Go off the beaten track and experience the real Africa in the Rwenzori’s! Enjoy the mountainous areas of natural beauty while experiencing the fascinating culture of the local communities.
Day 1: ARRIVAL IN ENTEBBE
You will be welcomed by a representative of Great Lakes Safaris who will transfer you to your hotel in Kampala. Overnight at Marble Arch.
Day 2: TRANSFER TO THE RWENZORI MOUNTAIN REGION
After breakfast we leave the bustling capital city and drive towards the peaceful, calm town of Fort Portal. Check in at your homely accommodation with a view of the Mountains of the Moon. Here you will enjoy lunch before you visit the Tooro Botanical Gardens, at a walking distance of your guesthouse. Enjoy a guided walk through the garden full of colourful, tropical flowers and medicinal plants while you admire the rich bird life. Later in the afternoon return for dinner and overnight to Rwenzori View Guesthouse.
Day 3: KASUNGA TEA ESTATE
The Rwenzori region is famous for the widespread tea plantations and therefore your experience can’t go without a visit to a tea estate. Visit the tea plantation, touch the fresh tea leaves and watch the workers tipping, plucking and weeding. Of course you are invited to participate! Have a break in the afternoon and enjoy lunch before you visit the tea factory. Here you will see the progress of transforming the leaves to black (made) tea. Your guide will give you a detailed explanation about the entire progress. And what would be a visit without the actual tasting of the final product?! If you wish you can visit Kihingami on the way back where you can enjoy a short walk through the wetland. Dinner and overnight at Rwenzori View Guesthouse.
Day 4: CULTURAL INTERACTION
Today you will visit the Mugusu Market which is the biggest market in the Rwenzori region. Note that it is only held on a Wednesday; on other days we will visit the busy Fort Portal market. Stroll around, have a look at the merchandise and try your expertise in bargaining with the salesmen. From the market we will continue to a honey co-operative and organic farming of bees in Rubona. Watch how honey is collected and learn about the different honey products. We will end this day full of cultural interaction with a visit to a basket weavers association. The women’s group would be delighted to show you how they weave a basket, which materials are used and how the bright earth tone natural colours are made. Don’t hesitate and participate in this craftsmanship! Dinner and overnight at Rwenzori View Guesthouse.
Day 5: CRATER LAKES EXPEDITION
A full day to enjoy the natural beauty of the Crater Lakes area! Explore the numerous clear lakes, surrounded by gentle hills, and hike to the Top of the World. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the green surroundings, the majestic mountains and even the wide savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Walk to the hidden Mahoma Falls while you experience the daily life from firsthand. Take time to meet the inhabitants as you pass their small villages and learn about the local crops that are cultivated here. Dinner and overnight at Rwenzori View Guesthouse.
Day 6: FOOTHILLS OF THE RWENZORI’S
Today you will be able to enjoy the beauty of the Mountains of the Moon in its full glory. Have a guided nature walk at the foothills and learn about the local culture. Enjoy the scenic views, have a glimpse of the village life and visit a traditional witchdoctor at his home. We will make a stop at the Amabere Caves, where you can discover the small hidden waterfall as we enter the cave and admire the stalagmites, stalactites and pillars. Adventurous hikers can even hike over the Rwenzori mountains to Bundibugyo but this requests a good physical condition. Dinner and overnight at Rwenzori View Guesthouse.
On one of these nights a cultural evening is awaiting you, with traditional dances and songs from different tribes.
Day 7: TROPICAL RAIN FOREST AND SWAMPS
We will leave Fort Portal and head to Kibale Forest. Stop at the charming village of Bigodi for a traditional lunch at a local house. In the afternoon enjoy the Bigodi Swamp Walk. This is an initiative of the local community and supports the local community projects. The swamp is often referred to as the “Home of the Great Blue Turaco” and is known for its rich diversity of birds and primates. In the evening return to your accommodation.
You can either choose for a homestay at a local family living in Bigodi. Come face to face with the Kitooro traditions as you eat the same food and sleep under the same roof. Or you might want to spend the night in the comforts of the African jungle at Primate Lodge Kibale.
Day 8: CHIMP WALK & VILLAGES
Today the forest opens it doors for a sensational chimp tracking. Kibale Forest is reputable of having the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. Enjoy a guided nature walk in the tropical rainforest in search of the wild chimpanzee, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey and many others. After a hearty lunch we transfer to Bigodi Swamp for another, totally different walk. Follow the village trail for a closer meeting with Bigodi Village and its inhabitants. Visit a local school, a Catholic church where they produce peanut butter, different homesteads and listen to the traditional storytelling from the Mzee (elderly). Dinner and overnight at either a local family in Bigodi or Primate Lodge Kibale.
Day 9: RETURN TO KAMPALA
In the morning we say goodbye to one of the most beautiful regions in Uganda and we start our journey back to Kampala with lunch en route. After arrival at your accommodation in the capital city, spend the afternoon relaxing and reflecting your unforgettable experiences. Dinner and overnight at Banda Inn.
Day 10: DEPARTURE
Depending on your time of departure you might want to explore Kampala or Entebbe by a city tour and visit some interesting and historical sites. We will transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. We are looking forward to seeing you again!
Other activities such as walking up the slopes, or even over the top of the Rwenzori Mountains; visiting the natural Spa; experiencing farmers working on their land; or travelling to the Semliki jungle with its hot springs, can be arranged.