Climbing Mt. Rwenzori

Climbing Mt. Rwenzori in Uganda



HIGHLIGHTS

-8 or 9 days of hiking, plus 2 days of transfers
-Mt. Rwenzori’s Margherita Peak (at 5,109 meters is Africa’s third highest peak)
-Albert Peak (viewed once at the top of Margherita Peak)

Note: Climbing Margherita Peak is more of a tough trek than a climb, and when it snows it may be particularly challenging. All the equipment necessary for the climb like crampons, ropes, harnesses, carabinas are provided. You must bring good hiking bots, warm clothing, a sleeping bac and rain gear. Please consult with your physician to make sure you are in good health and able to manage this strenuous activity.

 
ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive at Airport and Transfer to Hotel in Kampala
What we’ll be doing today: Check in with Kigezi Tours staff and get situated.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-TBD

Day 2: Travel to Kasese for overnight stay
What we’ll be doing today: Your guide will brief you at the start of the trek or the night before.
Where we’ll be sleeping
-TBD

Day 3: Walk to Sine Hut, 2585m
What we’ll be doing today: This hike involves a steady walk with a steep climb for the last kilometer. Start at 9am at Trekkers Hostel in Kyanjuki at 1,450m. Walk up the valley through tall forest trees of the Afro Montane Forest Zone. This is a steady climb with multitudes of birds and a chance to see wild chimpanzees or blue monkeys scampering through the forest.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-Sine Hut

Day 4: Climb to Mutinda Camp, 3925m
What we’ll be doing today: After breakfast at 7:30am, enter the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone which will require a steep climb with many high steps. Keep in mind that in the wet season, the bamboo area is muddy and slippery which may make the climb slow. Climb 551m and trek a distance of 1.8km to Kalalama Camp at 3,147m which is in the Heather-Rapanea Zone where you can stop for a rest or a cup of coffee before continuing on to Mutinda Camp. The trail twists and turns as you climb up the deep valley, which has an enormous variety of planets and flowers. Once you get to Mutinda Camp which is set near a small river that drops off to a waterfall, you have a chance to wash, refresh and relax. Or you may wish to climb up to the top of the Mutinda Lookout (1.5 hours up and 1 hour down). Enjoy the lookout at 3,925m with views across the Rwenzori Mountains, down to Kasese and Lake George.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-Mutinda Camp

Day 5: 4.9km hike to Bugata Camp, 4,062m
What we’ll be doing today: Starting at 3,688 meters, trek through the Apline Zone. This trail is boggy particularly during the wet season. Cross the Mutinda Valley walking through tussock grass and flowers interspersed with many giant lobelias before climbing a steep section up to the Namusangi Valley at 3,840m, which ends with sheer waterfalls and fantastic vews of Mutinda Peaks. Bugata Camp is situated up in the Bamwanjara Pass high above Bugata Lake with views across Lake Kopello to Weismann’s Peak, which is often covered with snow. Bugata Camp has good facilities, solar lights, working flush-toilets and restrooms where guides may prepare warm water for you to wash with. Bugata also has a heli pad in case of an extreme situation requiring rescue by helicopter.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-Bugata Camp

Day 6: 6.2km hike to Butawu Camp, 3,974m
What we’ll be doing today: Begin trekking at 8:30am via the Bamwanjara Pass. The trail climbs steadily with several long flat bogs. As you climb, you’ll have spectacular views of the glacial lakes far down in the valley. The walk down to Kacholpe Lakes is steep and often muddy but offers fantastic vews of Kachope Lakes and McConnell’s Prong. Butawu Camp is set on a ridge high above Butawu River which flows down from Scott Elliott Pass through Kitandara Lakes and has excellent views of the snow-capped Mt. Baker.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-Butawu Camp

Day 7: 4.2km hike to Margherita Camp, 4,485m
What we’ll be doing today: Walk back along the ridge before crossing several wet areas and small rivers coming from Mt. Baker and Freshfield’s Pass to join Butawu River. The hike up Scott Elliott Pass is very enjoyable as you climb through the pass and up the ridge of Mt. Stanley to Margherita Camp below Elena hut. Margherita Camp is the original camp used by the Italian Prince Luigi Amadeo di Savoia, Duke of Abruzzi, who mounted a very powerful expedition in 1906. The Italian-led team, between June and July 1906, climbed the mountains, opening a new page in the history of mountaineering and exploration in Africa. From here you have great views of Mt. Baker, Scott Elliott Pass and some of the highest glaciers on Mt. Stanley.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-Margherita Camp

Day 8: 3.5km hike to Margherita Peak, 5,109m
What we’ll be doing today: Wake up at 4:30am and start climbing so as to get to Stanley Glacier before sunrise. The climb from Elena can be difficult if covered in snow and ice. A new fixed static rope with bolts every 3m leading down a ledge to the top of a 6m aluminum ladder has been installed. This is a safe route and anyone that is reasonably fit can use this to pass. The climb up Margherita Glacier is steep, but an exposed section of rock at the top is bolted and roped. On a clear day, the views from this peak are breathtaking.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-Margherita Peak

Day 9: 6.2km hike to Bugata Camp, 4,062m
What we’ll be doing today: Have a late breakfast at 8:30am and start trekking at 9am. The climb up Bamwanjara Pass is steep and in wet weather can be rather boggy, making the hike slow and tiresome.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-Bugata Camp

Day 10: Descend to either Kiharo Camp, 3,460m or Samalira Camp, 3,170m
What we’ll be doing today: You may either stay in Kiharo and enjoy the lush vegetation and rocky cliffs or descend to Samalira Camp at 3,170m making a shorter trek down to the basecamp the following day.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-Kiharo Camp or Samalira Camp

Day 11: Final descent to basecamp and Transfer to Kampala
What we’ll be doing today: After descending a few kilometers, climb 200m to a ridge overlooking the valley before crossing several small valleys and streams with beautiful views of Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park. From here, you descend down a long ridge through the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone and Afro Montane Forest Zone back down to base camp in Kilembe.
Where we’ll be sleeping:
-TBD

Day 12: Return flight

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED
-Transfers to and from airport
-Porters
-Meals
-All Accommodation while in the mountain
-Equipment
-UWA park entrance fee per day
 
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
-Airfare
-Entry visas for Uganda ($50)
-All optional activities highlighted on the itinerary
-Travel insurance
-Meals not mentioned in the itinerary and meals/beverages on arrival and departure dates
-Personal expenses such as laundry and data plans
-Alcoholic beverages and personal entertainment
-Gratuity

For specific tour pricing, please email us at kitta@kigezitours.com or info@kigezitours.com or call us at +256 777 408098 or +256 772 449444.

Photo credit: sarahemcc (Flickr), Jorn Eriksson (Flickr)

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