This trek takes you to Africa's third highest peak however the real beauty is in the climb up, the forests and valleys, and the flora is diverse with trees and valleys of ferns. The trees are alive with many species of birds and primates and as you walk up the trail you will see chimp nests high up in the tall trees, if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the resident chimpanzee as they scamper away.
10 days hiking safari takes you trekking the Rwenzori Mountains which involves hiking to the highest peak- Margherita, which is at an altitude of 5,109m. You will have an added wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park located just near the Rwenzori ranges in the same days!
- Day 1 - Depart for Kasese
Pick up from Kampala by your guide, and drive via Masaka with a stop in Mbarara town where you will have lunch from. Then continue to Kasese enjoying the magnificent views of the legendary Rwenzori Mountains. Relax and spend the night at Sandton hotel kasese
- Day 2 - Hike to Sine Camp 2596metres
After an early Breakfast, we drive to the park entrance and later start the trek after briefing 1,450 meters and trek to Sine Hut at 2,596 meters a height gain of 1,146 meters,
Walk up the valley floor through tall forest trees of the Afro Montane Forest Zone. This is a steady climb with multitudes of birds and a chance of seeing blue monkeys scampering off through the forest. At times visitors may see troupes of 15 to 20 black and white Colobus monkeys as they swing through the treetops. There are rare sightings of the L’Hoest monkey which are part of the Bukonzo cultural emblems and are protected by the virtue of the King or Omusinga or you may hear wild chimpanzee in the distance. There is a wide variety of plant species from forest trees to bamboo thickets, low shrubs, flowers, fungi, and many mosses and lichen-covered vines hanging from the tall trees creating an awesome appeal.
- Day 3 - Hike to Mutinda Camp 3588metres
Trekking starts at 8.30 am and almost immediately you enter the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone which is a steep climb with many high steps. In the wet season, the bamboo zone is rather muddy and slippery making the going slow. However, the atmosphere and the forest are beautiful as you climb 551 meters altitude and a distance of 1.8km to Kalalama Camp at 3,147 meters which is in the Heather-Rapanea Zone where you can take a rest and a quick cup of tea or coffee before heading on to Mutinda Camp. The trail meanders up and over several small knolls along a ridge top then drops down the side of the valley before climbing again, and in doing so crosses several small streams and passes close to moss-covered waterfalls. You then climb steadily along the side of a beautiful mossy river which tumbles down over the rocks under the Giant Heather trees whose trunks are covered in green moss with old man beards (Usnea lichen) hanging from the branches.
- Day 4 - Hike to Bugata Camp 4100metres
The trail to Bugata Camp is boggy particularly in the wet season but with a little skill you can step from tussock to tussock to make the going easier. First, you cross the Mutinda valley through the tussock grass and everlasting flowers interspersed with many Giant Lobelias before climbing a steep section up to the Namusangi Valley (3,840 meters), with sheer waterfalls and looking back you get fantastic views of Mutinda Peaks. The Namusangi Valley is wide, with many ups and downs as the trail climbs steadily to Bugata Camp at 4,100 meters.
- Day 5 - Hike to Hunwicks Camp 3974metres
Trek to Hunwick’s Camp via Bamwanjarra Pass. As you leave Bugata Camp you pass up a ridge and then drop down slightly before ascending to Bamwanjarra Pass at 4,450 meters where we have a hut should the weather turn bad. From the pass on a clear day, you get excellent views of the three main peaks.
- Day 6 - Hike to Margherita camp 4485 meters
From Hunwick's, we pass down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitandara which is very stunning with deep water and beautiful vegetation. From here you climb up Scott Elliott's pass and then up the ridge to Margherita Camp 4,485 meters which is situated between some huge rocks and offers some shelter from the strong winds. This is the very spot where the Duke of Abruzzi camped when making his climb to Margherita Peak in 1906.
- Day 7 - Summit Margherita peak 5109 meters
Wake up at 2 a.m. and catch an early breakfast before heading off to climb Mt Stanley at 2:30 am. This is necessary as the weather has changed a lot and often even during the dryer season the mountain is closed in with heavy clouds and snowfalls from 1 pm to 4 pm and this happens within a short period of 10 to 15 minutes as the clouds rise up from the extensive Congo rainforests. Combined with this much of the blacker has melted underneath causing caves under the ice and as it gets thinner eventually caves in. So is necessary that clients understand and take advice on where the guides suggest to pass.
For those clients with less mountaineering experience, we suggest that you stay on Stanley Glacier and climb up to a good vantage point on a rocky outcrop on the southern edge of Alexandra Peak to enjoy fantastic views over Congo and the lower mountain ridges
After ascending the peak at 5,109 metres you then pass directly down to Hunwick's Camp at 3.874 metres.
- Day 8 - Descend down to Kiharo Camp 3640metres
Distance to Kiharo Camp 11km Time taken to walk 4 to 7 hours
From Hunwick’s Camp, we start the day by climbing up a ridge towards McConnell’s Prong where you get the best views of all three peaks and Scott Elliott’s Pass before reaching Oliver’s Pass at 4,505 meters. The distance from Hunwick’s Camp to the top of Olivers Pass is 3km the trail then cuts across below Weismann’s Peak to the confluence of the Nyamwamba River which flows down through Kilembe and Kasese to Lake George in Queen Elisabeth National Park.
If you wish to climb Weismann’s Peak 4,620 meters from Oliver Pass you may do so at an extra cost of $20 each. On a clear day, you get fantastic views of Margherita and Mt Stanley, Mt Speke, and Mt Baker.
After crossing the confluence, the trail meanders down the valley to Kiharo Camp which is situated in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation.
- Day 9 - Descend down to the Basecamp 1450metres
Distance from Kiharo Camp to the park gate is 12.2km and another 2.8km down to Trekkers Hostel Time to walk 5 to 8 hours so those who need to connect to flights back to Kampala or travel on to other activities need to leave Kiharo early.
The trail down the Nyamwamba Valley is mostly downhill and absolutely stunning with beautiful views, moss-covered rocks along the river, cascading waterfalls, deep valleys, and forests that are possibly the best in the Rwenzori Mountains.
After crossing a small stream, you climb up a gentle slope before turning back down to the river to avoid another set of waterfalls that are impassable. The forest along this section is magnificent and full of life with many birds, primates, duikers, and hyrax. A great experience and ending to a fantastic trek. Later transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
- Day 10 - Transfer Back to Entebbe
After Breakfast you will check out of your hotel and transfer to Kampala Via Mubende you will most likely reach Kampala in the evening overnight or be transferred to the airport in Entebbe.
- Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
- Experienced driver guide
- Ground transportation
- Meals as specified in the program
- porter fees
- Flight and Visa
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Guide gratuity