

Day 14: Head to Mgahinga National Park

Head to the smallest national park in Uganda, Mgahinga National Park, located in the far southwestern part of the country.

This park is one of the three national parks within the Virunga Conservation Area and is home to rare primates such as golden monkeys and mountain gorillas.

Upon arrival, proceed directly to the lodge for your accommodations.

Day 15: Golden Monkey Trekking

Begin your day with breakfast at the lodge, followed by a short drive to the park offices, where you will receive a briefing about this exciting day’s adventure.

Learn about the rules and guidelines, proper attire, expected duration, and be allocated a park guide ranger, among other details.

Start the experience as you penetrate the forest, and upon locating the golden monkeys, spend an hour with them, capturing memorable photos with the aid of a flashlight.

Meet these rare species in the bamboo forest alongside other creatures and birds.

If you’re fortunate, you might even encounter some gorillas since you share the same trail.

Return to the lodge for lunch, with an optional tour of Lake Mutanda.

Day 16: Head to Lake Mburo National Park

On this day, head to Lake Mburo National Park, the smallest Savannah national park, and enjoy the picturesque landscape, featuring hills, forests, valleys, and more.

Lake Mburo National Park is the only park near Lake Mburo, and the journey takes approximately 5-6 hours by car.

Day 17: Explore Lake Mburo Savannah Plains

Explore the plains of Lake Mburo National Park through a 2-hour game drive.

In the afternoon, enjoy a 2-hour boat cruise on Lake Mburo, the largest lake in the park.

This experience is highly rewarding, with opportunities to spot wildlife and bird species, including crocodiles, hippos, warthogs, eland, impalas, zebras, leopards, and many others.

Day 18: Head Back to Kampala with a Stopover at the Equator

Leave the smallest Savannah national park in the Pearl of Africa in the morning after a leisurely breakfast and transfer back to Kampala.

The overall journey will take about 4 hours, including a stop at the point where the equator crosses Uganda at zero degrees.

You will be dropped at the airport to mark the end of the safari.

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