11 Days DJ Rwenzori Trekking Uganda

Destination: Uganda

Introduction:

The Rwenzori Mountains are the biggest mountain range in Africa, including six main mountains with peaks exceeding 4.500 m. of altitude: Mt. Stanley, Mt. Speke, Mt. Baker, Mt. Gessi (in the Congolese side), Mt. Emin Pasha. Mt. Luigi di Savoia. They are found along the border between Uganda and Congo for over 120 km and they are UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highest peak is Margherita, 5.109 m. on Mt. Stanley. It is named after the Italian Queen Margherita, who sponsored the first climbing expedition of the Rwenzori in June 1906, led by Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy the Duke of Abruzzi. The name “Rwenzori” in the local language means “mountain of the rain”, for its rainy nature.

The Rwenzori trekking.

We offer the opportunity to experience the Rwenzori Mountains in its vegetation zones and rich biodiversity for both unexperienced trekkers and expert trekkers. We follow the most scenic and organized route currently available, which is the Kilembe Trail, inaugurated in 2009, giving the chance to climb all the main peaks or spending quality time in some of the most beautiful areas of the Rwenzori, thanks to the presence of mountaineering Huts or camps.

In particular, we offer a shorter circuit of 3 days 2 nights covering 24 km of forest cover and some lobelia garden to maximum of 3174 m altitude at Samalia Camp. 

Another option is the 5 days 4-night trekking covering 40 km loop to Weiseman Peak (4.620 m). Both these short options can be considered as possible extensions to other programs in Uganda.

The full circuit to Margherita Peak is an 8 days 7 nights trekking, totaling 11 days’ package starting and ending at Entebbe International Airport.

The best period to climb the Rwenzori.

It is clear to all that the climatic seasons are changing characteristics in recent years, however it is still advisable to climb the Rwenzori especially during the dry seasons, between December and March, between June and July, between September and October.

Are you ready for the climbing?

The trekking and climbing of the Rwenzori, though technically not difficult for any trekker or alpinist in the lower stages, however has its great challenges. The trail is long and tiresome as it lasts up to 8 days to make it to the peak. It requires endurance and physical fitness, at least some previous training.

The final ascent to the Margherita Peak presents a glacier area and requires some technical equipment and knowledge like the use of rope and crampons and use of ice axe (with ice sections of 60% steepness due to climatic changes in the glacier). The guides will help you acquire some experience as you climb up especially using crampons, ropes, harnesses, figure 8 and carabiners.

For the full list of the required equipment, please see the technical check list and the detailed technical sheet.

Trekking options:

OPTION 1: Margherita Peak full circuit package 11 days 10 nights

OPTION 2: Rwenzori Extension To Weismanns Peak 5 Days 4 nights

OPTION 3: Rwenzori Extension To Kalamala Camp and Samalia Camp 3 Days 2 nights

NOTE: EXTENSIONS

After the Option 1 of the full circuit we also propose 2 possible extensions: to Bwindi National Park or to Queen Elizabeth National Park (see details at the end of the document).

 



Day 1
Kampala
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport we welcome you and transfer to Kampala for overnight in BB at the hotel, Cassia Lodge. BB
After breakfast you leave Kampala and drive Westwards in the direction of Kasese at the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. Lunch in restaurant. By evening you can meet your guides and start arranging for the next day, while relaxing in the montane atmosphere of the hotel. Dinner and overnight at Trekkers Camp Base or hotel in Kasese. Full Board
From the base camp at 1,450 meters, you have briefing from the guides and start the trekking through the forest zone. The climb is steady for about 6 km, then proceed toward Sine Camp (2596 m). About 200 m walk from the camp you can see the Enock Falls. Distance: 9.5km – Time: approximately 5 to 6 hours of walking
From Sine Camp the trail goes through the Bamboo zone and heather zone, where you experience the giant heather vegetation. You cross various streams and water falls covered by the green moss (Usnea lichen). The Mutinda Camp is set at 3588 meters, giving you a height gain of 992 metres. In the afternoon at Mutinda one may wish to climb up Mutinda look out at 3975 metres which offers breathtaking views. Distance: 6.1km – Time: approximately 6 to 7 hours of walking
From Mutinda Camp the trek today can be hard with steep ridges, boggy areas, high steps but also enjoying rewarding landscapes. The vegetation is unique with typical plant species. The arrival point is Bugata camp at 4100 meters, with a height gain of 512 meters. Distance: 8.6km – Time: approximately 4 to 6 hours of walking
From Bugata Camp you proceed the trail to Bamwanjara pass at 4450meters, an excellent point for panoramic view of the peaks. The trail proceeds down the valley where you experience a lot of mountain vegetation like moss, giant groundsel and the lobelias. This is the breeding area for the colourful malachite sunbird. A steep section and final climb over a ridge leads to Hunwick’s camp at 3974 meters, situated on the top of a deep valley with good views of Mt Stanley, Mt Baker, Weismanns Peak and McConnell’s Prong. Distance: 8.3km – Time: approximately 6 to 10 hours of walking.
From Hunwick’s camp, the trail passes down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitandara. From here the route climbs to Scott Eliot Pass at 4.372 m and up to Margherita Camp at 4.485 meters situated in a rock shelter where the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 camped before ascending the peaks in the first scientific expedition of the Rwenzori. This is the point where to prepare the final ascent to Mount Stanley main peaks. Distance: 5.1km – Time: approximately 3 to 5 hours of walking
The final climb to Margherita Peak of Mount Stanlay starts after a wake up at 2:00am and an early breakfast to gain strength. The trail meets the glacier and will take about 5 to 7 hours walk to the summit, for a height gain of 624 meters covering 3.8 km. Margherita glacier has suffered with global warming and as the outer edges of the glacier recede the ice is becoming steeper with one section of about 200 meters more than 60% grade. This early climb allows to arrive at the top at the time when weather is expected to be clearer and upon the sunrise (in fact the weather is typically cloudy and stormy all through later morning to evening). The descent back to Hunwicks Camp at 3974 meters will take about 4 to 6 hours covering 8.9 km. Distance: 12.7km – Time: approximately 9 to 12 hours of walking.
From Hunwick’s camp you climb up a ridge towards McConnell’s Prong then you reach Oliver Pass at 4,505meters. The trail follows below Weismann’s Peak to the confluence of Nyamwamba River. Descend down to Kiharo camp at 3430 meters, set in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation. Distance: 11km – Time: approximately 4 to 7 hours of walking.
Descend downhill along Nyamwamba Valley with its moss covered rocks, waterfalls and deep forest back to the base camp in Kilembe. Debrief and refresh and continue to your hotel for the night. Distance: 14.6km – Time: approximately 7 to 9 hours of walking.
After breakfast, return back to Kampala in time for connections with the international flights from Entebbe International Airport.

Please contact us to get flight itinerary for this package.


Itinerary Extention

You can choose to extend your safari package with these activities

Option 1:

Day 1 - From Base Camp (1.450m) to Sine Camp (2.596m)

Briefing from the guides at the Base Camp 1,450m and start the trek, hike to Sine Camp at 2,596 metres, the hike will take you through the tall forest trees of the Afro montane forest zone. This is a steady climb for about 6 kilometres then along a steep climb towards Sine hut. The hike will offer you lots of plant and flower species to view, birds and a chance of seeing some animal species like Columbus monkeys, crossing the beautiful Enock falls as we hike up to Sine Camp which are only 200metres from Sine.nnOvernight at Sine Camp (2.596m).nnDistance: 9.5km – Time: approximately 5 to 6 hours of walking.

Day 2 – From Sine Camp (2.596 m) to Mutinda Camp (3.588 m)

Hike to Mutinda Camp at 3588 metres, through the Bambo and Heather-Rapanea Zone, following the trail while it meanders up and over several small knolls along a ridge top and drops down the side of the valley crossing several small streams and passing close to moss covered waterfalls with very unique beautiful plant and flower species found above 3000metres like Giant Heather trees whose trunks are covered in green moss with old man beards (Usnea lichen) hanging from the branches, approaching to Mutinda camp which is set near a small river and waterfall. In the afternoon one has an option of summiting Mutinda lookout at 3975 metres.nnDistance: 6.1km – Time: approximately 6 to 8 hours of walking.

Day 3 – From Mutinda Camp (3.588 m) to Bugata Camp (4062 m)

From Mutinda Camp the trek today can be hard with steep ridges, boggy areas, high steps but also enjoying rewarding landscapes. The vegetation is unique with typical plant species. The arrival point is Bugata camp at 4100 meters, with a height gain of 512 meters.nnDistance: 8.6km – Time: approximately 4 to 6 hours of walking.

Day 4 – From Bugata Camp to Weismanns Peak (4.620 m) to Kiharo Camp (3.430 m)

From Bugata Camp you get up early and head for the summit of Weismanns peak at 4620 meters for a distance of about 3.7 km. After the summit you start to descend down the Nyamwamba valley to Kiharo Camp at 3430 meters with a distance of about 9 kmnnDistance: 12.7km – Time: approximately 11 to 13 hours of walking.

Day 5 – Kiharo Camp (3.430m) to Base Camp

Descend downhill along Nyamwamba Valley with its moss covered rocks, waterfalls and deep forest back to the base camp in Kilembe. Debrief and refresh and continue to your hotel for the night.nnDistance: 14.6km – Time: approximately 7 to 9 hours of walking.

Option 2:

Day 1 - From Base Camp (1.450m) to Sine Camp (2.596m)

Briefing from the guides at the Base Camp 1,450m and start the trek, hike to Sine Camp at 2,596 metres, the hike will take you through the tall forest trees of the Afro montane forest zone. This is a steady climb for about 6 kilometres then along a steep climb towards Sine hut. The hike will offer you lots of plant and flower species to view, birds and a chance of seeing some animal species like Columbus monkeys, crossing the beautiful Enock falls as we hike up to Sine Camp which are only 200metres from Sine.nnOvernight at Sine Camp (2.596m).nnDistance: 9.5km – Time: approximately 5 to 6 hours of walking.

Day 2 - From Kalalama camp (3.134m) to Samalira Camp (3.174m)

Hike up through the Bamboo zone to Kalalama camp (3,134m); stop for a short rest, then climb high before crossing a thick forest covered with hanging mosses to a small lobelia garden and descend through a mossy ridge to Samalira Camp at 3174 metres. The distance is approximately 4km with some good steep terrain taking approximately 5 to 6 hours of walkingnnDistance: 4km – Time: approximately 5 to 6 hours of walking.

Day 3 - Samalira Camp (3.174m) - Descend

Descend down from Samalira Camp through the Bamboo zone to a heavily forest ridge home for many primates such as black and white Columbus monkeys and back down to the basecamp.nnDistance: 10.8km – Time: approximately 6 to 7 hours of walking.


The price includes:

  • Rescue fees in case of emergency rescue on Rwenzori Mountains
  • Park Entrance fees
  • Luggage 25kg per person (including food)
  • Guide, porters and cook
  • Transfer with 4x4 land cruiser or minibus
  • Accommodation in huts and hotels
  • Full board and meals during the hike



Accomodation

Cassia Lodge