9 Days Rwenzori Hike

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9 Days Rwenzori Hike

9 Days Rwenzori Hike: The Rwenzori Mountains, also known as the Ruwenzori, are Africa’s third highest mountain range. It is located between Uganda and the DR Congo. Mount Stanley is the Rwenzori’s highest peak, reaching 5,109 meters (16,762 feet), and is permanently snow-capped and glaciated. Rivers fed by mountain streams are one of the Nile’s sources of water. Mountain Rwenzoris National Park in Uganda is located in Kasese town and is easily accessible by plane or road. The mountain ranges are approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) long and 65 kilometers (40 miles) wide, and are currently administered by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

Aside from the daring climbing adventures that take place in the park each year, Mountain Rwenzori Park is also a great wildlife viewing destination, boasting a variety of fauna. The Mountain Rwenzori National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including Forest elephants, monkeys, and other animals that live in the montane forests. This 9 day Rwenzori hike takes you to the snow-covered peaks with astounding views along the way.

Safari Itinerary 

Day 1: NYAKALENGIJA (1,615m) – NYABITABA CAMP (2651m)

The central circuit begins at the offices of Rwenzori Mountaineering Services in Nyakalengija. Arrive early in the morning to give yourself enough time to rent equipment and meet your guides and porters. The trail begins by passing through farmland to the park boundary, after which it follows a dense forest along the Mubuku River, crossing its tributary, the Mahoma River, before beginning a long, steep climb up onto a massive ridge to reach Nyabitaba hut. You may hear chimps and see black-and-white colobus, blue monkeys, and the brilliantly colored Rwenzori turaco during this portion of the trip. The hike takes about 6 to 7 hours on average.

Day 2: NYABITABA CAMP (2.651M) – JOHN MATTE CAMP (3,505m)

Follow the trail down through the forest from Nyabitaba to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, which is just below the convergence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Traverse a tedious and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock while passing through the bamboo forest. Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen from the Nyamuleju rock shelter before entering the zone of giant heather, lobelia, and groundsel. After a long journey through the bog, we arrive at John Matte Hut for dinner and an overnight stay. The hike takes about 7 to 8 hours on average.

Day 3: JOHN MATTE ( 3,505m) – BUJUKU CAMP  (3,962m)

The trail descends from John Matte Hut to cross the Bujuku River and enter Lower Bigo Bog, which is home to giant lobelias. The bog is finally crossed by jumping from tussock to tussock, but not without the feet sampling some of the extremely cold ooze below. The upper Bigo bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Stanley to the south and west. Bujuku Hut is located in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass, in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke. This camp is ideal for acclimatization for clients planning to summit Mount Stanley and Mount Speke. Bujuku hut for dinner and overnight. The hike takes about 4 to 5 hours on average.

Day 4: BUJUKU – MT. SPEKE – BUJUKU

9 Days Rwenzori Hike

Begin the hike to Victorio Emanuele peak early in the morning through Stullmans Pass (4192m asl.) and enjoy spectacular views of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The climb to the summit takes 4 to 5 hours. Prepare to descend from Victorio Emanuele with views of Bujuku valley and Bujuku lake, Mount Stanley’s Margherita and Albert peaks, and Mount Baker for an overnight stay at Bujuku Camp. The descent takes between 3 and 4 hours on average.

Day 5: BUJUKU (3,962m)- ELENA CAMP (4,541m)

Leaving Bujuku, the trail winds through more bog before ascending the sharp slopes west of the lake and through the lush forest of Groundsel Gully. Turn right up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a sharp path over large boulders, while the trail on the left leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes. The trail on the left also leads to Kitandara Hut for those who are not climbing Margherita Peak. Climbers will eat dinner and spend the night at the cool and icy Elena Hut. The hike takes about 5 to 6 hours on average.

Day 6: ELENA HUT(4,541m) – MARGHERITA PEAK – (5109m asl.) – KITANDARA CAMP (4,430m)

You attempt to climb Mount Stanley’s highest peak, Margherita, very early in the morning. The climb to the summit of Margherita takes between 4 and 5 hours, depending on the weather and the pace of the climb. This difficult hike takes you across three glaciers, slippery rock, ice, and very exposed areas that are open on all sides. Climb to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau, and continue the ascent. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness, and cool weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita, the Rwenzori’s highest peak. The descent from Margherita Peak to Elena Hut will take approximately 2–3 hours.

After lunch at Elena Hut, descend to the Scott-Elliot pass (4372m asl. ), which offers superb views of Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke. After that, the track takes you into an alpine zone of scant flora and hard stones before descending via the Kitandara Lakes for dinner and overnight at the Kitandara camp. The descent takes between 3 and 4 hours on average.

Day 7: KITANDARA CAMP(4,430m) – MT. BAKER (4843M) – KITANDARA CAMP (4,403M)

The ascent begins early in the morning from Kitandara Camp and continues up to Edward Peak through Fresh Field pass (4215m asl.) with views of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The climb to the summit takes roughly 5 to 6 hours. Descend from Edward Peak to Fresh Field Pass, then back to Kitandara Camp for the night. The descent takes about 3 to 4 hours on average.

Day 8: KITANDARA CAMP (4,403m) – GUY YEOMAN (3261m)

Take the trail from Kitandara that ascends steeply up the vert ramp, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and extending along the mountain’s south flank to Fresh Field Pass, at 4282m asl. From here, you can see the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. Take the long high-alpine mossy trail from the pass. After that, begin the descent through difficult rocky routes to the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the Duke of Abruzzi’s historic expedition in 1906, followed by an overnight stay in Guy Yeoman’s camp. The hike takes about 6 to 7 hours on average.

DAY 9: GUY YEOMAN (3,261m) -NYABITABA-NYAKALENGIJA (1,615m)

The trail traverses the Kichuchu cliffs below Guy Yeoman. The muddy trail beyond Kichuchu traverses the Mubuku River twice through a bamboo forest before ascending to Nyabitaba to finish the round. Continue descending from Nyabitaba Camp until you reach Nyakalengija, the base camp, in the evening. The descent takes between 7 and 8 hours. This will mark the end of your 9 days Rwenzori Hike. 

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