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Rwenzori Trek

12 days using the Central Circuit

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Rwenzori Trek to Margherita
12 days (central circuit) Grade C/D  Fully Porter Supported
Private trips only
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On this trip we complete the Mubuku - Bujuku circuit with time to explore or to climb two of the main summits, Margherita and Speke. This is a tough, fully porter-supported trek involving some difficult terrain comprising bogs, deep undergrowth & boulders. The difficulties underfoot are easily made up for by the exotic vegetation and scenery. The main summits require the use of an ice axe and crampons on Margherita and possibly on Speke. On each mountain there are short steps involving climbing (grades I to II, French PD).
The best (dry) seasons are mid-December to early March and from early July to mid-August. Out os season the mountains can be spectacularly clear and garbed with snow - but the walking is then much tougher - boggier.

Our trip finishes here but possible extensions are to visit to the rolling plains and lakes of Queen Elizabeth National Park and a boat journey on the Kizinga Channel with its abundant animal life by the water's edge. Then transfer to the Bwindi Forest famous for its habituated mountain gorilla population. On the way stop off to hopefully see chimpanzees in the Kyambura river gorge.

Gorilla tracking is a major tourist attraction in Bwindi Forest. Four gorilla groups are currently available to be visited on daily basis. Book at least 3-6 months in advance to ensure that requested dates are available. Gorilla tracking is strenuous but after the Rwenzori you will be in top condition for it. Bwindi is also a beautiful reserve with a checklist of 350 birds, it boasts of more than 300 species of butterflies and 100 species of mammals.

  1. Arrive at Entebbe and meet your guide. Drive to the comfortable Central Inn hotel in Entebbe. B&B accommodation basis.
  2. Drive down to Kasese in the southwest passing through Mubende. Stop for lunch at Travellers Inn in Fort Portal. Continue to Kasese overnight at Virina Gardens. Full board.
  3. After breakfast drive to Nyakalengija and the Rwenzori Mountain National Park gate. You will meet your mountain guides and porters and sign into the park. First the path gradually rises through monane forest then after crossing the Mahoma river you climb the steep, forested ridge with fine views of the Portal Peaks to Nyabitaba Hut (2500m, 4-5 hours walking).
  4. Descend to the bridge spanning the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Ascend to the John Matte hut (3200m, (4-5 hours walking).
  5. Beautiful walking across a causeway over the Bigo Bog takes us to the Bigo Hut. The upper Bigo Bog is also crossed on a causeway. Now a steeper section leads to Lake Bujuku. Possible spectacular views of the Stanley Plateau. Night at Bujuku Hut (4000m) which lies 20 minutes beyond Lake Bujuku (4 hours walking).
  6. Either visit Lac du Speke on the other side of the Stuhlmann Pass, or climb to Mt Speke, or rest. Second night at Bujuku Hut.
  7. Walk to the Elena Hut (4540m) located below the Stanley Plateau.
  8. Climb Margherita, 5109m, crossing the Stanley Plateau. An early start is essential in order to have the best chance of good views, particularly the dramatic drop down to the rain forests of the Congo. After a rest and lunch descend to the Kitandara Lakes and Hut (4000m, 8-10 hours). The hut here arguably occupies the most enchanting location in the Rwenzori, dominated by the western face of Mt Baker.
  9. After climbing steeply up to the Freshfield Pass (4280m), descend to the Guy Yeoman Hut (3500m), situated in the giant heather forest. Along the way pass the beautiful Kabamba water falls.
  10. Descend to Nyabitaba walking through boggy areas of Kamatu and Kichuchu, then through bamboo forest. Continue down to Nyakalengija. Drive to Virina Gardens, full board.
  11. Drive to Kampala overnight at the Tourist Hotel. B&B basis.
  12. Drive to airport.

Queen Elizabeth National Park and Chimpanzee viewing extension:
  1. After our descent from Guy Yeoman drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. After check in go for a boat cruise along the Kazinga channel return to Mweya Safari Lodge. Full board and total luxury compared to the mountain trip.
  2. We set off early in the morning and head to the Kyambura wildlife reserve. Here we will be able to track chimpanzees in the tropical rain forest. This involves several hours of hiking in the Kyambura river gorge. This beautiful river valley is home to many species of birds and butterflies. After the hike we set off for a boat cruise along the Kazinga channel return to Mweya Safari Lodge. Full board and total luxury after the mountain trip.
  3. Drive to Kampala overnight at the Tourist Hotel. B&B basis.
  4. Drive to airport.

Bwindi Inpenetrable Forest Gorilla viewing extension:
  1. After the descent from Guy Yeoman we drive to Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth NP for full-board overnight accommodation.
  2. Drive on to the Bwindi National Park where we go on a guided bird viewing walk before a very comfortable rest at the Buhoma Homestead, a mini resort inside a thick forest offering clean accommodation with warm showers, flushing toilets and solar power lighting. Full board.
  3. After an early morning briefing we embark on one of the most exhilarating experiences in life. The gorilla search may last 1 hour to 10 hours. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres of the gorillas and will be allowed to sit around these animals for a whole hour gazing into their big round eyes. Return to Buhoma Homestead. Full board.
  4. Drive to Kampala overnight at the Tourist Hotel. Lunch en-route in Masaka.. B&B basis.
  5. Transfer to Airport.

Included for the mountain programme:
Accommodation, trekking permits, all meals on the mountain, park fees, guides and porters fees.
Included for the extensions programmes:
Accommodation, park and permit fees, launch trip, transportation in 4x4 safari vehicle with full air conditioning and ample leg room and baggage space, and services of driver/guide.

Personal expenses, travel and health insurance, visa fees, airport taxes, laundry services, personal phone calls & emails, tips, beverages other than those offered with meals.


See Also:
9 day Weismann via Kilembe Circuit
13/14 days Margherita via Kilembe

Mount Stanley
Stanley Group from Baker

Alexandra - Margherita Col

deep moss
mossy ridge

Mt Baker
Mt Baker from Kitandara

Mountain Gorilla


Kuruguta Valley
Kuruguta Valley

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