The Rwenzori Mountains are the biggest mountain range in Africa located in Uganda and DRC. The snow covered Rwenzori Mountains – also known as the ‘mountains of the moon’ and protected as Rwenzori Mountains National Park which is also a World Heritage Centre – will offer you the unique experience you’ve been looking for in Africa. The mist-shrouded peaks provide stunning back drops to these magnificent mountains; including six main mountains with peaks exceeding 4.500 m. of altitude: Mt. Stanley, Mt. Speke, Mt. Baker, Mt. Gessi (in the Congolese side), and Mt. Emin Pasha. Mt. Luigi di Savoia. They are found along the border between Uganda and Congo. The highest peak is Margerita which is 5.119 m ASL.
The Central Circuit trekking
The Central Circuit is the best way to ascend this big African mountain. The hike starts from Nyakalengija;the base camp on the mountain slopes where the park quarters are situated and follows the Mobuku river valley, then sloping around Mount Baker, where is found the final trail to climb Mount Stanley with Margherita Peak. This trekking passes through five different vegetation zones, from the mountain forest, the bamboo zone, the alpine zone, with difference in level of altitude from 2.800 m to 3.500 m when you climb the peak. Hikers are advised to respect the gradual acclimatization process to avoid altitude sickness. The trails developed by UWA have mountain huts, which are basic in style.
Arrival at Entebbe airport by morning flight. Transfer to Kasese via Mbarara for lunch at the Agip Motel Mbarara. The journey takes you along the L. Victoria on a good road to Mbarara. From here, the landscape charges to a hilly and fertile area with tea and banana
plantations. Dinner and overnight at the Margarita Hotel or Rwenzori Base Camp Guest House.
Kasese-Nyakalengija transfer by car. *Car returns to Kampala.
First day trek
1 Nyakalengija 1600m – Nybitaba Hut 2650m
From the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Head Quarter at Nyakalengija, 1.646 m, you will receive the briefing from the guides, with the possibility of hiring equipment. The hike starts through the plantations and homes of the Bakonjo, the people of the mountain, gradually reaching garden plots and elephants grass. You follow the Mobuku River, until crossing the Mahoma River. The trail passes through an open bracken fern slopes and Podorcarpus Forest, up to Nyabitaba Hut, 2.652 m, which is the arrival point for the day. This will take from 5 to 6 hours. From the location, you are facing on the North the Portal Peaks, 4.627 m. and in front Mount Kyniangoma. During the day, you might see monkeys, the Rwenzori Turaco and hearing the chimpanzees.
Nyabitaba Hut 2650m – John Matte Hut 3380m
Descend the ridge to the Mubuku River then climb through bamboo forest toward John Matte Hut (3380m). The afternoon is tiring boulder hopping ascending along the north side of the Bujuku river through giant heather forest (4.1/2-5.1/2 hours)
3 John Matte Hut (3380m) – Bujuku Hut 3972m
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!
4 Bujuku Hut 3900m- Elena Hut 4541m
From Bujuku Hut you climb through moss draped groundsel vegetation, to Scott Elliot Pass, 4.372 m., between Mt. Baker and Stanley. Here you divert to Elena Hut, 4.540 m. for spending the night before climbing Mt. Stanley.
Elena Hut 4541m – Punta Margherita 5109 m. – Elena Hut 4541m- Kitandara Hut, 4.023 m. Elena Hut to Margherita peak (5109m) then down Elena Hut 4541m . Early morning traverse of the Elena glacier to the Stanley Plateau where crampons may be required. Cross this in a NW direction and follow the Margherita glacier to the col and to the summit (3 hours). Descend to Elena Hut and after you descend to Upper Kitandara lake and through thick mud to Lower Kitandara lake where is located Kitandara Hut, 4.023 m. Time to complete the hike about 3 hours more. From Kitandara Hut you can proceed for climbing Mount Baker or Mount Luigi di Savoia and the peak Vittorio Sella. Enjoy the view of Mt. Luigi di Savoia.
Kitandara Hut – Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m.
From Lake Kitandara you climb to Freshfield 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 Mounts Stanley and Baker and Mount of Savoy. A muddy trail leads to Akendahi, Bujongolo and Kabamba rock shelters, where starts the Kabamba valley down to Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m. This can take up to 6 hours. The hut is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of mountains, vegetations and rivers.
Seventh day *Car returns from Kampala-Kasese
Guy Yeoman Hut – 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).
Nyamitaba- Nyakalengija base camp for overnight.
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. *Car leaves Kampala to pick Guests
Drive back to Entebbe with lunch on the way for either return flight or connect to your Mt. Elgon climb with our Elgon Cross over package.
Possible extensions of Rwenzori Hiking Safari:
3 days Queen Elizabeth National Park
3 days gorilla safari Bwindi National Park
2 days Kibale
3 days Murchison Falls National Park
6 days Mt Elgon Hike(Sipi Trail down Sasa Trail)
The price includes:
The price excludes:
Climbers must be prepared to walk for up to 8 hours every day via steep cliff and muddy paths.
Climbers must bring along their own climbing gear or hire it at the base camp.
Our porters carry 8 kg of personal climbing gear
What to bring:
Sleeping bag, rucksack, sleeping mat, good hiking gumboots, water proof trousers, rain coat, heavy worm jacket, hand gloves, scarf and cup, jumper, torch, Light changeable clothing, sweaters, insect repellants, sun cream, sun glasses, hat, binoculars, and cameras etc.
We invite you to join us on what will be a very challenging but ultimately extremely rewarding climb in one of the world’s greatest ranges – the Rwenzoris commonly known to outside world as ‘The Mountains of the Moon”
THE LOVE FOR NATURE MAKES US WORK FOR TOURISM!
Four Crane Safaris, Uganda Eco Tourism Safari Company “The quality
sustainable tourism company amid the Pearl of Africa” For Safaris in Uganda,
Rwanda and DRC.