Beauty of Rwenzoris
Rwenzori Mountains that fascinate so many climbers in the whole world. Attraction is not about the height of the highest peak, but about the rich diverse nature.
Tropical rainforest under the Equator changes to the heath forest on the second day of climbing, and alpine plants like lobelia and everlasting flower appear. On the following day, after passing through the mysterious bogs with a lot of lobelia, it exceeds forest limit, then there will only be senecio on the slopes of the mountain. Over there, the rocky stretch starts and the volume of plants decreases remarkably, then reaches the peak after the glaciers.
You will meet the different faces of Rwenzoris everyday, and its beauty will fascinate you.
Skills like rope work are needed to climb the highest peak, but beginners can climb the circuit course called “central circuit” as long as someone has the strength and spirit. We assure you that the fascination on the central circuit will meet your satisfaction.
- Margherita Peak. - 8 days and 7 nights, a course to climb Margherita
- Central circuit. - 7 days and 6 nights, round course without climbing peaks.
January to February and June to July are the best seasons to climb the Rwenzoris. Climbing in the rainy season is difficult because mud of bogs will be so deep, and surface of rocks will be iced.
Reservation is necessary due to the capacity of huts. There is no reservation system, but booking will be confirmed by cash payment only.
The following items are included in the mountaineering fee.
- Guide / per goup
- Porter / 12.5kg per person
- Chef / per group
- Usage of hut
- Rain boots.
You will walk more than half of Rwenzoris with a pair of rubber boots, so you will need a pair of strong rain boots. Tall boots are advantageous as you may have to walk in bogs and cross rivers, and boots with spikes to walk slippery wooden footpath.
- Climbing boots.
Mainly used for walking between Nyakalengija office and Nyabitaba Hut, Bujuku Hut and Kitandara Hut. Trekking shoes strong enough to walk through rocky areas are recommended.
- Sleeping bag and warm cloth.
We recommend those that can sustain up to minus two degrees celsius.
You may walk in rain for a long time, you should choose the rainwear made of material such as Gore-tex.
You may walk in rain for long time, you may put things in waterproof bag then in backpack, or have waterproof backpack. Rainwater may enter from between the back and backside of backpack if you use only rain cover.
- Climbing stick.
It also helps to check the ground if at all it is firm enough while walking in bog.
You need warm and waterproof gloves.
- Sunglasses and sun cream.
Ultraviolet rays are strong due to the high elevation, you will need sunglasses and Sunscreen.
As it rains a lot, a waterproof hat is recommended.
- Climbing shoes. You need strong shoes which can work with a crampon.
- Crampon. The entry point to the glacier is a gradual ice wall, and the ice of glacier is very hard. We recommend a crampon with more than ten teeth.
- Harness / Carabiner. These are necessary to rope up on glaciers and rock climbing before the peak.
- Rope. It depends on the route of the day, but a rope of 45m and a diameter of 10mm is recommended.
- Ice axe. It is used for climbing the ice wall and prevent sliding from the glacier.
- Figure eight descender. It is used for abseiling on rock area. (Most of the above can be rented at Nyakalengija office, but the numbers are limited and their quality is uneven.)
- Altitude sickness. In most cases, altitude sickness starts at Bujuku Hut at 4,000m. If you feel any symptoms, please spend one more night at Bujuku or climb down to John Matte Hut. It is not recommended to go to Kitandara, as the route ascends to 4,200m at first.
- Meal. Chef of RMS prepares meals, but quality is uneven and so some climbers complain about them. If you do mind about the meal or have enough strength, we recommend that you cook by yourself.
- Number of days for climbing. Some guides try to climb down fast in order to shorten the period. This may cause accidents, or lose the chance of enjoying the nature. If you do not wish, please insist that you have paid enough for the number of days.
- Tip. RMS office instructs guides and porters to talk about tips after completing the mountain climb. Please do not deal with it until you complete the climb even if they demand for the tip in the mountain.
- Communication. You can use a mobile phone around Nyabitaba Hut and at some spot between Nyakalengija Office and Nyabitaba Hut. Thereafter, there is no mobile reception.
- Shop. There are no shops at the huts in Rwenzori.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is the only national park in Uganda which is not directly managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority. Rwenzori Mountaineering Services, an NGO formed by a local community at the foot of Rwenzori, provides the climbing services and manages the huts as well.
Most of the members of RMS who provide the climbing services at Rwenzori, are Bakonjo who come from around the Ibanda village which is at the foot of the mountain. Originally, their lives depended on the mountain by cutting trees from the mountain and using the timber, and also hunting animals as their source of food. Since Rwenzori became a national park, they now depend on the income generated through tourism. RMS also supports the local community by donating library books to the school, and building health centers in their village from the income generated from the mountaineering services.
Conserving the nature for tourism, and benefiting the community is an ideal ecotourism.