Central Circuit Route Trail – Rwenzori Mountains
The Central Circuit Route Trail is the only traditional route that approaches the Rwenzori mountains from the East. The route is currently managed by Rwenzori Mountaineering services with Kabira Safaris & Tours. Following this route leads you to Mount baker, Mount Stanley , Mount Speke and sometimes the Weismann peak.
The Central Circuit Route Trail starts from the trailhead at Mihunga, past Nyabitaba , heading up the Bujuku valley, then to the peaks. After which you will pass over the Scott Elliot Pass to the stunning Kitandara Lakes then over Fresh field Pass into the Mubuku Valley.
There are various huts along this section that are used as accommodations for the trekkers, most of which are quite nice. The trails are very rough and contain deep mud in many places but are quite well maintained given the weather and conditions.
For often times, boardwalks have been put in place over some of the deeper bogs, although majority are now in critical state. Trips through the Rwenzori central circuit takes about 4-5 days to reach Margheritah Peak, thus a 7 Days/6 nights Rwenzori trekking tour to complete the circuit, that is:-
Day 1: Trek from Nyakalengija to Nyabitabba (2651m)
On this first day of hike on Mount Rwenzori, you will head to Rwenzori Mountaineering services headquarters at Ibanda to make payments, meet your Rwenzori trekkers/hiker guides, porters, after which you proceed with a warm up trek to the Mount Rwenzori National Park’s main gate for park registration before entering the park.
The trek leads you through the Bakonjo settlements and plantations. Your central circuit trail hike starts from the main gate, right after registration to Nyabitabba hut at 2652m, which may take approximately 6-7 hours.
Day 2: Hike from Nyabitaba to John Matte (3505m)
After breakfast at the Nyabitaba hut, follow the trail from to John Matte.. Cross over Kurt Schuffer, lying between Bujuku and Mubuku River, after which you will continue trekking over slippery moss covered and steep rocks a longside bamboo mixed with montane forest.
The forest contains various bird species that you may spot as you trek through the forest, continuing up to Nyamileju rock shelter, where you will have your lunch break.
Enjoy remarkable views of mount Stanley and Speke (only on a clear day). Proceed to john Matte hut through the alpine forest, arriving at the hut in the afternoon for dinner, next day’s briefing and an overnight stay.
Day 3: Trek from John Matte hut to Bujuku Hut (3962)
After an early morning breakfast, you will cross the Bujuku River to the bigo bog region. Follow the steep path to the upper bigo bog, after which you will reach the drier ground up to Lake bujuku.
Enjoy the beautiful views of Mount Stanley to the west, Mount Baker to the south and speke to the North. Arrive at Bujuku camp at 3962m, after 4-5 hour walk. Dinner, next day briefing and an overnight stay.
Day 4: Trek from Bujuku camp to Elena Hut (4541 m)
On this day, you will trek for about 6-7 hours from Bujuku hut to Elena hut. Since the hut is situated within the cold, rocky region of mount Stanley, you will pass via the upper bigo bog, and then through the steep slopes of Lake Bujuku to the West as you ascend to the 4372m Scott-Elliot pass.
Proceed through several swamps as well as the beautiful ground gully. Walk through the steep sections above the gully by using a metal ladder reaching a junction with two divided trails, whereby the right trail heads to the Elena Hut, rising through a steep trail above the large boulders to Mount Stanley.
Otherwise the left trail heads to the Scott-Eliiot pass as you descend to Kitandara hut. Arrive at Elena hut in the afternoon, and enjoy the breath views of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, which is sometimes hard to see due to fog. Dinner and an overnight at the hut.
Day 5: Trek from Elena Hut to Magherita Peak then to Kitandara Hut (4023 m)
You will wake up at 2:00am, enjoy your breakfast, and embark on your hike to the top of Margheritah peak starting from 3:00am. Hike through the Stanley plateau to the top of Mount Stanley. While using ropes, you will hike through the steep rocky regions, as well as crampons and the ice ax on the glacial axe- as directed by the guide.
This may last for a couple of hours, after which you will arrive at the bottom of margheritah glacier-the most challenging part of the 9 days Mount Rwenzori central circuit trekking experience. Proceed to the top of the peak of Mount Stanley (Margheritah Peak) at 5107m.
While at the peak, enjoy the impressive views of Lake Ireen, Mount Speke and the surrounding environment, after then descend Elena hut for lunch and later continue with your trek to Kitandara, through the Scott Elliot pass (also considered as the most beautiful spot of Rwenzori). Dinner and an overnight at Kitandara hut.
However, depending on your group’s strength, you may opt to spend another night at Elena Hut, and continue the next day to Kitandara then to Guy Yeoman.
Day 6: Trek from Kitandara to Fresh field pass to Guy Yeoman (3505m)
After an early morning breakfast, spend your entire 6-8 hours’ trekking along the base of Mount Baker which is quite slippery. Ascend steeply up the headwall that spreads from the base of Mount Baker, as you proceed towards the southern side of Mountain Rwenzori to the Fresh field pass.
Continue with the long stretch of the muddy trail, trekking through the Kabamba, Akhendahi and rock shelters of Bujongolo-the base camp for the historic expeditions by Duke of Abruzzi in 1906.
Proceed with your trek along the Kabamba trail and later arrive at Guy Yeoman, which is established at the banks of river mubuku. Dinner and overnight at the hut.
Day 7: Descent trek from Guy Yeoman to Nyabitaba to Nyakalengijja
On this last day of your 7 days Mount Rwenzori trekking through the central circuit trail, you will descend to Nyabitaba hut, after your early morning breakfast passing through the Bamboo forest.
You enjoy great sightings of beautiful flowers and plants, bamboo forests and Kinchuchu and Mubuku Rivers, not forgetting the Kabamba falls. Arrive at Nyabitabba hut after a 4 hours’ trek, after which you will briefly spend 40 minutes visiting Lake mahoma.
Return to the hut after Lake Mahoma exploration and embark on your trek to Nyakalengijja where you will meet your guide to transfer you back to your hotel
Related Routes to Trek Rwenzori Mountains & Tours
Rwenzori Kilembe Trail Route is managed by Rwenzori Trekking services ,was opened in 2009 as an alternative route for Trekking Rwenzori mountains. Rwenzori mountains Climbers that wished to explore the snow capped mountains ( mountain of the Moon) use the Kilembe Trail Route.
9 Days Mount Rwenzori trekking/9 Days Rwenzori Mountains Trekking/mountaineering/hiking itinerary to Uganda’s Rwenzori National Park is the ultimate hiking package to Magherita Peak. The actual hike from the foothills to the Magherita peak of Mountain Rwenzori using the central circuit trail takes 7 days and 6 nights.