A 10 Days Rwenzori Mountain Trekking Safari
Hike to the top of the Rwenzori Mountains and later enjoy a Wildlife Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The 10 Days Rwenzori Mountaineering Safari Involves hiking to the the Snow Capped Rwenzori Mountains. Anyone can climb, you just have to be excellently fit. Special equipment that you need on this trip include good hiking boots, warm and waterproof clothing. Most of the higher peaks and certain other sections do require mountaineering equipment and previous experience.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park, the fabled “Mountains of the Moon” – lies in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. WIth the 10 Days Rwenzori Mountains Safari, The Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65 km – wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park, as a matter of fact, hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species. Including 19 Albertine Rift endemics and some of the world’s rarest vegetation.
Day 1: Transfer from Kampala to Kasese
After breakfast, our guide will brief you about the 10 Days Rwenzori Mountains Safari. Then drive off to Kasese via Masaka, Mbarara. Also, make a stopover at Mpambire in Mpigi for traditional handicrafts. At the same time stop at the Uganda Equator a point for the imaginary line. However, it divides the world into two hemispheres (North and South Hemisphere). Have lunch in Mbarara town and after continue to Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
Day 2: Nyakalengija Trailhead (1600m), it’s here that Mount Rwenzori Climbing begins
After breakfast, initiate your mountaineering exercise acquiring equipment and arranging guides; then porters and start the trail by hiking to the Nyabitaba hut; and shortly connect to Nyakalengija trailhead (1648m) with tour guides and porters. Climb up to Nyabitaba hut going through the homesteads and the local plantations which is an amazing experience. Then follow the trail along the Mubuku River via the landslides up and down rocks and bluffs. Walk across the Mahoma River and ascend steeply through the bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut; for an Overnight.
Day 3: Nyakalengija Trailhead – John Matte Hut (3350m)
From Nyabitaba hut, follow the trail which drops you down through the woodland to the Kurt Shafer Bridge; just below the melting point of the Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. Ascend via the bamboo forest, going across a long and a strenuous stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From Nyamuleju rock shelter, on clear-sight days, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. The final stretch to the John Matte hut is across a strenuous marshland, the first of many for which the mountain is well-known. Overnight at John Matte Hut (FB)
Day 4: John Matte Hut – Bujuku Hut (3900m)
After John Matte Hut, the trail goes downhill 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 glacial ooze. The Upper Bigo bog gives a way to Bujuku Lake, with the sight of Mt. Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the West. Bujuku Hut suitably positioned in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke; is in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass. Be prepared for this trail which can be very cold; for you as well as to the dwellers of Rwenzori. Overnight at Bujuku Hut (FB)
Day 5: Bujuku Hut – Elena Hut (4541)
From Bujuku, via more bog; the trail ascends the slopes west of the lake, passing through the magical Groundsel Gully; so as it goes up to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372 m. A metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail splits into two at the head of the channel. 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, though the nights may be cool (FB).
Hiking Margherita Peak (5109m) to the base of the Stanley Glacier continues. Hence, based on the weather and one’s area familiarity, it can be a walk of between 4 to 7 hours to the pinnacle of Margherita. It is a hard 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 still a technical climb which needs roping up, crampons and proper equipment for cold, windy and icy conditions. It is good to try the final climb in a group of at least 4 – 2 climbers and 2 guides; (the extra guide has to be paid for at the time of booking). Climb onto the glacier, cross the Stanley Plateau and move on with the rise.
Basing on altitude sickness, fog and weather, push 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 disappointed if you do not make it. Coming back to Scott-Elliot Pass, so you get magnificent views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke; up to Mount Stanley and still down to the Kitandara Lakes; once over the pass, the trail enters an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders. Still 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 7: Guy Yeoman Hut (3260m)
After Kitandara, the trail goes up sharply to the headwall; spreading out from the Mount Baker base and still proceed to the south side of the mountain to Fresh Field Pass. On a good day, then, you see part of the Congo in the west and Mount Stanley in the north. And so from the pass, the long mud-spattered trail goes down; going through the rock shelter at Bujongolo and so this is the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 (FB).
Day 8: Nyabitaba Hut (2650m)
This hike will lead you through the path down but can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on. Thus, you must be careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rocks. Overnight at Nyabitaba Hut (FB)
From Nyabitaba Hut, still move down gently to the muddy paths to the trailhead. Arrive late morning, head to Kasese for lunch and then drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. As you still drive, look keenly for the wild game which makes this park a terrific safari hub. If at all time allows that afternoon, still enjoy a launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel where mammals and a variety of birds are seen over the lake shoreline.
Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge. Meal Plan: Full Board (Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10: Game Drive Safari in the Park, drive back to Kampala
Start an early morning game drive, then head to the Lodge for breakfast. Check out of the lodge and depart for Kampala while having lunch en route. Then that afternoon, Arrive in Kampala late returning to your booked accommodation
End of the wonderful 10 Days Rwenzori Mountains Safari.
The 10 Days Rwenzori Mountains Hiking Safari Package Highlights
- Climbing the Equatorial Rain Mountain
- Wildlife Encounter in Queen Elizabeth
- Boat Cruise
- The 10 Days Rwenzori Mountains safari package includes:
- Airport transfers
- Transportation by a 4wd vehicle
- Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary
- Park fees
- Service of English speaking Driver/Guide.
- Enroute lunches
- Hike fees for Central circuit Hiking Mountain Rwenzori for 6 days up to Margherita Peak 5,109m
- Game drives
The Safari package excludes: Personal Insurance, Equipment for the hike, also Extra Luggage (extra 25kg per person). Any change in the program itinerary on the Rwenzori. Expenses of personal nature, that is to say, Visas, drinks, laundry, tips to local guides, telephone, and porter fees on trekking, personal insurance, and tobacco.
What to bring on your 10 Days Rwenzori Mountains Safari
- Sleeping bag
- sleeping mat
- good hiking gumboots
- waterproof trousers
- heavy warm jacket
- hand gloves
- scarf and cap
- Light changeable clothing
- insect repellants
- sun cream
- sun glasses
- cameras etc.
10 Days Rwenzori Mountains Safari Important Notes to Climbers:
- Firstly, Climbers must be prepared to walk for up to 8 hours every day via steep cliff and muddy paths.
- Secondly, Climbers must bring along their own climbing gear or hire it at the base camp.
- Lastly, the porters carry 8 kg of personal climbing gear