The Rwenzori mountain famously known as the “Mountains of the moon” lies in western Uganda along the Uganda – Congo boarder. It was gazetted (as a national park) in 1991 with a size 996km² and recognized as both a world heritage site and Ramsir site with the highest point being Margherita peak at 5,109 meters Above Sea level. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist mountain ranges.
When you arrive at Entebbe International Airport, a Safari Specialist will be waiting to pick you up and take you to your hotel. In case you need help on anything, our Safari Specialist is on call to attend to you. Depending on what time your flight arrives, you may try out an optional activity or relax at your hotel.
The drive from Kampala to Kilembe is one of the most scenic in Uganda. As you leave the concrete backdrop of Uganda’s capital behind, the curtain draws to unveil resplendent vistas of food farms and tea farms, charming small towns, and tranquil villages. We expect to reach the base camp in the shadows of the mystic Rwenzori Ranges late in the afternoon; depending on how you feel you may opt to stretch your legs on an optional nature walk or lay back in your bunker and save your energy for the mountain.
The trek from base starts light at 1,146MASL, up through progressively thickening forest up to Sine Hut, the first resting point Kilembe Trail, where hot tea, a meal, and a fresh bath await you. Sine Hut is a wooden hut with a neat terrace, bunk beds, and an inviting neighbourhood. You may take a leisurely stroll to the nearby waterfall, explore the banks of the valley river, or lay back in the hut and mingle with other trekkers.
If you are fit and wish to see more of the mountain, move on to Kalalama Camp at 3,134MASL. This makes the climb to Mutinda Camp shorter and gives you time to checkout to Mutinda Look Out (3,975MASL); the view there is a thing not to miss: you can see Kasese Town and Lake George from this point.
We set for Mutinda Camp at 8.30am. The trail snakes through a bamboo grove whose slippery floor makes for adventurous crossing during the rainy season. We stop for a coffee break at Kalalama Camp, 1.8km from Sine Hut.
Beyond Kalalama the trail goes over small streams and snakes past moss-covered waterfalls, down and up steep passes, and halts at a camp site enclosed in misty forest. If you started your day in Kalalama Camp you will have time to reach Mutinda Lookout (3,975MASL), otherwise you may visit the nearby waterfalls or relax at camp.
The trek to Bugata Camp is an adventure for first-time mountaineers. The ground is boggy, particularly when it rains (it rains any time in Rwenzori), you have to watch every step to avoid slipping onto the muddy ground, but with good use of your trekking pole it’s a manageable feat.
As you leave Bugata Camp you pass up a ridge then drop down slightly before ascending to Bamwanjarra Pass at 4,450 meters. The trail passes down the valley, around the edge of some bogs, through thick ever-green vegetation, moss, and giant lobelia in such numbers the places looks like a scene from a fairy tale. This section has the most spectacular views and possibly the best place to observe the Malachite Sunbird. There are some sections of steep climb before you go over the ridge to Hunwick’s Camp. On a clear day you get excellent views of the three main peaks.
From Hunwick’s we pass down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitendara which is very stunning with deep water and beautiful vegetation. From here you climb up Scott Elliott’s pass then up the ridge to Margherita Camp which is situated between some huge rocks, offering some shelter from the strong winds. This is the very spot where the Duke of Abruzzi camped when making his climb to Margherita Peak in 1906.
Wake up at 2am and catch an early breakfast before heading off to climb Mt Stanley at 2.30am. This is necessary as the weather has changed a lot and often, even during dry season, the mountain is closed in with heavy clouds and snow falls from 1 pm to 4pm. Margherita glacier has also suffered global warming and as the outer edges of the glacier recede the ice is becoming steeper. It is necessary take the guides’ advice on where to pass. After ascending the peak at 5,109 metres you then pass directly down to Hunwick’s Camp at 3.874 metres.
From Hunwick’s Camp we start the day by climbing up a ridge towards McConnell’s Prong where you get the best views of all three peaks and Scott Elliott’s Pass before reaching Oliver’s Pass at 4,505 metres. The trail then cuts below Weismann’s Peak to the confluence of the Nyamwamba River which flows down through Kilembe and Kasese to Lake George in Queen Elisabeth National Park. After crossing the confluence the trail meanders down the valley to Kiharo Camp at which is situated in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation.
The trail to the gate goes through the Nyamwamba Valley. You will have stunning views of the forest, vegetation, river, and waterfalls. It is one of the most beautiful valleys in Rwenzori. A few kilometers from Kiharo Camp the path turns off to the right to pass along the river. A few kilometres down the river it becomes very steep with multitudes of waterfalls so we have to move away from the river and follow a narrow ridge to bypass steep sections. The forest along this section is magnificent and full of life with many birds, primates, dikers and hyrax.
Wake up early for a 5 -6 hour drive to Entebbe to your hotel and ready to depart at leisure the following day.
Please ensure that you have read the Trekking Timmy Terms & Conditions