Mt Ruwenzori Climbing,
Mount Rwenzori Trekking, Mountain Climbing in Uganda, Hiking on Mount
Ruwenzori in Uganda, Mountain Trekking in Uganda, Walking up Uganda
Mountains, Mountains of the Moon Trekking, Mt Rwenzori Trekking,
Climbing Mount Ruwenzori in Uganda
Mt Rwenzori Hiking - 9 Days
(Mt Ruwenzori Climbing, Mount Rwenzori Trekking, Mountain Climbing in Uganda, Hiking on Mount Ruwenzori in Uganda, Mountain Trekking in Uganda, Walking up Uganda Mountains)
The “central circuit” trail of Rwenzori is the main hiking activity which people undertake when visiting the mountain range. The trip begins from Entebbe or Kampala. It consists of a hike lasting six nights and seven days, starting from the headquarters of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park at Nyakalengija. Then the trail follows a circular path around Mount Baker, spending the night in five different Huts, and reaching a maximum altitude of 5109 M. at Margherita Hut
The circuit gives the opportunity to see very close the peaks and glaciers of Mount Speke, Mount Stanley, Mount Luigi di Savoia, Mount Baker. Everybody is able to manage the hike, as the level of difficulty is not so high. The central circuit is the best experience of Rwenzori, its landscape and vegetations.
Day 1: Kampala - Kasese
Drive from Kampala to Kasese Town stopping at Equator crossing, lunch stop in Mbarara town and continue to Kasese. Arrive in the earl afternoon, carry out food shopping of all food needed up in the mountain for the days you will be trekking. Dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Nyakalengija - Nyabitaba Hut (8,7000-ft, 2500m, 4-5 hours walking)
Arrive at Ibanda, the park headquarters and the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS) concession building at Nyakalengija in early morning so as to have ample time to arrange payments, rent equipment and select guides and porters. Begin your hike by leaving park headquarters, located at 5,400ft/1.646m. The trail then follows the Mubuku River, crossing recent landslide areas and requires scrambling over rocks and bluffs before reaching the Mahoma River. After crossing the river you will have a very steep climb through open bracken fern slopes and podocarpus forest up to Nyabitaba Hut (8,7000-ft2, 652m). Slower hikers could take considerably longer, so insist on leaving park headquarters before noon to avoid on the trail after dark (7 PM all year round).
Day 3: Nyabitaba Hut (8,7000-ft, 2500m) - John Matte Hut (11,200 ft, 3,414 m) - 4 to 5 hours
From Nyabitaba Hut the trails leads westwards for a half – km then drops north (right) steeply to Kurt shafer Bridge, crossing below the confluence of the Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. You reach the poor-condition hut at Nyamileju and it’s accompanying rock shelter. Walk to John Matte Hut (11,200 ft/3,414 m) which is newly constructed, large and comfortable through muddy a round the site. Many hikers consider this the most tiring and longest day of the circuit so an early start is important. The loss of altitude to Kurt Shafer Bridge means the total elevation to be gained on this day is at least 3,000ft (915m). Hikers who feel they have reached their limits by this point should consider John Matte a reasonable stopping point. You can just enjoy the unique vegetation in the bog and the great views and the following day begin your return to Nyabitaba.
Day 4: John Matte Hut (11,200 ft, 3,414 m) - Bujuku Hut (13,000ft, 3,962m)
You leave John Matte to cross the Bujuku River and enter the lower of the Bigo Bogs. The trail is very muddy and follows the left (southern) edge of lower Bigo Hut and it’s shelter. Have a lunch break at the upper edge of the Bigo beyond the north end of Bujuku Lake is a rock shelter called Cooking pot and short distance further to Bujuku Hut (13,000ft/3.962m). The shaded location and mists can make Bujuku Hut uncomfortably cold for hikers and especially guides and porters with simple blankets and light clothing.
Day 5: Bujuku Hut (13,000ft, 3,962m) - Elena Hut (14,700 ft/4,372m)
Continue the circuit you leave directly west from Bujuku Hut towards Scott Elliott 14,345 ft (4,372 m) after a right hand branch would lead you to Elena Hut (14,700 ft/4,372m). As you leave the Elena and Savoia Glaciers, and Mt. Baker (15,889 ft/4,843 m). The trail descends past upper Kitandara Lake through bad mud to the lower lake and Kitandara Hut (13,200-ft/4,023 m). The elevation gain to the pass from Bujuku is a modest 1,400 ft (425 m) but ups and downs nearly double that a mount. And because Scott Elliott is the high point so far, some hikers will be slower due to greater effort required at these altitudes. Watch especially for signs of altitude sickness.
Day 6: Elena Hut (14,700 ft/4,372m) - Guy Yeomen Hut (10,700-ft/3,261 m)
Climb from the lake to 14,050-ft (4.292m) Fresh field Pass. Fresh field is a long flat traverse through beautiful high alpine mossy glades (and more mud) until after half an hour the trails begin the circuit’s long two-day descent. Rock shelters at Bujongolo and Kabamba are optional overnight stops but it is best to push on through the seeming endless mud to newly constructed Guy Yeomen Hut (10,700-ft/3,261 m).
Day 7: Guy Yeomen Hut (10,700-ft/3,261 m) - Nyabitaba Hut (8,7000-ft, 2500m)
Begin very early if you have decided to make it all the way to park headquarters and complete your trek. An alternative would be to stay another night at Nyabitaba Hut. In any event the path from Guy Yoeman is quite dangerous in spots. Helping each other and descending very slowly facing the slope instead of facing outward are recommended especially as you approach Kichuchu down a dry and dusty crevice. From Kichuchu the trail parallels and twice crosses the Mubuku River mostly in deep mud until the last few kilometers of good dry trail follow the ridge down to Nyabitaba, which completes the circuit. Should you decide to continue to park headquarters it is another two or three hours depending on the condition of your knees and desire to reach a comfortable bed and bath.
Day 8: Nyabitaba Hut (8,7000-ft, 2500m) - Kasese Town
From Nyabitaba Hut, descend to Nyakalengija the park headquarters. You will meet your driver to drive you back to Kasese town to your Hotel/Queen Elizabeth National Park Mweya Safari Lodge/ Institute Hostel. Take warm showers and relax. Dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Kasese Town - Kampala/Entebbe
After breakfast drive to Kampala or Entebbe in case your flight falls on this day. If you spent the night in Queen Elizabeth Park, morning will start with game drive and after proceed to Kampala or Entebbe. End of Central Circuit.
Cost US$: 2, 300 per person sharing
The Safari Cost Includes:
• 8 nights accommodation and meals at full board
• Park fees
• Hiking fees
• Food and accommodation in Kasese
• Transfer vehicle with fuel and driver/guide
• Mountaineering fee
Drinks, bar bills, phone calls, personal insurance, and expenses of personal nature like souvenirs, tips laundry, etc.
Add on safaris (Optional) provide at extra cost.
3 Days Gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park
1 Day White Water Rafting on River Nile
1 Day visit to Orphanage Chimps - Ngamba Island
1 Day visit to Nakasongora White Rhino Farm
2 Day Queen Elizabeth National Park
3 Days to Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria
How to reach there:
By road from Kampala via Mbarara to Kasese or from Kampala through Fort Portal and then 75 km South on the Fort Portal / Kasese road. The park is 25 km from Kasese town, then turning left inside to reach Ibanda and Niakalengija, following the sign post on the Kasese Road. Chartered planes are also available from Entebbe /Kampala to Kasese and then by road.
What to do:
A trip into the Rwenzori Mountains is a rewarding experience, which allows you to see the main peaks of the largest mountain range in Africa. The most common trial, the so called central circuit, starts at the National Park Head Quarter in Niakalengija and lasts on average 7 days six nights, hut after hut, reaching at an altitude of up to 4.372 metres at Scott Elliot Pass. You experience five different vegetation zones, from the tropical and bamboo forests up to the alpine zones. The hike does not require any specific climbing experience or training, but it is easy to whoever likes mountaineering. It is possible to complete the trial by ascending the main peaks, like Margherita on Mount Stanley (5.109 m), Mount Speke (4.890 m.), Mount Luigi di Savoia (4.627 m.).
When to go:
the best advisable time is the dry season from December to February and from May to August.
Equipment and organization:
You are recommended to have with you or to hire at the National Park headquarter rucksack, sleeping bag for low temperature and sleeping mat, one plate, cutlery, mug, knife, gumboots, water proof trousers, poncho or rain coat, heavy worm jacket, hand gloves, scarf and cup, jumper, torch, bottle of water.
For whoever will climb the peaks some specialised equipment is required in addition: a pair of crampons, snow gloves, snow goggles, climbing boots, rope and ice axe, as you reach the glacier area.
The entrance package gives to each person the support of an experienced
guide plus four porters, which will carry most of the luggage, so that
you are not supposed to have a bag heavier than 15kg.
Food and Accommodation:
The food during the trekking can be organized by the tour operator or the association of the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS), or you can purchase locally before starting the trial. Cooking utensils are available at the huts. A cook can be hired to help the preparation of food.
spend the nights in huts, which are basic and environmentally friendly
structures. Some water supply or stream are located around the huts to
provide drinking water and for other purposes. Toilets are also found
close to the hut.
Before and after the hike on the mountains you can find good and comfortable accommodation in Kasese, Fort Portal or even at Ibanda before entering the park.