Rwenzori Kilembe Trail Route Alternative Route for Trekking Rwenzori Mountains
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.
Day 1: Trek from Kilembe to Kalalama camp
On the first day of your Kilembe trail route hike, you will start the trek from the rangers post, and head straight to Rwenzori National park’s gate for clearance before entering.
This marks the beginning of the Kilembe Rwenzori trekking to Margherita peak. Proceed with your day trek to the montane forest where you will encounter various species of monkeys such as Colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and other species of birds like the Rwenzori Turaco.
Reach Sine camp where you will enjoy your lunch break alongside other refreshments. Continue with your trek to Kalalama at 3,147 m, from which you will have your dinner, next-day briefing, and an overnight stay.
Day 2: Trek from Kalalama hut to Mutinda camp
Wake up and have breakfast then set off for your second day trek to Mutinda camp from Kalalama camp. Start your hike passing through the bamboo-mimulopsis zone, which consists of a steep climb with many high steps, and later reach the resting point for a lunch break alongside other refreshments.
Continue with your day’s trek along the heather zone, passing by various streams, as well as waterfalls, which are mostly covered by typical green moss vegetation. You will also be rewarded with impressive views of Giant Heather trees, and sometimes in a misty atmosphere. Arrive at Mutinda Camp at 3.688 m-named after the Mutinda Peaks.
It is from this point that you can also climb further to the Mutinda Lookout at 3.925m, which is about a 90 minutes ascent and 30-minute descent to the camp.
This region is worth visiting, as its beautiful views as you stand on moss covered rocks with incredible views across the Rwenzori Mountains, stretching down to Kasese town and Lake George. Arrive at Mutinda camp in the late evening for dinner, next day briefing and an overnight stay.
Day 3: Trek from Mutinda Camp to Bugata Camp
This day, you will start with hiking up the boggy terrain after your morning breakfast at Mutinda Camp. Proceed with the typical wet vegetation and tussocks, as you enter the alpine vegetation zone with the presence of the giant lobelias (Lobellia gibberoa), the groundsel (Senecio adnivalis) as well as the everlasting flowers while crossing the Mutinda valley. Hike up the steep section up to Namusangi valley, as you head to Bugata Camp at 4.062m above sea level.
It is from this point that you will enjoy the stunning views of Weisman’s Peak of Mount Luigi of Savoy, which is always covered by the snow whereas the vegetation is mostly covered by tussock grass, everlasting flowers, giant groundsel and giant lobelia.
Bugata camp, amongst other camps is well furnished with good facilities of solar lights, eco-toilets and bathroom. Your dinner and overnight at this camp.
Day 4: Trek from Bugata to HunWick’s Camp
Continuing with your trek, climb up the Bamwanjara pass, which steadily rises with various long flat bogs. During your climb, you will observe the glacial lakes far down in the valley. Upon reaching the top of Banwamjara Pass at 4.450m, you will be rewarded with remarkable views of all the main snowcapped peaks and you later come to rest in a small shelter within the breathtaking scenery.
Better yet this trek takes you down to the lower and upper Kachope lake which is steep and always muddy but provide exclusive views of Kachope Lakes and McConnell’s Prong. Later arrive at Hunwick’s Camp (3,974m), which is established on a ridge overlooking snowcapped Mt Baker. Dinner and overnight stay at this camp
Day 5: Climb from HunWick to Margherita Peak
After morning breakfast, start your day with walking along the ridge, crossing several wet areas and small rivers flowing from both Mount Baker and the fresh fields pass. Trekking up Scott Elliott Pass is amazing as you walk through and rising up the ridge of Mt Stanley to Margherita Camp at 4,485 meters which is below Elena Hut.
The Margherita camp which is sheltered with a ring of rocks, was once used by an Italian Prince Luigi Amadeo di Savoia, and Duke of the Abruzzi. It is from here that you will observe breathtaking views of Mt Baker, Scott Elliot Pass and some of the high glaciers on Mt Stanley. Since you will walk to margherita camp for 4.2km, you are expected to arrive late in the evening. Dinner, preparations for the next day and an overnight stay in at the camp.
Day 6: Margherita camp trek to the peak and return to the Margherita camp
You will wake up for your early morning breakfast, after which you will set off for the longest and strenuous trek to the Margherita summit. The early movement to Margherita peak of Mount Stanley is mainly aimed at reaching the glaciers before sunrise since the heat from the sun causes the glaciers to melt, thus making the routes to be totally impassable.
Hiking through the steep heights to Margherita peak requires enough physical strength. Proceed with your hike over the glaciers close, after then you will climb to an exposed section of the rock, which is bolted and roped, to get on the ridge running up to the top of the Margherita peak at 5.109m
Upon reaching the peak, you will be endowed by the beautiful scenery of the whole country, as you are now at the highest point of the country. Lunch will be served at the peak, after which you will descend to Hunwick’s camp for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 7: Descend from Margherita Camp to Kiharo Camp
You will start your day by climbing up a ridge towards McConnell’s Prong, where you will be rewarded with impressive views of the three peaks of Mount Stanley, Mount Baker and Speke as well as the Scott Eliot pass before reaching Oliver’s pass at 4,505m.
The total distance between Hunwick’s Camp and Oliver’s pass is 3km. The trail then cuts across below waiseman’s peak to the confluence of the Nyamwamba River which flows down through Kilembe and Kasese to Lake George in Queen Elizabeth national park.
The confluence then meanders down the valley to Kiharo camp, which is established in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp
Day 8: From Kiharo Camp to the base
From Kiharo camp, the path turns off to the right pass along the river. Spot Duikers as you pass along the river otherwise trek down the river itself jumping across the rocks as you pass down.
The trails becomes steep with multitudes of waterfalls after a few kilometres down the river, which is why you will have to move away from the river and follow a narrow ridge to bypass steep sections.
You will again meet the river where there is a huge rock shelter and a place to rest for a lunch break, after which, you will cross a small stream as you climb up gentle slopes before turning back down to the river to avoid another set of waterfalls which are impassable. The forest along this section is a home to many bird species, primates, duikers and hyrax. Descend to the base marking the end of the Kilembe trail Rwenzori Mountains trekking.
Related Routes to Trek Rwenzori Mountains & Tours
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.
10 Days Rwenzori Mountains trekking Kilembe trail is also known as the “southern circuit”. A trek through the Kilembe trail takes you through the sine hut (2,585 m), Kalalama hut (3.147m) to Mutinda Camp (3.688 m), Bugata Camp (4.062 m), Butawu Camp (3.974 m), Margherita Camp (4,485 m).