Day 1: NYAKALENGIJA (1615m asl.) – NYABITABA CAMP (2651m asl.)
The central circuit starts at the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services offices at Nyakalengija. You need to arrive in the morning to allow ample time to rent equipment and meet your guides and porters.
The trail begins by passing through farmland to the park boundary beyond which it follows a thick forest along the Mubuku River, crossing its Mahoma River tributary before starting a long, steep climb up onto a massive ridge to reach Nyabitaba hut. During this part of the trip you may hear chimpanzees and see black and white colobus, blue monkey and the brilliantly coloured Rwenzori turraco.
The hike takes an average of 6 -7 hours.
Day 2: NYABITABA – JOHN MATTE CAMP (3505m asl.)
From Nyabitaba follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Passing through the bamboo forest, traverse through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock.
From the Nyamuleju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. Finally reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for dinner and overnight at the hut.
The hike takes an average of 7 – 8 hours.
Day 3: JOHN MATTE – NYABITABA – NYAKALENGIJA CAMP
From John Matte climb downs from the same trail to Nyabitaba Camp for your lunch. This will take about 5 – 6 hours.
After your lunch, descend back to Nyakalengija for either an overnight at base camp hotels or proceed to your next destination.
The descend from Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija will take 3 – 4 hours