10 DAYS HIKE TO MARGHERITA PEAK TOUR PACKAGES

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SUMMARY

Margherita Peak Africas third highest peak however the real beauty is in the climb up the Kilembe route, the forests and valleys the flora is diverse with trees and valleys of ferns. Climbing Margherita Peak is more of a hard scramble than a climb except for a few difficult moves and when it snows it is more difficult however the rewards and exhilaration of reaching the top is enormous as you look across Albert Peak to the DRC (Congo) then east across the spectra of the Rwenzori Mountains.

DAY 1: KAMPALA -MT RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK (Travel time: +7hrs)

A very early rise today and together with your guide you will transfer by private vehicle southWest to Mbarara Town. You will stop over at the Uganda Equator for some photo shoots and a visit to the Craft Village. You will then head towards the western part of Uganda to the town of Mbarara where you will take your lunch and visit the Igongo cultural center. After lunch you will go for a museum tour where you will get an insight into cultures of people in western Uganda then proceed to Mt Rwenzori National Park. Dine at your place of accommodation and relax the rest of the evening as you prepare for a thrilling experience of hiking the following day. Dinner and overnight at Equator Snow Lodge (Mid-range) Meal Plan (Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 2: MT RWENZORI HIKE-1,450 METERS CLIMBING to 2,596 METERS

Start at Trekkers at 1,450 meters and sleep at Sine Hut at 2,596 meters being a height gain of 1,146 meters, or those who are fit and want to proceed to Kalalama Camp at 3,134 meters may do so and apart from the fantastic views gives you more time at Mutinda Camp where you may climb up to Mutinda Lookout at 3,975 meters. We start by walking up the valley floor through tall forest trees of the Afro Montane Forest Zone. This is a steady climb with multitudes of birds and a chance of seeing blue monkeys scampering off through the forest. At times visitors may see troupes of 15 to 20 black and white Colobus monkeys as they swing through the tree tops. There are rare sightings of the LHoest monkey which are part of the Bukonzo cultural emblems and are protected by the virtue of the King or Omusinga or you may hear wild chimpanzee in the distance. There is wide variety of plant species from forest trees to bamboos thickets, low shrubs, flowers, fungi, and with many moss and lichen covered vines hanging from the tall trees creating an awesome appeal. Enock’s Falls are just 200 meters from Sine Hut and offer a splendid opportunity to capture a great screensaver for your memories. At Sine Camp 2,596 meters we have wooden huts set between tall forest trees on a narrow ridge where you may sit and enjoy the beauty of the Afro Montane forest while you look down at a fantastic waterfall crashing over the rocks far below. Some clients prefer to sit outside enjoying the warmth of the campfire and chat to the guides about the mountains and life in their community. Sine is just below the bamboo zone and the area around has many different bird species. 150 meters from the camp is Enock falls
which is set in livid green vegetation and hanging vine. Truly beautiful. Sleep at Sine, or those who are fit and want to proceed to Kalalama Camp at 3,134 meters may do so and apart from the fantastic views gives you more time at Mutinda Camp where you may climb up to Mutinda Lookout at 3,975 meters. Dinner and overnight at Sine Hut.

DAY 3: MT RWENZORI HIKE-2,585 METERS CLIMBING to 3,582 METERS

Trekking starts at 8.30am and almost immediately you enter the BambooMimulopsis Zone which is steep climb with many high steps. In the wet season the bamboo zone is rather muddy and slippery making the going slow. However the atmosphere and the forest is beautiful as you climb 551 meters altitude and a distance of 1.8km to Kalalama Camp at 3,147 meters which is in the HeatherRapanea Zone where you can take a rest and a quick cup of tea or coffee before heading on to Mutinda Camp. The trail meanders up and over several small knolls along a ridge top then drops down the side of the valley before climbing again, and in doing so cross several small streams and pass close to moss covered waterfalls. You then climb steadily along the side of a beautiful mossy river which tumbles down over the rocks under the Giant Heather trees whose trunks are covered in green moss with old man beards (Usnea lichen) hanging from the branches. The trail twists and turns as you climb up the deep valley, which has an enormous variety of plants and flowers. This valley is unique with many Giant Heather trees creating a beautiful atmosphere often shrouded in mist.
In the afternoon you may wish to climb up to the top of the Mutinda Lookout (one to two hours up and one hour down). The views are amazing as you stand on moss covered rocks at 3,925 meters with views across the Rwenzori Mountains and down to Kasese town and Lake George. For those clients who are climbing to Margherita or any of the main peaks climbing Mutinda 3,975 meters is also an excellent way to acclimatize and reduce the risk of high altitude sickness. Dinner and overnight at Mutinda Camp

DAY 4: MT RWENZORI HIKE-3,688 METERS CLIMBING to 4,100 METERS

The trail to Bugata Camp is boggy particularly in the wet season but with a little skill you can step from tussock to tussock to make the going easier. First you cross the Mutinda valley through the tussock grass and everlasting flowers interspersed with many Giant Lobelias before climbing a steep section up to the Namusangi Valley (3,840 meters), with sheer waterfalls and looking back you get fantastic views of Mutinda Peaks. The Namusangi Valley is wide, with many ups and downs as the trail climbs steadily to Bugata Camp at 4,100 meters. Dinner and overnight at Bugata Camp

DAY 5: MT RWENZORI HIKE-4,100 METERS CLIMBING to 4,450 METERS

Trek to Hunwicks Camp via Bamwanjarra Pass. As you leave Bugata Camp you pass up a ridge then drop down slightly before ascending to Bamwanjarra Pass at 4,450 meters where we have a hut should the weather turn bad. From the pass on a clear day you get excellent views of the three main peaks. The trail passes down the valley and around the edge of some bogs and thick ever green vegetation, moss. Giant groundsel and lobelia. Here is possibly the best place in all the Rwenzori to observe the Malachite Sunbird as it feeds on the many lobelia flowers and a known breeding site. Farther on there is some steep sections before a steady climb up and over a ridge to Hunwick’s Camp which is situated on the top of a deep valley and has good views of Mt Stanley, Mt Baker, Weismann’s Peak and McConnell’s Prong. Dinner and overnight at Hunwick’s Camp

DAY 6: MT RWENZORI HIKE-4,450 METERS CLIMBING to 4,485 METERS

From Hunwicks we pass down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitendara which is very stunning with deep water and beautiful vegetation. From here you climb up Scott Elliotts pass then up the ridge to Margherita Camp 4,485 meters which is situated between some huge rocks and offering some shelter from the strong winds. This is the very spot where the Duke of Abruzzi camped when making his climb to Margherita Peak in 1906. Dinner and overnight at Margherita Camp

DAY 7: MT RWENZORI HIKE-4,485 METERS CLIMBING to 5,109 METERS

Wake up at 2am and catch an early breakfast before heading off to climb Mt Stanley at 2.30am. This is necessary as the weather has changed a lot and often even during the dryer season the mountain is closed in with heavy clouds and snow falls from 1 pm to 4pm and this happens within a short period of 10 to 15 minutes as the clouds rise up from the extensive Congo rainforests. During January and February 2017 clients were
closed in and unable to walk during heavy snow storms which previously were not heard of during the dryer season and arrived back at Margherita camp well after dark with one group arriving back at 11pm totally exhausted. Due to this change in weather we have set a strict turnaround time of 10am so if you do not reach the peak before then you must turn around regardless of the disappointment in the interests of safety. Margherita glacier has also suffered with global warming and as the outer edges of the glacier recede the ice is becoming steeper with one section of about 200 meters more than 60% grade. Combined with this much of the blacker has melted underneath causing caves under the ice and as it get thinner eventually caves in. So is necessary that clients understand and take advice of where the guides suggest to pass. For those clients with less mountaineering experience we suggest that you stay on Stanley glacier and climb up to a good vantage point on a rocky outcrop on the southern edge of Alexandra Peak to enjoy fantastic views over Congo and the lower mountain ridges After ascending the peak at 5,109 meters you then pass directly down to Hunwick’s Camp at 3,874 meters. Dinner and overnight at Hunwick’s Camp

DAY 8: MT RWENZORI HIKE- DECENDING 3,874 METERS to 3,380 METERS

Distance to Kiharo Camp 11km Time taken to walk 4 to 7 hours. From Hunwicks Camp we start the day by climbing up a ridge towards McConnells Prong where you get the best views of all three peaks and Scott Elliotts Pass before reaching Olivers Pass at 4,505 metres. The distance from Hunwicks Camp to the top of Olivers Pass is 3km the trail then cuts across below Weismanns Peak to the confluence of the Nyamwamba River which flows down thought Kilembe and Kasese to Lake George in Queen Elisabeth National Park. If you wish to climb Weismann’s Peak 4,620 metres from Oliver’s pass you may do so at an extra cost of $20 each. On a clear day you get fantastic views of Margherita and Mt Stanley, Mt Speke and Mt Baker. After crossing the confluence the trail meanders down the valley to Kiharo Camp at which is situated in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation. On the way down the valley after each bog you will climb over a ridge of stones and earth which seems out of place but actually was pushed there by slow moving glaciers which eventually stopped moving, melted and left a pile of rocks and debris in front of where the glacier once stood. Dinner and overnight at Kiharo Camp

DAY 9: MT RWENZORI HIKE- DECENDING 3,380 METERS to 1,450 METERS

Distance Kiharo Camp to the park gate 12.2km and another 2.8km down to Trekkers Hostel Time to walk 5 to 8 hours so those who need to connect to flights back to Kampala or travel on to other activities need to leave Kiharo early. The trail down the Nyamwamba Valley is mostly downhill and absolutely stunning with
beautiful views, moss covered rocks along the river, cascading waterfalls, deep valleys and forests are possibly the best in the Rwenzori Mountains. This part of the trail took us six years to find a way through and a route which is easy enough for tourists to use. In 1937 the explorer and geologist McConnell tried to find a way up this valley but failed and have to turn back and search for another route up the mountain but now you
can experience this truly beautiful valley. A few kilometers from Kiharo Camp the path turns off to the right to pass along the river. In the clear areas you may catch a glimpse of a Duiker quietly feeding in small clearings as you pass along the river. If you wish you may prefer to walk down the river itself hopping across the rocks as you pass down. A few kilometers down the river it becomes very steep with multitudes of waterfalls so we have to move away from the river and follow a narrow ridge to bypass steep sections. At the bottom we again meet the river where there is a huge rock shelter and a place to rest for a while. After crossing a small stream you climb up a gentle slope before turning back down to the river to avoid another set of waterfalls which are impassable. The forest along this section is magnificent and full of life with many birds, primates, dikers and hyrax. A great experience and ending to a fantastic trek. Dinner and overnight at Equator Snow Lodge (Mid-range) Meal Plan (Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 10: MT RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK-KAMPALA (Travel time: +7hrs)

After breakfast, early morning drive back to Kampala with lunch enroute. Later proceed to Kampala or Entebbe to a place or hotel of choice where your guide shall drop you or be transferred to Entebbe International Airport to catch up with your out bond flight back home or to your next destination. Meal plan (Breakfast and Lunch)

END OF THE TOURS

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INCLUSIONS
EXCLUSIONS
NOTES
HIGHLIGHTS
SAFETY COVID19

Hiking Mt Rwenzori
Igongo visit
Lunch enroute
Park entry fees
Transportation on a 4x4 vehicle
Airport transfers

English speaking Guide
Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary
Potter Fees while hiking
Climbing ropes and harnesses with carabinas and crampons
Rubber boots free

Visa
International Flights
Alcoholic Drinks
Cigarettes
Personal expenses
Activities not included in the itinerary
Personal Hiking gear like: Sleeping bag, Warm jacket/sweater, and Gloves

  • Your guide will manage all programs’ timing
  • During the trip, the following dietary requirement(s) are served: Regular (typically includes meat, fish, milk, sea food, …). If you have special dietary requirements it’s a good idea to communicate it to us
  • Please note that the feasibility of the tour will depend on the availability of the proposed accommodations
  • We do not take responsibility for any airline schedule changes that may occur after quoting or booking. We will do everything we can to alleviate any disruption of your itinerary or holiday but cannot be held responsible for any loss of funds, bookings, missed connections or other prebooked/paid services.

Mt Rwenzori Hiking
Nature Walk
Sceneries
Igongo Cultural Centre

 

  • For safe operation

 

  • Given the fluid nature of local COVID-19 protocols, our itineraries are regularly reviewed and will be modified based on local requirements to ensure a safe experience. If a major change is necessary, we will let you know before departure.
  • Our guide will use their judgment during the trip to modify the itinerary if physical distancing cannot be achieved
  • Our guide will receive in-depth training on COVID-19 protocols and how to conduct our journeys in the “new normal”.
  • Our guide will brief you upon arrival on the use of face masks and physical distancing during the trip, based on local government guidelines.
  • Only restaurants with strict protocols that comply with local food hygiene and physical distancing requirements will be used. We will encourage outdoor dining areas where possible.
  • All of our staff and third party suppliers will be continually informed of new health and safety protocols.

 

  • Transportation Protocols

 

  • Our drivers will follow local protocols on the use of face masks and physical distancing required.
  • Our drivers will provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer and tissues in the vehicle and encourage customers to wash their hands when getting into the vehicle.
  • All vehicles will be disinfected (seats, door handles, etc.) regularly throughout the day.

 

  • Protocols for Hotels

 

  • We will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines.
  • We will ensure that these measures include; improved room cleaning, ventilation, physical distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff retraining and minimization of contact within properties

 

  • If You Get Sick

 

  • All of our leaders are trained to help any guest who becomes ill while traveling.
  • We also have an “action plan” in case of suspected COVID-19 cases within the group and are ready to seek medical support at any time.
  • Our guides are supported by our 24/7 based operations team and local partners across the country

 

  • Our recommendations

 

  • We recommend you to bring your own face masks (at least 2 reusable) and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • We recommend you to check with the airline for their individual COVID-19 requirements prior to departure.
  • We recommend you to check your own government travel advice and meet entry requirements including, but not limited to, COVID-19 testing, pre-arrival health questionnaires, and tracking and traceability in the country, etc