For thousands of years the source of the Nile remained a mystery
and it wasn't until the late 1800's that the British Explorer John
Hanning Speke was credited with discovering the source of the mighty
river at Lake Victoria. Much of Uganda still remains a mystery
to the outside world and the Nile is one of the best kept secrets.
As the river thunders downsteam from the confines of Lake Victoria,
each bend reveals a new vista. Giant fig trees sprout from rock
islands, monitor lizards laze wearily on slabs of rock and fisherman
paddle frantically between the rapids!
Early morning mist lifts across Lake Victoria to reveal wooden
canoes breaking the glassy surface of this immense lake and forested
islands provide a haven for flocks of white egret that swoop across
this watery paradise. For as far as the eye can see, rolling green
hills strech to the horizon and the towering snow capped peaks
of the Ruwenzori are shrouded in eternal cloud. Uganda is a land
of high mountains, a vast inland sea and mighty rivers. After a
visit to the country Winston Churchill wrote
"For magnificence, for variety of form and colour, for profusion of
brilliant life - plant, bird, insect, reptile, beast - for vast scale ...."
and the lakes, mountains, rivers forests and game parks are a testament
Leaving Kampala, you'll set off to the river driving past acres
of sugarcane and roadside stalls selling avaocados, pawpaws, bananas
and oranges. After a couple of hours you'll cross the Owen Falls
Dam which was built several km's down from Speke's source of the
Nile. The Nile flows freely below the dam and makes quick time
of the trip down the river to Bujagali Falls which is the first
major rapid on the river and is where you will start your rafting
action! The following morning, you'll raft from Bujagli to Bwekkwaso.
Each bend in the river brings yet another thunderous roar from
the cascading falls ahead. This truly is whitewater rafting at
its finest. We'll lunch on our beautiful mid-river island beneath
the shade of the trees. Adrift raft the mountainous class 5 rapids
of the Nile - the huge waves of "Total Gunga" and "Itanda" are
world class. The back to back drops of "Overtime" and "Retrospect"
provide some of the most technical and sustained rafting to be found anywhere.
We spend the night on another beautiful mid-river island. The campsite
comes alive after dark to sound of african music and dancing. In the morning
you'll raft down to Nabuganyi - the pools between the rapids are larger
but don't be fooled - the crashing waves of "Mulalu" and "Potali"
will take your breath away!
Many people like to stay in the lodge for a night or two before
setting off on their own. Here, you will be looked after brilliantly
and on the day of your departure, our team will give you a comprehensive
briefing, go over your route with you and conduct a detailed vehicle
hand-over making sure you are 100% happy, confident and ready to
For centuries these mystical mountains on the border between Uganda
and DR Congo have been revered as the Source of the Nile. The
ancient philosopher Ptolemy referred to them as ‘the Mountains
of the Moon’ in the 2nd century and they remain little explored
despite being the highest mountain range in Africa. The lofty
summits of the main mountains are often enveloped in cloud so that
for months the permanent icefields of the highest peaks are hidden
from view. Over twenty peaks in the Rwenzoris exceed 4500m
and as Africa’s highest mountain range, they mark the frontier
between the high plains of East Africa and the dense forests to
The central circuit begins from the Nyakalengija amidst the thick
forests that are home to chimpanzees and forest elephant. As
we progress steadily upwards, heavy tropical forests give way to
a wide variety of flora and fauna making the climb unique. The
luxuriant vegetation that thrives on this rain-soaked massif is
nothing short of phenomenal and with each gain in altitude, this
remarkable growth changes. Each night we sleep in sturdy
mountain huts and marvel at the incredible scenery and the stunning
array of peaks that surround us. We cook hearty meals and
enjoy the company of those who have taken the challenge with us.
As part of the central circuit, our guided climbs give the chance
to summit Margherita Peak (5109m) on Mt. Stanley which is the highest
peak in the range. The final assault on the summit will require
the use of ropes and crampons on the icefields but you do not need
any previous experience. While you have the opportunity,
we invite you to join in what will be a very challenging but ultimately
extremely rewarding climb. Please take this opportunity to
climb one of the world’s greatest mountain ranges – the Ruwenzoris.
2006 was the centenary of the huge Abruzzi expedition which first
climbed the major peaks of the range in 1906. Prince Luigi
di Savoia, better known as the Duke of Abruzzi led a huge expedition
in the central peaks region which mapped the area, made the first
ascents of the peaks and took some of the most famous photographs
of the mountains. This year marks the 21st anniversary of
the first Adrift ascent of the Rwenzori mountains and we welcome
you to join us on the summit.
The price includes: park entrance fees, peak
fees, international guide, local guides and porters, accommodation
in basic mountain huts, heating fees, rescue fees, all meals whilst
on the mountains, instruction and the use of harnesses, ice axes,
crampons and ropes. Please ask for an itinerary and our detailed
personal equipment list.
Day 1: Depart London Gatwick at and arrive at Entebbe
Airport, overnight in Kampala.
Day 2: Drive from Kampala to Ibanda (near
the trail head) and stay overnight (6-hours). Evening briefing,
distribution of food loads and final preparation.
Day 3: Drive from Ibanda to Nyakalengija road head
(1900m). Register with Uganda Wildlife Authority, listen
to briefs and arrange porter loads. Walk from the trail head
up the Mubuku river system to Nyabitaba Hut (2650m)
3-4 hours walk. Look for fresh forest elephant trails, listen
to the magic of the tumbling rivers and watch for monkeys and chimpanzees.
Day 4: Descend the ridge to the Mubuku river then climb
through bamboo forest toward John Matte Hut (3380m). The
trail is steep and challenging ascending along the north side of
the Bujuku river through giant heather forest (6-7 hours)
Day 5: Trek from John Matte Hut (3380m) to Bujuku
Hut (3977m). We encounter the first of notorious
bogs for which the Uganda approach to the peaks is famous. Traverse
around Bigo Bog and Lake Bujuku. Look for the Everlasting
Flower (known to remain on the plants for 40-years) and giant
Day 6: Bujuku Hut to Elena Hut (4580m). Climb
steeply from Lake Bujuku to Abruzzi’s camp and then on to Elena
Hut near the foot of the Mt. Stanley Plateau.
From the valley floor, scree slopes heavily populated with giant
lobelias give way to polished slabs of rock and short wall climbs
lead to Elena Hut (2.1/2 hours). Sleeping space is tight.
Day 7: Elena Hut to Margherita peak (5109m)
then down to Kitandara Hut (4027m). Early
morning traverse of the Elena glacier to the Stanley Plateau where
crampons will be required. Cross this in a NW direction and
follow the Margherita glacier to the col and to choose a route
to the summit. Descend to Kitandara Hut for a comfortable
Day 8: Kitandara Hut (4027m) to Guy Yeoman
Hut (3450m) Climb steeply to the Freshfied pass
(4280m) then down follow open ridges to the spectacular Bujongolo
rock shelter. Enjoy dozens of waterfalls of the upper Mubuku
river system en route to Guy Yeoman hut.
Day 9: Guy Yeoman Hut to Nyabitaba hut. Drop
very steeply alongside the Mubuku river, past Kichuchu (another
rock shelter) and join our original route near the confluence of
the Bujuku river (3.1/2 hours).
Day 10: Nyabitaba Hut to the Nyakalengija road head
(2-hours). Descend steeply off the ridge and notice enter
the warm rainforest. Look for the tropical forest birds and
monkeys. Drive to Kiko Tea Estate for
the night (2 hours). Relax and enjoy views across the estate
to the Rwenzoris.
Day 11: Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale
National Park. Follow guides on foot through
the forest in search of the chimps. Expect to see other
primates, incredible species of bird and listen for the sounds
of the chimpanzees. When a group is found, we will spend
about an hour with them. Forest treks normally vary between
2 and 6 hours.
Day 12: Drive from Kibale Forest to Jinja (8 hours). Overnight
in Jinja Nile Resort on the banks of the Victoria Nile.
Day 13: Begin 2-day rafting trip on
Day 14: Enjoy river surfing and rafting on
the Victoria Nile. Drive back to Kampala for the night. Overnight
Day 15: Depart on International flight to London
Day 16: Arrive London.
E&OE subject to local changes
This two day trip is unboundedly the best way to experience the
Nile. Rafting 46kms in total it is a wonderful "river journey" into
the heart of Busoga country. After the first day of rafting we
pull into Adrift's private island in the Nile to enjoy superb food,
drinks & entertainment around the campfire.
On day two we combine some more exciting rapids with plenty of
relaxation. Floating down the calmer section of river we meander
our way through the lush forested islands and local plantations
on the bank. We drift among the curious Busoga people who wave
excitedly at us from their traditional wooden canoes.
There are plenty of opportunities to swim, relax on the raft and
spot the amazing array of wildlife, including monkeys, fish eagles,
monitors, otters & prolific birdlife. Included: as for the
full one day.. plus a delicious 3 course dinner around the campfire,
beers, sodas, rum punch, waragi (local spirit made from bananas),
local music, accommodation in tents, cooked breakfast, yummy lunch, & a
great time! This is our guides favourite trip.. please come join
Prices: £1950 including International flights
The price includes:
All flights from London, park entrance fees, peak fees,
international guide, local guides and porters, accommodation in
basic mountain huts, heating fees, rescue fees, all meals whilst
on the mountains, instruction and the use of harnesses, ice axes,
crampons and ropes. Rafting instruction and equipment.
With thanks to Cam McCleay and Adrift Uganda.