The Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail offers a 7 day tour through some of Africa’s breathtaking landscapes. From jungle, to glaciers this trek takes you across various vegetation zones. Here’s a sample itinerary to give you an idea;
Day 1; Arrival in Nyakalengija and hike to Nyabitaba Hut (2,652 meters)
Meet your guides in Nyakalengija, where the adventure of the Central Circuit begins. You’ll begin on a trek that leads you through farmlands and into the heart of the forest. Expect 5 7 hours of hiking during which you might spot an array of bird species, playful monkeys or even glimpse chimpanzees along the way. Spend a night at Nyabitaba Hut.
Day 2; Nyabitaba Hut to John Matte Hut (3,414 meters)
Leaving from Nyabitaba Hut you’ll descend through enchanting forests until reaching the Kurt Shafer Bridge—a crossing beneath the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Ascending further into bamboo covered terrain you’ll traverse trails that seem to stretch until arriving at John Matte Hut. Expect 7 hours of trekking time before settling in for a deserved overnight stay at John Matte Hut.
Day 3; John Matte Hut to Bujuku Hut (3,962 meters)
On this days leg of your tour depart from John Matte Hut and prepare for your captivating encounter with Bigo Bog—an experience, like no other as you hop from tussock to tussock across its grassy expanse.
On a day you will be greeted by a view of majestic peaks, at the top of the valley. The final part of the tour towards Bujuku Hut takes you through the section of the marshland. Bujuku Hut is strategically located for climbers who plan to conquer Mt. Speke and Mt. Stanley nestled in a valley below Stuhlmann Pass. The trekking time from here is 5 hours. You will spend the night at Bujuku Hut.
Day 4: Bujuku Hut to Elena Hut (4,540 meters)
From Bujuku, through more bog, the trail climbs the steep slopes west of the lake and through the magical Groundsel Gully to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4,372m. At the head of the gully, a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail branches, the right leading up to Elena Hut and Mt Stanley, a steep climb over large boulders. The left path leads to Scott-Elliot Pass and down to Lake Kitandara. Trekking time is about 3-5 hours. Overnight at Elena Hut.
Day 5: Elena Hut to Summit to Kitandara Hut (4,023 meters)
For those aiming for the summit, it’s a tough walk over three glaciers to the Margherita peak (5,109 meters), the highest point of the Rwenzori. Because of the altitude, the hike will be slow and strenuous. After the summit, descend to the beautiful Lake Kitandara for overnight at Kitandara Hut. Total trekking time is approximately 8-9 hours.
Day 6: Kitandara Hut to Guy Yeoman Hut (3,261 meters)
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 mountain to Freshfield Pass. At this point, you can view the Congo to the west and Mount Stanley to the north. From the pass, take the long trail passing the rock shelter at Bujangalo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906. Trekking time is about 6 hours. Overnight at Guy Yeoman Hut.
Day 7: Guy Yeoman Hut to Nyakalengija
Descend through the lovely forest of the lower areas, enjoying the lush vegetation, to meet your transport in Nyakalengija. This is a 5-7 hour trek and marks the end of the Central Circuit trail.
Please note that this is a challenging trek requiring a good level of physical fitness. Always take professional advice before undertaking such a trip, and hire experienced local guides. Also, remember to acclimatize properly to prevent altitude sickness.
Please keep in mind that this trek is challenging and requires a level of fitness. It is advisable to seek advice before undertaking such a trip and hire local guides. Additionally proper acclimatization is crucial to prevent altitude sickness.