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Three Day Trek - Rwenzori Mountains National Park
One or 2 persons $350 each, 3 or more $320 each plus UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) gate entrance fee of $35 per day which is paid separately in cash. Price includes all porters, food (meals) and accommodation whilst in the mountain
Day 1. The trek starts at Trekkers Hostel in Kyanjiki 12 kilometres from Kasese past Kilembe. Best to start by 8.30am but can leave as late as 10am. Meet your guides and briefing. You walk 2.2km to the UWA rangers post at 1,727metres.
Here the rangers brief you on the day’s activities and rules of the National Park.
Today’s walk 8.6 km expected time 5 to 6 hours Start height is 1,667 metres climbing to 3,171 metres
The first two kilometres climbs steadly through prestine montane forest, with tall trees thick undergrowth and a multitude of different species of birds and primates. Then a fairly strenuous climb up a main ridge with few rocks and firm footing except immediately after a heavy downpour climbing to your first night at Samalira Camp. As you leave the rangers post you walk along a path through tall grassland and ferns which gives way to magnificent pristine forests. As this is a new route the forests are untouched and carry a wide variety of trees and plants. Many species of birds can be heard and seen in this rich environment. The first few kilometres climb steadily crossing several small streams and rivers then we start climbing the ridge. As we climb the trees become taller and straighter and it is common to see and hear many types of primates, on the left you may hear troupes of chimpanzee echoing around the valleys. Particularly around our lunch spot at 2,570m it is possible to see troupes of 15 to 20 black and white Colobus monkeys or Blue monkeys as they dash through the trees.
After lunch we continue to climb steadily passing a rock shelter (2,785m) previously used by poachers to hunt primates and dika (small antelope) After the rock shelter the climb enters the bamboo zone and becomes steeper. As we near the top we break out of the bamboo to fantastic views of the valleys and hills below looking across to Lake George and Queen Elisabeth National Park in the distance. The equator lies just north of Lake George. Samalira Camp is at 3,147 metres, meaning views or lookout and offers great views of the surrounding landscape and Kasese town. (Mobile network available at this camp)
Day 2. 6.9 kilometres 4 to 5 hours. After a hearty breakfast we commence walking at 8.15 and initially climb steadily then cross a small stream and the climb becomes steep for about 200 metres up a narrow moss covered ridge. The thick moss covering the ground and rocks under the giant heather trees is spectacular and we ask you to help preserve this prestine environment by keeping to the pathway. The views give us the impression that we could fly as we look across the many ridges and valleys far below. You can see Kilembe village deep in the valley and across Lake George. After a relatively short climb the trail becomes less steep as we reach Chavumba (meaning heaven) at 3,316m then walk down to a small valley where you may see Giant lobelias (lobelia gibberoa). From here we continue climbing passing through trees covered with deep green moss and a host of plants which thrive is the ever misty environment to 3,515 metres where we take a left turn on a path leading to trail to Kalalama. At Kalalama Camp we prepare our evening meals while overlooking Kasese and Lake George from a different perspective. To the south is the rugged cliff faces of Rwatamaguta and Karasimbi rising far above us and creating the wonder of the diversity of the Rwenzori Mountains
Day 3. We slowly descend down through the bamboo forests. Here the bamboo zone is much wetter than the climb up to Samalira Camp as the trail is on the southern windward side of the mountain and gets much more rain. At around 2,600 metres the bamboo gives way to afro montane forests at we pass just above Sine Rock Shelter. This rock shelter was the home to a gentleman called Sine who spent over thirty years in the mountains poaching animals. tAs we reak the bottom of the ridge we cross a rather large fast flowing stem and on the Musenge rock shelter. Here we have lunch and a short break before we walk the final 6 km through thick mountain montane forest to the rangers post. After a short debriefing, we sign off and walk the 1.2 kilometres to our waiting vehicles and down to Trekkers Hostel.