8 Days Rwenzori Hiking Safari

8 Days Rwenzori Hiking Safari

Mount. Rwenzori is a block mountain and has highest altitude in Uganda’s landscape at its Margherita Peak at 5109M. Margherita is Africa’s 3rd tallest peak, though its epic beauty is in the climb along the snow-covered trails, alpine forests, verdant valleys and diverse flora made up of trees and abundance of ferns.

The vegetation here is alive with numerous species of birds and primates and as trekkers walk up the trail, they are rewarded with sights of chimp nests high in the tall trees; on a lucky day, you can catch a glimpse of the resident chimpanzees as they scamper away as well as the Rwenzori three horned chameleon.

Climbing Margherita Peak is more of a hard scramble than a climb except for a few difficult moves, enduring the rains, bogs and pasta. When it snows it is more difficult however the rewards and exhilaration of reaching the top is enormous. You will start and end at Nyakalengija

Detailed Plan.

Day 1- Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba camp.

On this day, begin the trek following the central circuit that begin at Nyakalengija. You will arrive in the morning to rent equipment and meet your guides and porters. The trail begins at the foot hills by passing through cultivated farmlands to the park boundary beyond which it follows a thick forest along River Mubuku, crossing its River Mahoma tributary before starting a long, steep ascent up onto a huge ridge to reach Nyabitaba camp.

During this part of the walk, you get to see chimpanzee and see Black and white colobus, blue monkeys and the Rwenzori Turaco, Sun birds and other montane vegetation birds. You will rest at Nyabitaba and your guides will prepare dinner at this camp.

Day 2- Nyabitaba to John Matte Camp (3505m)

Wake up early in the morning have breakfast and hit the trails from Nyabitaba follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, below the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers join.

Traverse the prolific bamboo forest, and trek through a long, tiresome stretch of slippery rock, covered with moss. From the Nyamuleju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be viewed before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel.

Arrive at John Matte camp after passing through the almost impenetrable bog, for your dinner and night stay.

Day 3- John matte – Bujuku Camp (3,962m).

Trail drops down from John Matte camp, crossing River Bujuku and enters the lower Bigo Bog – home of the giant lobelias. Jumping between tussocks, you will finally make it out of the bog but rarely without the feet sampling some of the freezing ooze below.

The upper Bigo bog leads you all the way to Lake Bujuku, and it is a sensational view point 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’s Pass.

This camp is good for acclimatization for clients attempting the summits of peaks Mount Stanley and Mount Speke. Dinner and overnight at Bujuku hut. 

Day 4- Bujuku – Elena Camp (4,541m) / Mount Stanley.

Leave Bujuku and follow the trail that takes you through verdant bog, while trekking the steep slopes west of the lake and through the secret forest, filled with Groundsel Gully.

Turn to the right up to Elena camp and Mount Stanley on a steep hike over giant boulders, while the trail on the left leads to Scott-Elliot Pass, descending to Lake Kitandara. The path on the left leads trekkers who are not summiting Margherita Peak to Kitandara Hut. Those climbing the peak will have their Dinner and overnight at the cold and Icy Elena camp.

Day 5- Elena Hut to Margherita Peak (5109m) – Kitandara Camp (4430m).

Early in the morning, begin the hike to Uganda’s highest peak, Margherita located on Mount Stanley. To reach Margherita Peak, the hike lasts for about 4 -5 hours depending on weather and the pace of climbers.

This steep walk takes you via three glaciers, slippery rock, ice and very exposed areas which are open on numerous sides. Hiking on to the glaciers, traverse the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent to the peak.

Adapt to the huge fog here, altitude sickness and coolly weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita the highest peak of the Rwenzori. Then descend from Margherita peak back to Elena camp can take you about 2 – 3 hours.

Enjoy lunch at Elena camp, trek down to Scott-Elliot pass (4372m), where there are splendid views of Mount Speke and Lake Bujuku. The trail goes through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation as well as speed, rugged boulders, descend past the Kitandara Lakes for your dinner and night stay at Kitandara camp.

Day 6- Kitandara to Guy Yeoman (3261m).

Depart Kitandara hut, follow the path that ascends steeply to the headwall, spreading out from the bottom of Mount Baker and proceeding along the southern side of the Mountain to Fresh Field Pass at 4282m above sea level.

The views of distant D.R. Congo become clear to the west and Mount Stanley emerges in the north.

Thereafter, embark on a steep descent via rocky paths and through a rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 and have a night stay at Guy yeoman hut.

Day 7- Guy Yeoman – Nyabitaba camp.

Just below Guy Yeoman camp, the trail descends via the cliffs of Kichuchu, until you get to the muddy path crossing River Mubuku twice through an ever green bamboo forest. Then trek further downwards to Nyabitaba hut to complete the circuit.

Day 8- Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija.

After breakfast, proceed with a descent from Nyabitaba Camp for about 3 hours and complete your Rwenzori trek at Nyakalengija, the final base camp.