This is what you get when you participate in the Ruboni community, overnight hill trek. it is the shortest, easiest and cheapest way to experience Rwenzori mountains nature, scenery and part of culture. Yes, you will be able to get, almost full experience of the Rwenzori Mountains in just one overnight. Many people admire trekking the Rwenzori Mountains, but very few have been able to do this trip, due to budget fitness and time challenges.
By introducing this community hill trekking trip, Ruboni Community Camp has solved all the three reasons why most people miss the experience of trekking to the Rwenzori. The community hill trek puts both the Rwenzori climbing and the community experiences in one beautiful, short and affordable trekking experience.
The Hill trekking experience is an outdoor wilderness camping experience. It is sold on a full board package that covers the meals, guide and porter, camping gear, and the entire experience. It is easy to arrange within one day. The trek starts at 1615m to 2400m above sea level.
Trekking starts in the afternoon. After lunch at Ruboni community camp, start the trek with the porters and guides carrying your supplies. Cross River Mubuku and then start ascending. The hill is steep at some points, but our experienced community guides and porters will give you good company and enable you to keep on climbing to the peak. Trekking time is 1-2 hours climbing and 1 hour descending back to the community.
The trail is also a community path that takes some community members to their homes and gardens upon the hills. During the trek, you find local Ugandan people on the way doing the different activities that will give you an idea of the local village life. You will be passing through the community gardens where you will view some of the locally farmed crops around the village homes such as coffee, fruits, and vegetables.
As you go up the hill, the scenery gets better, until you reach the peak where you will view the entire village, Queen Elizabeth National Park plains, and the Rwenzori Mountain peaks at the same time. Throughout the trek, you have resting points where you will take beautiful views, offering perfect picture moments. From the top, you will take a walk around to explore before setting your camp. In the evening and early morning; at sunset and sunrise, are the best times to take the perfect views. After setting your camp, is a good time for taking panorama pictures of the plains and villages. Other attractions include beautiful plants with bright flowers, chances of finding the small colorful birds of this area, and the fresh wind breeze typical of Rwenzori, that comes with the mountain sounds from the portal peaks.
Early morning gives perfect views and picture moments. The sun rises pointing towards the Rwenzori Mountains in the west. On a clear day, this is a good time to take the view of Margarita peak, the highest point in the Rwenzori Mountains and Uganda at a height of 5109 meters above sea level. On such clear days, you will be able to take perfect pictures of this peak and Stanley plateau with permanent glaciers.
Margarita peak is believed to be standing on the border between Uganda and Congo. Trekkers through the central circuit take five days to reach this peak. This means this overnight trail is a perfect alternative for that long-distance and time
For as long as you want, take very close views of the portal peaks, the mountain forest, and the village with homesteads along the Mubuku valley. After a memorable moment at the peak, you will return to the camp for a nice shower and breakfast. This also marks the end of the overnight hill trek trip package. At this point, it is possible to take another night at the lodge or activity in the village.
The key requirements on this trek include; a walking stick, drinking water, stable walking shoes, light clothing, sun cream, and other items of personal nature that you will need overnight. It is important to consider not bringing so much unnecessary luggage on the trek to avoid getting more porters. The few items to trek with can be put in a small day pack that can be carried outside your main luggage. The rest of your luggage can be kept at the camp until you return.
As you plan to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park and staying at the elephant home. We would like to share with you the most popular activities that guests like to do during their stay. Here you will find seven activities and one package that have been combined to fit a full-day experience. They include;
1. Kahokya hill village walk: (15$ per person)
A diverse trek through the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains, enjoying amazing views over Queen Elisabeth National Park. Meet the local people and see crop farms with various types of crops. The local guide provides plenty of interesting information about the way people survive in the hills; fetching water, farming, or housing over the hills. Halfway through the trek, you reach a great lunch spot with a beautiful crater lake surrounded by hills. The trek takes 3-6 hours depending on the pace.
2. Kikorongo residential village walk: (15$ Per person)
An interesting tour through the local village gives a possibility for you to see how the local Ugandan people live. The local guide shows different plantations giving an image of how the local people cultivate crops. The walk gives a better understanding of the situation regarding the devastation of crops by the Elephants as it also reflects on the local human/ wildlife coexistence, learning how the community is involved in habitat conservation. This excursion can take between 2 and 3 hours based on the interaction and involvement.
3. Boda-boda safari: (15$ per person)
With the help of a local guide, explore the landscape around Queen Elizabeth National Park on a motorcycle, like a local. On this 3-4 hours safari, visit the local communities, around lake Edward and Katwe salt pans. Ride through the park to the equator. View immense wildlife on this enchanting journey outdoors. You can also take the option of participating in traditional salt mining
4. Kazinga channel boat cruise: (25$ per person)
Before or after your game drive, you may still want to see animals at close range. This is why you should take the boat cruise. You will see multitudes of wild animals in the water or lined on the banks of the channel cooling off. Every time on this 2- hour’s journey is a picture moment. The open scenery is great too!
5. Kasenyi wildlife safari: (100$ car fuels and driver)
The experienced guide takes you on the popular Kasenyi tracks looking for cats and a long list of other mammals, birds, and sometimes primates. You will be exploring the endless savannah on the equator that dissects Queen Elizabeth National Park. Enjoy the backdrop of Rwenzori and the escarpment during a private safari looking for wild animals in their natural habitat. The safari can take as long as you want from 6:30 am to 9:00 am.
6. Cotton growing tour: (10$ per person)
An interesting tour through the cotton fields and plantations around the area. It gives a good presentation on how the cotton farmers live and survive on the cultivation of cotton plants. The cotton-growing tour is a nice small tour that can be done perfectly during any time of the day. Spend up to 30 minutes with the farmer learning the 7 months process of growing cotton.
7. Kikorongo crafts workshop: (12$ per person)
Demonstrating the local culture to the guests by offering a basket weaving workshop. Baskets locally weaved can be seen everywhere in the country and many people use them. It is interesting for tourists to see how these baskets are being made. During the basket weaving workshop, the guests are able to learn about the techniques used for producing such a local basket. After 30 minutes or more of weaving, you can look around the shop to see the local crafts on sale
8. Kikorongo traditional dance performance: (50$ per performance)
Guests can opt for a traditional African dance. Dancing is an important part of the local African culture. It has been part of the local African culture for centuries. People from the local village will demonstrate an African traditional dance with different songs, instruments, and plays. With this traditional dance, the guests have an enjoyable evening and they learn about the local cultures. The dance takes a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 1 hour.
9. Vanilla farming experience: (15$ per person)
You have probably seen, used, or enjoyed the heavenly flavor of Vanilla. If it was from your favorite baked goodies, then you are about to discover what makes your backers’ secrete. Through this tour, you will see how this wonderful crop is grown in the Rwenzori foothills. You will visit the farmer and spend between 1-2 hours on the farm learning how to plant, grow, pollinate, harvest, and cure vanilla beans. At the end of the tour, you can choose to buy some of the beans if they are in harvest.
10. FULL DAY EXPERIENCE PACKAGE: (100$ per person)
Some people like to buy a compo community experience package. This full day package will include;
This compo is the package for you. It is well planned and fit for most holiday interests. Just get yourself to Queen Elizabeth National park. All-day activities are included. You can find this package here. Bed and breakfast accommodation can be added at 25$ per person.
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Accommodations we use:
We use hotels in three ranges. Home stays, community camps/ lodges and executive hotels. Inclusion of home stays and community camps mean the trip supports the indigenous tribes more. The type used determines the price of the trip. Use of community camps and home stays is a cheaper option. Chose your option and we send you the quote. For the mountain days, we have no option but to use the already established huts or tents included in the package.
RFCT is a responsible tourism agency and we emphasize the use of community owned or community development supporting facilities. However, basing on the clients’ interest and the status or availability of the community accommodation facilities, we do use the other accommodation facilities. Please feel free to point out the type of accommodation or activities you take for your trip.
Reservation and Gorilla/ chimp tickets:
The gorilla and chimp tickets are sold on first come first serve. These are paid to 100% immediately upon booking to ensure that they are reserved for you. The gorilla and chimp tickets are the major determinant of the confirmed trip itinerary. It is advisable to send the money for these tickets and pay the rest after confirmation of the receipt from the Uganda wildlife authority (Uganda) or Rwanda tourism network (Rwanda).
Though you can track chimps in three different parks in Uganda, Kibale is the best offer and more expensive. For your gorilla tickets, a name nationality and passport number of the clients will be required at ticket issue though it may not be required at payment time.
The hotels are booked in advance and can be reserved shortly before the payment is made. The accommodation in up class hotels will require 50% advance payment and he rest can be paid on arrival. Other hotels including community accommodation and activities, the percentage of the advance payment can be negotiable.
Visa and passports:
A valid passport is mandatory. Visa requirements sometimes change, so check before you travel. Visas can be purchased upon arrival at the airport or a land boarder. For gorilla tracking in Rwanda, two separate visas will be required upon entrance into Rwanda and returning to Uganda after tracking. For this reason, if you already know you will track from Rwanda and return to Uganda, it is wiser to purchase a double entry visa to Uganda to avoid the second visa after tracking in Rwanda. Some nationalities are prone to Uganda visa like the EC nationals and US nationals. Please all people travelling to Uganda find out in the local Ugandan embassy in or near to your country.
Money and currency:
In Uganda, we use Ugandan shillings locally though US dollar can be accepted in all the large hotels, national parks or other tourism places. We encourage you to travel with US dollars, sterling pounds and Euros as the major currencies accepted here and can be changed in all major district towns. Please note that small notes of these currencies will sell cheaper than the large currencies. Also, notes printed from 2003 to date will be accepted. Otherwise, for notes of print bellow these years will exchanged at a lower rate or be charged 15% after changing in the forex bureau or banks. Stanbic bank, Barclays bank, standard chattered bank all work well with visa and other international money cards. Stanbic being the biggest and spread across the country will provide money withdraw better than any other bank while you take your tour.
What we cover on our budget:
This is an important part of the trip and this information will always be at the bottom of the trip itinerary sent to you. It is better to read it carefully before we come to an agreement. This will look like the one bellow. However, this will depend on the budget. Variations will be done on request and a prior arrangement will be done during the planning stage of the trip.
Included (unless prior arranged)
Excluded (unless prior arranged)
Climbing equipment for hire can be availed at the base camp offices. If possible, for comfort and hygiene purposes, I encourage you to come with your own specific equipment like climbing boots, socks, sleeping bags and you can hire the ropes, crampons, ice axes, harness and others. I will provide the gas and cooker, as it will be included in the tour budget. All items not catered for can be easily catered for on request adding to the budget. All in all, we are more than happy to arrange all your plans, for a memorable trip to uganda.
The rates of our trips are not fixed but according to the items and activities to be done during thectrip. The park activity rates are priced according to age and nationality/ residence status. The prices are classified in foreign non-residents, foreign residents, Ugandan citizens and children. All children bellow 5 years will enter the park freely while children between 5 and 15 will pay slightly lower than a half of the adult fees.
Extras and optional activities:
This includes the items that the client may choose to do in the visited areas but not originally included in the program. During the negotiations on activities we may take on more activities, which will of course call for an additional to the equivalent of such activity cost.
Number of people on the trip:
The trip participant numbers will be arranged over time basing on the program and bookings. However, we are happy to cater for an already arranged trip and explore your own itinerary basing on your interests.