The distinctive glacial peaks are visible from miles around, but the slopes above 1600m are the preserve of trekkers who rate the Rwenzori to be the most challenging of all African trekking tours.
The park covers a total area of 998 square kilometers and is 120 km long. The mountain has several peaks with the highest being Margherita peak. This peak is the goal main trekking route known as the Central Circuit Trail.
The main attraction in the Rwenzori is the luxuriant vegetation found above 3000m which includes the Giant lobelia. It is also a home to birds such as the Rwenzori turaco and Olive pigeon. A variety of large mammals inhabit the lower slopes including chimpanzees.
The best time for trekking and mountaineering is during the dry seasons from mid December to March and from June to mid August.
Close to the trail head in Ibanda accommodation is available at:
Rwenzori Bunkhouse – Mid range
Ruboni Community Bandas
Campground - Budget
Accommodation is available in Kasese town at:
Hotel Margherita – Mid range
The White House - Budget
Trekking and mountaineering
The town of Kasese is about 7 hours drive from Kampala either via Mbarara or via Fort Portal. The trail head at Ibanda is a further 1 hour from Kasese.
Day: 1 Arrive Entebbe airport. Meet, greet and transfer to your hotel for overnight. Includes: (B).
Day 2: Drive to Kasese and have a brief stopover at the Equator. Continue the journey up to Mbarara for a hearty lunch before heading north to the escarpment that looks over the Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Edward. Arrive in Kasese to make final arrangements for the trek before retiring to your hotel where the Rwenzori Mountains act as a majestic backdrop. O/N: Margherita Hotel, Kasese or Rwenzori Bunkhouse, Ibanda. Includes: (FB).
Day 3: Proceed to the Nyakalengija trail head (1600m) for a briefing. Where after you will walk past Bakonjo homesteads dwarfed by steep foothills and banana plantations. Follow the trail along the Mubuku River, to cross the Mahoma River and before climbing steadily through Podocarpus forest. O/N: Nyabitaba Hut (2650m). Includes (FB).
Day 4: After a substantive breakfast depart Nyabitaba early, along a small trail dropping down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the convergence of the Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. The forest gradually turns into a bamboo zone where the trail is slippery and moss-covered. A zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel vegetation emerges before the Nyamileju rock shelter before traversing a bog to the hut. O/N: John Matte Hut (3350m) F/B.
Day 5: The trail crashes down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog; home of giant lobelias. Cross the bog to the Upper Bigo Bog before continuing to Lake Bujuku where views of the highest mountain - Stanley - to the west are to be seen. O/N: Bujuku Hut (3900m). Includes: (FB).
Day 6: After Bujuku, the boggy trail climbs the slopes west of the lake, passing through the paranormal groundsel gully. Ascend to Scott-Elliot Pass (4372m). A metal ladder takes you over an extremely steep section after which the trail branches, the right leads up to Elena Hut and Mt Stanley over a steep rocky trail, while the left leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Lake Kitandara. O/N: Elena Hut (4541m) at the base of the Stanley Glacier. Includes: (FB).
Day 7: Lake Kitandara / Margherita Peak
For those who do not wish to climb the peak, a more restful day walking from Elena Hut (4541m) to Lake Kitandara (4023m). For those who wish, but also depending on altitude sickness, visibility, climbing ability and acclimatization, climb a further three hours to Margherita peak (5109m) and later down to Kitandara Hut. Trek to the Elena glacier, before moving on to the Stanley Plateau. Climb and scramble to Margherita summit, the highest point of the Rwenzoris. Use of Crampons and ropes may well be necessary. Be prepared for a tough, arduous time in the mountains. Return to the Scott-Elliot pass, view the magical Bujuku Lake and Mt Speke at a distance, continue to down to the Lake Kitandara. O/N: Kitandara Hut (4023m). Includes: (FB).
Day 8: After breakfast, a steep climb from the base of Mt Baker to the south side of the mountain to the Fresh field Pass (4280m). Views into the Congo to the west and Mt Stanley to the north are possible. From the pass, the boggy trail continues downwards, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. O/N: Guy Yeoman Hut (3260m). Includes: (FB).
Day 9: The trail to Nyabitaba Hut can be muddy and very slippery under foot. An overnight stop at the Nyabitaba Hut is often abandoned to return to the civilization of Ibanda or Kasese. O/N: Nyabitaba Hut (2650m) or Ibanda / Kasese. Includes: (FB).
Day 10: For those that have spent the night at Nyabitaba Hut the trail descends to the Nyakalengija trail head (1600m), arriving late morning. Drive to Kasese for lunch and onto to Queen Elizabeth National Park game viewing on the way to the lodge. In the afternoon enjoy a launch trip on the Kazinga Channel. O/N: Mweya Safari Lodge or Jacana Safari Lodge. Includes: (FB).
Day 11: After breakfast depart for an early morning game drive before continuing to Kampala. Lunch en-route, arriving late afternoon. Continue to Entebbe airport for your flight. Includes: (HB).
- We are able to offer this itinerary as an Up market, mid range or budget tour by utilizing alternative accommodation options at the places to be visited
- Accommodations outlined in this tour proposal are purely examples
- Tour prices on request
- Elements of this tour can be designed into a tailor-made itinerary you may ask us to prepare for you on request.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Uganda Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Mountain/Rock Climbing Hiking & Trekking