Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail Route

Rwenzori Central Circuit trail is the first & old route of trekking the Rwenzori Mountains; owned & Managed by Rwenzori Mountaineering Services; passes all vegetation Zones leading to Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, Mount Baker & Weismann Peak; and traverses through 5 overnight accommodation huts, including; Nyabitaba hut(2651m), John Matte Hut(3505m), Bujuku hut(3962m), Elena hut(4541m), Kitandara Lake Camp(4023m), and Guy Yeoman hut(3505m).

Facts about The Central Circuit Of Rwenzori Mountains

The Rwenzori Central circuit trail route was the first, ancient, most popular route Of Rwenzori Mountains National Park, which approaches from the East, was discovered in 1906 by Duke Abruzi, the first Italian to discover the Park.

The trail is owned and managed by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services- alocal based company with whom Aloyo Safaris works, to offer best Rwenzori trekking Expeditions.

This Central Circuit trail of Rwenzori, encompasses all the vegetation zones of evident altitude levels including: the evergreen forest zone (2,800 metres or 9,200 ft), the bamboo zone (2,800 to 3,300 metres or 9,200 to 10,800 ft), the heather zone (3,000 to 3,800 metres to 9,800 or 12,500 ft), the alpine zone (3,500 to 4,500 metres or 11,500ft to 14,800 ft); and, the nival zone (4,400m to 5,000 metres or 14,400ft to 16,400 ft

The trail leads to the magnificent Rwenzori mountains of: Stanley, Speke, Baker and Weismann Peaks in Rwenzori Moutains national Park.

The central Circuit route can be trekked in a clockwise or in an anti-clockwise direction, starting from the base at Mihunga trail, via Nyabitaba to Bujuku Valley, which then joins to the peaks. Then after make your way over to the Fresh field Pass, down to the impressive Kitandara Lakes, which joins the Scott Elliot’s pass into the Mubuku Valley

Despite the longer Rwenzori Kilembe trail route, the route is the shortest route, most convenient and popular, although it seems rough, and containing deep mud, slippery rocks in several places, but the establishment of boardwalks have tried to maintain their condition despite the weather.

Rwenzori Trekking excursions  to Magherita peak, take at least 5 days on a one way basis, yet a complete Central circuit trail trek with Margherita Peak, takes on 7 days Rwenzori trek as detailed below:

7 Days Rwenzori Central Circuit Trek

Day1: Nyakalengija(1615m)–trek to NyabitabaHut(2651m)

Duration: 5-6 hours

Following your breakfast, you will depart early for Rwenzori Mountaineering Services offices in Nyakalengija for registration. Thereafter briefing about your 7 days central circuit will take place, followed by allocation of guide, porters, as well as renting requirements (only for those who don’t have hiking gear).

Shortly after, the trek begins, passing through bakonzo farmlands to the park boundaries, which follows the Mubuku river. The trail continues through Mahoma tributary, after which you will start ascending up a steep massive ridge to reach Nyabitaba hut.

While hiking, expect to spot black & white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, chimpanzees(though rarely seen), the 3 horned chameleon and the beautiful Rwenzoru Turaco.

Dinner will be served and later on have a goodnight rest in the hut.

Day 2:Nyabitaba Hut (2651m)–trek to Mubuku River (2600m) – John Matte Hut(3380m)

Duration: 6-7 hours

After a goodnight sleep, wake up early to a delicious breakfast, after descend down through the forest to Kurt Scuffer bridge,  just beneath the confluence of the Mubuku & Bujuku river.

You will trek through the bamboo forest, passing through the challenging stretch of slippery moss-covered rock, reaching the Nyamileju rock shelter where you will take a shot lunch break and relax. You will be amazed by the breathtaking scenic views of the magnificent Mount Stanley, Mount Speke.

From here, you will continue with your trek through the giant heather zone, Lobelia and groundsel. Proceed through the tiring bog, and ;later on arrive at John Matte for dinner & and an overnight.

Day3: John Matte(3380m)-trek to Bujuku(3962m)

Duration : 5-6 hours

Wake up early for breakfast, and leave John Matte behind descending along the trail to cross the Bujuku River. From here, you will enter the Lower bigo bog (known as the home of Giant Lobelias), as jump from tussock to tussock, until you finally cross to the Upper bigo Bog.

The upper Bigo Bog leads to Bujuku Lake, coupled with spectacular views of  Mount Baker to the South and Stanley to the West.  Arrive at Bujuku Hut, located under the shadows of Mount Baker and Speke. The hut settles in a narrow valley below the Stuhlmann Pass.

Dinner & overnight at Bujuku hut

Day4: Bujuku(3977m)-trek to ElenaHut(4541m).

Duration: 4-5 hours

Depart Bujuku instantly after an early breakfast, following the trail through more bog, west of lake Bujuku, though the magnificent  Groundsel gully as it ascends  up the Scott Elliot Pass at 4372m. You will proceed with your climb up through a metal up the gully head, which takes you over a steep section, where the trails divide into right and Left.

The right trail takes ascends up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley trekking over large boulders, whereas the trail on the left descends down to Scott Elliot Pass, through Kitandara Lakes, up to Kitandara hut. This trail leads those who are not climbing Margherita Peak.

Yet for those who will climb Margherita, will rest at Elena hut after having a delicious and tasty dinner.

Day 5: Elena Hut (4541m) to Margherita peak – Kitandara hut (4027m)

Duration: 5 – 7 hours depending on the weather, physical Strength and the climbing pace of the group

On this day 5, you will reach Margherita peak (5109) on Mount Stanley.

You will wake up early to a cup of hot tea or coffee at 2:00pm, after then you will depart for Margherita peak hike.  You will continue to the base of the stanley where you will trek over three glaciers, including the slippery  rock, ice and  and more open regions. This climb is truly a mystical challenge, that require proper acclimatization, enough physical strength.

You will then continue with your climb on to the glaciers, cross the Stanley Plateau and ascend upwards. Acclimatized to fog, altitude sickness, and cool weather, you will scramble up to the Peak of Mount Stanley-the highest peak of the Rwenzori Mountains.

At this point, You will spend time celebrating your victory at the peak while enjoying a few bites, as well as taking great pictures while at the peak. After a short while, you will embark on your descent, due to the high altitude and the tough conditions. You will then descend through the scott Elliot pass, which offers beautiful views of the Bujuku Lake & Mount Speke. You will slope down to Kitandara Lakes, passing through the alpine zone of sparse vegetation and rough boulders. After that, slope  further past the Kitandara Lakes for dinner and an overnight at the Kitandara hute.

Day 6: Kitandara(4027m) – Freshfield Pass (4282m)–Guy Yeoman (3450m)

Wake up very early in the morning for breakfast, and take on the trail that descends steeply up the head wall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker, and proceeding along the southern side of the mountain down to the fresh field pass.

It is from this point, that you have magnificent views of Congo to the West, Mount Stanley to the North.

After the fresh field pass, take on the trails leading through the rock shelter at Bujongolo – the base camp for the historic excursion by the Duke Of Abruzzi in 1906

Dinner & Overnight at Guy yeoman.

Day 7: Guy Yeoman (3450m) – Nyabitaba (2651m)  – Nyakalengija (1615m)

Duration: 7-9 hours

Following your morning breakfast, you will depart for Nyabitaba. You will descend down beneath Guy Yeoman, trekking down the cliffs of Kichuchu. After then cross the Muddy path passed the Mubuku River, before climbing upwards to Nyabitaba to complete a round loop

You will then descend from Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija, till you reach the main head office to receive your certificate of success, after which you will head back to the lodge.