The Ruwenzori, also spelled Rwenzori and Rwenjura which are popularly known as “Mountains of the Mmoon”, are a range of mountains in eastern equatorial Africa, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
One of Africa’s best kept secrets The Rwenzoris are one of Africa’s best-kept secrets for those seeking spectacular mountain scenery without the crowds. It includes Africa’s third highest peak Margherita (5,109m asl). The mountain range has several other peaks which can be climbed and they offer snow capped peaks, glaciers, fast flowing rivers with stunning waterfalls and alpine vegetation.
The Rwenzori mountains can be visited all year round however the popular dry seasons, are July to October and December to February are popular.
There are 2 main routes used on the mountain, Central Circuit and Kilembe Trail.
Central Circuit is the more preferred route up the mountain. Below is a summary of the itinerary:
Day 1: Transfer to Rwenzori Mountain National Park
Day 2: Trek to Nyabitaba: The Rwenzori Central circuit trail begins with farmland to the park boundary. It follows the Mubuku River, crossing its Mahoma tributary, continuing with a long, steep climb up onto a massive crest to reach Nyabitaba hut. You may hear chimpanzee and see the black and white colobus, blue monkeys and the brilliantly colored Rwenzori turacos.
The hike takes around 5 -6 hours.
Day 3: Trek to John Matte Hut: You’ll get to pass through the bamboo forest, navigate through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. Views of Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen from the Nyamileju rock shelter, before we pass into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. A tiring bog later, you will reach the John Matte Hut.
The hike takes around 6 to 7 hours.
Day 4 –Trek to Bujuku Hut: The early morning hike trail drops down to cross the Bujuku River, entering the Lower Bigo Bog, the home of giant lobelias. Jumping from tussock to tussock, the bog will be crossed, but your feet will not be left unscathed.
The hike takes around 5 -6 hours.
Day 5 –Trek to Elena Hut: Slushing through more bog, you climb up a steep lakesides to the magical Groundsel Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. A metal ladder at the head of the gully takes you over a steep segment after which the trail forks. The trail on your right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders, while the trail on your left leads to Scott- Elliot Pass, down to Kitandara Lakes onto Kitandara Hut.
Those climbing the peak will have their Dinner and stay overnight at the coolly and Icy Elena Hut.
The hike takes around 4 -5 hours.
Day 6 –Ascent of Mount Stanley to Kitandara Hut: After breakfast at Elena Hut, your hike continues to Mount Stanley’s Margherita peak, through the Stanley plateau and Margherita Glaciers. The guide will teach you how to use the equipment while on the ice. You’ll be graced with views Irene Lake, Mount Speke and the surrounding, breathtaking environment from the top.
Followed by a descent to Elena Hut for lunch, proceeding to descend through the Scott Elliot pass to Kitandara, which is arguably the most beautiful point of the Rwenzori.
Day 7 –Trek to Guy Yeoman Hut: Yyou’ll move through the base of Mount Baker, a slippery section requiring a lot of care after eating a hearty breakfast. From Kitandara, the trail ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker, continuing along the south side of the Rwenzori Mountain to Fresh field pass. A long muddy descent continues, including moving past the Bujangolo rock shelter. This was the base camp for the Duke of Abruzzi’s historic expedition in 1906.
The hike takes around 4-6 hours, after which you’ll reach Guy Yeoman Hut which is located at the banks of river Mubuku, where you’ll spend the night.
Day 8 –Trek to Nyakalengiija Trail Head (about a 6 hour hike) and transfer to Entebbe / Kampala for your flight out.
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