Packing List for Mount Rwenzori Hike

Packing List for Mount Rwenzori Hike : Mount Rwenzori national park is the highest mountain ranges in Africa as compared to other recognized mountains in Africa with one of its glaciers being the source of the longest River in the world that is River Nile. Mount Rwenzori is the third highest mountain in Africa rising up to 5,109 meters above sea level after Mount Kilimanjaro which stands at 5,895 meters followed by Mount Kenya which stands at 5,199 meters above sea level given that their highest peak rise up above the clouds and are permanently snow-capped. Rwenzori Mountain is also called “Mountain of the Moon” a name given to the mountain by Alexandrine Pletomy in the early AD 150 who was a geographical researcher, and a photographer. An English explorer, Henry Morton Stanley also named the mountain “Cloud Mountains” in the 1899. Rwenzori, locally translated as rain maker is not a volcanic mountain like other mountains including Mount Elgon but rather a block mountain formed as a result of the floor of the western Rift valley.

Rwenzori Mountain National Park is situated in the far western part of Uganda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and its renowned Virunga National Park along the East African Rift Valley. It lies across the Equator with 6 peaks of which 3 of these are permanently snow-capped including; Mount Stanley, Mount Baker and Mount Speke. Mount Stanley has the highest peak called Margherita peak which is the third highest peak in both East Africa and Africa at large. Mount Speke takes the fourth position and Mount Baker takes the fifth position of the highest peaks in Africa. Below are some of the things you need not to forget to add in your packing list as you plan your Rwenzori safari.

Packing List for Mount Rwenzori Hike
Packing List for Mount Rwenzori Hike

Waterproof hiking boots – This is a most interest item to note before hiking because hikers need good comfort of shoes to be able to hike Mount Rwenzori and also reach the summit, you may require packing more than one pair of hiking shoes for your trip. Hiking Mountain Rwenzori involves crossing streams, climbing stairs, and navigating soggy open meadows and so many other surfaces. So for your own sake, get waterproof hiking boots that are capable of getting wet but still keep your feet from getting wet.

Non-cotton and Long sleeve clothing – Ensure that you carry cloths that are quick to dry and wicks away moisture is going to be your best bet. Hikers are recommended to carry as many cloths as the hiking days so that each day has its in cloth for the day. You don’t need a shirt for every day, there some places to give a shirt a good rinse along the way (at John Matte hut there’s a river so close)

You must carry long sleeve shirts and pants which will keep you warm in the very cold areas of the mountain. Wearing long sleeved cloths is also a great way to keep the sun from burning you. Two can be enough for your Rwenzori trip. Forget about the cotton long sleeve that’s just going to absorb your sweat and stink up your bag and room; replace it with lightweight, breathable polyester.

Packing List for Mount Rwenzori Hike
Packing List for Mount Rwenzori Hike

Pairs of pants – You can either pack trekking pants or jeans depending on what you wish. Jeans are only fine when they are not tight and when it doesn’t rain. Whichever you bring I would recommend packing more than one. Hiking in shorts while in lower altitude is highly recommended because as you move your body sweats a lot and pants would make you feel sweaty and hot.

Sandals – After a long day moving, your feet will not want to be in boots. Adding sandals in your pack will help in the evenings. They will as well help you move around the hut, visit the latrines as well as take a shower in the bathrooms.

Rain jacket – A water proof jacket with a hood will serve a basic job of keeping you dry in case of rain. It can be added on the long sleeve shirt.

Waterproof pants – Rwenzori is a rain maker and it would be wise to at least pack a pair of these. Those trekking in the rainy season, you will have to pack them since it will be raining any time.

Pairs of socks – You will socks that are able to absorb moisture from your feet. Since there are a few washing places, the number of pairs to pack I would recommend should be equivalent to the number of days you will be spending on the mountain. You will as well need socks for the nights to keep your feet warm.

Bag backpack – You will need a good back pack to carry a few things that you will need to use during the day which are essential like your gadgets, toiletries to mention a few. The rest of your property should be in a duffel style bag to make carrying easier for the porters. All the bags should be water proof.

Good sleeping bag – The usual outdoor sleeping bags do not work in the Rwenzori because it’s really cold up there and temperatures can go below 3 degrees at some camps. You should do yourself a favour and invest in a good sleeping bag. I recommend a mummy style 0 degree sleeping bag that’s warm enough even at higher altitude.

Headlamp – There is no electricity in the huts you will need a head lamp or flashlight help you find your way in the night. For those going to Margherita peak the hike from the hut starts at 2am, so you will need to invest in a good head lamp with that has a long life battery because you will be hiking through bare rocks and ice in the dark.

Microfiber towel (or a handkerchief) – As you go higher, it will get colder and colder, you will get a running nose. A cotton towel would be best but since it takes long to dry, forget about it. Instead, go for a soft quick drying microfiber towel.

First aid kit – You will need a first aid kit because as you move anything might happen more especially in the rocky areas, you might accidentally slip and get injured. The kit should have essentials like a bandage for any twists, antidiarrheal like Imodium or some other sort, iodine wipes for any cuts, pain killers, moleskin for blisters,  high altitude medication in case you are concerned about altitude sickness.

Extra camera battery and extra memory cards – When visiting Uganda’s highest mountain, you will have to take lots of photos because it has a lot of beauty to offer (beautiful scenery, plants, rivers, lakes and waterfalls). Your camera battery and space will go down so it would be wise to carry extra camera battery and memory cards.

Snacks – The Rwenzori hiking service providers provide hikers with a little snack but you can as well add some personal favourite snacks. Such that in case you don’t like what they provide, you can eat what you packed. You can pack protein bars, multivitamins, or anything that is good for your health as you hike.

Sunscreen/hat/sunglasses – These are pretty straightforward. No one likes sunburn. Remember to bring protection for your lips, as well as lip moisturizer for the higher, drier altitudes.

Water filter – As you hike the Rwenzori, you will not be provided with bottled water. You will get the water from the rivers and streams in the mountains because it’s clean. The locals drink it and they are okay. But if you don’t trust it, it’s okay to add some water filters to your water to avoid any inconveniences.

Gloves – These are good in areas where the temperatures are too low. You can wear them during the cold nights, when moving on the glacier areas since it’s too cold. They as well protect your palms as you use the ice ask.

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