7 Days Margherita Summit : Margherita Peak posses a technical challenge, requiring a strong rope techniques and equipment such as crampons, ascenders, and figure 8s for belaying. With 60% steep ice sections that are affected to rapid changes due to climate shifts and glacier melting, it is highly recommended to possess skills in using an ice axe. Our guides, experts in ice climbing and rescue, can assist those with less experience. However, a willingness to learn, including fitting your own crampons, knot tying, and using ascenders and figure 8s, is essential.
Additionally, both Mt. Baker and Mt. Speke are equally challenging. We advise climbers to bring their own crampons due to challenges in maintaining our stock, given the hardship of the environment comprising solid ice and rocky surfaces.
It is important to acknowledge that though completing the climb in seven days is great, ascending more than 500 meters daily increases the risk of altitude-related sickness, edema, and cerebral issues. To stop these dangers, it is advisable to walk at a slower pace. Even if you are experienced in mountain climbing, oxygen carrying capacity gained will not be effective unless done within the preceding two weeks. Therefore, while we do offer seven-day options, we also offer a safer choice of an eight-day trek as well as 9 days. Altitude effects are not tied to fitness, and individuals vary in their altitude tolerance.
It is essential to recognize that trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains is more risky than that on Kilimanjaro or Mt. Kenya, hence it is recommended that you are in good physical fitness. While the 8 day itinerary helps those with average fitness and climbing skills, the nine day trek is more recommended as it increases your chances of making it to the summit.
Begin at Kyanjuki’s Trekkers Hostel, locate at 1,450 meters above sea level and 12 kilometers from Kasese town, the trek preferably starts by 9 am, though an 11 am departure is possible. The initial 2.2km journey leads to the UWA rangers post at 1,727 meters, taking about an hour. Here, gate fees are paid, and rangers brief trekkers on National Park regulations.
Guides usually offer pre-trek briefings the night before.
Day 1: Ascend to Kalalama Camp (3,134 meters)
Start the climb through Afro Montane Forest Zone, gradually climbing the valley floor. Variety life with chances to spot blue monkeys characterize this leg. Rare sightings of the L’Hoest monkey, culturally important to Bukonzo people, might occur. Entry into the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone requires surmounting steep inclines and muddy sections during wet periods. Kalalama Camp (3,147 meters), in the Heather-Rapanea Zone, showcases tall Heather trees and the striking ‘Rwenzori Turaco’ with crimson wings.
Day 2: Trek to Bugata Camp (4,100 meters)
Early morning breakfast, bypass Mutinda Camp to reach Bugata Camp at 4,100 meters. Trail conditions involve crossing knolls, crossing streams, and finding waterfalls. Climbing along a mossy river through Giant Heather trees leads to Bugata Camp. The beautiful valley with Giant Heather trees amid mist is a highlight. Progress through muddy sections, aided by boardwalks, to reach Bugata Camp, boasting facilities and mesmerizing surroundings. Here you can find great facilities with a rescue helicopter for incase which might cost you roughly $10,000 per hour.
Day 3: Reach Hunwick’s Camp (3,974 meters) via Bamwanjarra Pass
Walk through Bamwanjarra Pass after leaving Bugata Camp which is approximately 4450 meters. The route offers scenic views of the peaks. Beautiful biodiversity, including the Malachite Sunbird, awaits. Continue to Hunwick’s Camp, atop a valley, offering sites of several peaks. Like Mt. Stanley, Baker and McConnell prong.
Day 4: Summit Margherita Peak (4,485 meters)
Descend to Lake Kitendara and ascend Scott Elliott’s pass, arriving at Margherita Camp at 4,485 meters. This campsite, which holds great history where the Duke of Abruzzi camped in 1906, it shelters climbers from winds.
Day 5: Summit Margherita Peak (5,109 meters) and descend to Hunwick’s Camp
Start off early preferably 2am to avoid weather changes that occur around midday. Climbing Margherita Peak necessitates an early start due to weather unpredictability. Given the peak’s changing conditions and concerns related to global warming’s impact on the glacier, reaching the summit before 10 am is essential for safety. There is an option for those with less mountaineering experience to ascend Stanley glacier for breathtaking views. Also, Alexandra peak could be of great view of sites of Congo.
Day 6: Descend to Kiharo Camp (3,640 meters)
Ascend to McConnell’s Prong from Hunwick’s camp. Here you will get sites of the three beautiful peaks before Olivers Pass which is at an elevation of 4505m, affording panoramic views. The path then descends to Kiharo Camp through a stunning valley, a tale to the beauty of the Rwenzori Mountains. Though there is an option of $20 pay for one who wishes to climb Weismanns peak at 4620m from Olivers which gives sites of Magherita, Stanley, Baker and Speke mountains.
Day 7: Descend to the Basecamp (1,450 meters)
Descent via the trail to the Nyamwamba valley offers stunning views of moss-covered rocks, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. This exhilarating descent ends the trek on a remarkable note. Excitingly a new trail which took over 6years to discover for the comfortability of tourists, some explorers like MacConnell failed to find this trail but as of now it is available for tourists via Kibale camp thus concluding your summit.