The Rwenzori Mountains, commonly known as the “Mountains of the Moon”, are the snowy source of the Nile referred to by early geographers before European explorers marked it on their Maps. This mountain is located on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, inside Rwenzori Mountains National park which is also a world heritage site.
This mountain has got one of the best hiking experiences in the world. The high Rwenzori is a mountain wonderland, the trails to the snow peaks following glacier curved valleys with fantastically colored mosses and rare Afro-alpine plants. Expeditions use a chain of basic huts and campsites to ascend the mountain. In this itinerary, you will hike up to the highest peak (Magherita) which is 5,119 Meters above sea level.
Day 01: Arrival and transfer
You will be met by our tour representative at Entebbe International airport who will then transfer you to urban city blue Hotel Kampala for an overnight on Bed and Breakfast.
Day 02: Kampala to Kasese – Rwenzori Mountains.
This morning you will be transferred to Rwenzori mountains national park, passing through the beautiful scenery and landscape of the country as you will see at the comfort of your car. You will have dinner and night at Hotel Magherita, Kasese.
Day 03: Nyakalengija-Nyabitaba camp (2650m).
After your breakfast, you will be transferred into Rwenzori Mountains National park entrance at Nyakalengija trailhead (1600m); Meet your guides and porters who will brief you about your hiking expedition and there after proceed for your hiking up to Nyabitaba camp 2,650M. Walk through the forest vegetation cover on the side of the steep foothills, past the local Bakonjo homesteads and Matooke plantations. Continue with the trail along the Mpanga ridge, through different landscapes.
Day 04: Nyabitaba-John Matte Hut (3350m)
From Nyabitaba camp follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Passing through the bamboo forest, traverse through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From the Nyamileju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. Finally reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for dinner and overnight at the Hut.
Day 05: John Matte-Bujuku Hut (3977m)
From John Matte Hut the trail drops down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog, the home of giant lobelias. Jumping from tussock to tussock, the bog is finally crossed but rarely without the feet sampling some of the freezing ooze below. The Upper Bigo bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the West. Bujuku Hut, well located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass. Dinner and overnight at Bujuku hut.
Day 06: Bujuku-Elena Hut (4541m).
Leaving Bujuku, the trail takes you through more bog, while climbing the steep slopes west of the lake and through the magical Groundsel Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. At the head of the gully a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail is divided into two. The trail on your right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders, while the trail on your left leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes the trail on he left leads those who are not climbing Margherita Peak to Kitandara Hut. Those climbing the peak will have their dinner and overnight at the coolly and Icy Elena Hut.
Day 07: Elena/Climb Margherita and back then to Kitandara camp
For reaching Margherita peak (5109m), continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. The summit of Margherita climbing takes about 5-7 hours depending on the weather conditions and the pace of climbing this mountain. This tough walk takes you over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. Note that this climb is for only physically fit and technical climbers. Climbing on to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness and cool weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita, the highest peak of the Rwenzoris. Given the high altitude and the tough conditions even if you do not reach the peak, don’t get disappointed. Prepare for you return through the Scott-Elliot pass, where there are spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara Lakes. After the trail that passes you through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders, descend past the Kitandara Lakes for dinner and overnight at the Kitandara.
Day 08: Guy Yeoman Hut (3260m)
From Kitandara, take on the trail that ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the mountain to Fresh field Pass. At this point you can view into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, take on the long trail passing the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. Over night at Guy yeoman.
Day 09: Nyabitaba-Nyakalengija (2650m)
Take on the path down to Nyabitaba hut. The path can be slippery and muddy and therefore requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. Remember this is part of the adventure within this mountain. Overnight at Nyabitaba Hut.
Day 10: Nyabitaba Hike to Nyakalengija and transfer to Kampala
Leave Nyabitaba hut, retracing back to the starting point of the hike. This 10km trail usually takes about 2 – 3 hours. Descending through Mubuku River and through fields to the park headquarters to hand over the rented equipment / pick up any luggage that may have been left there. You will then be transferred back to Kampala for dinner and overnight at Urban City Blue Hotel.
Day 11: Kampala city tour and transfer to the airport.
This day you will have a city tour in Kampala. You will visit the Uganda Museum, the local craft villages
and if time allows the martyrs shrines in Namugongo. You will be then transferred to the airport for your
End of Safari.