Rwenzori Hiking – central circuit tour 6-7 days trekking the Rwenzori mountain Uganda mountain climbing adventure. The itinerary below assumes you are already in Kasese – the base for Rwenzori hiking; if you are flying in, you need to account for a night in Kampala!
Day 1: Climb- to Nyabitaba(2650m) through Bakonjo homestead
Have breakfast and then drive to Nyakalengija trailhead (1600m). Begin hiking up to Nyabitaba hut; walk through the banana sambas on the side of the steep foothills, past the typical Bakonjo homesteads! Follow the trail along the Mubuku River, through landslides and up and down rocks and bluffs, Cross the Mahoma River and climb steeply through break fern slopes and podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut for overnight.
Day 2: John Matte hut (3350m)
From Nyabitaba follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Passing through the bamboo forest, traverse through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock.
From the Nyamileju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. You will reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for Dinner and Overnight at the Hut.
Day 3: Bujuku Hut: after John Matte Hut, the trail drops to cross the Bujuku River. The upper Bigo Bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the west. Bujuku Hut, well located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Steinmann pass.
Day 4: Mount Stanley
Leaving Bujuku, the trail climbs the steep slopes west of the lake, passing through the magical Groundsels Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. At the head of the gully a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail splits into two. The right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders. The left path leads to Scott. Elliot passes and down to Kitandara Lakes.
Day 5: Summit Margherita
For those climbing Margherita peaks (5109m) continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. It can be a four to seven hour walk to the summit of Margherita. It is only for the physically fit and is a technical climb which requires roping up, crampons and appropriate equipment for cold, windy and icy conditions.
It is best to attempt the final climb in a minimum group of 4- two climbers and two guides; climb on to the glacier, cross the Stanly Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Returning to Scott- Elliot pass, descend to the Kitandara Hut for overnight, past the Kitandara Lakes.
Day 6: Climb Mt Stanleyto Guy Yeoman Hut (3260m)
From Kitandara, the trail ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the Rwenzori mountain to Fresh field pass. From the pass, the long muddy descent continues, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906.
Day 7: Climb Nyabitaba(2650m)
The path down can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on to and requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. An overnight stop at the Nyabiaba Hut.
Day 8: Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija
Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija is about 3 hours. Nyabitaba starts the 40 minutes trial to see Lake Mahoma and back to the hut for descending to the Park Head Quarters where you will connect with your driver / guide and transfer back to Kampala or your Lodge in Kasese marking the end of your Rwenzori Hiking central circuit trail.