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Mountains of the Moon

Rwenzori Trek 2020
suitcase 16 - 31 January 2020
Marika Griehsel

Marika Griehsel

Simon Stanford

Simon Stanford

In january 2020 we will lead a group to Uganda to trek up the Rwenzori Mountains and to view the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The highest point on the Mountain range is Margherita Peak which is 5109 metres above sea level, it is the highest mountain of both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, and the third highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The name Rwenzori means “rainmaker” and it certainly lives up to its name. The range is the major water source for the White Nile and contributes to most of the rivers in central Africa. 

The range’s glaciers, waterfalls and lakes make it one of Africa's most beautiful alpine areas. The park has many natural habitats of endangered species and a rich and unusual flora comprising, among other species, the giant heather, tropical forests of giant fig trees and the bamboo zone at 2,800 metres.

We are offering a trek over 10 days to allow for altitude acclimatisation the terrain is quite rugged and the final ascent is steep so trekkers need a degree of stamina-based fitness training to cope with the rapid gains in altitude. A head for heights is preferable for the summit push, but no technical climbing skills are required and our guides are very experienced at helping trekkers of all ages and levels of fitness to learn to use basic climbing equipment and to achieve the summit. This is definitely a challenging walk but it is achievable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and good deal of determination. I can personally say that it is one of the most extraordinary experiences and will be the memory of a lifetime.

The trek starts in lush tropical rainforest filled with birds, colobus and blue monkeys as well as many other mammal species. Each day thereafter presents new and wonderful changes of landscape and vegetation, mountain lakes and magnificent views of the high snow covered peaks. The final days pass through African alpine landscape and onto the glacier. The glacier climb to the summit is the only “technical section” where our guides will support us with their experience and expertise. For those who feel that the glacier is not for them there is provision to climb to a magnificent viewpoint on neighbouring Alexandra Peak. 

I have spent a month each year for the past 3 years in Uganda, leading a class of Swedish documentary film students.

The students have produced their graduation films on a wide variety of subjects from many different regions of the country. This has given me the opportunity to travel widely and meet many people. The country has enormous assets and truly lives up to its reputation as the pearl of Africa despite poverty and enormous infrastructural challenges.  Marika has led gorilla trekking and we have also reported from Uganda  and the region over many years and have socio political insights and historical knowledge that we can share.

 

Our local partner, Rwenzori Trekking contributes to the economic prospects of the local Bakonjo people, who farm the slopes of the Rwenzoris by providing employment in an area that offers few other economic prospects.

    Detaljerad Resplan

    • comments Kontaktuppgifter

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      +46 (0) 739 601 400

    Program: 

    Rwenzori Trekking with Mountain Gorilla visit

     

    Avresa - Mån 7/10

    Suggested Flights

    Outbound KLM 

    KL 1104. 16th jan.  Dept. Arlanda 06.30 Arr. AMS 08.40

    KL539. 16th jan. Dept AMS 09.55 Arr. EBB 22.30     

    Inbound Kenya Airways

    KQ 419 31st jan. Dept EBB 03.50 Arr. NBO 05.05

    KQ 116 31st jan. Dept NBO 08.05 Arr. AMS 14.50

    KL 1121 31st jan. Dept AMS 20.50 Arr. Arlanda 22.55

    TBC

    Tidtabeller till Arlanda

    Sunday 16th January 2020 Depart Stockholm Overnight at Guineafowl Lodge, Entebbe

    • Meals:

      Provided on flights

    Depart Stockholm 

    Overnight at Guineafowl Lodge, Entebbe

    After an early start and a short stop in Nairobi we arrive at Entebbe at 22.30. Immigration, customs and the inspection of vacination cerificates is usually fast and efficient so we can expect to arrive at nearby Guineafowl Lodge at around midnight. The lodge is simple, tasteful andsituated in a quiet neighborhood so we should get a good nights sleep in preparation for strenuous days ahead.

    Day 2 Monday 17th January 2020 Entebbe to Kasese

    • Mealsr:

      Breakfast

      Lunch at own cost

      Dinner at own cost

    Overnight: Sandton Hotel Kasese

    Entebbe to Kasese

    We drive westwards via Fort Portal to Kasese with lunch en route.

    The transfer will take 7 to 9 hours. 

    The bus journey will take us through the outskirts of Kampala then through some of the rich Ugandan agricultural land and up into the tea plantations around Fort Portal.  We will have time to provide an overview of what we have learned and experienced as journalists and personally during our visits to Uganda.

    Day 3 Tuesday 18th January. Kasese - Kilembe Base - Sine Camp, 2596m

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek

    Overnight: Sine Trekkers Hostel

    The day starts with the short vehicle transfer to the starting point  at Trekkers hostel Kilembe . You will have a thorough briefing from the guides, check equipment and start the trek to sleep at Sine Camp at 2596 meters following a height gain of 1146 meters. Sine Camp is set between tall forest trees on a narrow ridge where you may sit and enjoy the beauty forest while you look down at a long set of rapids and waterfall crashing over the rocks. Sine is just below the bamboo zone and the area around has many different bird species. 150 meters from the camp is Enock falls which is set in vivid green vegetation and hanging vine. Truly beautiful.

    Day 4 Wednesday 19th January. Sine Camp - Mutinda Camp, 3588m

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek.

    Overnight: Mutinda Trekkers Camp. 

    After a hearty breakfast we start the hike to Mutinda Camp at 3588 meters, giving you a height gain of 1092 metres.

    The trail takes us through the Bamboo and Heather-Rapanea Zone. It meanders up and over several small knolls along a ridge top and drops down the side of the valley crossing several small streams and passing close to moss covered waterfalls with very unique beautiful plant and flower species found above 3000m like Giant Heather trees whose trunks are covered in green moss with old mans beard (Usnea lichen) hanging from the branches. Mutinda Camp which is set near a small river and waterfall.

    Day 5 Thursday 20th January. Mutinda - Bugata Camp 4062m

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek

    Ovenight: Bugatta Camp trekkers hostel.

    Today we hike to Bugata camp at 4062 meters, with a height gain of 412 meters through the valley of amazingly unique beautiful plant species, streams and waterfalls. Today the trek gets more challenging with the steep ridges, mud and boggy sections and high steps but a very beautiful section as a reward. 

    The Rwenzoris are one of the heaviest rainfall areas in the world and the weather is very changeable, so we can expect to walk through very wet areas and even though we have chosen the driest period we will encounter rain. 

    Day 6 Friday 21st January. Bugata - Hunwick’s Camp 3974m

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek.

    Overnight: Hunwicks camp.

    Hike to Hunwick’s Camp at 3974 meters, via Bamwanjara pass at 4450m. From the pass on a clear day you get excellent views of the three main peaks. The trail passes down the valley and around the edge of some bogs and thick ever green vegetation, moss and lobelia. Here is possibly the best place in all the Rwenzori to observe the Malachite Sunbird. Farther on there is some steep sections before a steady climb up and over a ridge to Hunwick's Camp which is situated on the top of a deep valley and has good views of Mt Stanley, Mt Baker, Weismanns Peak and McConnell’s Prong which gives excellent views of the main peaks.  

    Day 7 Saturday 22nd January. Hunwick’s to Margherita Camp 4485

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek

       

    Overnight: Margherita Camp

    Hike to Margherita camp at 4485 meters, passing down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitandara which is very stunning with deep water and a beautiful vegetation, climbing through Scott Elliot pass to Margherita camp.

    The camp is on the spot where the Duke of Abruzzi, who was the first European to summit mount Stanley,  camped when making his climb to Margherita Peak in 1906. He named the peak after Queen Margherita of Italy.

    Day 8 Sunday 23rd January. Summit Day - Margherita Peak 5109m

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek

    Accommodation:Hunwick's camp

    Wake up at 2am and catch an early breakfast before heading off to climb Mt Stanley at 2.30am. The early start is necessary as the weather is very changeable with heavy clouds and snow falls from 1 pm to 4pm as the clouds rise up from the extensive Congo rainforests. Due to this there is a strict turn around time of 10am so if you do not reach the peak before then you must turn around in the interests of safety. Margherita glacier has been affected by global warming and the outer edges of the glacier are becoming steeper with one section of about 200 meters more than 60% grade. Climbers need to closely follow the instruction of guides.

    For those trekkers with less mountaineering experience we suggest that you stay on Stanley glacier and climb up to a good vantage point on a rocky outcrop on the southern edge of Alexandra Peak to enjoy fantastic views over Congo and the lower mountain ridges

    After ascending the peak at 5,109 metres we descend directly down to Hunwick's Camp at 3.874 metres.

    Day 9 Monday 24th January. Bugatta camp 4062m

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek

    Accommodation:Hunwick's camp

    Hike down to Bugata Camp at 4062metres.

    This camp is situated 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, giant groundsel and Giant lobelia (Lobellia gibberoa).  There are many Red Forest Duiker (Cephalophuc nigrifrons rubidus) which are a sub-species only found in the Rwenzori Mountains. 

    Day 10 Tuesday 25th January. Bugata - Kiharo Camp 3430m.

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek

    Overnight: Kiharo camp

    Descend down to Kiharo Camp at 3430 meters, overnight at Kiharo camp set in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation. with great chances of seeing a number of different unique bird species endemic to Rwenzori.

    Day 11 Wednesday 26th January. Kiharo - Samalira Camp 3174m

    • Meals:

      All meals provided on trek

    Overnight: Kiharo camp

    Hike down to Samalira Camp at 3174 metres.

    through pristine montane forest, with tall trees thick undergrowth and a multitude of different species of birds and primates.

    On the way down we break out of the bamboo to fantastic views of the valleys and hills below looking across to Lake George and Queen Elizabeth National Park in the distance. The equator lies just north of Lake George. Samalira Camp is at 3,147 metres and offers great views of the surrounding landscape and Kasese town. (Mobile network available at this camp)

    Day 12 Thursday 27th January. Samalira - Base Camp - Kasese

    • Meals:

      Breakfast and lunch provided.

      Dinner at own cost.

    Overnight: Sandton Hotel Kassese

    Descend down through the Bamboo zone to a heavily forest ridge home for many primates such as black and white Columbus monkeys and back down to the basecamp. Debrief and Transfer to Sandton Hotel for dinner, a shower and some well earned rest.

    Day 13 Friday 28th January. Kasese - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

    • Meals:

      Breakfast

      Lunch at own cost

      Full board at lodge

    Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

    Transfer at 7am to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, located in south western Uganda on the edge of the rift valley. It contains almost 400 species of plants, and also protects an estimated number of 320 mountain gorillas roughly half of world’s population, including several habituated groups which can be tracked. It also provides shelter to a further of 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons, Chimpanzees and Antelopes. They are around 350 species of birds. Lunch will be en-route. We will aim to arrive  in the late afternoon. 

    Day 14 Saturday 29th January. Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

    • Meals:

      Full board at lodge

    Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

    Early morning wake up and breakfast (packed lunch). We drive or walk to the starting point (the starting point depends on which group of gorillas you trek.)
    The trekking session starts at 8am or 9am according to UWA ranger guides and it goes between one and eight hours according to how far the Gorillas would been that day

    If  you come back early you will head on to an afternoon Nature walk through the villages of Bwindi and seeing how the local people lead their normal day to day lives.

    Day 15 Sunday 30th January. Bwindi to Entebbe.

    • Meals:

      Breakfast

      Lunch and dinner at own cost.

    Overnight: Guineafowl Lodge Entebbe 

    Transfer to Kampala, stopping over in Mbarara for lunch after which we will head on to stop at the Equator for some pics and drum makers. Expected time of arrival is 6pm. 

    Day 16 Monday 31st January. Entebbe to Stockholm

    • Meals:

      Meals on flight

    Flight Home.

    Transfer to the airport at 00.30 am to check in at 01.00 for flight home departing 03.50 am.


    sun - Booking and conditions

    The program can be ammended in the event of weather or other circumstances making it impossible to follow the itinerary provided . In this event an equivalent itineray of equal value will be provided.

    We strive to always provide the best possible service and encourage our travellers to actively engage in discussions and activities to get the most out of what we offer.

    Afrika Select that our clients book flights through Tranås Resebyrå / Tour Africa. 

     

    • Afrika Select can help to facilitate contact with Tranås Resebyrå / Tour Africa. 

     

    • Flight cost: Approx. 5 400 sek 

     

    • Price per person 43 500 sek ( excluding flight )

     

    • Single room supplement 5 000 sek

     

    • Booking deposit: 7 000 sek via invoice.

     

    • Second payment: 1st  oct 2019.  16 500 sek via invoice. 

     

    • Final payment: 01 dec 2019. 20 000 sek via invoice.

     

    • The following is not included in the price:
      Obligatory travel and medical evacuation insurance ( +- 1000 sek)

      Uganda Visa payable upon arrival at Entebbe for Swedish passport holders, 50 US$ 

      Drinks and meals not included in the above itinerary.

      Gratuities at airports, hotels and to guides, trackers and porters.

     

    • For further information regarding payment or other queries ring Marika Griehsel +46 739601400

     

    Reccomended flights and times :

    Outbound KLM

    KL 1104. 16th jan.  Dept. Arlanda 06.30 Arr. AMS 08.40

    KL539. 16th jan. Dept AMS 09.55 Arr. EBB 22.30     

    Inbound Kenya Airways / KLM

    KQ 419 31st jan. Dept EBB 03.50 Arr. NBO 05.05

    KQ 116 31st jan. Dept NBO 08.05 Arr. AMS 14.50

    KL 1121 31st jan. Dept AMS 20.50 Arr. Arlanda 22.55

    • Marika Griehsel and Simon Stanford, facilitators and cicerones

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    • + 46 739 601400

    • Afrika Select has a travel guarantee lodged with Swedish Kammarkollegium

    sun - Further information

    Mobile Phone Network.

    Uganda has reasonably good mobile network coverage near towns and cities but there will be very limited coverage on the mountain.

     

    Vaccinations and health.

    It is compulsory to have a valid and up to date yellow fever vaccination and certificate to visit Uganda.

    Malaria prophylaxis is highly recommended.

    Boiled or bottled water is recommended for drinking. ( this will be provided during the trek )

    Trek meals

    Our guides provide the best possible meals considering the remoteness of the mountains and limitations of weight. We provide a combination of fresh and canned food for the three main meals as well as biscuits or rye bread, cheese and tomatoes. These are supplemented with additional servings of fresh vegetables and tropical fruits where possible. There is unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate and additional boiled water for your water bottle.

    Depending on your daily food intake requirements, some trekkers also opt to bring additional food such as muesli bars, chocolate, sweets, biscuits, and other favourites, to supplement their energy needs. This is a great idea but don’t make your backpack too heavy! At times one of the porters may carry additional items such as sweets, chocolate bars, cans of beer or coke for sale along the trail.

    Temperatures

    Generally temperatures around the 3,000 to 4,000 metres mark are around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius during the day and 2 to 6 Celsius at night

    Temperatures at either camp 4 or Camp 5 degrees Celsius during the day can vary from + 1 to + 12 Celsius during the day with temperatures dropping to minus 5 to + 3 Celsius at night. On the peak it can drop to minus 2 degrees Celsius during the day but at times it can be + 8 or 10 degrees Celsius. It can also get very windy on the peaks which brings in a chill factor in bad weather.

     

    Insurance

    All persons climbing above 4,000 metres must ensure that they have a comprehensive adventure/mountaineering insurance policy to cover all medical and rescue costs should rescue or medivac be needed as complex rescue, helicopter rescue, medical evacuation or hospitalisation is not covered in our pricing. Clients must fill out the necessary form stating the company the are insured with, the policy number and the telephone number/contact of the insurance company.

     

    Porters

    The expedition porters are able to carry 15kgs per person.

     

    Packing List

    We will provide a detailed packing list to all travellers after bookings are confirmed.


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      116 25 Stockholm
      Sweden

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