HPE: 573 Gorilla Tracking
Duration: 14 Days and 13 Nights
Price: Please Contact us about the price of this Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive at Entebbe and transfer to Kasese through Fort portal. Overnight at Hotel Margherita.
Day 2: Travel to Nyakalengija.
Start trekking to Nyabitaba hut 2650m. The trek is through coffee plantations and crossing the Mahoma River travelling through forest to the Nyabitataba hut set on forested ridge with a view of portal peaks and Bujuku Valley.
Trek to John Matte Hut, 7 hours walk 3550m our trail descends through forest to cross to Bujuku river at Kurt Shaffer Bridge and through a Giant Heath and Groundsel forest you will stop at Nyamileju hut “Place of Beards” name that refers to the moss and lichen hanging from the trees. We carry on to John matte which is close to the river in a grove of Giant heather.
Trek to Lake Bujuku Hut.3900m. We travel through the two Bigo Bogs to Bigo Hut, crossing Kibatisi Bog to cooking pot cave and on to the beautiful set of Lake Bujuku (where Jesus learnt how to walk on the water) Here you should be able to have a wonderful view of mounts stanley, Speke and Baker and the incredible ice cave on Mount Speke should be clearly visible. You may now choose to ascend to mount Speke.
Trek to Elena Hut 4541m. Travelling through groundsel gully and via Scott Eliot pass (highest point of loop trail 4372m) we ascend to Elena Hut.
We climb Margherita peak 5109m, summit of the highest mountain in the Rwenzori and descend to Kitandara hut.
We trek to Guy yeoman 3450m. 5 hours walk. we will make a steep ascent to the fresh field pass 4282m and then descend to Bujonglo Cave. 3720m the base used for Duke of Abruzzi’s 1906 expedition. We will pass the kabamba cave 3450m the waterfall and rock shelter staying overnight at Guy yeoman hut set in giant heather zone.
Descend from Guy yeoman to Nyakalengija to Mweya. Steep descent through the Bamboo Zone via Lake Mahoma to the trail head at Nyakalengija and continue to Kibale via Kasese and Fort portal. Overnight Ndali Lodge.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest to see Red tail monkeys, Chimps, Baboons and other forest dwellers. Later transfer to the gorilla sanctuary through this beautiful mountain scenery referred to as the little Switzerland. Or though Ishasha if the road is ok. Dinner and overnight at Lake Kitandara Tented Camp.
After breakfast and briefing by park ranger guides. Later with picnic lunch, start a 30 minutes – 8 hours trek to find the Mountain gorillas. The tracking starts at the area where the gorillas were the previous day. After a full hour with the gorillas, return to your accommodations for dinner and overnight Lake Kitandara Campsite. On alternate days others will be taking a forest walk to the Munyaga water falls.
Day 11: (same as day 10)
After breakfast, transfer to Mbarara arriving in time for lunch at the Lake view Hotel, continue to Kampala to Hotel Africana.
Optional white water rafting day.
Transfer to airport for flight out.
Rwenzori Mountain Climb, Chimp Tracking and Gorilla Trekking
The best time for mountaineering is during the dry seasons from mid-December to the end of March and from June through mid-August.
Includes: Accommodation, Transport, Airport Transfer, Trekking/Hiking fee, Hotel meals, Mountain food, Park Entry Fee, Rescue fee, Tents, Mountain Fuel (Charcoal), Guides fee, Porters fees (Food and wages).
You must come with Climbing gear i.e Crampons, Ice axe, Snow glasses.
The Rwenzori Mountains lie along the western border of Uganda and rise to a height of 5,100 meters. Here are the legendary ‘Mountains of the Moon’, a World Heritage Site – and these incomparable, beautiful, mist-shrouded peaks provide a unique backdrop to one of our most magnificent national parks.
In the centre of the range, which boasts Africa’s third highest mountain, some of the peaks carry permanent snow and glaciers, while the lower slopes are covered with dense forest. Walking trails on the lower slopes do not call for mountaineering experience, although the higher you go the fitter you need to be. Excellent walking routes, including the Bujuku circuit, are provided through wonderful and unique scenery. For those who want to attempt a climb, several peaks provide challenges that match those in the Alps. These fabled mist-covered “Mountains of the Moon,” 120 km in length and 48 km in width, were formed from a block which was thrust up during the creation of the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley. At the centre of the range, there are six peaks carrying permanent snow, three with glaciers.
The highest of these peaks, and the third highest peak in Africa, is Mt. Margherita rising 5100 meters above sea level. The Rwenzori Mountains were gazetted as a National Park in 1991. The Park covers 996 square kilometres of rugged mountain terrain. Whether they are experienced climbers or casual day-hikers, Rwenzori Mountain National Park offers visitors a unique experience of an Afro-Montane rainforest.
The main attraction is the luxuriant vegetation found above 3000 m which includes the giant forms of Lobelia, Heather and Groundsel. Rwenzori Mountains National Park is also home to the hyrax, blue monkey, chimpanzee, giant forest hog and many unique bird species such as the Rwenzori turaco, the handsome francolin and the olive pigeon.
A maximum number of 6 visitors may visit a group of habituated gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
Please always keep your voices low. You will then also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
High Peaks Expeditions General Health Rules :
You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
i. When you approach the Gorillas, the guides will inform you when to get you cameras ready
ii. Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas.
When you are with the gorillas
iii. Keep a minimum of 5 meters (15 feet) from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases
iv. You must stay in tight group when you are near the gorillas
v. Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is OK to ask the guide questions
vi. Do not eat or drink while you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases
vii. Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example-crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass. Do not try and take pictures and do not attempt to run away. Running away will increase the risk.
viii. Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals. They might look cuddly but…….
The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
ix. After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters from the gorillas.
Remember gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following are ways to minimize the risk your visit might pose to them:
x. Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternate visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.
Always stay 5 meters (15 feet) away form the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
Do not attempt to touch the gorillas.
Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are with the gorillas.
Do not leave any rubbish (eg. food wrappers) in the Park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
If you need to defecate, whilst in the forest, pleas ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. Make sure the hole is 30cms deep and fill it in when you are finished.
How you are contributing to the conservation of the Mountain Gorillas:
The mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla berengie), the world’s most endangered ape, is found only in small portions of protected afro montane forests in northwest Rwanda, southwest Uganda and eastern DRC. The mountain gorilla is one of many species unique to these forests. The forests are also home to many wonderful birds, primates, large mammals, reptiles, insects and plants and also ensure continued water and medical plant resources for the local communities.
The mountain gorillas are divided into two populations and current figures estimate the total population to be about 600 individuals. One population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), in S.W. Uganda, covering about 330km2, and the ecologically homogenous (salem flora and fauna), covering three contiguous National Parks in three countries.; Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcano National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, covering an approximate total area of 300km2.
The threats to the remaining gorilla population and its habitat are many. One of these threats is the possibility of disease transmission form humans to gorillas and vice versa. In order to address the issue of potential disease transmission to the gorillas and to mitigate
Behavioral disturbances to this fragile population, the gorilla rules have been developed.
By following these rules and through the purchase of the permit, YOU too are contributing to the conservation of the mountain gorilla. Uganda Wildlife Authority uses the funds generated from the sale of this permit for the management of the National Parks. A percentage of the funds raised from Park entrance fees are also donated to local communities living adjacent to the parks to contribute to their development and improve natural resource management in the region.
Important: Before you travel please check your Tour Voucher and Arrival Information for the latest joining instructions. This will be sent to you upon receipt of final payment.
All itineraries are subject to change without prior notice.