While the Southern Circuit was the route first followed (largely) by Professor Scott Elliott in 1895, it is the central circuit, pioneered by Luigi di Savoia in 1906, that for many years provided the only access to mountains.
At Brilliant we only organise treks for the Southern Circuit. This is because it provides the most intense experience of almost virgin landscapes and longer routes that benefit acclimitisation (and the overall experience). But the most important reason is because the treks are operated by Rwenzori Trekking Services (RTS). They pioneered the routes, opening trials long closed to all but the wildlife and working with local communities to understand the area and build strong relationships with the neighbouring Bakonjo villages.
RTS guides receive comprehensive general mountaineering and specific ice climbing training. They are trained in mountain first aid and so are able to spot and respond to the first signs of altitude sickness. Rescue procedures are practised and reviewed regularly. Equipment is well-maintained and frequently checked.
Since the trails opened in 2009, RTS has continued to share the benefit that tourism brings with the local communities. $5 from each climb cost goes towards local development projects, contributing over the years to the construction of community trails outside of the national park, spreading the potential benefit of tourism, and constructing school classrooms in multiple locations.