Mount Rwenzori National Park : In the Rwenzori mountains, there is a national park called Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The park is famed for having Margherita Peak, the third-highest mountain in Africa, and is situated in southwest Uganda.
Southwest Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains National Park, which was established in 1991, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and a Ramsaar Site in 2008.
The Park also offers fantastic chances to experience nature at its best. Its diverse plant life includes high-altitude flora, montane cloud forests, dense tropical rain forests, bamboo woodlands, and woodlands. The decor is very excellent. Beyond 4,500 meters, snow and glaciers add a unique touch to the breathtaking views seen across this pristine mountain range.
Mountaineering, trekking, hiking, and climbing trips or safaris, whether or not they include summiting the Margherita, are what this park is most well-known for.
You can find all the information you need about the magnificent Mountains of the Moon in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Guide, including directions to the park, the best time to visit, hiking trails (Kilembe, Central Circuit, or Burungu), attractions, and lodge and hotel accommodations inside or outside the park.
GETTING TO RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Accessing the Rwenzori Mountains National Park: From Kampala/Entebbe, the best means of transportation are air and road.
Where is Rwenzori Mountains National Park located?
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park is accessible by plane or by car. However, the fastest and most practical alternative often entails a direct charter aircraft that takes 90 to 120 minutes to get from Kampala/Entebbe to the airport in Kasase. This eliminates the need for long drives to get to the park, as is the case with other modes of transportation.
BY ROAD: DRIVE FROM KAMPALA TO KASESE
Depending on the route, it takes between four and six hours to drive from Kampala to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The road is in good shape and is mostly tarmacked. In Uganda, fuel is never an issue, and all car rentals come with simple-to-follow maps.
Getting To Rwenzori Mountains By Road
There are two ways to get to Rwenzori Mountains National Park from Kampala to Kasese. The shortest route takes a 44 from Kampala to Fortportal via Mubende, covering a distance of 300 km, while the longest route takes a car 350 miles from Kampala to Kasese via Masaka, Mbarara, and Busheny.
The second route to Kasese offers a spectacular stopover near the Equator where you can see how the northern and southern hemispheres differ.
By Air: Getting To Rwenzori Mountains National Park
From Entebbe International Airport, a scheduled chartered aircraft can be arranged to Kasese Airstrip, where a 40-minute drive will take you to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
Fly to Kasese -Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Getting There By Air: Rwenzori Mountains National Park
There are two timetables for chartered flights to Kasese airfield, with the first one departing at 7:00 am and the second one departing at 12:00 noon.
Take note: The Democratic Republic of the Congo also has access to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. To reach Mutwanga, the starting point of all Rwenzori mountain climbs, it is necessary to travel by road from Kigali, Rwanda, via Gisenyi and Gisenyi to Beni.
BEST TIME TO VISIT/CLIMB RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
When is the ideal time to visit the Rwenzori Mountains National Park to climb, hike, and trek there? A schedule for visiting, climbing, hiking, and trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
When to visit Rwenzori Mountains National Park
JUNE- AUGUST & DECEMBER-FEBRUARY
The best times to visit/climb/hike/trek Rwenzori Mountains National Park are from June to August and from December to February, however it is open all year long. The optimum period for climbers to undertake an ascent of Mountain Rwenzori’s Margherita Peak is during the months of June and August.
The dry months, from mid-June to August, may seem like the best time to visit the Rwenzori Mountains. Although it is a season when the mountains can receive less rainfall, a little window of opportunity opens up for mountaineers anxious to see Mountain Rwenzori at its best.
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park is more frequently visited during the dry months than it is during the cooler months from March to May and from September to November, when it is blanketed in mist. Climbers and hikers can enjoy the pleasant weather in the area in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, but it is very cool there at this time of year.
After the chilly months of September to November, the weather is often quite consistent from December to February, with pleasant to warm days and chilly nights. Mountaineers who want to see the Rwenzori Mountains at their best have a limited window of opportunity within which to hike or climb in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
The peak climbing season occurs during these dry months of December, January, and February, when a greater number of climbers attempt to reach the Margherita.
When to Visit Rwenzori: March through May & September through November
On the other side, due to the Rwenzori Mountains’ slick rocks, muddy pathways, and chilly months of March through May and September through November, these are often low seasons. The Rwenzori Mountains National Park is quite quiet and deserted during these months, making it ideal for solitary climbers who want to tackle the Rwenzori mountains at their own pace and leisure.
In short, you don’t need a permission to enter the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, but you do need to make a reservation with a reputable tour company in Uganda. Currently, we can tailor your safari based on the number of days, extra activities, and as part of a package tour that includes leasing a car, a driver, and a guide.
Last but not least, the rains can come early or last longer than they usually do. Just as it is possible to encounter rain during the dry season, it is also conceivable to experience dry weather conditions during the wet season.
RWENZORI ROUTES/TRAILS: RWENZORI MOUNTAIN ROUTES TO MAGHERITA PEAK
There are many pathways that are open for public use by commercial hiking excursions while attempting to reach Magherita Peak in the Rwenzori Mountains. Rwenzori Mountains National Park is run by Uganda Wildlife Authority, a governmental organization in charge of collecting park entrance fees from visitors. Even if its nature walk with in the mountains, ask the tour operator if the quotation includes the Park entrance!
There are three ways to ascend the Rwenzori Mountains from the Ugandan side, and one way ascends them from the DR Congo side through the Virunga National Park, which is also home to mountain gorillas and is one of the best places in the country to do gorilla trekking.
The two most well-known routes in Uganda are the Kilembe Trails and the Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail. The Kilembe Trail is managed by Rwenzori Trekking Services, which is owned by a non-Ugandan Muzungu and offers opulent mountaineering tours to the Rwenzoris’ wilderness while staying in high-quality Camps.
The Central Circuit Trail, Kilembe Trail, and Bukurungu Wilderness Camping Trail are all located in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
Reaching the Magheritah summit of the Rwenzori Mountains, which is said to be Africa’s third-highest mountain, is considered a hiking pilgrimage par excellence. Mountain climbers visit the breathtaking Rwenzori Mountains every year.
Trails and routes in Rwenzori Mountains National Park Every year, tourists from all over the world visit this park to see the breathtaking Rwenzori Mountains. The Margherita Peak guide to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park advises that the driest months, June to August and September to November, are the best times to visit in order to see the mountains. Otherwise, the coldest months are March through May and September through November.
RWENZORI MOUNTAINS TREKKING TRAILS/ROUTES- WHICH IS THE BEST ROUTE?
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is situated in southwest Uganda, close to the Congo-Uganda border.
The Central Circuit: Rwenzori routes/trails
Both skilled and inexperienced hikers frequently utilize the central circuit trail, which is the oldest and most ancient trail, to go to the summit of Magherita peak. This amazing trail offers breathtaking experiences as it follows the 1000-meter-high tropical valleys and gorges and crosses Mount Stanley’s granite summit as it traverses the park’s five vegetation zones.
Contrary to the marshy approach that leads from John Maate camp, the Central Circuit Trail traverses both the lower and upper Bigo Bog, making it the quickest and easiest way to reach Margherita Peak.
The Kilembe Trail.
The Rwenzori Trekking Services (RTS) owns and operates the Kilembe Trail, sometimes referred to as the southern circuit. Although Professor Scott Elliott initially found it in 1895, this trail was only recently made public to tourists as a result of the building of new lodges inside the National Park.
The Kilembe trail offers the best climbing experience of the majestic peaks, spectacular lakes, and breathtaking glaciers, as well as the flora and Fauna, being the longest route that enables adequate time for acclimatization.
This trail is highly praised for its professionalism, high-quality gear and safety precautions, and the brand-new, pleasant huts that are located all along the way. It takes 7–8 days to hike to Margherita Peak, which is comparable to the Bukurungu wilderness camping trail.
The Bukurungu trail: Rwenzori Routes/Trails
The Central Circuit and Kilembe paths were built before the Bukurungu track. The walk offers breathtaking scenery with 4 magnificent lakes (Mughuli, Bukurungu, Bujuku, and Irene) along the trail, as you travel by mountain rivers, waterfalls, and the lush countryside, making it the perfect choice for those who love the outdoors. Similar to Kilembe, this trail requires 8 days to complete with a mandatory visit to Magheritah Peak.
The bukurungu trail, in contrast to the Kilembe and Central Circuit trails, is an open trail used for camping. Instead of huts, it has well-organized, secure camping spots that are administered by bujuku Eco Tours within the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
With combined experience in climbing Mount Rwenzori, Rwenzori Mountains National Park introduces Rwenzori Mountain Trekking Safaris. Climbing the mountains is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially if a traveler hopes to include the magnificent Margherita peak in his or her expedition. The park provides numerous options for nature trails inside the Park, enabling climbers of the Ruwenzori to do so successfully and with enjoyment.
The Rwenzori Mountains stretch for around 120 kilometres and are 65 km wide. It consists of six mountains, including Mount Stanley (5,109 meters), Mount Speke (4,890 meters), Mount Baker (4,843 meters), Mount Emin (4,798 meters), Mount Gessi (4,715 meters), and Mount Luigi di Savoia (4,627 meters). The highest peak on Mount Stanley is called Margherita; there are other smaller summits as well.
An excellent location for trekking and mountaineering is the Rwenzori Mountains. Both skilled and novice hikers can finish their journey to the top and out of the park in 7–12 days of hiking.
However, for shorter and easier hikes, there are nature walks through Bakonzo Village, farmhouse visits, cultural performances, and other traditional activities, or there is the 2- to 3-day Mahoma Nature Trail, which is 28 kilometers long.
ACCOMMODATION (WHERE TO STAY/SLEEP?) IN THE RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
The majority of trekkers stay in the huts built along both trails, but you can also sleep in your own tent when climbing or trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The major circuit and Kilembe routes in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park have well-made wooden huts erected along them where most Rwenzori mountaineers sleep or spend their nights following a lengthy hike.
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park’s cottages are often made of wood, which illustrates the genuine African nature of the continent. After a long day of hiking, they are cozy enough to provide warmth.
The huts are well-placed, providing breathtaking views of peaks like Mount Baker, Mount Speke, and Mount Stanley. Each room has either a double or triple deck, allowing one person to sleep on each individual form mattress.
HUTS/CAMPS ALONG THE CENTRAL CIRCUIT TRAIL
The Rwenzori Mountaineering Services owns and maintains the central circuit trail, a historic trail. The trail has 5 cabins, including the Guyeoman hut at 3505 meters, Bujuku hut at 3962 meters, Elena hut at 4023 meters, Kitandara hut at 4023 meters, and Nyabitaba hut at 2651 meters.
Nyabitaba Hut (2.660 m)
The starting point for the first day of trekking or for a quick trip to the Rwenzori is Nyabitaba Hut, which was renovated in 2008. It is 10 kilometers from Nyakalenjija and requires a 4 to 5-hour hike through mountainous woodland and the settlements of the Bakonjo. It consists of a two-room wooden structure with a pit toilet attached and tap water that is pumped in from Lake Mahoma nearby. The hut can accommodate…beds and has mattresses available. The area is gorgeous and offers breathtaking views of the Portal Peaks towards the north.
John Matte Hut (3.420 m)
Huts for accommodations in Rwenzori, by John Matte
The cabin is located on a hillside along the banks of River Bujuku and is named after John Matte, the Mountain Club of Uganda’s first president. It is a three-room timber structure. A pit latrine is accessible. This is where the second day’s journey along the core circuit, which is regarded as the toughest leg of the trek, comes to an end.
Bujuku Hut (3930 m).
Accommodation huts in Rwenzori mountains National Park
Bujuku Hut underwent a thorough renovation in 2009, and the brand-new timber hut is now situated next to the previous tin structure. The location is excellent because it is near the trails that lead to Mount Stanley (from the South), Mount Speke (from the North), and the Congolese side of the park. The Bujuku Lake, which is close to the hut, inspired the name. Spring water and eco-toilets are also accessible. From here, you can see Mount Baker directly in front of you and the Stanley Plateau to your right in stunning detail. From this lodge, you plot your ascent to Mount Speke and Mount Stanley.
Elena Hut (4.563 m)
Before beginning the ascent of the Stanley plateau, one must pass via this cabin. It is situated atop Mount Stanley’s rocky terrain at a height of 4.563 meters. In light of the weather and location, the hut is fairly modest and does not provide many amenities. It primarily serves as a staging area for ascents of Mount Stanley. It faces Mount Baker and Mount Speke directly, however the fog frequently covers it.
Kitandara Hut (3.979 m).
Kitandara-accommodation huts in Rwenzori
The Lower Kitandara Hut, one of the most stunning and romantic spots in the Rwenzori, is where the hut is located. There is a one-room tin cottage there. The Mount Luigi of Savoy can be seen to its best advantage from this location. A pit latrine exists. The ascent of Mount Baker and Mount Luigi of Savoy begins here.
Guy Yeoman Hut (3.505 m).
Guyeoman hut The hut is encircled by coniferous forests and is located along the banks of the Mubuku river in the Kabamba valley. The hut is a two-room timber structure with an attached pit latrine. There are the stunning Kabamba waterfalls next to the cabin.
Huts/Camps along The Kilembe Trail – Rwenzori Accommodations
While the 2009-opened Kilembe trail has camps like Sine Hut at 2585 meters, Kalalama Hut at 3147 meters, Mutinda Camp at 3688 meters, Bugata Camp at 4062 meters, Butawu Camp at 3974 meters, Hunswick Camp at 3974 meters, Magheritah Camp at 4485 meters, and Kiharo Camp at 3460 meters.
Accommodations Out Side The Park
In addition to the huts in the Pack, the Rwenzori Mountains National Park offers a variety of different lodging options, ranging from budget to luxury. Among these are the Ruboni Community Camp, the Geolodge Equator Snow Geo Lodge, the Rwenzori Trekkers Hostel, the Rwenzori Turaco Campsite, the Hotel Margherita, the Bunga Community Tourism campsite, the Elephant Palins Lodge, the Rwenzori International Hotel, and the Tropical Savannah Guest House.
Ruboni Community Camp
The Ruboni Community Camp is situated near the park gate in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park’s foothills. The camp is a fantastic leader in locals’ community tourism. The Bakonzo, who have been a part of the Ruboni community for more than 300 years, own and run the camp.
Ruboni Community Camp-Where to Sleep in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The camp is ideally situated for mountaineers who want to leisurely explore the local communities and slopes. The lodge’s peaceful and tranquil setting makes it the perfect starting point for any Rwenzori highlands trekking expedition.
The camp offers a variety of activities that fully explore the Rwenzori’s landscape and culture, such as an overnight hill walk, an ancient story reading, and a traditional dance performance.
Geolodge Equator Snow Lodge
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park’s entryway is not far from Equator Snow Lodge. It is a well-known mid-range lodge in the Central Circuit region that provides both experienced and novice mountaineers with comfortable lodging.
equator snow lodge-accommodation huts in rwenzori
The Equator Snow Lodge collaborates closely with the Ruboni Community and Rwenzori Mountaineering Services to provide a range of outdoor activities, from technical peak climbing to guided mountain walks.
The lodge features four spacious rooms with double beds and two single beds that are specifically made for comfort and relaxation.
Trekkers Hostel-Kilembe Trail/Route
The Rwenzori Trekkers hostel is located in Kyanjuki village, 12 kilometers from Kasese. The hostel is the well-known starting and finishing location for all hikes on the Kilembe Trail.
Accommodations for trekkers in the Kilimbe Mountains (Rwenzori)
The Nyamwamba River and the Rwenzori Mountains national park may both be seen from the Rwenzori Trekkers Hostel.
Numerous lodging alternatives are available on the grounds, including camping, dorms, single rooms, and double rooms.
The scenery of the Rwenzori range changes from breathtakingly green to peaks covered in snow.
Cost of accommodations:
$8 per person for camping that includes breakfast
$12 per person for a dorm room, including breakfast
$15 per person for a single room, including breakfast.
$25 per person for a double room that is not self-contained, including breakfast
Hotel Margherita- Accommodations in Rwenzori
The Hotel Margherita takes pride in offering its distinguished visitors the greatest value and dependable lodging available in the area. It is strategically positioned in Kasese along the Kilembe highway.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Semuliki National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park are all conveniently close to the hotel’s central location.
The hotel features 36 roomy suites, basic double and single rooms, family rooms that can sleep up to five people, and executive suites.
Every room has a private bathroom, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a private balcony from where visitors can take in the breathtaking views of the mountains, gardens, and golf course.
Rwenzori Base camp- Tours Holiday Inn
Just 2 kilometers separate Rwenzori base camp from Nyakalengija, close to the Ibanda trading hub. The hotel offers 15 independent rooms, 15 self-contained rooms, and a 5-room addition building, which can hold up to 40 people. Each room has a solid energy supply and is well-equipped with water heaters.
Where to stay at the base camp of the Rwenzori Mountains? The lodging has a view of lovely gardens filled with a variety of plants and flowers, a working bar, a nice dining area, and a kitchen that serves both international and regional cuisine.
The prices per room are often affordable, ranging from 45 USD for a single to 65 USD for a double or twin, including breakfast.
Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite
Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite is situated in Mihunga Village and is only a 22-minute drive from Kasese town. The Rwenzori region’s local community owns and operates the camp. The camp has 7 rooms, each with a bathroom and a mosquito net.
Rwenzori Turaco camp-Accommodations
The hotel has a restaurant and a bar that serve only continental fare and beverages.
The camp provides activities like village walks, bird watching, and hiking. Drive time to Kasese town from Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite is 22 minutes. Numerous activities, such as hiking, bird viewing, forested walks, and village strolls, are organized by the camp.
WHAT TO WEAR & WHAT TO WEAR FOR RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Rwenzori Mountains National Park: What to bring on a safari there | What to wear there | Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
What to bring for the Rwenzori Mountains National Park is outlined in the following article: “What to wear for a Mount Rwenzori trek?”is a question that every mountaineer would have, and we of course provide you with a climbing outfit in response. Less is therefore more when it comes to the question of “what to pack for trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.” You won’t even require an expert in equipment with this.
Day pack or small bag to carry on bag:
We advise you to bring a day pack big enough to hold everything you’ll need for the amount of days you’ll be trekking. The backpack needs to be compact and lightweight. Daypack: What to wear in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park
A minimum of water, sunglasses, a camera, binoculars, rain trousers, and a jacket should fit in your daypack. Since your main luggage won’t be available until the end of each day’s walk, you can also pack any additional items you might need.
We advise bringing two pairs of shoes, including a pair for training and one for hiking. Each pair should be medium-weight and provide strong ankle support.
Except for those who would love to keep their trousers clean in rainy, muddy, and dusty situations, not all hikers are particularly needed.
You must have 3–4 pairs of outer socks and 2-3 pairs of liner socks on hand, whether you are a novice or seasoned mountaineer. Additionally, we advise bringing warm, sturdy socks for summit night.
sun protective eyewear
Sunglasses are a necessity, and we advise getting 100% UV protection as the sun’s rays are more intense and can reflect off snow and ice at higher altitudes.
Binoculars, a pair
No trip to Rwenzori Mountain National Park is complete without a camera to capture those unforgettable moments. Camera equipment with certain lenses to fit your level of competence is also recommended. However, if at all feasible, it is advised that you bring along a second, smaller camera that is fully equipped, with extra batteries and lenses.
Because there are so many flying insects in Africa, we strongly advise you to take insect repellents in order to reduce the number of bites you receive while hiking.
A sufficient amount of memory (this may be considerably more than you expect; it’s better to have too much than not enough)
Hat for sun protection
Since the head loses a lot of heat, you should invest in a warm thermal hat that also shields your neck from the sun’s harmful rays.
Since showers are infrequent in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, antibacterial wetwipes are a good way to keep yourself clean. Bring toilet paper along with other essentials, one for your daypack for use on the hike and the other for camp.
Toiletries: Remember to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, foot powder, hand cream, deodorant, soap, cream, and moisturizers, among other items.
As you get higher, the nights in the Rwenzori highlands National Park turn dreadfully chilly. After every day-long trip, you’ll always feel exhausted and chilly, necessitating the need to bring a sleeping bag. You have two options: bring your own or hire one from the base. After each climb, the rented sleeping bags are thoroughly washed.
0F (or -15F) sleeping bags are the only ones that should be used. Consider taking a sleeping bag liner to protect your bag from the mud and dust on the mountain and to offer a little warmth, whether you rent or bring your own.
First hand Kit (if required)
In some parts of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, you won’t be able to find basic necessities like soap and shampoo.
Your gloves are crucial because they keep you warm and shield your hands from the sun’s rays. Make sure the glove fits comfortably. Warm gloves are advised for mountain pushes and chilly evenings. The gloves ought to be thick, insulated, and ideally water-resistant.
Personal First Aid Kit including necessary prescription medicines
Unscented moisturizing lotion and sunscreen
Because the sun’s rays are substantially more intense at altitude, sunscreen is crucial.
To prevent coughing and the spread of the current Corona Virus, wear a heat-exchanging face mask. Wearing a mask could be challenging at first, but you’ll get used to it and be safe from the start.
You have the option of purchasing or renting yours. However, there are numerous brands of crampons available. Choose your preferred option, and keep in mind how ice climbing crampons and glacier crampons differ from one another.
Trekking Poles: What to BringWe also advise wearing trekking/hiking poles to aid in balance, however this is not required. The walking poles also lessen exhaustion. You should become used to using them at home before a trip, whether you choose to rent or buy them.
Keep a small, powerful headlamp with you to assist you navigate the camp at night, get to and from the bathroom, and illuminate your tent and the summit at night. Carry extra batteries, as the cold quickly depletes them.
Don’t forget to pack a warm, high-quality jacket. This is necessary both for summiting and for the chilly camp nights.
Medium-weight and lightweight trekking pants
Get a plug converter so you can charge your electronics in hotels before and after the seven-day Rwenzori Mountain hike.
Personal snacks such boiled candies, almonds, energy bars, and dried fruit are all readily available and a smart choice.
Additional necessary hiking gear for the Rwenzori Mountains national park
a lip balm
little torch (flashlight)
a portable alarm clock
Covid vaccination certificate,