10 Days Rwenzori & Margherita

Accommodations and Destinations

Uganda safari for mountaineers, reaching the highest point on the 5,109-meter high Margherita peak in the Rwenzori mountains. This is one of the most rewarding experiences in Africa. Though the mountain ranks third among the highest mountains of Africa, many climbers consider climbing the Rwenzori as the most challenging on the whole African continent. Join this tour and climb it!

Key information
  • Children not allowed
  • Starting point: Entebbe, Kampala, Fort Portal
  • Ending point: Kampala

You will do/experience:

  • Fort Portal city tour
  • Hiking Rwenzori mountain
  • Boat cruise on Kazinga Channel
  • One game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park
  • Transfers and transportation throughout the safari
  • Spot birds, hippos, elephants, and buffaloes
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • Delicious meals

You will stay in various accommodations in Uganda. You will stay at Boulvard Excelsior Guest House for the first night, at Nyabitaba Hut for the second and eighth nights, John Matte Hut for the third night, Bujuku Hut for the fourth night, Elena Hut for the fifth night, Kitandara Hut for the sixth night, Guy Yeoman Hut for the seventh night, and at Bush Lodge Queen Elizabeth.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Kampala-Fort Portal-Kasese

Your safari guide will pick you from your hotel and drive you to Kasese. On the way, you will have a stopover at Mpambire to see the royal drum makers, as well as at the Equator for photography, at this amazing place. Proceed to the Queen Elizabeth national park, keeping an eye out for wildlife. Dinner and overnight will be at Margherita Hotel in Kasese.

Day 2: Nyabitaba Hut (2,650 m)

Early in the morning, after having a cup of coffee, you will drive to Nyakalengija trailhead (1,600 meters). Meet porters and guides and begin hiking up to Nyaibitaba Hut. Walkthrough the matoke plantations on the side of the steep foothills, past the local Bakonjo homesteads. Continue with the trail along the Mubuku river, through landslides. After crossing the Mahoma river, climb steeply through bracken fern slopes and Podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut. Dinner and overnight will be at Nyaibitaba Hut.

Day 3: John Matte Hut (3,350 m)

From Nyaibitaba, you will 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 Nyamileju 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, for dinner and overnight at the hut.

Day 4: Bujuku Hut

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 Mt 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. Dinner and overnight will be at the hut.

Day 5: Elena Hut (4,541 m)

Leaving Bujuku, the trail takes you through more bog while climbing the steep slopes west of the lake and through the magical Groundsel Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4,372 meters. At the head of the gully, a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail is divided into two. The trail on your right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders, while the trail on your left leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Kitandara lakes. Dinner and overnight will be at the coolly and icy Elena Hut.

Day 6: Margherita Peak

For those aiming at reaching Margherita peak (5,109 meters), continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. To reach the summit of Margherita, the climb takes about 5-7 hours depending on the weather conditions and the pace of climbing this mountain. This tough walk takes you over three glaciers, slippery rock, ice, and very exposed areas which are open on many sides. Note that this climb is for only physically fit and technical climbers. Climbing on to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness, and cool weather, scramble up to the summit of Margherita the highest peak of the Rwenzoris.

Given the high altitude and the tough conditions even if you do not reach the peak, don’t get disappointed. Prepare for your return through the Scott-Elliot Pass where there are spectacular views back to Bujuku lake and Mount Speke, up to Mount Stanley and down to the Kitandara lakes. After the trail that passes you through an alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders, descend past the Kitandara lakes for dinner and overnight at the Kitandara Hut.

Day 7: Guy Yeoman Hut (3,260 m)

From Kitandara, take on the trail that ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the mountain to Freshfield Pass. At this point, you can view into the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, take on the long trail passing the rock shelter at Bujongolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. Dinner and overnight will be at Guy Yeoman Hut.

Day 8: Nyabitaba (2,650 m)

Take on the path down to Nyabitaba Hut. The path can be slippery and muddy and therefore requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. Remember this is part of the adventure within this mountain. Dinner and overnight will be at Nyabitaba Hut.

Day 9: Nyakalengija Trailhead (1,600 m)

Descend gently down the muddy paths to the trailhead, finally arriving in Kasese towards lunchtime. After having lunch in Kasese, drive to Queen Elizabeth national park. Proceed to the Kazinga Channel for a launch cruise where you may see a wide variety of animals such as hippos, elephants, solitary buffaloes, and a vast array of birds that come to drink. Dinner and overnight stay will be at Bush Lodge.

Day 10: Queen Elizabeth-Kampala-Entebbe

Wake up for an early morning game drive. Take breakfast and depart for Kampala reaching late in the evening.
Note: Children are not allowed to participate in this climbing tour.