8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour
8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour – Mountain Hiking Safari / Trek to Mt Baker 4,860m Rwenzori Mountains Tour Uganda. Never before has this part of the park been developed or open to tourists, although it is often described in the guidebooks as the most beautiful section of the park. You now have a chance for the first time to see this fantastic scenery, the amazing plant-like, and the incredibly beautiful Nyamwamba Valley.
All treks include accommodation (camping) and meals, ropes, harnesses and crampons if necessary. Equipment such as boots, sleeping bags, woolen beanies (hat), gloves, and raincoats are available for hire. Stretchers and mattresses are provided but you need to bring a warm sleeping bag and clothes.
Please note: UWA gate entrance fees are beyond our control and may change without notice.
Day 1 of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour: Distance 8.6 km expected time 5 to 7 hours
Start height is 1,667 meters climbing to 3,171 meters Is The trek starts at Trekkers Hostel in Kyanjiki 12 kilometers from Kasese past Kilembe. Trekking starts at 8.30 am. You walk 2.2km to the UWA rangers post at 1,727metres. Here the rangers brief you on the day’s activities and rules of the National Park.
From here the first two kilometers climb steadily through montane forest, with tall trees thick undergrowth and a multitude of different bird species and primates, followed by a steep climb up the main ridge with few rocks and firm footing except immediately after a heavy downpour. The forests are untouched and carry a wide variety of trees and plants. Many bird species can be heard and seen in this rich environment.
At our lunch spot at 2,570m, you may see troops of 15 to 20 black and white Colobus monkeys or Blue monkeys as they dash through the trees. A few hundred meters beyond the lunch spot the bamboo zone commences and we climb up another half kilometers to a small cave which was previously used by poachers. The dense bamboo is home to different birds and insects species.
We climb steadily and as we approach the 3,000-metre level, the bamboo thins and gives way to giant heather trees covered in bearded moss. Samalira Camp has spectacular views across the foothills to Lake George and Queen Elizabeth National Park while on the left you can clearly see Kasese town. Samalira Camp is at 3,171 meters, meaning views or lookout and offers great views of the surrounding landscape and Kasese town. (Mobile network available at this camp) Sleep at Samalira Camp.
- Day 2 of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour Uganda: Distance 6.9 kilometers 4 to 5 hours.
Starting height is 1,667 meters climbing to 3,515 meters on the ridge top before dropping to 3,249 meters then climbing steadily to Kiharo Camp (Camp 2) at 3,380 meters. After a hearty breakfast, we commence walking at 8.15 and initially climb steadily then cross a small stream and the climb then becomes steep for about 200 meters up a narrow moss-covered ridge.
The thick moss covering the ground and rocks under the giant heather trees is spectacular and we ask you to help preserve this pristine environment by keeping to the pathway. The views give us the impression that we could fly as we look across the many ridges and valleys far below.
You can see Kilembe village deep in the valley and across Lake George. After a relatively short climb the trail becomes less steep as we pass over Chavumba (meaning heaven) at 3,316m we then cross a small flat valley to climb up a steady ridge through moss-covered trees and misty forests to the top of the ridge at 3,515 meters.
Here we descend steadily for about one kilometer before descending a steep drop of 200 meters into the Nyamwamba valley and a well earned lunch break at Polly’s Rock Shelter 3,249 meters. After lunch, we climb steadily above the Nyamwamba River for 1.6km though old giant heathers covered in old man’s beard moss to Kiharo Camp at 3,380 meters directly at the base of some good granite rock climbs of 20 to 40 meters with towering peaks above. Sleep at Kihara Camp.
- Day 3 of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour: Distance 6.8 kilometers 4 to 5 hours
Start height is 3,380 meters climbing to 4,200 meters on the top of the confluence between the two valleys then dropping to Camp 3 at 4,030 meters. After an early breakfast, we climb a short steep incline through the narrow valley with large moss-covered rocks.
This area is stunning as you weave through the narrow passes near the foot of towering peaks till you reach the wider upstream Nyamwamba River. From here you climb steadily along the valley floor with small bogs and many giant lobelias.
Both sides of the valley are lined with sheer cliff faces as we near the confluence of the Nyamwamba and Namusangi valleys. Our third camp at 4,065 meters, is above Lake Kopello and has spectacular views looking down the valley of nine glacier lakes, the Namusangi valley. Sleep at Camp 3.
- Day 4 of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour: Distance 6 kilometers 5 to 6 hours
Start height is 4,030 meters climbing to 4,450 meters on the top of Bamwanjara Pass then dropping to Camp 3 at 4,006 meters. (Camp 4 is slightly lower than Camp 3) This morning climb takes you through ascent to Bamwanjara Pass then descent to Kachope Lakes.
The top of the pass trail offers spectacular scenery of the main peaks ahead, particularly on a clear day. On the right one can see McConnells Prong named after a British explorer and geologist. The Kachope Lakes area is one of the three known areas where on a misty day one may catch a rare glimpse of the Rwenzori leopard, which is very dark sometimes nearly black as it blends in with the black basaltic rock surroundings. Little research has been done on this animal yet it is rarer than the snow leopard, which has gained so much attention in recent years. After Kachope Lakes we climb to McConnells Camp at 4,160 meters where we prepare for the early ascent to Mt Baker. Sleep at Camp 4.
- Day 5 of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour: Distance: 4.3-kilometer climb
It will take about 4 to 6 hours up and 2 to 3 hours back down. Set off by 6.30 am to climb the Mt Baker Peak 4,842 meters. Ascent time from McConnells Camp (Camp 4) to the top is three to four hours and descent three hours.
This is a steep rocky climb where you need a good head for heights as some sections like the crevice climbing down to the glacier has a sizeable drop off the side. Although steep Mt Baker is considered non-technical except in the snow season (wet season) of April-May and September-October nevertheless safety ropes will be used at all times on steep sections.
After climbing up you descend along a crack in the rock face to the glacier and a short 300-meter walk to the peak.
If we have fine weather or a break in the cloud the views of the main peaks of Margherita, Alexandria, Stanley’s plateau and the glaciers are fantastic as you see the splendor of these beautiful snow-capped mountains.
After absorbing this lifetime experience we walk back across the glacier climb back up the crack in the rock face and descend to McConnells Camp. Sleep at Camp 4.
- Day 6 of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour: Distance 6 kilometers 4 to 5 hours
Start height 4,006 meters climbing down to Kachope Lakes at 3,985 meters then over Bamwanjara Pass (4,450 meters) then dropping to Camp 3 at 4,006 meters. Today you walk from Camp four down to Camp three past Kachope Lakes and up and over Bamwanjara Pass.
Here you have good chances to see hyrax sitting at the entrance to their rock shelter. Their main predator is the Rwenzori Leopard Panthera pardus Ruwenzori which is rarely seen. The leopard has been heavily poached in the past and there are few left however on a rare occasion on a misty or overcast day you may be lucky to see one briefly as they move between the rocks. Sleep in Camp 3.
- Day 7 of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour: Distance 5.8 kilometers 4 to 6 hours
Today we descend through the Namusangi valley across open moorland and large areas of tussock grass. As this is a valley floor it is rather wet and at times quite boggy. It is a good idea to have rubber boots for this section.
We continue down the valley passing several small waterfalls and moss-covered valleys until we reach the steep rocky section above Mutinda with fantastic views of Mutinda Peaks directly ahead. We turn left just before the river drops over a sheer cliff to the Mutinda valley to walk down several steep slopes until we reach the valley floor.
Here we again cross the river before climbing up to the Mutinda Rock Shelter. The Mutinda Rock Shelter is large enough for 80 to 100 people to take shelter from the weather and it offers a dry night for our last night. Sleep at Mutinda Camp.
- Day 8 of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour: Distance 16.7 kilometers 6 to 10 hours
Distance from Mutinda to Kalalama Camp is 5.1km plus from Kalalama to the Rangers post 11.6km. Start at 7:00 am as we walk down a series of rocky streams and valleys to Kalalama Camp 3,134 meters. As we near Kalalama Camp we pass through a beautiful valley dotted with Giant Lobelia. After passing the Lobelia garden we climb to reach Kalalama Camp which is perched on a high ridge overlooking the Kilembe valley and Kasese town.
Here we have a quick lunch before continuing the descent through the bamboo forests where we cross to the ridge climbing to Samalira camp just above the lunch spot on day one for a short break before we walk the final distance through mountain montane forest to the Rangers Post 1,727 meters. After debriefing, we sign off and walk down to Trekkers Hostel. Some fast walkers have descended to the rangers post by midday however the majority of people arrive at the rangers post around 3 pm.
End of the 8 Days Rwenzori Mountains Tour – Mountain Hiking Safari
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