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Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda

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Rwenzori Mountains Map PDF
Rwenzoru Map Gif

The Rwenzori Mountains National Park, which closed in July 1997 due to insecurity, re-opened on Monday July 2, 2001.

Rwenzori Centenary Celebrations 1906 - 2006:
Centenary Celebrations of the climbing of the Rwenzori range by the scientific expedition led by Luigi Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Abruzzi in 1906 were held during 2006. The official website outlining the key events, and history of the climb can be found at http://www.rwenzoriabruzzi.com

All National Park tariffs indicated below are effective 01 January 2009 through 30th June 2010
UWA New tariffs document Jan 2009 - June 2010 (148KB)Adobe Acrobat Document

 Visitor Entrance Fees  Non-Resident  Foreign Resident  East Africans
 Class - Category A  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees Ush
 Adult  1 day/night - $30-  1 day/night - $20-  1 day/night - Ush5,000-
 Child (5-15 years)  1 day/night - $15-  1 day/night - $10-  1 day/night - Ush2,500-
 Child (0-5 years)  Free  Free  Free
Foreign Students with valid international identity cards are allowed 25% on entrance fees.
One days entrance is valid for twenty-four hours from the time of entrance.
All visitors will be required to produce valid ID's in order to determine their resident status.

Rwenzori Mountains NP Trekking Fees:

The trekking fee packages offered by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services below are effective 1st January 2009. The fees below are inclusive of national park entrance fees.

 Visitor Trekking Fees
 Central Circuit Trail
 Non-Resident  Residents & East African Citizen  Uganda Citizen
 Class  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees US$
 Adult (7 days/6 nights)  US$780-
 US$705-
 US$400-
 Extra time on the mountain
 Adult each additional day  US$120-
 US$120-
 US$120-
 Central Circuit plus Margherita Peak
 Adult  US$990-
 US$870-
 US$470-
 Additional Peaks
 Each additional peak  US$150-  US$150-  US$150-

The Central Circuit trekking fee package detailed above provides for the 6 night/7 day circuit trail. This does not provide for an attempt on any summit. The amount does include 2 Porters per person(max load 25kgs) and Guide fees (including their food), Rescue fees and accommodation/shelter on the mountain and heating fee (bag of charcoal).

Additional costs for consideration would be a cook US$70-, an extra porter USD70- and should RMS provide food for your trip this wold cost US$120-.

Additional costs that would include attempted climbs of the peaks will are charged for at rates indicated under the heading 'Extra time on the Mountain' above.

Shorter duration treks are possible for those that do not want to spend 7 days on the mountain. Communicate directly with RMS for details.

Commercial Filming Fees:
Commercial filming in this Category 'A' Protected Area is US$200- per person per day plus a refundable fee of US$1,000- when you provide UWA a copy of the film.

Kitandara Hut and Kitandara lake
Kitandara Hut and Kitandara lake

The official start days for treks are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. However on the ground in Kasese depending on the traffic on the mountain and the booking situation people are starting their climbs outside of the official start days. Shorter duration visitors are being offered the possiblity to trek either in a clockwise or anit-clockwise direction. It is usual to trek in a clockwise direction for those on the 7 day circuit trail and those climbing some of the peaks. This 'managerial flexibility' in Kasese obviously leads to congestion at various huts so having a tent as back up accommodation would be in your interest. Trekkers/climbers prolonging their trips especially at Elena hut due to poor weather magnifies the over crowding situation on the mountain (a new hut is to be constructed at Elena in the near future). If you need that extra window of time it is recommended at the time of booking your intentions are made known. Put yourself in the situation of arriving at a hut expecting the use of accommodation only to find it fully occupied. Take a tent if you need the flexibility in your itinerary so as not to compromise the quality of the experience of other trekkers following in your footsteps.

Rwenzori Mountaineering Services is the only organiser franchised to run treks on the Central Circuit Route in the Rwenzori. RMS maintains an office in Kasese at Plot 30 Rwenzori Road
Tel +256 (0)785 257635 - Kasese Office
Tel +256 (0)755 723581 - Nyakalengija Office
Te. +256 (0)784 308425 - Kampala Reservations
Email: trek@rwenzorimountaineeringservices.com, rwenzorims@gmail.com, rwenzorims@yahoo.com. RMS will organise transfers from Kasese to Ibanda (the Park HQ and trail head) and back. This is not included in the trekking package fee. Some basic equipment can also be rented from RMS.

The Uganda Travel Planner offers only an outline to trekking in the Rwenzori. Those seriously considering the trek would be advised to do forward reading and purchase the Map and Guide to the Rwenzori published by East African and East European Mountain Guides. Contact details and ISBN is covered in the 'Essential Reading and Maps' document. This map and guide is sometimes available from bookshops in Kampala.

Location:
The Rwenzori lie along Uganda's western border with the DRC, they are sometimes referred to as the 'Mountains Of The Moon'. Rwenzori Mountains National Park was proclaimed a World Heritage Site to protect the natural beauty, flora and fauna of the area. The Rwenzori are a true mountain range created by up lift of the earth crust through tectonic movement and are not as a result of volcanic activity. The range is 120 km in length and 48 km in width. The mountains are frequently shrouded in mist and cloud with the peaks rarely being visible from far.

At the center of the range, there are six peaks carrying permanent snow, three with glaciers. The highest of these peaks, and the third highest peak in Africa, is Mt. Margherita rising 5102 meter above sea level.

The Rwenzori Mountains were gazetted as a National Park in 1991. The Park covers 996 km2 of rugged mountain terrain offering visitors a rare experience of an Afro-Montane rainforest. These forest start above 3000 m and includes the giant forms of Lobelia, Heather and Groundsel.

Best Time to Visit:
Avoid the rain seasons at all costs. The Rwenzori is one of the main watersheds of the Nile receiving rain throughout the year but exceptional amounts from March through till June and September through December.

Getting There:
The Park is 25 km from Kasese. Leave Kasese in the direction of Fort Portal and take a left turn after 4 km. The junction is signposted with a large yellow Rwenzori Mountains National Park sign. The route to Ibanda is 15 km along a rough track. Ibanda is the HQ for the national park and trail head. Vehicles could be left here for the period of the trek.

For those leaving vehicles in Kasese (Margarita Hotel) or if traveling by public means a special hire vehicle is the most sensible option to get up to Ibanda where transport is very infrequent. Rwenzori Mountaineering Services offer a transfer service for US$10 each way for the vehicle hire.

Accommodation on the Mountain:
There is a series of huts on the 'Circuit' route. In 1996 the huts of Nyabitaba, John Matte, Guy Yeoman and Elena where in fair to good condition, the hut at Kitandara lake was in poor condition, the hut at Bujuku resembled nothing more than an iron sheet shelter which was very dirty and inadequate. Camping on the mountain would be preferable, however the terrain resembles a floating bog.

Accommodation in Ibanda:
Ruboni Camp: Tel. +256 (0)414 501866, Mobile (0)774 195859, email: ucota@africaonline.co.ug, www.rwenzori.org/conservation. Community project of the Ruboni Community Tourism Association supported by UCOTA (Uganda Community Tourism Association). There is a booking office in Kasese town where a special hire taxi can be arranged for you or alternatively take a matatu to Ibanda from Kasese and walk the short distance to Ruboni Camp. Follow the signposting for the RMS offices and continue up the trail to the camp situated just outside the park gate.

Accommodation in newly constructed (opened 2005) Self-contained Bandas (single, doubles and dormitory).
2 self contained bandas available at Ushs25,000- per person sharing
2 furnished safari tents available at Ushs15,000- per person sharing
Self camping Ushs3,000- per person

Meals from Ushs4,000- to Ushs10,000- per meal

Activities from Ruboni Camp

Village walk Ushs20,000- per person
Other walks Ushs15,000- per person (village walk, hill climp walk, pipeline walk, waterfalls walk)

Rwenzori Mountains Services Bunkhouse: Located at RMS's offices next to the National Parks Headquarters at the entrance to Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Meals are available through a local womens group.

Single rooms Ushs10,000-, Double rooms Ushs15,000-. Vehicle parking is possible in their compound at a fee of Ushs2000- per night.

Rwenzori Basecamp Guesthouse: Tel. 0752 796445, email: cobwa@yahoo.co.uk. Located in Ibanda village 4 kms from the National Park. Rwenzori Basecamp offers single, double and twin accommodation in comfortable surroundings. Some rooms are self-contained, DSTV, fully stocked bar, meals to order. Safe secuire parking for vehicles left whilst on the mountain.

US$45- executive double self contained room
US$40- double self contained room
US$35- single executive self contained room
US$30- single self contained room
Rates include breakfast

Rwenzori Mountains Safari Lodge: +256 (0)483 444 830. Established in 2008 right on the park boundary opposite Ruboni Community Camp.

Cottage single occupancy: USD65-
Cottage double occupancy USD100-
Rates are full board packages.

Accommodation in Kasese:
Margharita Hotel: Tel. 0483 44015, Fax. 44077, email: info@hotel-margherita.com. The preferred base camp for many trekking the Rwenzori. Located 3 km west of town on the road to Kilembe.

Camping in the gardens is permitted Ush10,000- per tent.
Executive Suite: US$100-, Apartment: US$120-, Single rooms from US$45-, Double Rooms from US$55-

Saad Hotel: Tel. 0483 44139, 0772 499552, email info@newsaadhotel.com. Central, clean and friendly. Restaurant but alcohol not permitted.

Executive suite self contained with a/c Ushs30,000-, Twin room self contained Ushs 26,000-, Double room self contained Ushs20,000-.

Rwenzori International Hotel: Tel. 0483 44148, Fax 0483 44147, mobile 0772 904236, email rwenzoriinternationalhotel@gmail.com

Located 3 km from town in a quiet residential area. Large gardens ideal for campers. DSTV

Room rates 2008:
Single self contained rooms with dstv - US$40-
Double self contained rooms with dstv - US$50-
Single self-contained standard rooms - US$30-
Single room with shared bathroom facilitiesUS$20-
Accommodation rates include breakfast.

White House Hotel: Tel. 0483 44706
Centrally located close to the offices of RMS. Restaurant with local, indian and european dishes. DSTV

Singles Ushs12,000- non self contained, Doubles Ushs17,000- self contained.
Room rates include breakfast.

Basic accommodation available in Kasese is also available at Atco Holiday Inn, Highway Bar and Lodge, Kaghasera, Paradise Bar and Lodgings.

Accommodation in Mitandi:

Mitandi is to be found far from the main 'tourist trail' into the Rwenzoro Mountains and a wonderful place to learn about culture and life of people in the mountains. Mitandi is located about 40 minutes drive from Fort Portal town off the Kasese road. To get there 14 km from Fort Portal in the trading cetre of 'Buhesi turn right and and follow the road straight for ca. 8 km.

Camp Norway, Mitandi: Tel. +256 782 500979 (Tore), +256 782 348475 (Vigdis), email: visitmitandi@yahoo.com, www.mitandi.com/mitandi. Situated at 1800m in the Rwenzori mts, 35 min from Fort Portal off the Kasese road. Norwegian and Bakonjo staff offer a hospitable service and comfortable surrondings to very high standards. 3 beautiful, clean, new huts with 2 (3) beds, WC, hot/cold shower. Wonderful food is prepared using locally produced ingredients. An open fireplace is a central focus to sit and enjoy views all the way to Fort Portal!

Camp Norway is and ideal venue for trekking Mt. Karangura (3014m), and to use as a base for day-trips to Kibale forest or Queen Elizabeth NP. Great place to prepare and unwind after Rwenzori trek.

It is requested that alcohol not be consumed at Camp Mitandi. It not available for sale either on the premises. In respect of social responsibility 5% of your overnight fee goes to education and environmental projects in the locality. Affordable transport to and from Fort Portal is arranged by prior request.

US$120- per person - all meals and unique service included
US$80- per person - bed & breakfast

Wildlife and Bird Life:
Those visiting the national park will probably be disappointed at the lack of visible wild life. Elephant, Chimpanzee, Forest Hog and Sitatunga is all here but very rarely seen. Such species are all very shy and equally rare. However the birding enthusiasts will be in their element. With several endemic sunbirds, Rwenzori Turaco and Mountain Buzzard all evident and obvious this is a veritable feast for the bird spotter.

The Circuit Route:
Day 1: Nyakalengija gate to Nyabitaba Hut 2600m, 5 hours, elevation gained 1200m.
Day 2: Nyabitaba Hut to John Matte Hut3515m, 7 hours, elevation gained 915m.
Day 3: John Matte Hut to Bujuku Hut 4075m, 5 hours, elevation gained 560m.
Day 4: Bujuku Hut to Kitandara Hut 4050m, 5 hours, elevation gained to Scot Elliot Pass 425m. Descend to Kitandara Hut.
Day 5: Kitandara Hut to Guy Yeoman Hut 3500m, 5-7 hours, elevation gained to Freshfield Pass 300m. Descend to Guy Yeoman Hut.
Day 6: Guy Yeoman Hut to Nyabitaba Hut 2600m, 5 hours.
Day 7: Nyabitaba Hut to Park HQ, 2-3 hours. Some trekkers incorporate this day into day 6 coming off the mountain a day early.

Longer treks can be arranged with time built in to attempt peaking on Mt. Margharita. This route involves a night spent at Elena Hut at 4540 m between Bujuku and Kitandara Huts prior to the assent. Use of crampons and an ice axe is essential but can be hired from the Park HQ.

Bujuku Hut
Bujuku Hut

Points to consider:
Altitude sickness is common and exaggerated when the rate of climb is too rapid for your body to adjust to. The terrain is incredibly muddy. When out of the mud there is bog and when out of the bog it is generally very wet under foot. The wearing of trekking shoes is impossible and most people wear these shoes only around the huts. For walking people resort to buying a pair of rubber boots (wellington boots/gum boots). Some choose to walk in running shoes but getting the shoes dry again is impossible during the trek. The porters and guides all wear rubber boots even with crampons on! A walking stick is imperative for stability and probing the depth of the mud.

The Parks HQ at Ibanda direct a 15 minute Rwenzori awareness presentation to alert you to the fragility of the mountain but also to assess that you are properly equipped for the trek.

Rwenzori Northern Spur Trekking:
Kamugha Guesthouse: Situated close to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Kazingo. Kamugha guesthouse caters for tourists and travelers interested in native communities, customs and culture. Activities that include treks to Bundibuygo and Semliki National Park (1 day), trekking in RMNP on northern spur circuit (3 to 5 days) and homestead visits on the Bundibuygo side of the Rwenzori (1 to 2 days). Hikes of lesser duration are also possible in the locality of the Guesthouse. Bicycles are available for hire.

To get there by public transport from Fort Portal board a matatu to the Kazingo Trading Center on the Bundibuygo road. Kamugha Guesthouse is a 5 minute walk from the trading center. Ask for directions at the RMNP outpost office at the center.

Accommodation and Food:
Accommodation: Ushs6,000-, Camping Ushs3,000-
Beds and mattresses (bring your own sleeping bag), camping in fenced compound, warm showers and laundry service. Hot traditional food, soft drinks, coffee and tea available.




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Rwenzori (A Range of Images)
David Pluth
Isbn 3906745007

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Ruwenzori, Uganda (Safari) (Deutsch)
von Peter Rotter
Erscheinungsdatum: 1996
ISBN: 3922396232

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