Rwenzori mountains highest peak, margarita (5109m) makes it the highest block mountain in Africa. It is both a world heritage site and a Ramsar site. On this trip, you will be experiencing the snow at the equator. The trek starts at Nyakalengija village located 23 km from Kasese town. From the office, you will take a relatively flat walk for about 3km to the park gate. Here, briefing and park entrance fees will be done before entering into the park. preferably, climbing at this gate should start between 9:00 and 11:00 am. In a lush vegetation, you will be walking the forest zone as you observe the rich natural habitat comprising of mainly plants and trees unique to this part of the park. You will be crossing several rivers and stream before you start the steep climb that leads you to Nyabitaba, the first camp.
Common site on the the lower slopes will be birds, insects, butterflies, small animals like chameleons. You can also be chanced to find some mammals such as Monkeys, squirrel, antelopes and mountain Elephant tracks. On the trip, you will prove that Rwenzori has a diverse flora and fauna with lots of beautiful plants, animals and birds unique to these mountains. The lush vegetation is home to, mountain elephants. The primates and birds are in abundance but shy. During your climb you may be able to sight some animal marks, elephant tracks, chimp nests, unique birds or insects and the plants. On this 8 days trekking trip, you will explore the lush green forests, bamboo forests, expanses of bogs/ wetland vegetation, waterfalls and breathtaking scenery.
The trek is quite demanding compared to other African mountains and requires the climber to be well prepared. The peak climbing guides have been well trained to handle the situation on the mountains, making it easy for nearly everyone to enjoy the beauty and challenge offered by the Rwenzori mountains. Special equipment is required to reach the high altitudes and snow peaks. These can be provided for hire at the base-camp. With the improvement in the trails and camps infrastructure or the guides training, it had become allot easier for almost everyone to reach the peaks, than in the past. If you’re unsure of your physical fitness, a day for acclimatization with the community hills may be required before you take this adrenaline adventure to margarita.
Details of the trip
Day 1: Transfer to the Rwenzoris: Arrive to the basecamp today. Depending on your past trip activities, you will be picked from Queen Elizabeth national park, Kasese town or received at the base camp. Dinner and overnight at Ruboni community camp (BB)
Day 2: Nyakalengija – Nyabitaba camp 2632 m: After a briefing with the local porters and guides you will trek from 1646 meters above sea level to Nyabitaba camp at 2632 m Dinner and overnight at the camp. (5hrs) Mountain hut (FB)
Day 3: Nyabitaba-John Mathe camp 3414 m: Leave Nyabitaba and take the central circuit loop anticlockwise. The trail leads to the crossing point of rivers Mubuku and Bujuku at the confluence. Difficult to pass in the past but easy today thanks to a bridge. After a slippery and difficult path you will reach Nyamuleju hut at 3000 meters a simple shelter among rocks. It’s better to hike for other 3 hours and reach John Matte camp at 3414 meters and spend the night. (7 hrs) Mountain hut (FB)
Day 4: John Mathe – Bujuku camp 3962m: The third trekking day will lead you to Bujuku camp. After 5 hours of hiking passing through the Bigo bog where there is an old shelter. Bujuku camp is located at 3962 meters near the Bujuku Lake in a valley among 3 mountains: Mt Stanley, Mt Baker and Mt Speke. (5hrs) Mountain hut (FB)
Day 5: Bujuku Hut to Elena Hut, 4.540 m. From Bujuku Hut 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. Mountain alpine hut (FB)
Day 6: Elena Hut to margarita back to kitandara hut, 4.023 m. From Elena Hut you ascend the last tract of rock and ice which leads to Margherita Peak on Mt. Stanley, 5.109 m. Time to complete the climbing about 3 hours. The peak was first climbed by the Duke of Abruzzi at 9.30am on 18th June 1.906. Descend to Upper Kitandara Lake and through thick mud to Lower Kitandara Lake where Kitandara camp is located, 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. (3hrs) Mountain hut (FB)
Day 7: Kitandara Hat to Guy Yeoman camp, 3.261 m. Some people consider the fifth trekking day as hard as the second! After crossing Fresh Field pass head for the Guy Yeoman camp at 3261 meters. In case of fog or bad weather it could be hard to follow the trail and remember that the last part is full of bogs. Before Guy Yeoman hat there are other two shelters: Bujongolo and Kaijongo. Bujongolo is well known for having been the base camp of Luigi di Savoia, Duke of Abruzzi who conquered and fully explored the Rwenzori in 1906. (6 hrs) Mountain hut (FB)
Day 8: Guyeoman – Nyabitaba camp 2632 m: The sixth trekking day on Rwenzori is dedicated to descend to the camp of Nyabitaba. On the descent there are some tricky points since the terrain is often slippery and boggy. After Kichunchu rock the trail will become easier passing through bamboo forests interesting to many birdwatchers. (5-6 hrs) Mountain hut (FB)
Day 9: Nyabitaba – Base camp/ Nyakalengija: On the seventh trekking day return to the Rwenzori National Park headquarters, Ruboni community base camp. After a well-earned rest with the entire trekking group, porters and guides we go to for diner and overnight. (3hrs) Ruboni community Camp (BB)
Day 10: Nyakalengija – Kampala/ entebbe: A relaxed breakfast and start for the Kampala drive at around 9:00am to have an early lunch in fort portal garden restaurant. Taking the Mubende road again, we shall arrive in Kampala and connect to the chosen hotel or airport for the flight.
Meal plan Key:
- FB= Full board (three meals per day)
- BB= bed and breakfast, (breakfast only)
Included in the price:
- Experienced English speaking mountain guide
- Park entrance fees and park ranger fees
- Full board camping accommodation on the mountain camps
- Bed and breakfast at the base camp
- All taxes on park activities done
- Mountain porters and guide
- Energy (gas or charcoal on the mountains)
- Private chef and catering equipment on the mountains
Excluded from the price:
- Visa fees (if required) requires online application and prior approval (EA visa at 100$)
- All bar drinks and extras at the hotels
- Insurance cover.
- Air ticket
- All Optional Activities and activities of personal interest not on the itinerary
- Transport to and from the base camp
- Technical climbing equipment
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat
- The prices are based on guests sharing (2 per room and tent). Single supplement fee will be charged if guests choose to use separate rooms/ tents.
- Guests can upgrade to staying in huts upon request.
- High alpine insurance is highly recommended. Please buy it before arrival and present the policy at the beginning of the trek.
- We can put the entire trip on full board and supply a new price, upon request.
On booking, quote this code RFCT19