Rwenzori Mountains National Park – Guide to Climbing Rwenzoris: Kahuzi Biega National park.
The ultimate guide here will enlighten about the Rwenzoris , why they are called the Rwenzori, avail you with information about the mountain and why Uganda takes so much pride in it, prepare you for the best climbing experience , and finally you will discover so much and how you can start to plan to visit which travel agency to consult.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park .
Rwenzori Mountains is a notable roof of Uganda and Africa’s highest point with Margherita dangling at 5109meter above sea level clashing with the enormous grey , white and blue clouds. Summiting the peak of Mountain Rwenzori requires a high degree of determination, dedication, a positive mind set , energy and an average level of fitness.
The summit to Rwenzori is so rewarding with countless stunning portal peaks that are encircled with al kinds of unique vegetation cover that varies according to change in altitude, its snow capped peaks , and high rocks that are covered with moss couples by numerous glacial lakes with the purest water.
Mountain Rwenzori is a famous and re known safari destination for travelers with passion to explore the beauty of nature, it has so much to offer ranging from flora and fauna, lakes, sundowns and sunsets, beautiful sceneries of the Eco world on the mountain, nature walks and a very hospitable group of inhabitants that are clad in homesteads around the mountain.
About Rwenzori Mountains- Trekking Rwenzoris
The Rwenzori’s are famous comprising of six massifs that are segregated by deep gorges of Mount Stanley , that also has the highest standing peak Margherita at an altitude of 5109m with other major peaks of Mount Alexander, and mount Albert cook.
The mountain was named after the famous geologist Sir Henry Murton Stanley , the mountain was first summited by Prince Luigi Amedeo the Duke of Abruzzi. Mount Stanley is now the frequented by mountain hikers and over the year it has received so many people so have visited the snow rapped peak to admire its beauty , it’s the most visited mountain in the Rwenzori massifs.
- Mount speke is second highest hanging in the clouds at an altitude of 4890m above sea level named after one of the greatest explorers in Uganda John Speke who is also the discoverer of the source of the great river Nile. Its characterized by series of craggy peaks with several summits of Vittorio Emanuele (4890m), Ensonga(4865m), Johnstone(4834), and lastly the beautiful Trident (4572m)
- Mount Baker lies third and can be spotted very well from Bujuku camp its stands at a height of 4843m .Named after Sir Samuel Baker who was also a famous explorer in Uganda the mountain lies on the boarder of Uganda and Congo. Mount Baker is the sixth highest mountain in Africa jutting out in front of Mount Edward its highest peak that swings at (4844m) among other peaks around.
- Mountain Emin comes the forth with twin peaks of Umberto at 15740ft and Kraeplin at 15620ft to summit you commence from the south western part of the mountain. It was named after Emin Pasha Muhammed a famous explorer in Africa and the mountain can be accessed through Mugusu valley a stretch that cuts through Uganda and DRC.
- Mount Gessi elevated at (4715m) is adjacent to Mount Emin , east of Margherita peak and close to the glacier. Mountain Gessi gets its name from an Itallian explorer called Romulo Gessi of the source pf the Nile and it consists of two twin peaks that include Lolanda (15470ft ) and Bottego (15418).
- Mount Luigi di Savioa named after the Itallian Prince, Luigi Amedeo by the Duke of Abruzzi after summiting the peak. Like other mountains Mount Luigi di Savioa is comprised of with two peaks including Stairs Peak (4545m) and Sella (4627m) and weisman peak(4620m) which is the most frequently visited peak on this mountain.
When is the best time to Climb Rwenzori Mountains
The good news about when to visit mountain n Rwenzori is that the mountain can be visited all through out the year making it the ideal safari destination for hiking. Uganda comprises of two season the wet and dry however the rains in the Rwenzoris are unique and can surprise any time no wonder they are locally known as the rain maker so it may not know that this is dry or wet season but in the rainy season its extremely wet. read more
Whether changes month by month can help you plan on when to travel.
- January –Early March
During this time, its extremely , with almost no showers of rain on the mountain but like we said the climate on the mountain is unpredictable we can rule out rain 100% . January to March is a desirable time to visit the Majestic Mountain making it even easier to summit as the rocks towards the peak are not slippery at all.
- Mid March – May
These are extremely wet months in Uganda generally and even in the mountains as well, nevertheless every hiker has different needs some people may prefer to explore what it feels like during the rainy season. And its also a great time to hike for a memorable experience that is paralled with less heat during the days walk.
- June –Early September
This is another incredible period to visit the great mountains of the moon , the trails are completely dry and walks are rewarding with barely any hope of rains. It’s the most popular time for tourists to visit since they also tailor the trip along with other activities like the gorillas and visit to the famous Queen Elizabeth. During this time we crowds of visitors are expected and for usually costs of travel in this period are higher from the lodge prices to the rates offered by tour operators.
- October –November
Heavy rains during this months are expected and we don’t recommend travellers to hike during this season , the rains are coupled with thunder and at times its really dark at night , Rwenzori being a forested area its very dark at night . This is also know as off season with less travellers but if one chose to travel during this time they would enjoy the less competition and great discounts from lodges around the mountain.
During December also a peak season for the great mountain and other ideal destinations in Uganda lie the popular gorillas , generally the entire tourism in Uganda is busy with cars parading in all the national parks , same applies with Rwenzori National park. It’s a perfect time to visit the famous Rwenzori mountains , you will appreciate the Equatorial climate of the pearl of Africa with abundance of sunshine during December with full moon nights and beautiful sundown during your time in the mountain.
How to Get to Rwenzori Mountains National park
The easiest way to get to the base camp in Nyakalengija in the mountains of Rwenzoris after landing in Entebbe International airport or Kigali International airport is by taking a local flight from either of the two to land in Kasese airstrip. At Entebbe international airport every day aero link and bar aviation fly in and out of Kasese there for you can land and catch a flight immediately on arrival.
The park can also be accessed by road from Kampala through , Fort Portal- Kasese route through lush forests and cultivated farms , with shrubs in the ever green savannah vegetation . the drive is about 8hrs therefore you will need to book accommodation or even take a public means using the link bus after which you can get a taxi to the park gate. Rwenzori can be accessed through the democratic Republic of Congo , drive from Congo through the boarder to Kasese.
Rwenzori Climbing Routes
The time you take to reach the summit is not only dependent on your speed or experience in hiking but also the choice of the route you choose. The choice of the right route is arguably among the main thing to start with as you plan to start your trip in Mountain Rwenzori. Each of the two routes Central circuit and Kilembe trail promises a unique experience on your trek. Ever one of these routes leads you to the summit of Margherita however also the pace at which you walk matters.
The Rwenzori Central circuit route is the closest and easy route that leads you to the summit within 3days. Kilembe trail is also another route you c an take on its kinder longer but also is very rewarding within 4 days you are at the summit for fast hikers. For more information about the routes you can check routes.
Our Rwenzori Climbing Experience in 2023 January
It is said that the summit is challenging and incomparable with its neighbors of Mount Kilimanjaro and mount Kenya because of the terrains and involve longer walks of hiking up to and fort , but from experience , its extremely rewarding much as it will require your lots of effort to achieve.
With zero back ground or experience hiking the mountain, the start was very normal and In my mind I thought its just walking so I will definitely make it there. Setting off from the park gate in Nyakalengija with so much energy , determination and zeal to make it , as we walked through the lush forests it was a usual walk , crossing the first bridge of River Mubuku. The roars of the waters , swaying trees and melodies from the birds were our main entertainers and of cos the our guides couldn’t help but give us all the history of the mountain making sure they leave no information of the all the plant species explaining the great use of how the locals use these as local meds , educating to us the very complicated and easily forgotten botanical names of the spotted species from the infinity trees and shrubs.
At a high pace we trailed through until Nyabitaba hut but as we continued hiking the pace kept reducing especially for some of those in the group that had no idea of how important it is to maintain an average walking pace in order not to easily tire. Finally we are welcomed by the huge cave shelter which is also a kitchen for the porters and is said to have been the min accommodation for the heroes who climbed the mountain first.
For us the Rwenzori Central circuit Trail was our choice and the day ran so fast trailing through the heather and bamboo trees, then hiking hiking as you enjoy the boogy mud after John matte to Bujjunku, then there is jumping from one tussock to the other and finally strolling on huge rocks until we found ourselves at Ellena hut .
The fascinating bit about the summit is having to wake up in the wee hours of the morning where our only source of light in the gloomy landscape is your head lamp, here we had to be careful with every step you take. And finally at sunrise around 6:30am we were hugely paid off when we had to tighten our mountain boots to the crampons and get tied together a team of seven joined with ropes moving in a caravan kind of thing through the icy white ground that is planted on huge rocks . Its more like a fairy tale or a dream , taking our breaths away and making your jaws drop at this point we were at the highest point in Uganda doing the usual taking photos and enjoying the incredible view of mountain stanely. Since the summit is the goal for every hiker, I leave the rest of the trail for you to come and experience since the slopping is equally fun and with a lot of experience to talk about.
Recommended tour operators
There are very many tour operator who can organize for you a trek to Magherita however we do recommend the two operators as the most Reliable Operators and booking agents.
Booking Offices in Namasuba , Kikajjo.
Booking offices in Najjanankumbi