Rwenzori Mountains Trekking Safari

Destinations: Entebbe | Kampala | Rwenzori Mountains
Duration: 10 Days

Overview

Rwenzori Mountains Trekking – the fabled Mountains of the Moon are characterized by equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Trekking the mystic Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda is a truly memorable and unique experience, the wonder of the high glaciers, the beauty of the valley of nine lakes, the bearded lichen hanging from giant heathers with a backdrop of rocky cliffs, crags and snowcapped peaks. The wide variety of flora and fauna with several biospheres as you ascend through different vegetation zones creates the ultimate experience for trekking. Rwenzori Mountains are not Volcanic in Origin, but they rise directly from the Rift valley floor. The ranges also support a diversity of animals including mammals and about 177 bird species, with several being Albertine Rift Endemics

Highlights of this Safari

  • Hike into the Rwenzori Mountains Panoramic views across mountains, lakes and savannah.
  • Enjoy views from the summit of Margherita Peak (5109m
  • Explore pristine tropical rainforest
  • Trek through Giant Lobelia forests

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Entebbe International Airport – Kampala

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport your assigned Rwenzori mountains trekking guide drive will welcome you and transfer you to Kampala to check I at your accommodation.

Overnight: Cassia Lodge

Meals: Breakfast

Day 2: Kampala – Rwenzori Mountains

In the morning after breakfast you depart Kampala and head Westwards in the direction of Fort Portal where you will arrive in time for lunch. Proceed to drive to Rwenzori Mountain National Park trail head at Nyakalengija to check in at our lodge for the night. Leave any excess clothing and valuables at the hotel - they will lock them up for you. Pack your bag carefully for the climb - remember the weight limit of 12 kg, and ensure that everything has been stored to keep dampness away – especially items like your camera. Leave some 'bin bags' in an outer pocket of your bag, and show the porters where they are so that in case of rain they can quickly cover your bag. Keep one out for your personal backpack too. The Rwenzori mountains trekking safari is just getting started, brace yourself for some chilly adventure up above the clouds.

Accommodation: Mihunga Lodge

Day 3 – Stage 1: From Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba Hut, 2.652 m

After breakfast proceed to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park head quarter in Nyakalenjija, 1615 m. You receive the briefing from the officials; you can hire equipment for the trekking as you wait for the preparation of luggage and porters.

The hike starts through the plantations and homes of the Bakonjo, the people of the Rwenzori. Follow the Mobuku River inside the mountain forest up to the first hut, Nyabitaba, 2.652 m which is the arrival point for the day. During the day you might see the black and white colobus, the blue monkeys or hearing the chimpanzees. Typical is the colourful Rwenzori Turaco. From Nyabitaba, you are facing on the North the Portal Peaks, 4.627 m, and in front Mount Kyniangoma.

Hiking time: 5 hours

Overnight at Nyabitaba Hut (2650 metres)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 – Stage 2: From Nyabitaba Hut to John Matte Hut, 3.505 m.

Starting out early, you will proceed up the Nyabitaba ridge and then descend down into the Mubuku River valley, to cross the confluence of the Rivers Mubuku and Bujuku at the Kurt-shaeffer Bridge. After the crossing, you will begin to climb rather steeply. This part of the trail leads you through bamboo forest, along a ridge that overlooks the Bujuku River valley. As you climb you are surrounded to the left and right by massive cliffs. Bamboo forests rapidly give way to moss-covered high altitude forest. As one rises higher, the amount of moss increases. Most of this section is also characterized by massive boulders, which contribute to the general difficulty of this part of the trek, as one has to keep climbing over them. Near John Matte camp, if you are lucky you should get your first glimpse of Mt. Stanley and Margherita (the highest peak). As the weather on Mt. Stanley changes frequently, Margherita will typically appear and disappear over the course of this part of the journey. Expected journey time is 5-7hrs depending on level of fitness.

Overnight at John Matte Hut (3350 metres)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 – Stage 3: From John Matte Hut to Bujuku Hut, 3.962 m

The trail to Bujuku camp heads west out of John Matte, crossing the Bujuku River, and heading out over the Lower Bigo Bog. This presents the first encounter with Bog, a kind of high-altitude swamp. Gumboots and a walking stick are essential equipment in this territory, and it pays to watch and listen to your guide. After crossing Lower Bigo, the trail leads upwards to Bigo Hut, an abandoned camp. From Bigo Hut, the trail climbs up a steep incline, leading up to Upper Bigo Bog. Wooden slats have been placed over the bog to make it easier to cross.

This part of the trail has a number of interesting plants, including giant lobelia and Everlasting Flower (said to have a 40-year flowering cycle). While breathing will be getting a little difficult and the body under more strain, it is worthwhile taking time to savor the beauty of this part of the trail.

From this extraordinary boggy valley you might have good view of the Mount Stanley. Finally you reach Lake Bujuku, then proceeding through a very muddy swampy area until Bujuku Hut, 3.962 m. This is where the alpine zone begins and the grass becomes scarce and smaller. This day hike can take up to 5 hours. The hut is well positioned down the Mount Speke and on the trail to Congo. In front of the hut you can enjoy the best view of Mount Baker and Mount Stanley.

Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours

Overnight at Bujuku Hut (3900 metres)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 – Stage 4: From Bujuku Hut to Elena Hut, 4.430 m

The trip from Bujuku to Elena usually calls for a late start, since the journey is short (3-4hrs) and Elena quite cold .The trail from Bujuku leads up a fairly huge and intimidating ridge. Rising on the Western side of Lake Bujuku, the ridge leads up to Scott Elliot Pass at 4372 metres and on to Elena. The climb is quite steep for the most part, and vegetation thins noticeably the higher one climbs, until Scott Elliot Pass where the trail consists of moss-covered rocky ground with no trees. A metal ladder will take you oven an extremely steep section after which the trail branches; the right one leads up to Elena Hut and Mt. Stanley over a steep rocky trail, the left leads to the Scott Elliot Pass and down to Lake Kitandara.

Hiking time: 3- 4 hours

Overnight at Elena Hut (4541 metres)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Ascent to Mt. Stanley (5109 metres) to Kitandara Hut (4027 metres)

For those who do not wish to climb the peak, a more restful day walking from Elena Hut (4541 metres) to Lake Kitandara (4023 metres). For those who wish, but also depending on altitude sickness, visibility, climbing ability we will climb a further three hours to Margherita peak (5109 metres) and later down to Kitandara Hut. We will trek to the Elena glacier before moving on to the Stanley Plateau. We will climb and scramble to the Margherita summit, the highest point of the Rwenzori. The use of crampons and ropes may be necessary. We will need to be prepared for a tough, arduous time in the mountains. We will then return to the Scott Elliot pass, view the magical Bujuku Lake and Mt. Speke at a distance and will then continue down to Lake Kitandara.

Hiking time: 6 hours

Overnight at Kitandara Hut

Meals: Breakfast , Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Stage 6: From Kitandara Hut to Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m

From Lake Kitandara you climb to Fresh field Pass, 4.282 m., a long flat of high alpine mossy glades, before descending the circuit among rocky and boggy areas. The panorama is dominated by the glaciers of Mount Stanley and Mount Baker.

A rocky trail leads to Akendahi, Bujongolo and Kabamba rock shelters, where starts Kabamba valley before reaching Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m. This can take up to 5 hours. The hut enjoys a good panoramic location, nearby the river Mubuku and with views of Mount Baker.

Hiking time: 5 hours

Day 9 – Stage 7: From Guy Yeoman Hut back to Nyakalengija

From Guy Yeoman final descent to Nyakalenjija, which might take about 7 hours walk. Otherwise, you can decide to spend another night in Nyabitaba Hut. The trekking follows the Mubuku and Kichuchu rivers, with all the plants of the heather zone before reaching the bamboo forest.

Kabamba falls are seen on the way. From Nyabitaba Hut starts the short trekking to see Lake Mahoma. As you arrive down in Nyakalenjija we shall transfer you back to the hotel in Ibanda.

Day 10: Ibanda – Entebbe

After breakfast, start the drive to Entebbe International Airport in time for connections with the international flights.

End of the Rwenzori mountain trekking Safari

INCLUDES

  • Guide, porters and cook
  • Luggage 25kg per person (including food)
  • Park Entrance fees
  • Rescue fees in case of emergency rescue on Rwenzori Mountains
  • Full board and meals during the hike
  • Accommodation in huts and hotels
  • Vehicle with enough leg room

EXCLUDES

  • International Flights,
  • Visa
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Drinks
  • Laundry services
  • Telephone calls and any other items of personal nature