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Rwenzori Mountain Hiking – 11 Days Safari

Rwenzori Mountain

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Duration

11 days

Tour Type

4.47 by 3 reviews
  • Quality4.67
  • Location4.67
  • Amenities4
  • Services5
  • Price4

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The Rwenzori Mountains, previously called the Ruwenzori Range (spelling changed c. 1980 to conform more closely with the local name “Rwenjura”), and sometimes the Mountains of the Moon, is a mountain range of eastern Equatorial Africa, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Rwenzori mountains support glaciers and are one source of the river Nile.

The Rwenzori Mountains reach heights up to 5,109 m (16,761 ft). The highest Rwenzori peaks are permanently snow-capped, and along with Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya are the only such ones in Equatorial Africa. Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Virunga National Park are located in the range.

SAFARI OVERVIEW

The Rwenzori Mountains formed about three million years ago in the late Pliocene, as a result of an uplifted block of crystalline rocks including: gneiss, amphibolite granite, and quartzite. They are on the flanks of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift.

This uplift divided the paleolake Obweruka and created three of the present-day African Great Lakes: Lake Albert, Lake Edward, and Lake George.

The range is about 120 km (75 mi) long and 65 km (40 mi) wide. It consists of six massifs separated by deep gorges: Mount Stanley (5,109m), Mount Speke (4,890m), Mount Baker (4,843m), Mount Emin (4,798m), Mount Gessi (4,715m) and Mount Luigi di Savoia (4,627m). Mount Stanley is the largest and has several subsidiary summits, with Margherita Peak being the highest point. The rock is metamorphic, and the mountains are believed to have been tilted and squeezed upwards by plate movement. They are in an extremely humid area, and frequently enveloped in clouds.

Included/Exclude

  • Bird watching
  • Chimp tracking
  • Sport fishing
  • Forest walk
It’s advisable to spend extra day(s) if need arises to enable you accomplish the above optional activities.
  • Additional Services
  • Insurance
  • Food & Drinks
  • Tickets

Tour Amenities

Tour Plan

On arrival at Entebbe Airport, a guide from INTER-TROPICAL tours will transfer you toa hotel.

Drive to Rwenzori and arrive in the eving then stay at a lodge or camp.

You will begin your hike by leaving the park head quarters (5400ft 1,646 m), walking past typical “ wattle and mud” Buhonjo homes and gradually moving upward through elephant grass and garden plots. It takes approximately forty minutes to reach the National Park boundary (which can be a pleasant half or one day trip for someone not going further). The trail then follows the Mahoma River after about two and a half hours. After crossing the River, you will have a very steep climb through open bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest up to Nyabitaba Hut (8,700 ft/ 2,652) reached about an hour and a half past the Mahoma River crossing. During this part of the trip, you may be able to see Chimps and some times behind the Hut you can see Black and White Colobus and Blue monkeys and catch glimpses of the brilliantly -colored Rwenzori Touraco (a bird of the tree tops). Over night at Nyabitaba hut. F/B.

From Nyabitaba Hut that trail leads westward for a half km then drops north (right) steeply to Kurt Shafer Bridge, crossing below the confluence of Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. By turning down the bridge you begin the circuit counter clock wise.
After crossing the Shafer Bridge, the muddy slippery trail climbs steadily up through bamboo forest. After one and a half hours you encounter an area of slippery boulder hopping which many hikers consider the most difficult and dangerous footing on the circuit. Over night at Nyamileju Hut. Nyamileju means “a place of beards” is referring to the lichen and Spanish moss draping trees near by. On a rare day, Mts. Stanley and Speke can be seen from the top of the rock near the Hut. F/B.

After breakfast, you will continue to John Matte Hut (11,200 ft3, 414 m) which is through a tiring bog full of these extraordinary plants and the slow pace can be a delightful chance to examine and photograph this unique environment. Well situated, John Matte is newly constructed, large and comfortable though muddy around the site. Hikers who feel they have reached their limits by this point should consider John Matte a reasonable stopping point. You can just enjoy the unique vegetation in the bog and the great views and the following day begin you return to Nyabitaba. F/B.

You leave John Matte Hut to cross the Bujuku River and enter the lower of the two Bigo Bogs, where your first real experience jumping from tussock to tussock in a grassy bog begins. The trail is very muddy and follows the left (southern) edge of Lower Bigo Bog until eventually it reaches the round metal “uniport” of Bigo Hut and its rock shelter.

A steep section past the hut leads to upper Bigo Bog. In the last half of this bog a boardwalk has been constructed. Though some may think it an ugly intrusion, it makes walking easier and keeps hikers from further damaging the bog. An hour and a half beyond the upper bog, and after climbing through drier ground and crisscrossing the River, you reach Bukulu Lake. The southern end of the lake is a majestic setting, with Mt. Bakerto the south, and views west to Mt Stanley and north to Mt. Speke. Beyond the north end of the lake is a rock shelter called Cooking Pot and a short distance further is Bukulu Hut (13,000ft/3,962m), favorably located for parties climbing Mt. Speke. F/B.

To continue the circuit, you leave directly west from Bukulu hut on a newer trail, which rises and falls twice before finally climbing steeply through magical moss- draped Groundsel Gully towards (14,345ft/4,372m) Scott Elliot pass. At the head of the gully is a short, strong ladder at a particularly steep section, after which a right hand branch would lead to Elena Hut (14, 700ft/4,430m). This is a steep, rocky trail which when wet or icy is treacherously slippery. Continuing straight, and a few steps below the pass there is a sheltered spot for a break, from here there is a second trail to the right to Elena is the Base Camp for climbing. Margherita peak in the Mt. Stanley complex, which would require an additional day or two and can only be attempted with ice axe, mountain boots, crampons, ropes and prior arrangements with RMS guides. Over night at Kitandara Lake Hut. F/B.

Start hiking back to the park head quarters.
After breakfast, you will probably begin very early if you decided to make it all the way to the Park Headquarters and complete your trek (8 hours). The other alternative will be to spend a night at the Nyabitaba Hut. F/B.

Start hiking back and complete your trek by the evening. On arrival at the Park Office, visit a simple restaurant developed by a local ladies group for a beer and a luxurious candlelight meal. Over night at Hotel. F/B.

After breakfast, drive to Queen Elizabeth National park to end your trip with relaxation at lodge. Have an afternoon boat trip and later an evening game drive. Spend the whole evening relaxing by the swimming pool and dinner and over night at lodge. F/B.

Have a morning game drive, later to Kampala and airport depending on your departure times.

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Review Scores

4.47/5
Wonderful
3 verified reviews
Quality 4.67/5
Location 4.67/5
Amenities 4/5
Services 5/5
Price 4/5

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Tour Information

Max Guests

12

Min Age

12+

Tour Location

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