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Climbing Margherita peak, central circuit trail. Uganda

Climbing the peak of Ruvenzori - Margherita (5109 m), the central circle, 8 days

The Rwenzori (mountains of the moon) with a range of 120 kilometers comprise of various mountains like Mount Stanley (5109 meters), Mount Baker (4843 meters), Mount Speke (4890 meters), Mount Luigi di Savoia (4627 meters), Mount Gessi (4715 meters), and Mount Emin ( 4798 meters) which are separated by deep gorges. Mount Stanley which is the tallest mountain has several summits where by the highest point is Margherita peak (5109 meters).

Attention!

  • recommended in a group of 2 people or more
  • the tour starts at any time if the participants are ready
Article:
129
Country:
Uganda
Tour type:
Expeditions and ascents
Directions:
Ruvenzory, Margherita Peak
Complexity:
Medium
Number of participants:
From 1 people
Maximum height:
5109 m
Season:
All year round
Start of the program:
Kasese (Kampala, Entebbe)
Finish program:
Kasese (Kampala, Entebbe)
Duration:
8 days
Price:
1 800 USD
Count:
Tours dates
  
01.01.202131.12.2021
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Day 1

You will be met by a representative of our company at Entebbe International Airport or at your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala. He will drive you west of the capital Kampala to Kasese town for an overnight at hotel while enjoying the views of the cloudy Rwenzoris from the balcony of your hotel or the clear views of the savannah Queen Elizabeth National park below Kasese town before your trek to Rwenzori mountain  the next morning. A drive to Kasese takes 5-6 hours via Kampala to Fort-portal road which is 372 Km or 6-7 hours drive via Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara highway which is 422 Km. Along the way you will have a stopover for lunch either in Fort-portal or Mbarara either way before proceeding to Kasese town for an overnight.

Day 2

The central circuit starts at the Rwenzori Mountain National park gate at Nyakalengija (1615 m). Your driver guide will drive you from your hotel in Kasese to Nyakalengijja for briefing and organising climbing equipment before the trek commemces. The trail begins by passing through farmland to the park boundary beyond which it follows a thick forest along the Mubuku River, crossing its Mahoma River tributary before starting a long, steep climb up onto a massive ridge to reach Nyabitaba hut (2651 m). During this part of the trip you may hear chimpanzee and see black and white colobus, blue monkey and the brilliantly coloured Rwenzori turraco.  Hike duration: 6 -7 hours. Elevation height: 1036 m 

Day 3

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 Nyamuleju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. Finally reach John Matte Hut (3505 m) after passing through the tiring bog, for dinner and overnight at the hut. Hike duration: 7 - 8 hours. Elevation height: 854 m

Day 4

From John Matte Hut the trail drops down to cross the Bujuku River and enters Lower Bigo Bog, the home of giant lobelias. Jumping from tussock to tussock, the bog is finally crossed but rarely without the feet sampling some of the freezing ooze below. 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 (3962 m), well located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass. This camp is good for acclimatization for clients attempting the summits of peaks Mount Stanley and Mount Speke. Dinner and overnight at Bujuku hut.  Hike duration: 4 – 5 hours. Elevation height: 457 m

Day 5

Leaving Bujuku, the trail takes you through more bog, while climbing the steep slopes west of the lake and through the magical and forest of Groundsel Gully. Turn to your right up to Elena Hut (4541 m) and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders, while the trail on your left leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara Lakes the trail on he left leads those who are not climbing Margherita Peak to Kitandara Hut. Those climbing the peak will have their Dinner and overnight at the coolly and Icy Elena Hut. Hike duration: 5 – 6 hours.  Elevation height: 579 m

Day 6 

Very early in the morning, you attempt climbing the highest peak, Margherita (5109 m) of Mount Stanley. To reach the summit of Margherita, the climb takes about 4 -5 hours depending on the weather conditions and the pace of climbing this mountain. This tough walk takes you over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. Climbing on to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness and coolly weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita the highest peak of the Rwenzori. The Descend from Margherita peak back to Elena Hut will take you about 2 – 3hours.

After your lunch at Elena hut, descend to the Scott-Elliot pass (4372 m), where there are spectacular views of Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke. After, the trail passes you through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders, descend past the Kitandara Lakes for dinner and overnight at the Kitandara camp (4430 m). Descend duration: 3 – 4 hours. 

Day 7

From Kitandara, take on the trail that ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the mountain to Fresh field Pass (4282 m).  At this point you can view into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, take on the long high alpine mossy. Thereafter start the descend through steep rocky trails and the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 and then an overnight at Guy yeoman camp (3261 m). Hike duration: 6 – 7 hours. 

Day 8

Below Guy Yeoman, the route descends the cliffs of Kichuchu. Beyond Kichuchu the muddy path crosses the Mubuku River twice through a bamboo forest before climbing downwards to Nyabitaba to complete the circuit. Continue descending from Nyabitaba Camp (2651 m) and proceed downwards to the park gate at Nyakalengijja (1615 m) where you will meet your driver guide for transfer to Kasese for an overnight or transfer to Kampala/Entebbe for your departure flight. Descent duration: 7 – 8 hours

Kampala/Entebbe - Kasese - Nyakalengija (1615 m) - Nyabitaba hut (2651 m) - John Matte Hut (3505 m) - Bujuku Hut (3962 m) - Elena Hut (4541 m) - summit Margherita (5109 m) - Elena Hut (4541 m) - Scott-Elliot pass (4372 m) - Kitandara camp (4430 m) - Fresh field Pass (4282 m) - Guy yeoman camp (3261 m) - Nyabitaba Camp (2651 m) - Nyakalengijja (1615 m) - Kampala/Entebbe

The cost of the full package of services -  from 1800,00 USD*

The price includes:

  • Park entrance fees
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Accommodation on the trip excluding accommodation in Kampala or Entebbe which can be arranged at an extra cost.
  • Hiking fees where applicable
  • Government taxes prescribed in the itinerary.
  • Guides and porters
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • Drinking water.
  • Transport according to the Itinerary.

The price does not include:

  • Climbing equipment which can be hired at our head office for between $ 20 - $ 25 per equipment (Approximately 7 equipment per person)
  • Accommodation in Kampala or Entebbe before or after the trip.
  • Visa fees
  • Laundry services
  • Flight fees
  • Increase in Government taxes in relation to the Itinerary.

Attention! Extension tours can be organized in addition to the 8 Days Rwenzori hiking package to destinations like Queen Elizabeth National park, Kibaale National park for Chimpanzees, Fort portal Crater Lakes, Sempaya Hot springs, Lake Bunyonyi, Mgahinga National park for Gorillas and Mount Muhavura/ Sabinyo hiking, etc.

Brief information on the area and route:

Uganda is a country in East Africa, surrounded by countries: in the north with South Sudan, in the west with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the south with Rwanda and Tanzania, in the east with Kenya. The capital city is Kampala.

Kasese, located in western Uganda, is the administrative center. It is located at an altitude of 959 meters above sea level, the population of about 100 thousand people. The city has a modern international airport. Near the city there are national parks: Ruvenzori Mountains and Queen Victoria, as well as the famous Mahoma Falls, etc.

Uganda has the snow-capped Ruvenzori Mountains, Victoria's large freshwater lake, and 10 National Parks. Here are some of them:

  • The Ruvenzori Mountains National Park is located in southwestern Uganda. The park has the third highest peak in Africa (Margherita peak, 5109 m).
  • Mount Elgon National Park - Elgon Volcanic Massif has 5 peaks above 4 thousand meters
  • The ghorillas of Mgaching and Bwindi are located in southwestern Uganda. They are famous for mountain gorillas. These are the largest apes. The park also has volcanoes: Sabinho (3669 m), Gachinga (3473 m) and Muhabura (4127 m).
  • Murchison Falls (Kabarega) National Park is marked by the beautiful waterfall of the same name in the lower reaches of the Victoria Nile River in Uganda, located 32 km east of Lake Mobutu-Sese-Seko.

Additional Information

  • Children under 14 years old are allowed on the route only accompanied by adults
  • The receiving party has the right to change the route according to weather conditions and the condition of the group
  • The price does not include: additional excursions, transfers outside the program, environmental fees, etc.
  • It is possible to provide additional services by prior arrangement: additional transfers, rental of personal equipment, hotel reservation, organization of leisure, etc.
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