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8 DAYS RWENZORI TREKKING EXPEDITION AND QENP

Embark on a mesmerizing 7-day journey through the Rwenzori Mountains via the Central Circuit Trail, a fascinating route that leads hikers through diverse vegetation to the apex, Margherita Peak – the highest point in Uganda's renowned Rwenzori Mountains National Park, located in the southwest with the nearest entry point being Kasese.

This trek is a popular choice for over 30,000 adventurers who opt for the Central Circuit Route, spanning either 7 or 8 days. The route ascends the Bujuku Valley, crosses the Scott Elliot Pass to the breathtaking Kitandara Lakes, and traverses the Freshfield Pass into the Mubuku Valley. The trail encompasses various huts along the way, providing shelter for trekkers. The rugged trails, often muddy and challenging, are meticulously maintained despite the weather conditions. Efforts have been made to install boardwalks over some boggy areas, though some may need repair. Typically, it takes around a week for most trekkers to approach and conquer Mt. Stanley.

The 7 Days Rwenzori Mountain Central Circuit is recommended for clients already at the base. Those starting from Kampala will need an extra day for transfer to Kasese town, extending the journey to an 8-day Rwenzori Hiking Tour for an ultimate trekking experience in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

 

Day 1: Nyakalengijja to Nyabitaba hut
 
After breakfast at the camp, you will go to Rwenzori Mountains Park Gate where you will be briefed about the whole hike. Start the hike from Nyakalengija through the Bakonzo settlements to mount Rwenzori national park gate where you will be registered before entering the park. You will start the central circuit trail trek through the thick tropical with high elephant grass and dense bushes.
 
This forest is a home to various animal species like forest elephant, chimpanzee, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, L'Hoest's monkeys, duiker, and three horned chameleon among many more. Some of the bird species include; Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared Owl, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Strange Weaver, Archers’ Robin-chat, Rwenzori Batis among many others as well as various tree and plant species. You will expect to see some of them.
 
It’s about 8km from Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba hut. Dinner and overnight at Nyabitaba hut.
 
Day 2: Nyabitaba to John matte hut
 
Have breakfast at the hut, you will move through thick shrubs and forest for about 30 minutes to the Kurt Shafer bright which is at the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. You will then move through the bamboo mixed with montane forests and slippery moss covered rocks for a couple of hours. As you hike you will also expect to see various bird species that live in the forest.
 
You will continue to move up to Nyamulejju rock shelter where the first hikers used to at times camp and also spend the night, you will have a stopover here for lunch. At this point you will have a view of mount Stanley and mount Speke if the weather is clear. You will then continue to move through the alpine forest to John Matte hut where you will have dinner and spend the night. The hut is near river Bujuku and most hikers take a bath there, the water is so cold but so refreshing as well. You will also have a view of the Margherita glacier which is on mount Stanley between Alexandra and Margherita peaks. Nyabitaba to John Matte is about 11km..
 
Day 3: John matte to Bujuku hut
 
After breakfast at the hut, you will cross river Bujuku and through forest to the lower bigo bog. This is a swampy area in a valley and is a home to the giant lobelias. This area used to be hardest part of the Rwenzori since the area is so boggy, jumping from one tussock to another was not so easy for most hikers more so females.
 
Currently, there is a walk board up to the end of the boggy area which makes the walk much easier for trekkers. As you move you will expect to see giant lobelias, everlasting flowers and groundsels. You will then take a steep hike along a ridge which will lead you to the start of the upper bigo bog. There is also a board walk up to Lake Bujuku. After the board walk you will try to move through the remaining small boggy area with no walk boards to Bujuku hut. At this point, you will have a view of Lake Bujuku, mount Speke, Mount Baker and mount Stanley. At this point you are able to ascend mount Speke and mount Stanley. Distance from john matte to Bujuku is about 5km. dinner and overnight at Bujuku.
 
Day 4: Bujuku to Elena hut
 
Have breakfast at Bujuku hut then continue with the hike to Elena hut, which is 5-7 hours hike. You will move through the sides of the upper Bigo bog. You will then hike through the steep slopes of Lake Bujuku. While climbing Lake Bujuku’s steep slopes on the west, the trail ascends to the 4372 meter Scott-Elliot pass, and you will pass through more swamps and the thrilling Ground gully. You will go over a steep section at the top of the gully using a metal ladder.
 
The trail is then divided into two. The two trails, the left trail leads to Scott-Elliot pass descending to Kitandara Lakes while the right trail heads to the Elena Hut and on a steep trail above large boulders to Mt Stanley.
 
Elena hut is at the rocky part of Mount Stanley and the area is too cold. At this point, you are at the highest mountain of the Rwenzori and you will have a direct view of Mount Baker and Mount Speke. Sometimes it is hard to view these two mountains because they are covered by fog. Have dinner at Elena hut then spend the night.
 
Day 5: Elena hut (4563m) - Kitandara (3979m)
 
This day you will have to wake up as early as 2am, Have breakfast at Elena hut, be ready in your warmest gear, put on your harness, warm hand gloves and headsock, have your headlamps and helmets and make sure you have sunglasses in the day pack on. Hike to the top of mount Stanley, Magherita peak, through the Stanley plateau. On steep rocky areas, you will use the ropes to help you move. The guide will teach you how to use the equipment while on the ice. On the glacial parts you will be required to use your, crampons, and ice axe.
 
After moving for a couple of hours after the Stanley plateau glacier, you will reach the bottom of the margherita glacier. This is the most challenging part of the entire hiking Rwenzori experience. You will hike through this glacier up to the top of mount Stanley, margherita peak (5109m). At the top you will have a view of Ireen Lake, mount Speke and the surrounding environment. Then descend to Elena Hut for Lunch and later proceed to descend to Kitandara through the Scott Elliot pass to Kitandara, it is the most beautiful point of the Rwenzori. Have dinner at Kitandara then spend the night. If the group is big, you might spend another night at Elena hut and continue the following day.
 
If you do not wish to climb Mt. Stanley, you can combine days 4 and 5 into a single day by taking a different trail from the Bujuku Hut up to Scott-Elliot Pass. At the pass, there is a trail junction with one that goes up to the Elena Hut. The stretch of the trail just to the south of the pass is very rough, but after a short stretch, it becomes mellower and continues to Kitandara Lake Hut.
 
Day 6: Kitandara hut (3979m) - Guy Yeoman hut (3505m)
 
Have breakfast at Kitandara then move through the base of Mount Baker, which can be slippery so you will need to be so careful. From Kitandara, the trail ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the Rwenzori Mountain to Fresh field pass. From the pass, the long muddy descent continues, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906.This will take you around 5-7 hours then reach Guy Yeoman hut which is located at the banks of river Mubuku, have dinner and spend the night.
 

Day 7: Guy Yeoman, Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija the Queen Elizabeth National Park

Embark on the descent from Guy Yeoman, maneuvering through the bamboo forests. This path can be challenging, characterized by slippery and muddy terrain, necessitating careful navigation across vertical mud or steep rocks. Exercise caution while negotiating this section.

After approximately 5 hours of trekking, you'll arrive at Nyabitaba hut, where a well-deserved lunch break awaits. Resume the descent for an additional 3 hours, making your way back to Nyakalengija.

Upon arrival at Nyakalengija, transition to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

In the evening, as the sun sets, indulge in an enchanting boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. This serene excursion offers delightful sightings of elephants, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, and a diverse array of bird species. Immerse yourself in this unique wildlife experience against the picturesque backdrop of the channel.

Day 8: Morning Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Transfer to Entebbe

Begin your day with an invigorating morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). The park's diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity offer a fantastic opportunity to spot various wildlife species in their natural habitat. Keep a keen eye out for iconic African wildlife such as lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs, and an assortment of birdlife. The morning hours often provide excellent chances for wildlife sightings and capturing memorable moments through photography.

After the game drive, commence your journey towards Entebbe, absorbing the picturesque scenery and reliving the remarkable experiences from your safari adventures in Uganda. The drive to Entebbe offers a blend of landscapes, providing a final glimpse of Uganda's natural beauty as you head back towards Entebbe.

Upon arrival in Entebbe, you may choose to explore the local attractions or indulge in a relaxing evening before your departure or continue your onward travel arrangements. This marks the culmination of an incredible wildlife safari adventure in Uganda's renowned national parks.

 


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