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12-day Rwenzori Mountain Trek

Rwenzori Mountaineering Service - 12 days

  • 12-day Rwenzori Mountain Trek
  • 12 days / 11 nights
  • Max. group: 0 Persons
  • Difficulty: Easy
What's Included
Packing List
Rwenzori Mountaineering Service
How to book


> Trek over Margherita Glacier
> Conquer the peaks in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
> Explore and discover the unique flora and fauna of the region

This 12-day trek will take you to all Rwenzori Mountain peaks in the great Rwenzori Mountains National park in Uganda. Rwenzori Mountaineering has designed the 12 days Rwenzori Trekking as an alternative for 12 Days gorilla trekking & Rwenzori Trekking to explore the varied vegetation on the various mountains on the mountain of the moon.

The 12 days trek takes you through all the 6 mountains of Rwenzori using the central circuit trail. You will hike to the top of mount Gessi, Emin, Speke, Stanley, Luigi Savoia, and Baker, without missing the chance to reach Margherita, the highest peak in the Rwenzori. This peak is on mount Stanley, which is snow-capped most of the year. The other peaks are mostly rocky, which makes the hike challenging because the rocks are slippery sometimes. These peaks offer beautiful views of the Rwenzori massif.


What's the Plan?

Day 1: Nyakalengija (1600m) to Nyabitaba hut (2650m)

The hike will start from Nyakalengija (RMS headquarters) 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 forest with high elephant grass and dense bushes.

This forest is home to various animal species like forest elephants, chimpanzees, hyraxes, black-and-white colobus, L'Hoest's monkeys, duikers, and three-horned chameleons, 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 see some of them along the way.

It’s about 8 km from Nyakalengija to Nyabitaba hut. Dinner and overnight at Nyabitaba hut.

Day 2: Nyabitaba to john matte camp (3420m)

After having breakfast at the hut, you will move through thick shrubs and forest for about 30 minutes to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, 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. 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. Through the alpine forest, you will reach John Matte camp. The hut is near river Bujuku and most hikers take a bath there, the water is cold but 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: hike mount Emin (4798m) – overnight as the previous night

After breakfast at the lodge, you will start the trek through the alpine forests to the base of mount Emin. You will then hike to the top of mount Emin. The top will meet you with beautiful views of the Rwenzori massif. Return to the camp where you will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 4: hike mount Gessi – overnight as the previous night

After breakfast at the camp, you will start the trek and then hike to the top of mount Gessi. This is a rarely trekked mountain, so the path might not be so clear. Hike to the top and then descend back to the camp.

Day 5: John matte to Bujuku (3930m)

After breakfast at the hut, you will cross river Bujuku and through the forest to the Lower Bigo Bog. This is a swampy area in a valley and is 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. 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 6: hike mount Speke and transfer to Elena camp (4563m)

After breakfast at the camp, you will start the hike to the top of Mount Speke. This trek is a bit challenging because of being rocky. The top will offer you beautiful views of the Rwenzori features. You will then descend back to the camp where you will have lunch.

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 7: summit Margherita peak and transfer to Kitandara (3979m)

This day you will have to wake up as early as 2am, have breakfast at Elena hut, and 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. Hike to the top of Mount Stanley, Margherita 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 crampons and an 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, this is the most beautiful point of the Rwenzori. Have dinner at Kitandara and spend the night. If the group is big, you might spend another night at Elena hut and continue the following day.

Day 8: hike baker – overnight at Kitandara

After breakfast at the camp, you will start the trek to the start of Mount Baker hike. Mount Baker is mostly rocky and sometimes the top is covered by snow. You will need good boots since the rocks get wet and slippery, you also have to always watch your steps. While at the top, you will have a view of mount Stanley and Speke as well as beautiful views of the Rwenzori valleys and vegetation. Dinner and overnight at Kitandara camp.

Day 9: hike Luigi Savoia – overnight at Kitandara

After breakfast at Kitandara camp, you will start the trek to the top of Luigi Savoia. The hike involves a steep ascent on solid rock – it is important to follow the advice of your climb guides and not to rush during the ascent. It is normally safe to climb without ropes, but in the event of icy conditions, your guides will employ fixed ropes to ensure a safe ascent. Your reward for summiting will be wonderful views towards the Kachope Lakes below and to Mts Baker and Stanley in the distance.

Day 10: Kitandara to guy yeoman camp (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 4-6 hours then reach Guy Yeoman hut which is located at the banks of river Mubuku, have dinner and spend the night.

Day 11: guy yeoman to Nyabitaba

From Guy Yeoman, you will descend to Nyabitaba through the bamboo forests. The path down can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on to and requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. Dinner and overnight at Nyabitaba. His takes between 4-5 hours.

Day 12: Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija

After break you will descend for about 3 hours to Nyakalengija. You will pass through the tropical forests where you will expect to spot the three-horned chameleon, black and white colobus monkeys, as well as bird species. We will finally reach Nyakalengija, where our services will end.

What's Included


English speaking trekking guide and Porters
During the trek, you will be accompanied at all times by a Rwenzori Mountains guide. Porters will join the group as well to help to carry the luggage. There will be 1 porter per hiker to carry his/her personal luggage. The other porters carry food, charcoal, cooking utensils, and a gas cylinder among others. 

Accommodation during the trek is included in the price. You will spend your nights on the mountain in huts along the main circuit of the Rwenzori, such as the  Nyabitaba hut, the John Matte Hut or the Bujuku Hut.

All meals are included during the trek. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served every day while on the trek. There is always powdered milk, chocolate drink, bread, sausages, packed juice, apples, chocolates, beef, rice, Irish potatoes, peas, and sandwiches. Lunch is not included on the first day of the trek.

 Permits and Entrance Fees
In order to trek in the Rwenzori Mountains national park, you need a hiking permit and you need to pay the park's entrance fees. These are included in the price of the trek.

Hiking Equipment
Hiking equipment such as crampons, ice ax, harness, helmet, gumboots are included in the trek.

Not included:

× Airfare
You will have to make your way to Kampala, the starting point of this trek. Flight tickets to Uganda are not included in the price of the trek. In order to know which airlines fly to Entebbe International Airport (EBB), you can have a look at their website.

× Transfer to Nyakalengija
This trek starts from Nyakalengija. You will have to make your way to this town. If you need help with the transfers, let us know and we can arrange it for you.

× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation in Kampala.

× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.

× Sleeping bag and other equipment
Sleeping bags are not included in the trek, you will have to bring your own. Other necessary trekking equipment such as trekking boots, and warm gear are not included.

× Personal expenses
Any personal expenses that may take place during the trek, such as buying snacks, souvenirs or alcoholic drinks are on your own account.

× Water
As you hike the Rwenzori, you will not be provided with bottled water. You will get the water from the rivers and streams in the mountains because it’s clean. The locals drink it and they are okay. But if you don’t trust it, it’s okay to add some water filters to your water to avoid any inconveniences (these won't be provided by your trekking company).

× Tipping
Tipps for the guide and porter are not included in the price of the trek. You decide how much to tip, but if you got a good service from your guide, be generous.



There is an extensive system of huts along the main circuit of the Rwenzori. These include Nyabitaba hut at 2650 meters, John Matte Hut at 3380 meters, the Bujuku Hut at 3977 meters, Elena Hut high on the flanks of Mt. Stanley at 4540 meters, the Kitandara Lake Hut at 4027 meters and the Guy Yeoman Hut down the Mubuku River Valley at 3260 meters.

Accommodation @Mt. Rwenzori Uganda

There are five huts on the Western side of the range in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These include Kyandolere at 1700 meters, Kalongi at 2140 meters, Mahungu at 3310 meters, Kyondo at 4303 meters and the Moraine hut at 4500 meters. All were built in 1942 (Osmaston, 2006). If you are going off the main circuit, it is possible to camp in tents and frequently under rock overhangs that are very common in the range.


Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Climb the Rwenzori Mountains?

For most people, it is July, August, and September. The next tier of good months consists of October, January, and February. These six months, plus December, are considered to be Rwenzori's high season. The shoulder season months are December, March, and June. Lastly, the rains come in April, May, and November. These three months are considered to be Rwenzori's low season, and many operators offer discounts during this time.

Climbing during the High Season. The greatest advantage of climbing at this time is that you can stay dry the entire time. Sure, you can always get rained on throughout the year, especially in the rain forest and moorlands, but typically the precipitation is low and infrequent. By staying dry, you stay comfortable and the overall trek will be more enjoyable. Removing the stress of being wet and cold also increases your chance of proper acclimatization. In the dry season, the views are better, with clear and sunny skies. The disadvantage is that the trails have many climbers, which can take away from the feeling of being on a big, remote mountain. However, some visitors look forward to socializing with other groups at camp. Not surprisingly, most people choose to climb during the dry season because the likelihood of nice weather trumps any misgivings they may have about encountering others on the mountain.

Climbing during the Low Season. The prospect of having the mountain to yourself is what draws people to climb during the low season. The mountain is very empty and it is possible to be the only party at a campsite. This quiet and solitude are what many people seek when going outdoors. Secondly, although it does rain quite a lot during the low season, most of the time the rains arrive in the afternoon. With Rwenzori's trekking schedule, most of the hiking can be done in the mornings, which means that the time spent on the trail while it rains can be minimized.

How do I get to Rwenzori National Park?

Rwenzori Mountains National Park lies a few kilometers north of the equator on the Uganda-Congo border. The park trailhead at Ruboni can be reached from Kampala from the north via Fort Portal (375km) or the south passing through Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450km). Nyakalengija is 17km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town.

Mt. Rwenzori National Park is suitably located in the South Western part of Uganda and can be accessed through any neighboring country to Uganda but Rwanda and Uganda are the most appropriate.

Mt. Rwenzori National park
By road

Rwenzori Mountains National Park lies a few kilometers north of the equator on the Uganda-Congo border. The park trailhead at Ruboni can be reached from Kampala from the north via Fort Portal (375km) or the south passing through Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450km). Nyakalengija is 17km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town.

By air

Charter flights to Kasese can be arranged from Kampala (Kajjansi) or Entebbe International Airport

Do I need to train for Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains? 

Hiking requires some physical fitness to hike up to the top. However, the local guide and porters are readily available to give you a hand. They are sourced from the adjacent areas to provide services for trekkers and they are experienced and enthusiastic in the field. Some of the park's peaks are incomparable, beautiful and mist-shrouded. They carry permanent snow and glaciers, while the slopes are covered with dense forest, inhabited by a wide variety of animal species and birds. The mountain slopes above 1,6000 m are the preserve of hikers who rate the Rwenzori to be the most challenging of the entire African mountain.

Packing List

Packing List

If you already decided which is the trek for you, then it is time to start packing your bags for trekking in Uganda. Rwenzori Mountaineering Service has prepared a list of some of the things you need not to forget to add into your pack as you plan your Rwenzori trek:

- Non-cotton shirts (quick drying)
- Long sleeve shirts
- hiking boots
- Pairs of pants
- Sandals
- Rain jacket
- Waterproof pants
- Pairs of socks
- Backpack
- Good sleeping bag
- Headlamp
- Microfiber towel (or a handkerchief)
- First aid kit
- Extra camera battery and extra memory cards
- Snacks
- Sunscreen/hat/sunglasses
- Water filter
- Gloves

Rwenzori Mountaineering Service

Rwenzori Mountaineering Service 

Rwenzori Mountaineering Service is managed by the destination expert safari company by names of Active African Vacations Limited that is based in Kampala Uganda with a team of experienced tour guides, Safari consultants ready to tailor-make your Rwenzori hiking trip either through the Kilembe trail or Rwenzori Central circuit.

Rwenzori Mountaineering Service has over 8 years of experience in leading hikers and climbers to the summit of Rwenzori Mountains either using the Uganda routes or Congo Hiking Routes in Virunga National Park Congo. Rwenzori Mountaineering service works in strong partnership with Mountaineering services or Trekking Services in Uganda and Virunga Foundations in Congo to create and tailor the best possible trip for you.  

Our professional tour consultants have all made successful summit attempts and are therefore in a position to provide you with advice and in-depth knowledge of the mountain. Essential advice on how to climb Rwenzori, how difficult/hard a Rwenzori mountain climb is and how long does it take for a Mount Rwenzori climb, is all knowledge that we possess in detail. 

Are you ready to climb the Rwenzori Mountains?! 

Meet Sarah from Rwenzori Mountaineering Service

Sarah is born & raised in the Kases region Close the Mountain Rwenzori National park and responsible for the customer service of Rwenzori Mountaineering Service 

Hi Sarah, why did you start working for Rwenzori Mountaineering Service
Since my childhood, I have loved nature, the tropical climate and wildlife conservation. These are the top reasons why my dad directed me to study tourism. so far I have explored most east African countries including Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania. I'm very familiar with the cultural practices of the local communities of the Bakonjo people in Kasese areas around the Mountain Rwenzori National Park.

What is your Educational Background? 
I'm a graduate from Makerere Business School with a Bachelors Degree in Tourism and management in 2015, which provided me with the required knowledge in tourism. My Internship practice was done with the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Queen Elizabeth National Park & Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

What are your hiking experiences? 
My first-time experience of Hiking was the Rwenzori Hike ( Margherita Peak) in 2015 ( May) and the Second Hike is Africa’s highest Peak (Uhuru Peak) on Mountain Kilimanjaro and Mountain Nyiragongo Hike in Democratic Republic Congo.



Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks.

How to book

How does it work?

On you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case, you can proceed to book. At you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company. uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all the necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Cancellation Policy

You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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