4 - 12
Bordering Uganda and the Congo, rise the mysterious Rwenzori Mountains, which Roman astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy famously named the 'Mountains of the Moon', and for centuries were mistakenly considered to be the source of the River Nile, which actually originates in Sudan & Ethiopia, further north. This incredible adventure takes you hiking in this wondrous outpost of the world; including Mountain Gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park, game drives and immersive experiences with local communities.
The Rwenzori National Park, covering nearly 100,000ha in Western Uganda, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to Africa's third highest peak, Mount Margherita at 5109m. 70% of the park is over 2500m in height and is renowned as one of Africa's most beautiful alpine areas, with glaciers, waterfalls and lakes. Rich in biodiversity thanks to the nearly constant temperatures, humidity and high insolation, the mountains are home to many endangered and endemic plant species, such as giant heathers, groundsels and lobelias.
Managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority, Rwenzori National Park is considered a model for the integration of cultural values into the Protected Area Management framework, as an innovative approach to resource management - the first of its kind in Africa. The name Rwenzori stems from ‘nzururu’, which means 'place of snow' in the Bakonzo language. 217 bird species have been recorded and the montane forests are home to threatened animals such as the African forest elephant, eastern chimpanzee and L'Hoest's monkey.
Gorilla permits cost $700 (included) and are issued by the UWA on a first come, first served basis. For this reason, you need to book this holiday as far in advance as possible to ensure we can secure you a permit. In addition to your £200 deposit, we will ask you for a £550 downpayment on your adventure to purchase your permit. This is refundable (on cancellation by you) only if our partner agency is able to re-sell the permit on to another operator (which they make every effort to do).
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. There are no single rooms available during the Rwenzori mountain trek (Day 2 - 5). We will charge on a pro-rata basis if a single room is not available to book for part of the trip where it would have been possible.
We fully believe in, and practice Responsible Tourism, using local hotels, owned and run by locals. We put time and effort into building our relationship with them to ensure you have a a great trip.
We choose hotels based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra road travel), and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Some hotels will be basic, in modern buildings or in town centres. Wherever we can, we will choose smaller more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, this may not be available. An aspect of our adventures is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles and to experience new things which are exciting and memorable, and reflects the countries we are visiting.
This is adventure travel and on occasion the advertised services at a hotel (eg wifi, or hot showers, or continuous power) may not be functional on our arrival. This tends to occur in the smaller, more remote hotels. Very rarely a hotel lets us down and we are required to find alternative suitable accommodation that might not be our first choice. This trip involves a range of guesthouses, eco safari lodges and thatched roof riverside tents
The list below gives information on our first choice of accommodation for this adventure; where hotels and hostels are fully booked or unavailable, we will use an alternative of a similar standard, and equally well situated. We will provide you with an accurate list of accommodation, with contact information to leave with relatives, prior to departure on your adventure.
Entebbe (Day 1 & 11): Paypyrus Guesthouse
Kilembe (Day 2): Trekkers Hostel
Rwenzori Mountains (Day 3 & 4 & 5): Mountain Refuges - dormitory style, basic.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (Day 6 & 7): CTHPGorilla Conservation Camp
Lake Mulehe (Day 8 & 9): Lake Mulehe Lodge
Lake Mburo National Park (Day 10): Rwaboko Rock Lodge
With the exception of some of the higher class hotels in Entebbe, hotels generally do not have heating or air conditioning. As nights can be chilly, please bring appropriate sleepwear if needed (see packing list for further information).
In areas where malaria is a problem, hotel rooms come with mosquito nets.
Unless you have booked a single room (where they are available) and paid the single room supplement for those nights, you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender).
Supporting you on your holiday will be a local, English speaking Ugandan guide and a YellowWood Adventures Guide. They will be joined by a trekking guide for the trek in the Rwenzori Mountains (Day 2 - 5) and for the hike up Mt Sabinyo (Day 9). You will also be joined by a tracking expert from the Ugandan Wildlife Authority for the Gorilla tracking (Day 7). This ensures you are in excellent hands in the mountains, and that you have access to local knowledge as well as being closely supported by YellowWood.
We work closely with our Ugandan Tour Operator partners both before and during your adventure to ensure that they understand your needs and the standard that YellowWood Adventures expects. We believe that it is a very important positive aspect of Responsible Tourism, to employ the expertise of local suppliers, as well as offering you a much more informative and authentic experience.
Your group will be any number from our minimum group size of 4, up to a maximum of 12 clients. This number works really well with the ratio of guides, and ensures the optimum level of service to you during your adventure.
We get clients booking alone, as couples and in small groups of friends. If you have a group of friends or family who are interested in having their own customised trip, then please let us know and we can cost it for you.
Your itinerary involves trekking over passes, summiting peaks and traversing plateaux and mountain valleys. You will encounter rough terrain, steep gradients and some scree and boulders at varying times. You will not always be walking on a defined path. The hike up Mt Sabinyo has some technical sections where you will use ladders and some scrambling techniques.
To get the most of out of this adventure, you need to be a regular walker and in good physical condition. The terrain requires that you are used to walking up and down steep gradients, and hiking for extended periods of time and on consecutive days. You will be walking at altitudes of up to 3669m.
Any hiking is undertaken at the natural pace of the group, with regular stops. Walking boots that have already been worn in are essential on this adventure. You will be carrying just a day pack with camera, spare layers and a bottle of water
For convenience, peace of mind, and to reduce the purchase of single use plastic water bottles, we highly recommend a filtration water bottle such as Aquapure Traveller (offer available - see section on Water)
As with all active holidays, the fitter you are, the more you can relax and enjoy the stunning route, and the better you can cope with challenges such as the outside elements.
You are advised to get into a regular walking & or running pattern before the trip as convenient.
Please note that you need to have an open mind to adventure travel, and experiencing different cultures to your own, first hand.
For general information on health issues in Uganda, please see the general information on Uganda, however, for this specific adventure, the following points are worth separate consideration.
The highest altitude that you will be experiencing is at around 3669m which can be difficult for people coming from lower altitudes.
While we do our best to create an itinerary that allows for some time for acclimatising, altitude affects everyone differently, and to varying degrees. If you experience any of the following symptoms during this adventure, make sure to inform your guide and they will support you in descending to a lower altitude as soon as possible.
There is no malaria in Addis Ababa and in many places in the northern highlands (with the exception of Bahir Dar), as the malaria-carrying mosquitoes do not travel to higher altitudes, generally above 1800-2000m. For this reason it is also not present in the Bale National Park.
However, Malaria is present in lower-lying areas. We travel through these areas by car, en route from Addis to Bale Mountains National Park and back. The only guaranteed way not to contract malaria is to not get bitten by a malaria-carrying mosquito.
Suggested ways to avoid contracting malaria include:
Your YellowWood adventure starts at the airport in Entebbe on the start day of the trip. We understand that arriving into an unfamiliar airport can be very daunting, so we aim to give you as much information here as possible to help you prepare.
Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday, and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool such as www.momondo.co.uk or www.skyscanner.net when searching for flights. We will send you a Flight Information Sheet with further pointers on which flights to book for your adventure.
In order to benefit from the natural and undisturbed beauty of the National Parks in Western Uganda, we need to be prepared to travel some distance, by road, to reach our destinations on this adventure. There are several days (Day 3, 6, 7 and 13) where you will be in private transport (minibus) travelling long distances. The roads are not always in great condition and the journey may be hot and dusty at times. However this is very much part of the adventure, and a wonderful opportunity to absorb the ambiance of East Africa, so we ask you to embrace the travel days, as without it, we would not be able to access the remote areas we then enjoy.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. As the situation in our destination countries can change, please do ensure you check regularly before your adventure. We also receive notifications direct from the FCO so we are always aware of the ‘status’ in our destination countries.
Holiday insurance is essential for all Yellow Wood Adventures. Unfortunately anyone without insurance is not able to take part in the holiday, so please make sure you arrange cover. We recommend sorting your insurance when you book so that if you have problems during the run up to your holiday, and need to cancel, you are covered, particularly in the light of effects that the pandemic has had on travel.
Prior to the holiday, we will ask you to send us details of your insurer, policy number, 24 hr emergency assistance contact details and the name, address, and telephone numbers of your NOK or persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.
Your insurance needs to cover you for hiking /trekking with the following fairly standard inclusions:
We would also recommend that you have cover for the following optional items:
For information on Uganda, such as climate, weather, language, social norms, food & drink etc, please have a read of our Country specific information.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
We can also arrange private departures for you:
+44 207 846 0197
Select dates & add any extras or 'Add on' adventures. Complete our Booking Form
'Make Booking': You will be redirected to secure WorldPay to make your deposit (£300/$400/person) payment (receipted), if booking >56 days before your adventure or full payment if 56 or <56 days before your adventure. Your monies are held securely by the Travel Trust Association.
Your booking will show as 'pending' in your YellowWood online account.
Enter booking information for all guests in your party.
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to confirm your booking or discuss any availability limitations. Do not book transport/flights until we have emailed you to confirm your booking (receipt of your booking form is not confirmation). We will change the status of your final invoice from 'Pending Approval' to 'Outstanding', when it becomes payable online.
This payment is due 56 days before departure date (we send reminders).
Contact us with any questions about your adventure or booking.
+44 207 846 0197
To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
Get in touch via our Enquiry form to check our availability, discuss the adventure and check we can meet your needs.
Complete our Enquiry Form; contact details, additional requirements (eg diet or health requirements) & questions you may have. Include as much information as you are able to, so we can help you with the detail you are looking for
Click on 'Send Enquiry' (receipted).
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to answer your questions and help you plan your adventure.
+44 207 846 0197