9 Days Mount Rwenzori Hiking

The snow capped Rwenzori Mountains are located along the western rift valley at the border between DR Congo and Uganda. Previously known as the “Ruwenzori Mountains” and still referred to as “mountains of the moon”, the mountains reach a height of 5,109metres. The mountains are one of the sources of water for the great river Nile. The Queen Elizabeth and Virunga national parks are located within these mountains. Because of their proximity to the mountains, hikers should expect to spot dense forests, lakes, rivers, birds, primates and mammals. The mammals may include buffalo, hippos, elephants and lions among many others

Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains takes place throughout the year but requires prior booking if you are going all the way to the peaks. The months between April – May and October – November are rainy and can bring several hiking challenges but the activity continues nevertheless. The starting point is in Ibanda which is at the foot of the mountains. Hikers should carry hiking shoes, sleeping bags and warm clothes. Climbing the higher peak sections requires mountain boots, crampons, ropes and ice axe.
NOTE:You will need an extra two days to climb the Speke/Margarita/Stanley and Alexandra peaks.

Day 1: Kampala – Kasese (Rwenzori National Park)

Day 2: Nyakalengija (1646m) – The Nyabitaba Hut (2652m)

Day 3: The Nyabitaba Hut – The John Matte Hut (3414m)

Day 4: The John Matte Hut – The Bujuku Hut (3972m)

Day 5: The Bujuku Hut – The Elena Hut (4430m)

Day 6: Climb to Mt. Stanley

Day 7: The Kitandara Hut – The Guy Yeoman Hut (3261m)

Day 8: The Guy Yeoman Hut – The Nyabitaba Hut

Day 9: The Nyabitaba Hut – Nyakalengija for Departure

Day 1: Kampala – Kasese (Rwenzori National Park)

Once you arrive, you will be picked by a guide/driver from Mission Africa Safaris and transferred to Kasese town. The journey is 6 hours, but you won’t get bored because of the scenic beauty along the way. You will be amazed by the landscape, tea plantations and the overlooking views of the Rwenzori Mountains as you get closer to Kasese. You will stopover at the equator crossing to take some photos and later in Mbarara town to have lunch. You will need to shop enough food that is needed while up the mountain. Once you reach Kasese, register with the Rwenzori Mountaineering Service (RMS) offices.  Dinner and overnight will be at either the Hotel Margherita (Midrange) or Rwenzori Base Mountain Camp (Budget).

Day 2: Nyakalengija (1646) – The Nyabitaba Hut (2652)

You will wake up to heavy breakfast and be taken to the Rwenzori Mountaineering Service (RMS) offices at Nyakalengija. You will be provided with the necessary tools for hiking, assigned guides and porters. You will then set off for a five to seven hour hike to Nyabitaba Hut. The trail to Nyabitaba Hut involves passing through the Mubuku River. After 2 hours, you will reach the Makoma River then continue to very steep and sloppy areas near a forest. You will have dinner and overnight at the Nyabitaba Hut.

Day 3: The Nyabitaba Hut – The John Matte Hut (3414m)

Wake up, take breakfast and then hike for 7 hours to the John Matte hut. You will go through the river Bujuku and Mubuku which are located near steep and slippery points. At this point, those who are not up to the task ahead should consider going back. Overnight will be at the John Matte hut.

Day 4: The John Matte Hut – The Bujuku Hut (3972m)

Wake up, take breakfast and then head for the Bujuku Hut which takes between 3 to 5 hours. As you leave the John Matte hut, cross the River Bujuku until you reach Lake Bujuku. You will continue following the trial until you reach the Bujuku Hut.  Your overnight with be at the Bujuku hut.

Day 5: The Bujuku Hut – The Elena Hut (4430m)

You will leave the Bujuku Hut, ascend and move through dense vegetation around Mount Baker and Stanley. Finally divert to the Elena Hut.  Overnight will be at the Elena Hut.

Day 6: Climb to Mt. Stanley

On day 6, you will climb up to the Elena glacier and then to the Stanley Plateau. You will need crampons from this point onwards to make climbing easier. From the Stanley Plateau, you will ascend the Margherita glacier up to the Summit. After reaching this summit, slope down to the Elena Hut, pass the Kitandara Lake and then to the Kitandara Hut. Proceed to climb Mount Baker or Mount Luigi di Savoia and then descent to Kitandara Hut. You will have an Overnight at the Kitandara hut.

Day 7: The Kitandara Hut – The Guy Yeoman Hut (3261m)

This day’s hike will take 6 hours to complete. You will leave Lake Kitandara and reach the Mount Stanley and Baker glaciers. You will follow some muddy trails that take you to some rock shelters where the Kabamba valley starts. You will then slope down to the Guy Yeoman Hut. This area is surrounded by beautiful scenery, great landscape that includes mountains, rivers and dense vegetation.

Day 8: The Guy Yeoman Hut – The Nyabitaba Hut

Wake up to breakfast and begin climbing the slopes around the River Mobuku. Take the trail passing through the Kichuchu rocks and re-enter the original route by the Bujuku River.

Day 9: The Nyabitaba Hut – Nyakalengija for Departure

Wake up to take breakfast and prepare for your final 2 hour descend. As you approach Nyakalengija, you will be able to spot several primates, bird species and a few mammals. Once you reach down and take a rest, the guide from Mission Africa Safaris will take you back to Kampala. You will stop-over for lunch along the way in Mbarara town.  You will most likely reach Kampala in the evening for overnight or be transferred to the airport in Entebbe.

End of Hike

The Hike Includes:

  • Full board accommodation including in Kasese town
  • Park entrance fees
  • Rwenzori mountain hiking fees
  • Food
  • Ranger, Porters, guides and a cook
  • 4×4 safari vehicle with fuel and a full time English speaking driver/guide
  • Rescue fees
  • Ground transportation including to and from the airport on indicated days

Hike Excludes

  • International flights and visa fees
  • Drinks,
  • Bar bills,
  • Cigars
  • Phone calls
  • Laundry
  • Personal insurance
  • Souvenirs
  • Tips

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