9 Day Rwenzori Mountains Hike (Central Circuit)


This 9 Day Climbing Rwenzori Mountains via the central circuit is adventure of life time, due to its good looks and remoteness. Basically, it maximizes the chances for summit success rate by many hikers. This reduced traffic jam at certain points and also made for a more enjoyable experience by restraining crowds.

This circuit offers a large extent of acclimatization on the mountain by trekkers through joining longer distances, longer stretches on the mountain and slighter altitude gains.


Day 1: Entebbe/Kampala – Kasese

After an early breakfast, check-out, shopping in town and currency conversion among other quick requirements if you didn’t do any the previous day. If you did, get on board straight away and take the journey westwards towards Fort Portal tourism city. Continue with the scenic journey to the base of the mountain and overnight at our booked accommodation.

Day 2: Nyakalengija Base camp – Nyabitaba Hut – 2650 Meters Above Sea Level(MASL).

Early in the morning, after having a cup of coffee, drive to Nyakalengija Trailhead (1600m). Meet porters and guides and begin hiking up to Nyabitaba hut. Walk through the matooke/banana plantations on the side of the steep foothills, past the local Bakonjo homesteads. Continue with the trail along the Mubuku River, through landslides. After crossing the Mahoma River, climb steeply through bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut. Dinner and Overnight at Nyabitaba Hut

  • Hike Time: About 5-6 Hours

Day 3: Nyabitaba Hut – John Matte Hut (3350MASL)

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 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. Finally reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for Dinner and Overnight at the Hut.

  • Hike Time: About 6-7 Hours

Day 4: John Matte Hut – Bujuku Hut (3977 MASL).

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, well located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Stuhlmann Pass.

  • Hike Time: About 4-5 Hours

Day 5: Bujuku Hut – Elena Hut (4541 MASL)

Leaving Bujuku, the trail takes you through more bog, while climbing the steep slopes west of the lake and through the magical Groundsel 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 is divided into two. The trail on your right leads up to Elena Hut 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. Dinner and Overnight at the Coolly and Icy Elena Hut.

  • Hike Time: About 4-5 Hours

Day 6: Elena Hut – Margherita peak (5109 MASL) – Kitandara Hut (4027 MASL).

For those aiming at reaching Margherita peak (5109m), continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. To reach the summit of Margherita, the climb takes about 5-7 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. Note that this climb is for only physically fit and technical climbers. Rwenzori may not be the highest in Africa, but it is believed to be the most challenging to climb. So, come prepared to sweat for this ultimate badge of honor.

Climbing on to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness and cool weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita the highest peak of the Rwenzoris. Given the high altitude and the tough conditions even if you do not reach the peak, don’t get disappointed. You have already conquered this legendary mountain, and now you’re a legend too in your own right.

Prepare for your return through the Scott-Elliot pass where there are spectacular views back to Bujuku Lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara Lakes. After the trail that takes you through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders, descend past the Kitandara Lakes for dinner and overnight at the Kitandara Hut. This is an average of 8-10 hours

  • Ascent Time to Margherita: 5 -7hrs

Day 7: Kitandara Hut – Guy Yeoman Hut (3260 MASL).

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. 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 trail passing the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. Dinner and Overnight at Guy Yeoman Hut.

  • About 6-7 Hours

Day 8: Guy Yeoman Hut – Nyabitaba Hut – Nyakalengija Base camp

Take on the path down to Nyabitaba hut early in the morning. The path can be slippery and muddy and therefore requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. Remember this is part of the adventure within this mountain. This can take about 3-4 hours.

After lunch at Nyabitaba Hut, descend gently down to River Mahoma and continue to the Base camp Nyakalengijo where you will find a Tusker Trails Holidays driver waiting to take you to your hotel for an overnight stay

Day 8: Drive back to Kampala

Early morning after your breakfast, our will pick you up from our booked hotel in the morning after your breakfast then drive back to Kampala or to the airport for your flight back home.

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