Ruwenzori is Africa highest range. Its loftiest peaks include Margherita (5,109m) and Alexandra (5,083m) on Mt Stanley. These are exceeded in altitude by only Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya both of which are extinct volcanoes standing in isolation above the surrounding plains. The Ruwenzori ranges contain four other glacial peaks besides Mt Stanley. These include Mt Speke (4,890m), Mt Gessi (4,715m), Mt Emin (4,791m), and Mount Luigi da Savoia (4,627m).This safari will take you take you to Rwenzori mountain which is a good area for hiking as it is as now capped mountain with many glacial features like cliffs, caves, u-shapped valley and v-shaped valleys, cone, hanging valleys among others.
Driver from Kampala to Kasese and have an overnight stay in any hotel of your choice in Kasese
Transfer to the park headquarters at Nyakalengija (5,400ft/1,646m), for porter allocation and weighing before starting your day’s hike, walking past typical mud and wattle Bakonzo homes. The trail then follows the Mahoma River. After crossing the river, you will do a steep climb through typical African open bracken fern slopes and Pod carpus forest up to Nyabitaba Hut (8,700 ft./ 2,652m). During this part of the climb, you may see chimpanzees and sometimes Black and White Colobus and Blue monkeys or the brilliantly colored Rwenzori Touraco (‘bird of the tree tops’). Overnight at Nyabitaba hut. F/B
From Nyabitaba Hut, the trail leads westward for half a kilometer and then drops north (right) steeply to Kurt Sharfer Bridge, crossing below the confluence of Bujuku and Mubuku Rivers. By turning down at the bridge you begin the circuit counter-clockwise. Past the Sharfer Bridge, the muddy slippery trail climbs steadily through bamboo forest. Overnight at Nyamileju Hut. Nyamileju means “a place of beards”, referring to the lichen and Spanish moss draping the nearby trees. F/B
After breakfast, you will continue to John Matte Hut (11,200 ft./3, 414 m) which is through a tiring bog full of extraordinary plants. The slow pace will give you a delightful chance to examine and photograph this unique environment. John Matte is newly constructed, large and comfortable, though it is muddy around the site. F/B
You will leave John Matte Hut to cross the Bujuku River and enter the lower of the two Bigo bogs, where your first real experience jumping from tussock to tussock in a grassy bog begins. The trail is very muddy and follows southern edge of Lower Bigo Bog until eventually it reaches the round metal “uniport” of Bigo Hut and its rock shelter. Though some may think it an ugly intrusion, it makes walking easier and keeps hikers from further damaging the bog. An hour and a half beyond the upper bog, and after climbing through drier ground and crisscrossing the river, you reach Lake Bujuku. The southern end of the lake is a majestic setting, with Mt. Bakerto in the south, and views west to Mt Stanley and north to Mt. Speke. Beyond the northern end of the lake is the ‘Cooking Pot’ rock shelter and a short distance further is Bujuku Hut (13,000ft/3,962m). F/B
Past the Bujuku Hut, the trail rises and falls twice before finally climbing steeply through the magical moss-draped Groundsel Gully towards the Scott Elliot pass (14,345ft/4,372m). At the head of the gully is a short, strong ladder at a particularly steep section, after which a right hand branch leads to Elena Hut (14, 700ft/4,430m). This is a steep, rocky trail which when wet or icy is treacherously slippery. Continue to Kitandara Hut for overnight. F/B
The 6-hour descent to Nyabitaba takes you through the heather zone, Mubuku River and the bamboo forest. Meals and overnight at Nyabitaba hut.
After an early morning breakfast, set off to Nyakalengija trailhead, where your waiting safari vehicle will transfer you back to Kampala or Entebbe.
End of the hiking safari
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