9 DAYS RWENZORI MOUNTAIN CLIMBING TOUR ∣ 9 DAYS RWENZORI MOUNTAIN TREKKING/ HIKING SAFARI TOUR

9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour – SAFARI OVERVIEW

9 days Rwenzori Mountain climbing tour is 8 nights/9 day Rwenzori Mountain trekking hiking safari which starts and ends in Kampala. The trip offers you a 7 day-hike on the Rwenzori Mountains or ‘Mountains of the Moon’, Africa’s highest and most dramatic mountain range. You’ll follow the Central Circuit Trail without ascending the 5109m Margherita Peak (which requires a high level of fitness and experience, and the ability to take some degree of hardship).

Rwenzoris – 120km long – is a block mountain in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. It is protected as Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. The range comprises 6 distinct mountains and the highest of these: Mounts Stanley (5,109m), Speke (4,890m) and Baker (4,843m) bear permanent snow and glaciers despite their location just miles north of the Equator. Meaning ‘rain maker’ in the local Lukonzo language, Rwenzoris see higher levels of rainfall than anywhere else on the continent. These unique climatic conditions (a combination of very heavy rainfall and year-round exposure to the sun) have created in the Rwenzori a primeval landscape, draped in huge tree heathers, charismatic giant lobelias, rampant groundsels, everlasting flowers and all manner of colourful lichen and deep moss. This luxuriant vegetation has been described “Africa’s botanical big game’.

Rwenzoris are truly the stuff of legend. In AD 150, Ptolemy the Greek astronomer made reference to snow-capped mountains in the heart of Africa, the fabled ‘Mountains of the Moon’, which he correctly held to be a source of the Nile River. It was not until the late 19th century, however, that the mountains were discovered or rather rediscovered by the European explorer, Henry Stanley. Stanley saw the range in 1876, but it took until 1906 for the highest peaks to be conquered. Luigi di Savoia, the Duke of Abruzzi, reached the peaks and returned home with dramatic photos – captured by the expedition’s photographer, Vittorio Sella – revealing a surreal landscape of snow and ice, looming over the rainforest below which caused sensation in Europe.

Please contact us for a tailor-made and affordable Rwenzori Mountain climbing tour to remember.

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9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour – PRIME SAFARI ACTIVITIES

 7 day hike on the Rwenzori Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site

 Marvel at views of the views of the snow-caped Margherita Peak, Africa’s third highest point

 Discover ‘Africa’s botanical big gem’, giant lobelia and groundsel

 Explore the unique glacial landscapes

 Experience pristine tropical rainforests with its unique birds and mammals

 Sleep in mountain huts during your trek

 Learn about the culture of the Bakonzo people

 The Uganda Equator Experience

 Traditional lunch at Igongo Cultural Centre

9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour – FEATURE SAFARI DESTINATIONS

  Rwenzori Mountains National Park

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9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour – SAFARI HIGHLIGHT

Day 1: Transfer from Kampala to Rwenzori Mountains

Day 2: Hike Rwenzori Mountains from Nyakalengija at 1,615m to Nyabitaba Hut at 2,651m

Day 3: Climb from Nyabitaba Hut to John Matte Hut at 3,505m.

Day 4: Climb from John Matte Hut to Bujuku Hut at 3,962m.

Day 5: Hike from Bujuku Hut to Kitandara Hut at 4,023m.

Day 6: Descend from Kitandara Hut to Guy Yeoman at 3,505m

Day 7: Descend from Guy Yeoman to Nyabitaba Hut at 2,651m

Day 8: Descend from Nyabitaba Hut to Nyakalengija at 1,615m

Day 9: Transfer back to Kampala. Make a stop at Igongo Cultural Centre for Traditional Lunch & Uganda Equator Crossing at Kayabwe.

9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour − DETAILED SAFARI ITINERARY

Day 1 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Transfer from Kampala to Rwenzori Mountains.

After breakfast at your place of stay in Kampala at around 7.00 am, we embark on 440km (7 – 8 hours) drive west to Kasese town on the foothills of Rwenzori Mountains. We pass through impressive rural landscapes of Uganda with lush green cover, scattered human settlement except for the en route towns and impressive natural features such as the Inselbergs of Mubende.

We will reach the town of Fort Portal at around lunchtime. The fort that gave the town its name might not stand anymore, but this is a beautiful town in another scenic area of the country. We will enjoy lunch at one of the best restaurants in town. After lunch, we’ll continue our scenic drive to Kasese where you will be welcome by the towering Rwenzori Mountains. You retire for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – The scenic drive through Uganda country side.

 

Accommodation:-

Upmarket/Luxury: – Equator Snow Lodge

Moderate/Mid-range:- Sandton Hotel Kasese

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive distance & time: Approx. 440km or 7-8hours

 

Activities & Services of the day:-

  • Chimpanzee tracking

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day:-

  • Visit the Rwenzori Art Foundation, the only bronze casting center in Africa
  • Ruboni Craft Village

 

Day 2 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Hike Rwenzori Mountains from Nyakalengija at 1,615m to Nyabitaba Hut at 2,651m

You will breakfast at around 6.30 am and then we transfer to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park offices at Nyakalengija at 1,615m where the Rwenzori Mountaineering Service in conjunction with the Uganda Wildlife Authority will give you an informative briefing about the Rwenzori Mountains climbing adventure. At this point, you have the opportunity to hire the mountaineering equipment if you didn’t have any.

After briefing, you will start the hike from Nyakalengija, passing through the homesteads of local Bakonzo people. You’ll gradually move up to Rwenzori Mountains National Park gate where you will be registered before entering the park. You will start the Central Circuit route hike through montane elephant grass, dense bushes and tropical rainforest.

The forest is inhabited by shy Forest elephants, Chimpanzees, Black-and-white colobus, Angola colobus, Blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Bushbucks, Duikers, Hyrax and unusual reptiles including the three-horned Chameleon, as well as a wealth of birds including the brilliant-winged Ruwenzori turacos, Rwenzori batis, Handsome francolin, Archer’s Robin-chat, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Strange Weaver and various others, as well as well as various tree and plant species. You will expect to see some of them. You will have dinner and overnight at Nyabitaba hut.

Highlight of the day: – Hiking through the pristine tropical montane rainforest with unique of flora and fauna.

Accommodation:-

  • Nyabitaba Hut.

 

Hiking distance & time: – Approx. 1615m -2651m or 5 hours

Altitude gain: – 1,036m

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities and services:-

  • Hiking from Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba hut

Day 3 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Climb from Nyabitaba Hut to John Matte Hut at 3,505m.

You will have your breakfast at around 7 am after which you will leave Nyabitaba hut. This is the most difficult and longest day’s hike. You will trek through thick shrubs and forest for about 30 minutes to the Kurt Shafer bright which is at the confluence of the Rivers Bujuku and Mubuku. The trail is good for the first few hours but it gets steeper and very rocky as you take up the moorland zone, where heather plants are abundant. During this strenuous hike, you will also expect to see several fantastic bird species.

You will emerge at Nyamileju after about 5 hours, where the little-used hut is supplemented by a rock shelter, making for a good lunch stop. Nyamileju means “a place of beards”, referring to the lichen and moss draping trees nearby. At this point you’ll have a view of Mount Stanley and Mount Speke if the weather is clear.

From Nyamileju, you will hike through a spectacular giant heather forest and then follow the Bujuku River for about 2 hours to John Matte hut which is in good condition and stands about 200 meters from Bujuku River.

You can take a bath at the river; the water is so cold but so refreshing as well. At this point, you will also have a view of the Margherita glacier which is on Mount Stanley between Alexandra and Margherita peaks. You’ll have dinner and overnight stay at John Matte hut.

Highlight of the day: – Hiking through moorland zone with unique heather pants, the views of Mount Stanley and Mount Speke and Margherita glacier.

Accommodation:-

  • John Matte Hut

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking distance and time: – Approx. 2,651m -3,505m or 7-8 hours

Altitude gain: – 854m

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities and services:-

  • Climbing from Nyabitaba hut to John Matte Hut

 

Day 4 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Climb from John Matte Hut to Bujuku Hut at 3,962m.

After a hearty breakfast at the hut around 7 am; you’ll cross Bujuku River and hike through forest to the lower Bigo bog, a swampy area in a valley which is home to the giant lobelias. This area used to be hardest part of the Rwenzori since the area is so boggy and jumping from tussock to tussock was not easy for most hikers. Currently, there is a walk board up to the end of the boggy area which makes the hike much easier.

From the lower Bigo bog, you will take a steep climb along a ridge which will lead you to the start of the upper Bigo bog. There is also a board walk up to Lake Bujuku. After the board walk you’ll try to hike through the remaining small boggy area with no walk boards to Bujuku hut.

Lake Bujuku has a spectacular setting between Mounts Stanley, Baker and Speke. The lake also acts as the acts as the beginning of alpine zone of little vegetation. You’ll eventually arrive at Bujuku Hut standing at 3.962 m. You’ll have dinner and overnight at Bujuku Hut.

At this point, there starts the diversion trail heading to Mount Speke but for those interested in climbing Margherita and Alexandria Peaks, it makes sense to proceed and spend an overnight at Elena Hut.

Highlight of the day: – The breathtaking views of Lake Bujuku in the shadow of Mounts Stanley, Baker and Speke

Accommodation:-

  • Bujuku Hut

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking distance and time: – Approx. 3,505m – 3,962m or 5 hours

Altitude gain: – 457m

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

 Activities and services:-

  • Climbing from John Matte Hut to Bujuku Hut

 

Day 5 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Hike from Bujuku Hut to Kitandara Hut at 4,023m.

After breakfast at around 7.00 am, you will embark on the climb from Bujuku hut passing through Moss draped groundsel vegetation up to the 4,372m Scott Eliot pass which is the highest point on the loop trail. This path is notably rocky and steep at the Mount Baker foothills.

You gain impressive views of Margarita Peak, Savoia and Elena glaciers not forgetting Mount Baker. You approach Lake Kitandara hut and name Kitandara literally translated to a fresh field by passing through a thick mud to the lower Lake Kitandara where the hut is located (4,023m).

Highlight of the day: – The impressive views of the groundsel vegetation, Margherita Peak, Savoia and Elena glaciers, as well as Mount Baker.

Accommodation:-

  • Kitandara Hut

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking distance and time: – Approx. 3,962m -4,023m or 3-4 hours

Altitude gain: – 61m

 Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

 Activities and services:-

  • Climbing from Bujuku Hut to Kitandara Hut

 

Day 6 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Descend from Kitandara Hut to Guy Yeoman at 3,505m

You’ll have breakfast at around 7.00 am at Kitandara hut and then hike through the base of Mount Baker, which can be slippery so you’ll need to be so careful. The trail ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the Rwenzori Mountain to Fresh field pass. At this point, you can view into the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north.

From the pass, the long muddy descent continues, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. This will take you around 6-7 hours then reach Guy Yeoman hut which is located at the banks of Mubuku River. You will have dinner and overnight stay at Guy Yeoman hut.

Accommodation:-

  • Kitandara hut

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Descent distance and time: – Approx. 4,023m – 3,505m or 6-7 hours

Decent: – 518m

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

 Activities and services:-

  • Descending from Kitandara Hut to Guy Yeoman Hut

Day 7 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Descend from Guy Yeoman to Nyabitaba Hut at 2,651m.

After breakfast at around 8.00 am, you will descent from Guy Yeoman descend to Nyabitaba Hut through the bamboo forests. The path down can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on to and requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. After about 5 hours of trekking you will reach Nyabitaba hut for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation:-

  • Nyabitaba Hut

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Descent distance and time: – Approx. 3,505m 2,651m or 5 hours

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities and services:-

  • Guy Yeoman Hut to Nyabitaba Hut

 

Day 8 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Descend from Nyabitaba Hut to Nyakalengija at 1,615m.

You will have your breakfast at around 7.30 am and then proceed on the descent back to Nyakalengija to mark the end of your Rwenzori Mountains climbing adventure. On arrival at Nyakalengija, you get to your vehicle and transfer to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation:-

Upmarket/Luxury: – Equator Snow Lodge

Moderate/Mid-range:- Sandton Hotel Kasese

Descent: – 1036m

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & Services of the day:-

  • Descend the mountain

 

Day 9 of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour: Transfer back to Kampala. Make a stop at Igongo Cultural Centre for Traditional Lunch & at Uganda Equator Crossing at Kayabwe.

After a relaxed breakfast at around 9.00 am, we’ll embark on a 440km (7-8 hours) drive back to Kampala. We’ll pass through Queen Elizabeth National Park with its impressive savannah and its game of 95 mammal species including the tree climbing lions, the Bunyaruguru crater field, the lush Kalinzu forest the home of Chimpanzees, Mbarara town before making a lunch stop at Igongo Cultural Center 12km from Mbarara for traditional lunch.

You make another stop at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe for amazing photo shoots, the water experiments to evidence the divide between the north and south spheres and the purchase of memorabilia from any of the gift shops at the site.

From the Kayabwe, we’ll continue for 77km arriving in Kampala in the evening to mark the end of the 9 days Rwenzori Mountain climbing tour.

Highlight of the day: – The scenic drive through Queen Elizabeth National Park and Uganda equator experience at Kayabwe.

Drive distance & time:-

Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch

 

Activities & Services of the day:-

  • Drive back to Kampala
  • Traditional lunch stop at the Equator
  • Photo shoots and water experience at the Uganda crossing

End of the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour

9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour − SAFARI INCLUSIONS

  Full Board Accommodation on Safari

  Transportation in either 4X4 Safari Van or 4X4 Safari Land Cruiser all with Pop up roof & AC

  Fuel

  Professional English Speaking driver guide. Any other foreign language speaking guide can be arranged on request.

  Entrance fees to the tourist sites including Protected areas mentioned

  Activity fees of the tourist activities mentioned

  Bottled water while on safari

  Border crossing fees (for cross border safaris)

9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour − SAFARI EXCLUSIONS

  General tips for the driver guide, site guides and service staff at the lodges

  Laundry Services

  Other Beverages / drinks of personal nature like Alcohol

  International Flights (Arranged on request)

  Domestic Flights (Arranged on request)

  Visas

  Optional Activity fees

  Other extras not mentioned in the Itinerary

  Airport Transfer (Arranged on request)

  Accommodation in Kampala or Kigali unless it is part of the Itinerary (Arranged on request)

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Accommodation in Rwenzori Mountains National Park

  • Luxury accommodation in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
  • Midrange accommodation in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
  • Budget accommodation in Rwenzori Mountains National Park

 

9 Days Rwenzori Mountain Climbing Tour – SAFARI HIGHLIGHT

  • Drink plenty of water and carry some quick calories (the trek typically take 2-8 hours)
  • Put on your sturdiest walking shoes for the trek
  • Wear thick trouser, long sleeved shirt/t-shirt, and gardening gloves for protection against stinging plants.
  • It is often cold at the outset, so bring a sweater or jersey
  • Bwindi being a tropical forest, it can rain anytime so we encourage you to carry a rain poncho
  • Having poncho or raincoat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are a good idea at any time of the day.

For more information about gorilla trekking tips please follow these links to read more about gorilla trekking tips and advice.

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