This trip will give an intimate experience of the Rwenzori Mountains, a UNESCO world heritage site in western Uganda. The Rwenzori Mountains were selected as one of the World’s Best Hikes by National Geographical. They provide a natural border with DR Congo for hiking safari in the Pearl of Africa. They are Africa’s highest mountain ranges with fourth highest peak in Africa snow capped throughout the year. The hike is however not an easy one posing a challenge to even experienced hikers, sign up when ready for the challenge.
The 5 Days Rwenzori hiking with Mount Speke summit trek starts at the Rwenzori Mountains National park gate in Mihunga following the Central circuit trail.
Our guide driver will pick you up from your accommodation booked around Kasese town and drive to Mihunga for registration at the park gate. At the end of this drive as you get closer to the park gate, you’re welcomed by the cool breeze descending from the mountain which stimulates you for the trek ahead. 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. During this part of the trip you may hear chimpanzee and see black and white colobus, blue monkey and the brilliantly coloured Rwenzori turraco.
The hike takes an average of 6 -7 hours.
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 after passing through the tiring bog. This is the longest day along the Central circuit trail.
Dinner and overnight at John Matte hut.
The hike takes an average of 7 – 8 hours.
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 Mount 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. This camp is good for acclimatization for clients attempting the summits of peaks Mount Stanley and Mount Speke.
Dinner and overnight at Bujuku hut.
The hike takes an average of 4 – 5 hours.
Early in the morning start the hike through stullmans pass (4192m asl.) and spectacular views of Virunga National park of DR Congo to Vitorio Emanuele peak.
The ascend to the peak takes 4 – 5 hours.
Prepare to descend back to Bujuku camp from Vittorio Emanuele with views of Bujuku valley and Bujuku lake , Margherita and Albert peaks on Mount Stanley, and Mount Baker back to Bujuku and continue for an overnight at John Maate Camp.
The descend takes an average of 3 – 4hours.
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 Nyabitaba Camp and complete your trek by the evening to Mihunga gate and spend the overnight at your hotel in Kasese town.
The descent takes 7 – 8 hours
This 5 Days Rwenzori hiking with Mount Speke summit trek can be combined with other Uganda safaris depending on your time.