Trekking the mystic Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda is a truly fantastic and unique experience, the wonder of the high glaciers, the beauty of the valley of nine lakes, the bearded lichen hanging from giant heathers with a backdrop of rocky cliffs, crags and snow capped peaks. The wide variety of flora and fauna with several biospheres as you ascend through different vegetation zones creates the ultimate experience for trekking. Never before has this unique and beautiful trek been available, totally untouched and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful treks in the world.
The Rwenzori Mountains is a World Heritage Site and offers the opportunity to see nature at its best. The plant life varies from heavy tropical rainforest, bamboo forests, montane cloud forests to alpine vegetation and the scenery is truly spectacular. Above 4,500 metres the snow and glaciers add that special dimension to the wondrous views throughout this pristine mountain range.
Rwenzori Trekking Services offers a variety of trekking and climbing options from one day to twelve days to suit your style of adventure and schedule. The Rwenzori range is a true mountain range with many climbs and descents and making it a tough climb however the scenery and beautiful vegetation are incredible.
The high rainfall of more than three metres per year, the moss covered rocks, the dense vegetation, the tall peaks and cliffs towering above to the moss covered valleys and meandering streams create a ‘Alice in Wonderland atmosphere’ which changes through several biospheres as you climb making the “Rwenzori Mountains” a truly unique experience.
Above is a view of the main peaks from Bamwanjara Pass which is between Camp 3 and Camp 4 on the Kilembe Route. On the left is Mt Stanley with Savoia, Great Tooth, Elena Peaks and just seen poking over the top is Margherita Peak. In the centre is Mt. Speke and on the left you look over the ridge climbing to Wiesmanns Peak to see Mt Baker. The small prong or finger like rock on the ridge is McConnells Prong. Behind the prong you can see the valley between Mt Stanley and Mt Baker. From where the photo is taken our trail continues down the valley or pass in the foreground past Kacholpe Lakes and Camp 4 before crossing the valley to Kitandra Lakes and Scott Elliott Pass. You then climb to Camp 5 at 4,460 metres which is our top hut before climbing Margherita Peak.
How to get to Mountain Rwenzori
The journey from Kampala to Kasese will take you about 5 hours and a half if you take the public means by bus. Most bus parks can be found in and around Kampala like Link Buses which takes that route. It could take you about that same time if you are travelling privately in your own car though a four wheel drive vehicle is advisable since western Uganda is mountainous. However you can take only about an hour and a half if you used a plane.Your first stop will be Fort Portal from where you will travel south to Kasese. From Mubuku, it is 15 minutes in the north of Kasese; you can organize transport means after passing the Bugoye power plant to the gate. Porters, guides and other people to help you will be easily availed to you.
Preparation for tracking mountain Rwenzori
Just like gorilla trekking, trekking mountain Rwenzori requires some level of fitness and altitudinal tests way in advance. You should be fit as the hike is interesting but of the challenging ones as well. This is because, Mount Rwenzori is composed of many ranges and sometimes, while hiking, you have to slope down and then up from one mountain range to another. It is not like Kilimanjaro where you go up and then down when returning. At the moment there two approved trails for trekking mountain Rwenzori. The central circuit and the Kilembe circuit. The central circuit is controlled by Rwenzori mountaineering services while the Kilembe circuit is in the hands of Rwenzori trekking services. Whichever circuit you choose, it will take you approximately eight days to reach the peak of the mountain. Depending on the days at your desposal, Encounter Africa safaris can organize for you a hiking expedition from three to eight days.