Rwenzori Hiking safari Uganda Mountain Climbing (10 days)
The fabled Mountains of the Moon lie in the western Uganda on the Congolese border, with snow covered, equatorial peaks rising to the height of 5110m, form the unique mountain national park. Most of the park is accessible only to hikers to yield magnificent scenery.
The distinctive glacial peaks are visible from miles around, but the slopes above 1,600m are the preserve of hikers, who rate the Rwenzoris to be the most challenging of all African mountains.
This park covers 120 km and is easily accessible through Kasese and Fortportal. The trails lead through rain forest rattling with monkeys and birds, then tall bamboo forest, before emerging on the high-altitude moorland zone, a landscape of bizarre giant lobelias, towered over by black rock and white snow, looking for all the world like the set of a science fiction film
* An expedition to the Rwenzori is an exhilarating and rewarding experience but one which must be well planned.
* There are several circuits to the top of the mountain; since the mountain has seven peaks and six are snow capped ones.
* The mountain’s altitude is 14000ft
* The mountain is renowned for its engineered, steep and slippery trails and frequent rain characterized by cold temperatures, bog, mud, steep terrain and high altitude.
* Due to hash conditions the best time for hiking is July-August and December-February
This will be planned at arrival according to which circuit the hiker prefers, this is one of the samples we have.
Day1: Arrival in Uganda
On arrival , our tours representative will welcome you and transfer you to your accommodation in Kampala for resting as you wait for your Uganda Safari. If you arrive before 16:00 hours local time , we will find you some entertainment depending on which events of the day are there in Kampala.
Day2: To Rwenzori National Park
Set off for Rwenzori Mountain national Park from Kampala carry on to Kasese town and arrive at Rwenzori mountaineering services (RMS) offices.Accommodation at:.Margaritta Hotel or Rwenzori Basecamp Guesthouse for overnight as you prepare to move very early in the morning to Mt. Rwenzori. Full Board.
Day3: Hiking Rwenzori from Nyakalengijjo to Nyabitaba hut
After break fast and briefing fully equipped with the your guides and porters set off hiking from trail head(1646m) walking past typical mud Bakonjo homes and gradually moving up through elephant grass and garden plots. This trail follows the Mubuku River, it involves climbing over rock and bluff, before reaching the Mahoma river. After this there will be climbing through open bracken fern slopes and podorcapus forest up to Nyabitaba hut. During this part of the trip you may be able to hear chimpanzees and sometimes the black and white colobus monkeys and blue monkeys behind the hut and also catch glimpse of the brilliantly colored Rwenzori Turaco. The total time for an average hiker from Nyakalengijjo to Nyabitaba hut is 5-7 hours and the total elevation gained is 4000ft (1200m).Stay at Nyabitaba hut.
Day4: Hiking Rwenzori from Nyabitaba hut to John Matte
An early start from here may be required since this circuit is relatively the longest. From this hut the trail leads west wards and then drops steeply to Kurt Shaffer bridge crossing bellow the confluence of the Bujuku and Mubuku rivers. By turning right to the bridge you begin to climb the central circuit anticlockwise since the clockwise direction is much more difficult and adds considerable danger for you and your porters. After crossing the bridge, the muddy, slippery trail climbs steadily up through bamboo forests, slippery moss covered ground. You will proceed to Nyamiliju hut and its accompanying rock shelter.
Continue to John Matte if you still feel strong enough. This will be through challenging bog full of extraordinary plants and the slow pace can be delight full chance to photograph this wonderful environment. The time taken from Nyabitaba hut to John Matte is seven hours and the elevation gain3000ft (915m) Stay at Matte Hut.
Day5: Rwenzori Hiking from John Matte to Bujuku Hut
Leave this hut in the morning to cross the Bujuku river and enter the lower bigo bog, here you will experience jumping from tussock to tussock on grassy bog. There is a steeply section from the hut which will lead you to upper Bigo bog. At the last half of the Bigo bog a board walk has been constructed this makes the walking easier and prevents the hikers from further damaging the bog. After the crisscrossing the river you will reach lake Bujuku. The southern end of the lake is in the majestic setting, with Mt. Baker to the south, Mt. Stanley to the west, and Mt Speke to the North. The trail route along The Lake’s Northeastern shore crosses the most challenging mud on the trip. Beyond the lake there is a rock shelter called “cooking pot” and a short distance further is Bujuku hut.
· Due to frequent mists this Bujuku hut is quite cold
· Time taken to reach here is five hours
· Elevation gained is 1800ft (560m)
If one moves around for a nature walk there is a chance of seeing Duikers, at night the calls of the rock Hyraxes are common. Stay at Bujuku hut.
Day6: Rwenzori Hiking from Bujuku Hut to Elena Hut
From here in the morning, leave directly to a newer trail which rises and falls and finally climbs through magical moss draped groundsel vegetation at 14345ft (4372m) to Scott Elliot pass. The ascension to Elena is a steep rock trail which when wet or icy can be slippery. Slightly ahead there is a sheltered spot below the pass where you can make a stop over. From here go straight to Elena Hut which is the base camp for climbig16763ft(5109m) to Margherita peak in the mount Stanley complex, which requires a day or two and can be attempted with an axe, mountain boots, crampons, ropes and prior arrangements with Rwenzori Mountaineering Services guides. This circuit continues to the left over scott Elliot pass and enters an alpine zone of sparse low vegetation. This will give chance to enjoy North of Margherita peak as you are leaving the pass. Time taken, 3-4 hours. The elevation gained 1400ft (425m) Stay at Elena hut.
Day7: Elena Hut to Kitandara Hut then Margherita peak
some times when visitors reach here, they are normally tired. For those who might not manage or do not wish to climb Margherita peak due to unexpected altitude sickness and fog making their climbing ability lesser, there is an option of continuing left via Scott Elliot pass to Kitandara lake. This will take you beautiful scenery and finally connect you to a two day descending stretch. For those who will still feel fit, they will climb up to the summit of Margherita (5109m); here crampons and roping up may be necessary. Then descend to Kitandara hut and Stay here.(4023m).
Day8: descend to Gae Yeoman
After breakfast, descend to Gae Yeoman via a steep but enjoyable hour-long climb from the base of Mt. Baker. On a clear day one may also take a view at the Democratic Republic of Congo on the west of Mt. Stanley. The descending continues to Bujangolo rock shelters; the base camp for the historic expedition by Duke Arbuzzi in 1906. Time taken to reach Gae Yeoman hut from Kitandara is about 5-6 hours.
Hikers may be required to begun their journey early enough so as to get to Nyabitaba hut before dark, since this path can be some how challenging in some spots. So descending slowly facing the slope instead of outward is the only best way. Lake evening can also be good for taking a walk and viewing some of the birds and the occasional blue tailed monkey. For the Typical hikers the descending process will take 5-6 hours. Stay at Nyabitaba hut. (2650m)
Day10: To Nyakilegeja then to Kasese
Descend gently to Nyakalengijo trail head (1600m) park headquarters. This can take two to three hours depending on your body fitness. Carry on to your hotel for lunch relax your tired legs and body and prepare for the journey back to Kampala.
Day11: To Kampala
After breakfast head for Kampala and relax at your hotel before flying to your home the next day. Trekking Notes:
Trekking starts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Ibanda (starting point)
Safari start and end from Kampala
Clients will carry hiking shoes, sleeping bags, warm clothes
Climbing to the peaks will require ice axe, mountain boots, crampons, ropes and prior arrangements.
Mountain hiking takes place throughout the year, however during months of April, May, October and November experience more rains but this does not stop hiking activities.
Accommodation in Kampala before and after the trek plus airport transfers can be arranged on request
The following equipment is available for hire with the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services:
Climbing boots Ushs20,000-
Rubber boots Ushs10,000-
Climbing ropes Ushs20,000-
Ice axe Ushs20,000-
Sleeping mats Ushs10,000-
Sleeping bags Ushs20,000-
Walking sticks Ushs1,000-