Cell Phone - +256 701 483088 info@rwenzorimountaintrekking.com
Cell Phone - +256 701 483088 info@rwenzorimountaintrekking.com

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Rwenzori Mountains Trekking

The Rwenzori Mountains Trek is Africa’s best kept Amazing secret trek, it ranks as one of the top ten “best Iconic things” to do in East Africa. The Rwenzori Mountains are a range of mountains in the Albertine Rifft valley of East Africa. The mountain range runs for about 130 km north to south along the border between western Uganda and the eastern DRC. The Mountains Rwenzori has famously been termed for long as the “Mountains of the Moon”, for centuries the moniker has been synonymous with the Rwenzori due to its unique flora and unearthly beauty.

The Rwenzori Mountain range offers a stunning destination for experienced mountaineers, and is perfect for adventure travelers. It’s tucked away in the remote and sparsely populated western part of the country. Consequently offering visitors a quiet and untouched corner of incredible natural beauty and diversity to explore, these are still by far the biggest glaciers in Africa.

The unique landscape of the mountain Rwenzori range is outstanding, you get to climb from tropical rainforest, through alphine valleys to glaciers. The ascent to the challenging Margherita (5,109m), Africa’s 3rd highiest mountain will see you encounter demanding ascent with muddy conditions and variable weather on your Mountain Rwenzori Trek.

The vegetation is wild, unique and varied, and there are birds and animals living in the forest that can be found nowhere else on earth. The jungle-filled valleys are regular shrouded in mist, while the highest mount is perennially covered in snow (even though its sits near the equator). The views in all directions are absolutely breathtaking!

Why go for a Mountain Rwenzori Trek?

When it comes to Mountain Trekking in Africa, it all rings at Mount Kilimanjaro. Forget the Kili Crowds, the Mountain Rwenzori Trek will offer glimpses of a vast array of spectacular plants, tress along the different 6 climate zones, birds, wildlife such as Forest Elephants, Leopards, giant forest hog, dear including endangered Rwenzori black-fronted or red duiker, a number of primate species such as blue monkeys, Angola colobus monkey, black-and-white colobus, I’Hoest’s monkeys and Chimpanzees some cute and rarely sighted birds.

You also see tropical rainforest, waterfalls, and other incredible and unique flora, culminating in a high alpine environment like the Andes or Himalayas. This trek is not to be missed for its stunning beauty and outstanding array of habitats and ecosystems.

Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountain range is Africa’s top mountain trek destination, having three of the continent’s five highest peaks. The Mountain’s summits are spectacular, with uncrowded routes and the high-altitude forests that teems with life.

Hiking Routes in the Rwenzori National Park

There are two main hiking routes in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

The popular one is the Central Circuit Trail which may take about eight days to summit Mount Stanely and the Kilembe Route. The latter one has variations you can choose from while on your Rwenzori Mountains trek.

The Rwenzori Central Circuit Route;

The route is managed by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Service and the local community that live adjacent to the mountain. This is the oldest trail that is used by the trekkers that would wish to hike the Rwenzori mountains and summit Magherita Peak.

It is the shortest trek to reach the Rwenzori Mountains peak. However there can be some variations on the trek route, the trail typically will take 6-7 days to reach the peak and descend back.

The Kilembe Route;

This is the newest trail for summiting Mountain Rwenzori and it is managed by the Rwenzori Trekking Services. The trail takes its route beginning in Kilembe in the south-east, and later joining the central circuit at the Kitandara Lakes. This routes takes quite longer days to summit, usually 7-9 days depending on the hiker’s strength. This makes the route longer than the Rwenzori Central Circuit route.

Rwenzori Mountains Trek

The Mountains of the Moon..

Frequently Asked Questions

All you need to know about Uganda Travel

How long does it take to Summit Mount Rwenzori?

If you choose to summit Margherita peak, we recommend choosing 8 – 9 full days. While it is possible to summit the peak of mount Rwenzori in 7 days, the risk of altitude sickness along the hike is higher and it is no cheaper than a 8 day trek.

What is the best time of year to Hike Mount Rwenzori?

Its possible to trek the Rwenzori Mountains all year round, for your trek at all times of the year you get to experience combination of sun, mud, fog, rainfall, ice and snow.

However, the dry seasons are the best times to hike the Rwenzori Mountains, these run from Late December to mid-March and from June to October. The months of January to March are generally colder than June-October and there is a higher chance of encountering the snow on the summit of Mount Stanley.

These times of the year lower the likeliness of rain and in the muddy climate; the non-rainy days are highly desirable while on your mount Rwenzori Trek.

How to get to mountain Rwenzori?

There are a various means to get to and Rwenzori Mountains National Park which is located in Kasese Town. The Best way is to catch a flight on Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe to Kasese, this includes a morning flight that can easily allow you to start you trek that same morning if you are short on time.

Its also possible to get to the Mountain Rwenzori by road from Kampala. The road journey from Entebbe/Kampala, via Fort Portal takes 6 – 8 hours (370.2 km). Alternatively, you can take a public bus from Kampala which depart every hour and can go for about $14.

If you book with us, we shall have to arrange private transfers for you.

What is the flora & fauna like in the Rwenzori Mountains?

The Rwenzori mountains vegetation zones are home to over 70 species of mammal and 177 bird species. Of the mammals, these include forest elephants, chimpanzees, rwenzori otters and leopards. However, you be lucky to spot one due to the dense forests. The primates such as the colobus and blue monkeys are the most popular ones to sight while on your trail, as are the small antelopes such as bush-bucks and the Rwenzori three-horned chameleon for the unusual reptiles.

The Rwenzori mountains is a popular bird haven, with several Albertine Rift endemics bird species. He greastet diversity is found in the montane forest where you may see the Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Froncolin, Rwenzori Batis, barred Long-Tailed Cuckoo, Long-eared Owl, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Slender-billed Starling, Archers’ Robin-Shrike, Golden-winged Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird Strange Weaver and several varieties of Greenbuls, IIladopsis, Barbets, Apalises, Crimsonwings ad Flycatchers.

To add to the list are the superstars: up high hunt the black eagles and lammergeiers.

What is the Physical difficulty of the Mountains Rwenzori Hike?

This is a strenuous hike which can be a technical or non-technical, depending on whether you do summit Mount Stanley or not. For those that choose to summit to the peak shall be fully roped and use crampons and ice axes to traverse the technical rock and ice. For every single day along the hike, you get to experience change in elevation and altitude sickness for this case can posse a real challenge as you summit Mountains Rwenzori.

Usually 3 – 4 days treks are classified as low altitude treks, as the high altitude trek may start with a 5 day trek to the Weismann’s Peak. For those that wish to trek the technical summits of the margherita Peak (5,109m), Mount Speke (4,890m) and Mount Baker (4,844m) are high altitude treks.

For those that would not want to undertake all that is involved to summit Mountain Rwenzori, there is good news of a non-technical hike on our short trips. These are shorter trips are available and still give you  a chance to experience the marvels and beauty of the Rwenzori Mountains without the ice axes, crampons and the technical terrain.

What is Climate like the Mountain Rwenzori?

There has been serious erosion of the glaciers from climate change which has resulted into the summiting of Mt. Stanley much more technical than before. You will have to need the crampons taken on and off at several erosion points and the use of harnesses, ropes and ice axes along the trek. Even still, the conditions may seem tricky as you maneuver across the rocky, ice craggy shelves to the top – receding glaciers which too left behind a lot of loose, unconsolidated rock that is unstable and dangerous.

What is accommodation like while on the mountain Rwenzori trek?

You will stay in mountain huts each night, these are basic with bunk beds accommodating between 4-8 people per hut. In a few huts, you get huts with 1-3 beds for other parties of if someone needed to be alone. You have to carry along with you warm clothes, sleeping bag and ear plugs.

You can also choose to hire a sleeping bar at a cost of $15, although they are not new. Carrying sleeping liner to use inside your sleeping bag will have a good rest for the night.

What is food like along the trek?

Since the Rwenzori Mountains Trek is a guided one, your guides and porters will have to cook breakfast and dinner and provide packed lunch each day’s hike. The guides are mindful of the special dietary requirements.


What to pack to the trek?

Packing for the Rwenzori Mountains trek will be simpler with an equipment list. We shall share with you a comprehensive checklist of what to carry for the hike as soon as you confirm your trek.

Along the Mountain Rwenzori mountains trek, you will require to have a broad range of clothing and gear to beat the vast array of conditions you’ll encounter, from wet / muddy tropical rain forest to the high alpine glaciers. For those that will summit Mount Stanley, you will need to carry along crampons, trekking poles, harness, ice axes, rubber boots, etc. that will help you trek along the technical rock, technical ice and the high alpine glaciers terrain at over 5000m (16,000 ft).

How long is a typical day trekking in the Rwenzori ranges?

A normal day trek in the Rwenzori Mountain takes about 7 to 8 hours, which covers a distance of about 7km – 9.5km per day depending of the distance between the camps. The final push on the Mount Stanley summit hike take significantly longer as you do both the ascend and descend, with average hike likely to take about 10-14 hours to reach the summit.

How much experience is required to hike the Mount Rwenzori?

The experience with at least one high-altitude hike before taking any of the high-altitude routes in the Rwenzori is generally recommended. Most trekkers with decent fitness and some experience hiking at altitude will be comfortable on the low altitude treks. The trek along mountain Rwenzori takes long routes, this enables you to acclimatize as you trek (slowly). In contrast, people can summit Mount Kilimanjaro of over 5,895m in 5 days, starting from at height of 1,000 meters increasing the risk of altitude sickness.

If you’re planning to hit the Mountain Margherita peak, you got to have good fitness and ideally some technical hike experience with ice/technical climbing, including the use of ropes, belays,  crampons, ice axe, etc. However, a lot it comes down to the trekkers mindset and determination, and while the mountains Rwenzori trek is challenging, good determination and fitness shall see you fine on the mountain.

Alternatively, for those with no climbing experience and would rather skip the technical climbs, you could choose to hike up to the Stanley viewpoint at 4,908 meters. From here, you get to experience the scenery views over Congo and the mountain ridges including Mount Speke, Mount Baker and the Margherita Peak.

Whatever your trekking option could be, once you hit the Rwenzori Mountains trail you get to experience the incredible unique habitats and landscapes.

What safety precautions should be taken on your Mount Rwenzori Trek?

Since the Rwenzori Mountains are located along the Uganda – DRC border. There are frequent patrols in the mountains by the UWA rangers, and the boarder is also heavily guarded by the UPDF.

The Mountain Rwenzori guides have been skillfully trained by several international mountaineering instructors and are good to go for a memorable experience in the mountain. There is constant orientation and study programs from guiding, customer care, birding, product development, nature interpretation, wilderness first aid, rock climbing and belaying.

The standard of our climbing equipment and training are top-class in the Rwenzori. Our team is also constantly on the move in search of new trekking routes in the Rwenzori Mountains and at the same time preserving the existing one open.

Are there mosquitoes?

The conditions in the Rwenzori Mountains are too cold and this does not favor there breading, so there are no mosques. But feel free to carry a mosquito/insect repellent.

For more questions or concerns about altitude sickness in the Rwenzori mountains, feel free to reach out.

Is there electricity at the camps?

No, there is no electricity. The camps are lightened by solar power,  which further assist clients to recharge there cameras or phones. Alternatively, you can choose to come along with a power bank.

How many peaks can be trekked on the Rwenzori Mountain Trail?

The Rwenzori Mountain trek is undertaken by the help of a local guide, depending on your trip duration? You have to select your preferred peaks that you would wish to explore as you take on the mighty Rwenzori;

  1. Mount Stanley (16,762 feet/ 5,109 m) – Home to Africa’s biggest glaciers, including the Stanley Plateau which, at over one (1) kilometer long, is the largest glacier in the Rwenzori Mountain range.
  2. Mount Speke (16,043 feet/ 4,890m) – These were famous for the huge glaciers on the north side of Mt Speke, but they have all melted. You still get to see glaciers on the south side of Mt. Speke as they still do exist, albeit much smaller. There are also smaller glaciers near Ensonga Peak.
  3. Mount Baker (15,889 feet/ 4,843 m) – There are no glaciers on the way to the peak.
  4. Mount Emin (15,741 feet/ 4,798 m) – There are no longer glaciers on this massif.
  5. Mount Gessi 915,470 feet/ 4,715m) – The once ice-covered massif, has seen all glaciers melt.
  6. Mount Luigi Di Savoia (15,328 feet/ 4,627 m) – This was the first of the mountain peaks to lose its glacial ice.

What are the cost for the Mountain Rwenzori Trek?

The cost of your Mount Rwenzori trek will depend on a number of factors and key focus is the preferred route of the hike, number of travelers and the number of days you are looking to spend in the mountains.

Roughly a day trek in the Rwenzori cost US$50 based on two pax and US$35 for three pax excluding the park entrance fee. You’ll need to pay $35 per day for your permit in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. A 7 Days trek to the Magherita peak costs from around US$ 1200 per person excluding the park entrance fees paid to Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Alternatively, if you would like to add more adventure to your Rwenzori Mountains trek. You can choose to do a wildlife safari experience or a gorilla trekking trip, the price for this ranges from US$3000 – US$4500 per person including primate trekking  permits i.e. Gorilla and Chimpanzee permits.

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Travel Articles

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What is the Physical difficulty of the Mountains Rwenzori Hike?

This is a strenuous hike which can be a technical or non-technical, depending on whether...
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How to get to mountain Rwenzori?

There are a various means to get to and Rwenzori Mountains National Park which is...
Read More

What are the cost for the Mountain Rwenzori Trek?

The cost of your Mount Rwenzori trek will depend on a number of factors and...
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