This safari takes you to the Mystical Mountains of the Moon for a hiking experience that can enable you ascend Uganda’s highest altitude point rising over 5100m above sea level. The Rwenzori Mountains is one of the highest in Africa and it is a permanent snow capped mountain along the Equator. This 9 Days trek takes you through fantastic landscapes, climbing all the way to the summit of Mount Magherita.

Hike to the equatorial snow peak; Magherita Peak, the third highest point in Africa passing through different vegetation zones that include moorland, bamboo, moist montane forests. The hike takes 7 days and can be tailormade to be a nine- to twelve-day trek for non skilled climbers aiming at the summit of Margherita. The summit of Magherita climbing adventure takes about 5-7 hours depending on the weather conditions and the pace of climbing.  This Hike safari demands for experienced mountain climbers with good health status.

Tour Summary

Pickup: Kampala or Kigali

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Kampala – Kasese

Leave Kampala and drive to Kasese. Have a stop over at the Lake View Hotel in Mbarara for lunch. Dinner and overnight at the Margarita Hotel.

Day 2: to Nyabitaba Hut

After breakfast, drive to Nyakalengija trail head where you will begin your ascent. Meet with your guide and porters. The 4 hour climb takes you along the Mubuku River to Nyabitaba Hut (2,650) where you will spend the night.

Day 3: to John Matte Camp

After breakfast, cross the Mubuku River; one of the highest sources of the Nile, on a rope bridge and continue walking along the river. Have lunch at the Nyamileju Hut. Continue your trek stepping at the base of the mass tussock grass to avoid getting stuck in the rather wet ground. The 7 hours climb will end at the John matte Camp where you will spend the night.

Day 4: to Bujuku Hut

After breakfast go up and down a cliff crossing the river severally along the Bujuku valley. The ground is permanently wet and muddy. After 5 hours, you reach the Bujuku lake where the scenic forest become bigger and bigger. After a short break, another hour’s walk takes you to the Bujuku Hut (3,977-m) where you will spend the night.

Day 5: to Kitandara Hut

After breakfast begin your climb towards the Kitandara Hut (4027 m). Today’s walk is much similar to the previous day’s; as you walk up and down cliffs using roots tussock grass for support. The last bit of your trek is by ascending the Scott – Elliot saddle (4372m) and descending again to the Kitandara Lake before proceeding to Kitandara hut for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: to Guy Yeoman Hut

Today’s walk takes you via the Fresh field saddle (4280m) passing Bujongolo cave to Mubuku Gorge. The walk takes about 8 hours. Overnight will be at the Guy Yeoman Hut (3450m).

Day 7: to Nyabitaba Hut

Descend to the Mubuku valley passing very steep water falls through a bamboo forest. Overnight will be at the Nyabitaba Hut.

Day 8: Transfer to Hotel Margarita

Descend to Ibanda where vehicles will be awaiting to take you to Hotel Margarita for dinner and overnight.

Day 9: Return to Kampala

Drive back to Entebbe with lunch on the way for either return flight or connect to your Mt. Elgon climb with our Elgon Cross over package.

End of the Safari

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    Detailed Itinerary

    Day 1: Kampala – Kasese

    Leave Kampala and drive to Kasese. Have a stop over at the Lake View Hotel in Mbarara for lunch. Dinner and overnight at the Margarita Hotel.

    Day 2: Nyakalengija (1615m) – Nyabitaba Hut

    The Central Circuit Trail starts at the Rwenzori Mountaineering Service offices. After you should arrive in the morning to allow ample equipment and meet your guides and porters. The trail takes you through farmland to the park boundary. It follows the Mubuku river, crossing its Mahoma bridge. Start a long, steep climb up onto a massive Nyabitaba hut. The hike takes around 5 hours. During this part of the trip you may hear chimpanzees, black and white colobus, blue monkey and the coloured Rwenzori turaco.

    Day 3: Nyabitaba (2651 m) – to Matte Hut (3505m)

    This involves a demanding 7+ hour trek up to Johh Matte Hut. The Central Circui trail ‘properly’ starts a few hundred meters from the Nyabitaba where the trail divides the block into two. The right fork peaks up the Bujuku valley while the path on the left is the subsequent descent. The trail leads to the Kurt Shafer Bridge which Mubuku valley just below the river’s confluence wit the valley. Beyond the river, climb a muddy, slippery trail cliff up through bamboo forest.

    After a five hour trek is the start of the giant lobelia ar zone, a vegetation type limited to East Africa’s highes The final hour’s walk to John Matte hut passe! Challenging bog full of extraordinary plants!!

    Day 4: John Matte (3505m) to Bujuku (3962m)

    The route follows the Bujuku River as you cross the bog, A steep clim b follows to reach the Upper Bigc a boardwalk has been constructed to assist walkE weather, there are superb views of Mt. Stanley at this cavernous, glacier-carved valley. Above the bog steady climb ovell” glacial moraine, criss-crossing t trail reaches the lovely Lake Bujuku. The last stage of the 3-5 hour hike to Bujuku Hut past Cooking Pot Cave is perhaps the muddiest stage of the expedition. The hut is well placed for parties climbing Mt. Speke.

    Day 5: Bujuku (3962m) – Scott Elliott Pass (4372m) Kitandara (4023m)

    From Bujuku hut, the trail crosses more mud before climbing steeply through a forest of giant groundsels, climbing a short metal ladder to ascend the Groundsel Gully. Above the gully, a branch in the trail climbs directly to Elena Hut (4430m) for the ascent of Margherita peak on Mt. Stanley (5109m). This climb needs an ice axe, mountain boots, crampons and ropes.

    The main trail continues up a steep scree slope over Scott Elliot pass, the highest point on the circuit. The pass provides fabulous views back down the Bujuku valley and of Mts. Stanley and Baker towering above. Beyond the pass, the route runs downhill beneath the massive cliffs of Mt. Baker. After passing Upper Lake Kitandara, the 3-5 hour hike ends at the hut beside Lower Lake Kitandara, a beautiful site surrounded by towering peaks.

    Day 6: Kitandara (4023m) – Freshfield Pass (4282m) – Guy Yeoman (3505m) Freshfield is a long flat traverse through tracts of fabulously colourful moss (and more mud), beyond which the long descent to Nyakalengija begins. The hike to Guy Yeoman hut takes around 5 hours. The hut enjoys a lovely location close to the Mubuku River with terrific views of the looming Mt. Baker to the north.

    Day 7: Guy Yeoman (3505m) – Nyabitaba (2651 m)

    The descent to Nyabitaba takes around 5 hours but with an early start it is possible to make it all the way down to Nyakalengija. Below Guy Yeoman, the route descends the cliffs of Kichuchu. Beyond Kichuchu the muddy path crosses the Mubuku River twice before climbing upwards to Nyabitaba to complete the circuit.

    Day 8: Nyabitaba (2651m) – Nyakalengija (1615m)

    The descent from Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija takes 2-3 hours. The guide will pick you from the base camp and drive you to the hotel. Relax at the lodge.

    Day 9: Return to Kampala

    After breakfast, travel back to Kampala. Drop off at the hotel or Entebbe International Airport.

    End of the Safari

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    Health and safety on the trail Hikers should familiarize themselves with the symptoms and treatment of hypothermia and the various forms of altitude sickness (see Osmaston’s Guide to the Rwenzori). Above 2500m, altitude sickness can affect anyone, irrespective of age, fitness or previous mountain experience. The most effective treatment is descent to a lower altitude.

    • Good behavior at the huts and on the trail is appreciated
    • The park operates a ‘Leave no trace’ policy. Collect all waste and make sure you or your porters take it out of the park.
    •  Please use the latrines provided at huts.
    • Respect others in the huts by sharing space at the stoves and talking quietly.
    • Observe the prohibition on wood fires which degrade the park’s vegetation.
    • Gas cookers are provided by Rwenzori Mountaineering Services.
    • During periods of bad weather, it may be necessary to wait more than one night at huts to ease congestion ahead.
    • Minimize damage to the trails by following your guide closely and avoid making new paths.
    Rwenzori Mountains

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