Are interested in a hiking safari in Uganda on your Africa safari? Hiking mountain Rwenzori on your safari Uganda is the best destination you can opt for a hike. A trip into the Rwenzori Mountains is a rewarding experience, which allows you to see the main peaks of the largest mountain range in Africa. The Rwenzori Mountains are a fascinating mountain range and home to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. With the Margherita Peak (5,109 m) in the Mt Stanley Massif, it has the third highest peak in Africa. The climb of the Margherita Peak takes several days and the massifs of Mt Speke and Mt Baker offer more summits to climb. Due to its inaccessibility and seclusion, the flora and fauna of the Rwenzori have retained their originality. This all is framed by a huge mountain scenery with waterfalls and numerous rivers that flow down the mountain.
Hiking Rwenzori Mountains via the central circuit
The best way to experience the Rwenzori Mountains is by taking the so called “central circuit trail”. Your Uganda hiking safari via this circuit all starts from the park headquarters in Nyakalengija, following the Mobuku river valley, then slopes to Mount Baker, where you find the final trail to climb Mount Stanley where the Margherita Peak seats.
With the Central Circuit you enter a fairytale-like landscape with giant lobelia and senecia. Trees with a lot of colored moss conjure a fairytale forest. Nowhere else in the world is the plant density as large as in the Rwenzori.
Through this fascinating landscape leads the Central Circuit, a 7-day hut hiking trail. In recent years, this trail has been developed with the help of ladders and wooden walkways, so that it can be well-managed by average-conditioned hikers.
We are convinced that the Central Circuit is the world’s most fascinating and mystical ascent route to a 5000 summit.
This hiking trail passes through five different vegetation zones; the mountain forest, the bamboo zone, alpine zone, with difference in level of altitude from 2.800 m to 3.500 m when you climb the peak. Hiking this trail to the peak lasts about 7 days 6 nights. It is important to respect the gradual adjustment process to avoid altitude sickness. You find along the trail several huts, which are basic in comfort, however provided with mattresses and drinking water directly from the mountain.
We will organize this experience by providing you with our professional guides and cooks. Please be aware that the porters only carry up to 25 kg per person, including food, which means any extra kg is also extra tariff.
About the Rwenzori Mountain National Park
Rwenzori Mountain National Park lies north of the equator in the Albertine Rift Valley thus a trip into the Ruwenzori is exhilaration and rewarding experience but one, which must be well planned. The central circuit hike starts from Nyakalengija which takes six nights and seven days reaching an altitude of 14,000ft (4267metres) above sea level. The conditions at the mountain are a challenge to even inexperienced hiker. It’s known for its un-engineered, steep, slippery trials and frequent rain. Challenges faced at Mountain Ruwenzori National Park are high rainfall and cold temperatures, bogs, mud, stiff terrain and high altitude. Though it’s exciting, there is a need to try it! Since during much of the year mud, Rain, Mist and wind occur daily, adequate clothing (and a mental altitude!) for these conditions are a must. The periods of July-August and December-February are the driest months and experienced hikers are the best seasons for a trek.
During rain seasons, rain gear, good sleeping bags, warm hat, gloves, heavy shocks, gumboots, gaiters and a walking steak for balance (and to probe the mud) are recommended. A basic first Aid kit is also necessary.
Heavy equipment’s and food, leaving a small pack with rain gear, warm cloths (on higher sections), cameras, water bottle, snacks and lunch will be carried by the porters. Purchase your own food (in Kasese or Kampala). Rwenzori Mountaineering Service (RMS) provides cooking utensils and the chefs.
The central Circuit is the most popular hiking route in the Rwenzori. This wonderful trail goes through all the different vegetation zones, a great change in surroundings from the tropical valleys at around 1,000 meters climbing gradually through gorges and super valleys up to the top of Mount Stanley which is rocky. It goes through the lower and upper bigo bog, where there walk boards were put up to make movement through the boggy area much easier.
Huts where to stay during the hike using the Central Circuit
- Nyabitaba (2651m)
- John matte (3505m)
- Bujuku (3962m)
- Elena (4541m)
- Kitandara (4023m)
- Guy yeoman (3505m)
How to reach there
By road from Kampala via Mbarara to Kasese or from Kampala through Fort Portal and then 75 km South on the Fort Portal / Kasese road. The park is 25 km from Kasese town, then turning left inside to reach Ibanda and Niakalengija, following the sign post on the Kasese Road. Chartered planes are also available from Entebbe /Kampala to Kasese and then by road.
When to go
the best advisable time is the dry season from December to February and from May to August.
Equipments for hiking
You are recommended to have with you a rucksack, sleeping bag for low temperature and sleeping mat, one plate, cutlery, mug, knife, gumboots, water proof trousers, poncho or rain coat, heavy worm jacket, hand gloves, scarf and cup, jumper, torch, bottle of water.
Some specialized equipment is required in addition: a pair of crampons, snow gloves, snow goggles, climbing boots, rope and ice axe, as you reach the glacier area.
Food and Accommodation:
The food during the trekking is organized. Cooking utensils are available at the huts. A cook can be hired to help the preparation of food. Some water supply or stream are located around the huts to provide drinking water and for other purposes. Toilets are also found close to the hut.