Hiking a mountain like Rwenzori is a lifetime experience whose undertaking is worth enjoying. The Rwenzori Mountain Ranges are a superlative hiking and mountaineering destination. It takes skilled climbers 7 or 8 days to reach the summit of Margherita, the highest peak. Whereas those who prefer something a little less exhaustive, the Bakonzo people offer nature walks, homestead visits home cultural performances and accommodation, including home-cooked local cuisine.
Day 1: Arrive in Uganda at Entebbe Airport
upon your arrival, you will be picked from Entebbe International Airport by the driver guide will receive you and transfer you to Kampala for overnight at Cassia Lodge or Imperial Royale Hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Rwenzori Mountain.
Drive from Kampala to Kasese going through Mityana, Mubende, Kyenjojo, Fort portal,
Kasese and finally to Rwenzori Mountain where you arrive in the evening. You will have lunch enroute in Fort Portal town. Overnight at Rwenzori Mountains Safari Lodge or Ruboni Community Camp (Full Board)
Day 3: Drive to the Park Head offices for a hiking briefing.
NYAKALENGIJA TRAILHEAD (1600m) – COMMENCE HIKING
After breakfast, drive to the park offices for briefing after which you will begin hiking to Nyabitaba hut and later connect to Nyakalengija trail-head(1600m). With tour guides and porters hiking up to Nyabitaba hut going through the homesteads and the local plantations which is a wonderful experience. Then follow the trail along the Mubuku River, via the landslides and up and down rocks and bluffs. Cross the Mahoma River and ascend sharply through the bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut for an Overnight.
DAY 4: JOHN MATTE HUT (3350M)
From Nyabitaba hut, use the trail that drops you down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. Go up via the bamboo forest, traversing a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From Nyamileju rock shelter, on clear-sight days, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the giant heather zone, lobelia and groundsel. The final stretch to the John Matte hut is across a tiring bog, the first of many for which the mountain is infamous. Overnight at John Matte Hut (FB)
DAY 5: BUJUKU HUT (3900M)
After John Matte Hut, the trail goes down to cross River Bujuku and enters Lower Bigo Bog, home of giant lobelias. Jumping a tussock after the other, the bog is crossed but at times the feet taste the freezing ooze. The Upper Bigo bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with the sight of Mt Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the West. Bujuku Hut, properly situated in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass. Be ready for this trail which can be very cold for you as well as to the
dwellers of Rwenzori. Overnight at Bujuku Hut (FB)
DAY 6: ELENA HUT (4541M)
Leave Bujuku through more marshland, the trail climbs the slopes west of the lake, passing through the magical Groundsel Gully as it goes up to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. A metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail splits into two at the head of the gully. The right path goes up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders whereas the left path leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes. Overnight at Elena Hut even though the nights may be cold (FB).
DAY 7: MARGHERITA PEAK (5109m)
Climbing Margherita peak (5109m) to the base of the Stanley Glacier continues. Basing on the weather and one area familiarity, it can be a walk of between 4 to 7 hours to the summit of Margherita. It is a tough walk over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice and very open on many sides. The physically fit are the only ones for this and it is a technical climb which needs roping up, crampons and appropriate equipment for cold, windy and icy conditions. It is good to try the final climb in a group of at least four-two climbers and 2 guides.
Go up on to the glacier, cross the Stanley Plateau and move on with the ascent. Basing on altitude sickness, fog and weather, jostle up to the summit of Margherita, the Rwenzori peak. It is not guaranteed that everyone will reach the summit because of the altitude and the tough conditions. So do not get let down if you do not. Returning to Scott-Elliot pass, you get spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara Lakes. Once over the pass the trail enters an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders. Go down to Kitandara Hut for overnight, past the Kitandara Lakes. (If you do not wish to climb the peak, a more restful day walking from Elena Hut to Kitandara Hut 4,023m.) (FB)
DAY 8: GUY YEOMAN HUT (3260M)
After Kitandara, the trail goes up steeply to the headwall, spreading out from the Mount Baker base and proceeds to the south side of the mountain to Fresh field pass. On a fine day, you see part of the Congo in the west and Mount Stanley in the north. From the pass, the long mud-spattered path goes down through the rock shelter at Bujongolo, this is the base camp for the historic and momentous expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 (FB).
DAY 9: NYABITABA HUT (2650M)
This trekking will take you through the path downward but can be slippery and grubby with little to hold on. As a result, you must be vigilant balancing over the straight up mud or steep rocks. Overnight at Nyabitaba Hut (FB).
DAY 10: NTAKALENGIJA TRAILHEAD (1600M), DRIVE TO KAMPALA.
From Nyabitaba hut, move down gently to the mud-spattered trail-head. Arrive late morning to the hiking starting point. You may have a late breakfast at Ruboni Community Camp and the after starting your journey Kampala taking the direction of Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will have lunch in Mbarara town and then proceed to Kampala. You will have a stop at the Uganda equator for a brief photo session before carrying on with the drive to Kampala where you arrive in the evening.
DAY 11: AIRPORT TRANSFER
This day is reserved for airport transfer for your departure flight.
END OF THE MOUNTAIN HIKING EXPEDITION