Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
This trip can work as a standalone adventure, or in combination with other destinations in Uganda. The itinerary below starts and ends in Entebbe, but we can arrange transfers to and from the mountains no matter where you are coming from.
The itinerary can be customised to suit your fitness levels, time constraints, budget, and wider travel plans. For more information and different itineraries, check out our ultimate guide to the Rwenzori Mountains.
Day 1: The Adventure Begins!
We start the adventure walking up the valley and through the lush Afro Montane Forest Zone. This is a steady climb teeming with wildlife to look out for, including groups of Colobus and L'Hoest monkeys.
Immerse yourself among the flora in the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone as you begin to navigate the much steeper climb that reaches Kalalama Camp (3,147 metres). Now in the serene forest of the Heather-Rapanea Zone, keep an eye out for the beautifully vibrant Rwenzori Turaco bird - a must-spot for avid birdwatchers!
Day 2: Kalalama Camp to Bugata Camp
Bypassing Mutinda Camp and continuing up to Bugata Camp (4,100 metres), the trail takes you through the grassy knolls of the ridge and down through the serene valley before climbing back up again. This route takes you over the trickling streams and close to the beautiful photo opportunity of moss-covered waterfalls.
Step over boardwalks in the more boggy areas among the Heather trees and cross the Mutinda Valley - rich with flowers and Giant Lobelias - before the steep climb up to Namusangi Valley (3,840 metres). This vantage point offers stunning views of the Mutinda Peaks and reaches up steadily to Bugata Camp (4,062 metres), situated high up in Bamwanjara Pass overlooking Bugata Lake and Lake Kopello.
This camp also offers views of Weismann's Peak (often covered with snow) and the chance to spot the Red Forest Duiker, a sub-species of antelope only found here in the Rwenzori Mountains.
Day 3: Bugata Camp to Hunwick's Camp
Leaving Bugata Camp, pass along a ridge before ascending to Bamwanjarra Pass (4,450 metres). On a clear day, there are excellent views of the three main peaks of the mountains.
The trail passes down through the valley, around the edge of bogs and thick evergreen vegetation. This is one of the best places in the Rwenzori Mountains to spot the Malicite Sunbird feeding on the Lobelia flowers.
The trail navigates through some steep sections before a steady climb up and over a ridge to Hunwick's Camp, situated on the top of a deep valley. This spot boasts views of Mt. Stanley, Mt. Baker, Weismann's Peak and McConnell’s Prong.
Day 4: Hunwick's Camp to Margherita Camp
From Hunwick's Camp, pass down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitendara, with stunning deep waters and beautiful flora.
From here you'll climb up Scott Elliott's pass, then along the ridge to Margherita Camp (4,485 metres), situated between impressive rock formations that offer some shelter from the strong winds. This is the very spot where the Duke of Abruzzi camped when making his climb to Margherita Peak in 1906.
Day 5: Mt. Stanley
Start the day off early by climbing Mt. Stanley at 2.30am to ensure the best weather conditions, aiming to safely reach the peak by 10am.
For those clients with less mountaineering experience we suggest that you stay on Stanley glacier and climb up to a good vantage point on a rocky outcrop on the southern edge of Alexandra Peak to enjoy fantastic views over Congo and the lower mountain ridges.
After ascending the peak (5,109 metres) you then pass directly back down to Hunwick's Camp at (3,874 metres).
Day 6: Hunwick's Camp to Kiharo Camp
From Hunwick’s Camp, start the day by climbing up towards McConnell’s Prong where you get the best views of all three peaks and Scott Elliott’s Pass before reaching Oliver’s Pass (4,505 metres). The trail then cuts back below Weismann’s Peak to the confluence of the Nyamwamba River, which flows down through Kilembe and Kasese to Lake George in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
If you wish to climb Weismann's Peak (4,620 metres) from Oliver's pass you have the chance to do so here. On a clear day, there are impressive views of the surrounding mountains that are not to be missed.
After crossing the confluence of the river, the trail leads down to Kiharo Camp, situated in a deep and serene valley with high cliffs and lush vegetation.
Day 7: Returning
Take the trail downhill to the Nyamwamba Valley, taking in the beautiful and unique views of the wildlife. The cascading waterfalls, deep valleys and rich forests are among the best the Rwenzori Mountains has to offer.
A few kilometres from Kiharo Camp, the path turns off to pass along the river. In some areas you may get the chance to catch another glimpse of the Duiker quietly feeding in small clearings.
Following a narrow ridge to bypass steep sections, meet the river again and rest a while beneath natural rock shelter. After crossing a small stream, climb up a gentle slope before coming back down to the river to avoid the impassable waterfalls. This section of forest at the end of the trail are magnificent and full of life - overflowing with birds, primates, Duikers and Hyrax.
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Prices are per person based on 2 people travelling together. Additional $35/night park fee payable at the Rwenzori park gates.
Price depends on group size:
1-2 person group: US$1,320 per person for the trek starting and ending in Kilembe.
3+ person group: US$1,080 per person for the trek starting and ending in Kilembe.
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* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $1,320
We run group treks and solo treks. You can book any date, and the number of other people in the group will simply depend on how many other travellers have booked to be in the mountains for those dates. If no one else has booked for your dates, the trek will run as a private tour.
Maximum group size for the high altitude treks is 8 or 9, or up to 15 for low altitude treks.
Equipment and training
The standard of both equipment and training is very high in the Rwenzoris. The team is also constantly in the mountains finding new routes and keeping existing ones open, so even when visitor numbers are low, they are not getting stale.
We partner with the best regional specialists who value safety immensely. External trainers are brought in to keep the local guides up to date in alpine techniques and safety.
All of the technical gear is imported from the UK, including ropes, ice screws, ice axes, harnesses, and crampons. We do recommend every client comes along with their own pair of crampons, but there are also some to rent.
For all treks summiting Magherita peak, the following gear is provided: harnesses, caribinas, ice axes, helmets, rubber boots, ropes and ice screws.
The technical climbing experience is only essential on one day when you summit Margherita Peak.
The technical climb involves the use of crampons, ice axes, and other technical equipment when you go through the Stanley Plateau. Here, you begin to ascend the Margherita glacier. The angle of elevation is around 60% and changes rapidly, there are some hard rock scrambles before you summit.
In total, the summit hike is about 7-10 hours (there and back to Hunwick's camp). Although some people can take up to 16 hours if they don't have strong fitness.
Summiting Margherita peak requires good fitness, and ideally at least one attempt at high altitude summits before. We have a 98% success rate in summit hikes to Margherita Peak. While some experience is always preferred, most of our clients haven't used crampons/ice axes before - but our local guides are absolute professionals and if you're in good shape and determined, you should have no problem reaching the Rwenzori's icy peaks!
- Guides & porters throughout the 10-day trek
- All meals
- Accommodation throughout the trek in dormitory-style huts along the trail
- All technical equipment (recommended to bring own crampons)
- Accommodation before and after the trek
- Transport to and from Kilembe
- Flights or visa fees
- Anything not mentioned as included
- Note that we can arrange transfers to and from the trailhead for you at additional cost, or if you're including the Rwenzoris as part of a wider itinerary with us, then transport to and from Kilembe and accommodation before/after the trek will be included.