In many ways, the definition of a luxury adventure is unique to each and every traveller. At Brilliant, our job is to listen to what a luxury adventure means to you and hand-craft an itinerary to match. Uganda has no shortage of options for a luxury adventure apart from Rwenzori trekking.
We can put together an itinerary to fit any time frame or budget. Whether you’ve got some fixed plans and need help with the detail, or don’t know where to start, here’s how we can help:
- We’ll talk about what your dream Uganda adventure might look like, how much time you have and your budget.
- We’ll discuss any places to go or things to do that you’ve already got in mind and send you a few suggestions of our own.
- When you’ve decided what you want to see and do, we’ll put together the perfect itinerary that covers all the destinations you’re most excited about, and moves at just the right pace. We’ll select the accommodations that are right for you, and we’ll make any adjustments until you’re confident it’s the perfect itinerary for you.
- When you’re happy with your trip and the cost, we’ll get your adventure set up, make all the bookings and reservations, and provide all the pre-travel information you need.
- Once you’re on the ground in Uganda, we’ll be here to look after you every step of the way.
Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail
Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail is the famous mountain climbing route in the Rwenzori Mountains. This amazing central circuit route goes via the various vegetation zones offering sightings of the surroundings from the tropical valleys at around 1,000 meters hiking slowly through gorges and super valleys up to the peak of the rocky mount Stanley. The hiking trail passes through the downward and upper Bigo bog, where the trekking boards were set up to ease the walking movements across the muddy area.
The most appropriate Hiking to Rwenzori Mountains National Park is adventured fully on the 7 Days Rwenzori Mountains excursion or 8 days Rwenzori Mountaineering tour. These treks Rwenzori Tours are some of the hiking packages that we offer among our Rwenzori Mountaineering Trekking Services. You can take on the Central circuit trail as a solo adventurer, couple or a bigger group tour in Uganda.
The Central Circuit 7 to 8 days hike will lead you up to the mountain highest point, the Margherita Peak and back. This walk is unquestionably done with the help of the guides and porters. This team of support people helps with cooking, navigation and carrying bags making it easy to sightsee and enjoy the mountain atmospheres. A full route of this journey will take you all through 6 different camping areas.
Trek to Nyabitaba (2650 meters)
You will start your Rwenzori Mountains hiking safari challenge with the trek to Nyakalengija trail head (1600 meters) where the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) will provide and informative briefing prior to commencing the trek. Our trek will take us past Bakonjo homesteads dwarfed by steep foothills and banana plantations. We will follow the trail along the Mubuku River to then cross the Mahoma River before steadily climbing through Pod carpus Forest.
Trek to John Matte Hut (3350 meters)
A Rwenzori hiking safari will start off from Nyabitaba early after a substantive breakfast. We will follow a small trail dropping down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the convergence of the Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. The forest gradually turns into a bamboo zone where the trail is slippery and moss covered. A zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel vegetation emerges before the Nyamuleju rock shelter before traversing a bog to the hut.
Trek to Bujuku Hut (2900 meters)
Rwenzori Mountains hiking safari on a trail that crashes down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog, home of giant lobelias. We will cross the bog to the Upper Bog before continuing to Lake Bujuku where views of the highest mountain can be seen.
Trek to Elena Hut
After Bujuku, we will climb the boggy trail up the slopes west of the lake, passing through the paranormal groundsel gully and then ascend to the Scott Elliott Pass (4372 meters). A metal ladder will take you oven an extremely steep section after which the trail branches; the right one leads up to Elena Hut and Mt. Stanley over a steep rocky trail, the left leads to the Scott Elliot Pass and down to Lake Kitandara.
Ascent to Mt. Stanley (5109 meters) to Kitandara Hut (4027 meters)
For Rwenzori mountains hiking safari travelers that do not wish to climb the peak, a more restful day walking from Elena Hut (4541 meters) to Lake Kitandara (4023 meters). For those who wish, but also depending on altitude sickness, visibility, climbing ability we will climb a further three hours to Margherita peak (5109 meters) and later down to Kitandara Hut. We will trek to the Elena glacier before moving on to the Stanley Plateau. We will climb and scramble to the Margherita summit, the highest point of the Rwenzori. The use of crampons and ropes may be necessary. We will need to be prepared for a tough, arduous time in the mountains. We will then return to the Scott Elliot pass, view the magical Bujuku Lake and Mt. Speke at a distance and will then continue down to Lake Kitandara.
Trek to Guy Yeopman Hut (3260 meters)
Climb from the base of Mt. Baker to the south side of the mountain to the Fresh Field Pass (4280 meters). From there we can view the Congo to the west, Mt. Stanley to the north. From the pass, the boggy trail will continue downwards, passing the rock shelter at Bujangalo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906.
Trek to Nyakalengija Trail Head (1600m ASL)
The trail to Nyabitaba Hut can be muddy and very slippery under foot.
Kilembe Trail (with RTS)
The trek to Margherita Peak takes 7-8 days. Although it can be done in 7 days, RTS recommends to its clients to do the tour in 8 days (see below) in order to facilitate the acclimatization to the altitude. The rates and itinerary are the same whether you opt for 7 or 8 days.
Day 1: Kilembe (1 450 m) – Sine Hut (2 600 m): 7 hours. Regular ascent through the forest where birds, plethoric, and primates (colobus, samangos), whether seen, spotted or heard, should be at the rendezvous. Once at the Sine Hut, don’t miss the Enock waterfall, set in a photogenic green setting.
Day 2: Sine Hut (2600m) – Mutinda Hut (3590m): 6-7 hours. After the start, at about 8:30 am, expect a nice steep climb, sometimes quite muddy, through the bamboo (among other plants…). Then you will follow a ridge, go down and then up on a path where mosses, lichens, rivers, tree heathers and mist contribute to the fairy atmosphere of the place. From Mutinda Hut, you can climb Mutinda Lookout (3,975m) for spectacular views of Kasese, Lake George and the surrounding peaks.
Day 3: Mutinda Hut (3 590 m) – Bugata Hut (4 060 m): 6 hours. Exhausting day in the mud and on the steep slopes leading to the Namusangi Valley. Jumping from tussock to tussock, admiring the waterfalls and being ecstatic in front of the giant lobelias will be the order of the day.
Day 4: Bugata Hut (4060m) – Hunwick’s Hut (3970m): 7-8 hours. During this stage, you will link, via the Bamwanjara Pass (4 450 m), the Bugata and Hun wick camps (the latter is named after John Hun wick, the Australian director of RTS). Along the way, you might spot the malachite sundew with its beautiful livery feasting on the lobelia flowers. Giant ragwort will also brighten your journey.
Day 5: Hunwick’s Hut (3,970m) – Margherita Hut (4,485m) : 5-6 hours. This section of the trek is on a common trail with the Central Circuit and the Kilembe Trail. You will walk along the beautiful Kitandara Lake, set in an enchanting setting, before starting the ascent of the Scott Elliot Pass (4 372 m) and then reaching the Margherita Hut, known for its chilly nights and for being located at the very place where the Duke of Abruzzo, Luigi di Savoia, bivouacked during his expedition, in 1906.
Day 6: Margherita Hut (4,485 m) – Margherita Peak (5,109 m) – Hunwick’s Hut (3,970 m): 9-13 hours (depending on weather conditions). The day’s schedule is similar to that of RMS (see above), except for the huts, which are different. The departure, several hours before dawn, is scheduled in order to avoid, as much as possible, the clouds piling up on the highest point of the park, generally announcing snow storms, from mid-morning. The glaciers of the Rwenzori, due to the melting caused by global warming, require more and more technical skills. Those who are not ready to tackle the 200m section at 60° angle on the Margherita Glacier will be able to fall back on a rocky eminence offering a superb panorama over the Democratic Republic of Congo and the ridges of the massif. This is the longest day of your trek.
Day 7: Hunwick’s Hut (3 970 m) – Kiharo Hut (3 430 m) : 4-6 hours. The eleven kilometers separating the two huts will lead you to the Olivier Pass, at an altitude of nearly 4,500 meters. After the initial three kilometers of climbing, you will pass under the Weismann peak (4,620 m) – which can be tackled by hikers still unaware of it for an extra US$20 – then reach the Nyamwamba, a capricious river flowing over Kasese, before descending to Kiharo Hut via moraine and peat bogs.
Day 8: Kiharo Hut (3 430 m) – Kilembe (1 450 m): 5-8 hours. As on the first day of your trek, you will again cross the dense forest that adorns the deep valleys and frames the torrents where the tumultuous waters of the Rwenzori cascade. The trail is magnificent and will take you through streams, around waterfalls and over mossy rocks. For the record, it took the RTS team six years to find a way through this steep, watery and vegetated maze. The forest is teeming with life and visitors can see or guess at the presence of duikers, damsels and monkeys. The park exit is 12 km from Kiharo Hut and the Rwenzori Trekkers Hostel in Kilembe is 15 km away.
Conclusion, to reach this goal, trekkers can take either the central circuit route or the Kilembe trail route to reach the peak or Mountain Rwenzori. The Central Circuit Route takes 7 days and known to be less strenuous as the Kilembe trail route takes 8 days and is much tougher.