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Mountain Climbing in the Rwenzoris

One of Africa’s most beautiful and dramatic natural environments is the Rwenzori Mountain which is among the least visited parks in Uganda. They offer an example of nature at their most wild and untamed, totally untouched by industry or human habitation, and teeming with life. The Rwenzori range is home to rich and varied vegetation, from dense rain and bamboo forests, to valleys of giant heathers and lobelias. Much of the vegetation is endemic to the region, for that reason the Rwenzoris are now a protected World Heritage Site.

Day 1. Kampala to Kasese

Drive from Kampala in the morning and proceed to the western part of the country passing via the Equator and arrive in Kasese town ready for lunch. After lunch carryout food shopping together with your guide. Dinner and overnight at Magherita Hotel or Rwenzori Base Camp

Day 2:  Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba Hut, 2.652 m

After breakfast head to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Head Quarter at Nyakalengija, 1.646 m., you briefing will be held at Rwenzori Mountaineering Services andUganda Wildlife Authority, with the possibility of renting equipment. The hike starts through the plantations and homes of the Bakonjo people. You follow the Mobuku river, until crossing the Mahoma river. The trail passes through an open bracken fern slopes and Podorcarpus Forest, up to Nyabitaba Hut, 2.652 m., which is the arrival point for the day. This will take from 5 to 6 hours. From the location, you are facing on the North the Portal Peaks, 4.627 m., in front Mount Kyniangoma. During the day, you might see monkeys, the Rwenzori Turaco and hearing the chimpanzees.

Day 3 : Nyabitaba Hut to John Matte Hut, 3.414 m

From Nyabitaba Hut you cross the Kurt Shaffer Bridge, through a muddy area. Then the trail climbs up through the bamboo forest. You reach a steep rocky area, which leads to Nyamuleju Hut. This point marks the start of the giant lobelia and groundsel zone. The way proceeds through a bog full of typical plants along the Bujuku river. The final point is John Matte Hut, 3.414 m. for spending the night. From Nyabitaba Hut to John Matte it can take approximately 6 hours. Enjoy the view of Mount Stanley and snow capped Margherita and Elena Peaks.

Day 4: From John Matte Hut to Bujuku Hut, 3.962 m

From John Matte Hut you cross the Bujuku River and enter the lower Bigo bog, a grassy bog where you experience how to jump from tussock to tussock. You reach Bigo Hut and enter the upper Bigo bog, proceeding to Lake Bujuku, where it is starting the alpine savannah zone of little vegetation. You finally arrive at Bujuku Hut, 3.962 m. This day hike can take up to 5 hours. There you have a view on the peaks of Mount Stanley, Mount Baker and Mount Speke. From Bujuku starts the diversion for whom intends to climb Mount Speke. For climbing Margherita and Alexandra peaks it is advised to proceed to Elena Hut for overnight.

Day 5: From Bujuku Hut to Kitandara Hut, 4.023 m

From Bujuku Hut you climb through moss draped groundsel vegetation, to Scott Elliot Pass, 4.372 m., the highest point of the loop trail. The path is very rocky and steep, at the foothills of Mount Baker. Enjoy a spectacular view of Margherita peak, Elena and Savoia glaciers and Mount Baker. You reach Upper Kitandara lake through thick mud to Lower Kitandara lake where is located Kitandara Hut, 4.023 m. Kitandara in the local language means “fresh field”, as a cold wind is blowing into the valley, time to complete the hike is about 5 hours. During this tract, it is recommended to check any sign of altitudes sickness or hypothermia. From Kitandara Hut you can proceed for climbing the peaks -Mount Baker or Mount Luigi di Savoia and the peak Vittorio Sella.

Day 6:  Kitandara Hut to Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m

From Lake Kitandara you climb to Freshfield Pass, 4.282 m., a long flat of high alpine mossy glades, before descending the circuit among rocky and boggy areas. The panorama is dominated by the glaciers of Mounts Stanley and Baker. A muddy trail leads to Akendahi, Bujongolo and Kabamba rock shelters, where starts the Kabamba valley down to Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m. This can take up to 6 hours. The hut is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of mountains, vegetations and rivers.

Day 7: Guy Yeoman Hut back to Nyabitaba Hut, 2.652 m

In this day you complete the central circuit by going back to Nyabitaba Hut. The trial is attractive along the valley of the Mobuku and Kichuchu rivers, rich in plants and flowers of the heather zone before reaching the bamboo forest. See Kabamba falls on the way. Time to reach Nyabitaba is about 6 hours. Eventually, you decide to terminate the trial by descending directly to Nyakalengija, adding 2 to 3 more hours.

Day 8:  Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija

From Nyabitaba to reach Nyakalengija it can take up to three hours. From Nyabitaba starts the 40 minutes trial to see Lake Mamoha and back to the hut for descending to the Park Head Quarter.

Day 9 :  Kasese to Kampala

Drive from Kasese with lunch stop on the way and proceed to Kampala /Entebbe.

The starting point is from Ibanda but for big group it may not be so specific and the Safari starts and ends from Kampala. Tourists will carry hiking shoes, sleeping bags, warm clothes. Climbing to the peaks will require ice axe, mountain boots, crampons, ropes and prior arrangements, rubber boots. Mountain hiking takes place throughout the year, however during months of April, May, October and November experience more rains but this does not stop hiking activities.