All About Kilembe Trail on the Rwenzori Mountains

The Kilembe path is now owned and operated by Rwenzori trekking services, and it provides a 7-8-day journey that begins at 1450m and includes traversing through the gorgeous highlands on the first day, as well as spending the first night at Kalalama camp at 3147m.

The Rwenzori Trekking Services owns and manages the Kilembe trail/route, popularly known as the southern circuit. The Kilembe trail on the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda, also known as the southern circuit, was inaugurated in 2009, following the building of new cottages in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. This track was provided as an alternate route for Rwenzori mountaineers to utilize in order to climb the top. Although it was originally followed by Professor Scott Elliott in 1895, he did not reach its peak.

Climbing the Kilembe Trail on the Rwenzori Mountains

Mount Luigi Di Savoia

The circuit showcases the Rwenzori Mountains’ rich plant and animal life, and the hikes along it provide the greatest climbing experience of the gorgeous lake, majestic peaks, and breathtaking glaciers, among other things. The Kilembe path is now owned and operated by Rwenzori trekking services, and it provides a 7-8-day journey that begins at 1450m and includes traversing through the gorgeous highlands on the first day, as well as spending the first night at Kalalama camp at 3147m.

The second day’s journey begins at 9:00 a.m. and proceeds through a steep bamboo-mimulopsis zone to Mutinda Camp at 4,688 m. Day 3 hiking takes you into the Alpine vegetation zone, which includes flora-like enormous lobelias, and ends with an overnight stay at Bugata Camp. On Day 4, you will approach the Bamwanjara Pass (4,450m), which affords spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks, and arrive at Hunwick’s Camp, which is positioned on the cliff overlooking Mount Baker. On your route to Margherita Camp (4,845m), the fifth day steadily ascends to the highest point of the climb, the Scott Elliott Pass.

The journey on the sixth day usually begins around 3:00 a.m. since it entails going across glaciers before the sun rises. This is due to the fact that when the glaciers melt, the route leading to the Margherita becomes inaccessible. Mountaineers always choose the longest path, which is the most motivating and gratifying part of the journey. The breathtaking views from the Margherita Summit will be with you for the rest of your life.

On the seventh day, you will descend through the valley and up to the camp. Rwenzori Trekking Services manages the Kilembe Hiking Trail.  This trail was established in 2009 as an alternate route for Rwenzori mountain climbers who wanted to visit the snow-capped heights (Mount of the Moon). In comparison to the core circuit track, the trail is well-known for its lush foliage.

Mount Luigi Di Savoia
Central Circuit Trail

Where to stay during your Kilembe Trail on the Rwenzori Mountains?

Hikers using the Kilembe trail when climbing the Rwenzori Mountains can stay at the following places;

  • Sine hut at 2596 meters
  • Mutinda Camp at 3582 meters
  • Bugata Camp at 4100 meters
  • Margherita Camp at 4485 meters
  • Hunwicks Camp at 3874 meters
  • Kiharo Camp at 3430 meters

Other Trails on the Rwenzori Mountains

Rwenzori wooden Trail

Central Circuit Trail.

The central circuit trail on the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda is the oldest and most ancient track used by both experienced and beginner hikers to reach Margherita Mountain’s top. This great journey spans the five vegetation zones of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, providing wonderful encounters as it ascends to the granite top of Mount Stanley via 1000m tropical valleys and gorges. In comparison to the marshy trail beyond John Maate camp, the Central circuit track, which bridges the lower and upper Bigo bogs, is the quickest and simplest access route to Margherita Peak.

The Bukurungu Trail

The Bukurungu trail on the Rwenzori Mountains was constructed along the Central Circuit and Kilembe routes. The trail is ideal for nature enthusiasts since it passes through four beautiful lakes (Mughuli, Bukurungu, Bujuku, and Irene) as well as mountain rivers, waterfalls, and lush foliage. This tour, like Kilimanjaro, takes 8 days and includes a must-see stop at Margherita Peak.

Unlike the Kilembe and Central circuit routes, the Bukurungu path is an open track used for camping with no shelters but rather safe and secure camping locations meticulously designed and supervised by the Bujuku Eco tours under Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

Margherita Peak in the Rwenzori Mountains

A Guide to Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda

The Rwenzori Mountain National Park is one of Africa’s most beautiful and unique trekking destinations, taking you up through the 6 different vegetation zones (savannah zone(680m-1800m), Afromontane Forest zone(1800m-2600m), Bamboo Forest Zone(2600-2900m), heather/Rapenea Zone(2900-4000m), Afro-alpine moorland zones (4000-4500m), and rocky/glacier zone (4500-5109m), the snow peaks of Baker, Speke and Stanley, the spectacular lakes, and the Margherita Peak which is the most famous among hikers. The Rwenzori Mountains, also known as the Mountains of the Moon, are located in western Uganda, near the Uganda-Congo border. The tropical snow peaks include Africa’s third highest point, and the lower slopes are covered in moorland, bamboo, and lush, damp montane forest. enormous lobelias and “everlasting flowers” are strewn across the slope with enormous tree heathers and multicolored mosses, creating an exquisite, fairy-tale landscape.

Imagine the fervor and intimacy you would feel after hiking the Rwenzori mountains as a novice and reaching the foot of the tallest mountain on the planet, surrounded by the grandeur and majesty of the Rwenzori mountain peaks. Rwenzori Mountains National Park preserves the highest portions of the Rwenzori mountain range, which is 120 kilometers long and 65 kilometers broad. The park is home to 70 animals and 217 bird species, including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s most unusual flora.

The Rwenzori Mountains National Park covers roughly 100,000 acres in Southwestern Uganda and contains the majority of the Rwenzori mountain ranges, which include Africa’s third highest peak (Margherita at 5,109 m). It is one of Africa’s most stunning alpine locations due to the surrounding glaciers, waterfalls, and lakes. The park has a lot of natural habitats for vulnerable species as well as rich and distinctive vegetation, including the enormous heather. Every day, the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Trek adds a new level of experience and a genuine new mountain hiking method. The actual experience begins the moment you step inside the park for the first time. The central circuit journey from Nyakalengija to Guyeoman, passing via John matte hut, Bujuku hut, Elena hut, and Kitandara hut.  This walk is comforting and evocative, and it is a wonderful experience that everyone should have.

Trekking the Rwenzori Mountains in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park for Beginners may appear difficult, but it is not. The walk is full of surprises as each footstep takes you further into the bush and across diverse stunning sights in Africa. Meet the Bakonjo people along the path; you will be astounded by their warmth, humility, and expressions of thanks to every climber. Trekking across the center circuit of the Rwenzori mountains is an adventure you will never forget, but it takes bravery, devotion, and strength to get there. The walk is appropriate for hikers and climbers of all skill levels. To reach the pinnacle, you don’t need any talents, only sheer power.

What other activities can one do when climbing the Rwenzori Mountains

Bird Watching in Nyungwe Forest


Approximately 217 bird species have been identified in the park. It is also home to 17 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics and 58 of the 88 Afro Tropical highland biome endemics. Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, Archer’s Robin-Chat, African Long-eared Owl, Western Green Tinkerbird, Olive Woodpecker, Grey-chested Illadopsis, Rwenzori Hill Babbler are some of the bird species you may expect to observe while on safari here.

Grey-winged Robin, Cinnamon Bracken Evergreen Forest, Bamboo Warblers, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Mountain Soo Red-faced, Red-throated Alethe, Montane Masked and Collared Apalises, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted, Malachite, Blue-headed, Rwenzori Double-collared, Tiny and Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbirds, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Dusky and Shelley’s Crimsonwing, and many other species may be found in the Rwenzori Mountains.

Nature Walks on the Rwenzori Mountains.

Because it is a mountain park, there is a lot of nature to explore in terms of plants and other things. On these routes for bird watchers, you may expect to witness a lot of birds, butterflies, and other small flying insects and flora.

Lake Viewing

Rwenzori National Park has around 20 lakes, with Lake Mahoma being the most accessible due to its location in the highlands. Mt Stanley, Baker, and Speke valleys surround Lake Bujuku. The Nyamwamba route has eight magnificent lakes, including Lake Kitandara.

Community Cultural Tours.

Interact with the Bakonzo people who live in the Rwenzori mountain foothills. We will follow a route to visit the residents as they show their daily tasks such as gardening and animal husbandry, as well as making daily meals – from farm to supper. Visit blacksmiths, traditional healers, basket weavers, and dance and storytelling performances. Alternatively, you may take a journey through the sacred valley to Bakonzo cultural sites; this trip takes around 7 hours in total.

Lake Bujuku in Rwenzori mountains

Tips for hiking the Kilembe Trail on the Rwenzori Mountains

The trek to Rwenzori Mountains National Park is not for the faint of heart. You must adhere to all Rwenzori Mountains trekking recommendations and suggestions in order to succeed and reach your final objective.  The following are some trek tips and tactics that may be useful for novices in attaining their objective.

What to wear when climbing the Rwenzori Mountains?

Pace yourself during your hike

The most important suggestion for all novices is to go slowly and listen to your body. Don’t overstress your body, and don’t push yourself too hard on your first walk. Most novices push themselves really hard in order to reach the summit as soon as possible in order to limit the number of days of trekking. This is very discouraging on your first attempt.

A 7 or 8-day Rwenzori trek is a lengthy walk that needs an average level of fitness for beginners. Do not worry, and give yourself enough of rest each day so your body can regain its regular vigor before traveling to a new location. As a result, it is preferable to travel slowly and take breaks than to become hurt and stranded at some point.

Book your hiking tour through a reliable Tour Operator Company

When planning your Rwenzori trekking trip in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, it is important to book with a reputable tour operator business, because your trekking experience is dependent on the company that will customize your Rwenzori trekking trip. Only Rwenzori Mountaineering Service can provide you with fantastic hiking in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

Rwenzori Mountaineering Service will offer you a suitable connection and a team to assist you in the event of an immediate emergency during the journey, as well as important ideas and guidance to help you achieve your ambition of reaching the Margherita Peak of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

11 days Rwenzori hike and Queen Elizabeth wildlife safari
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Pack the right gear for your hike

What to bring, what to wear, and trekking and camping equipment are all significant features of every journey, whether for a novice or an experienced hiker. You are advised to bring appropriate equipment that will be useful from the beginning to the finish of your journey. Try to always get dependable equipment that is not only new but also long-lasting. Inspect your trekking equipment before packing to guarantee it won’t let you down on your epic walk.

Adjust to high altitudes/ Proper Acclimatization

Acclimatization is essential before embarking on a lengthy and high-altitude journey in the Rwenzori Mountains, particularly from Bujuku hut to Elene hut to Kitandara hut. Each day will take you over high-low terrain for optimal acclimatization, which is essential for maintaining your body’s oxygen level. Inadequate acclimatization might result in catastrophic illnesses on the mountain. As a result, get enough rest and acclimate before ascending to high altitude the next day.

Carry your Medicine and First Aid Kit.

All hikers, novice and expert alike, are urged to bring adequate medication to aid them in the event of an accident or illness.  There is no medicine provided during trekking, and there is no medical center in the park. The best way to prevent missing out on your fantastic Rwenzori hike if you become unwell is to bring enough medication as well as a first aid kit in your backpack. However, it is always recommended that you speak with your doctor for valuable kit advice so that you bring the appropriate medicine for beginners with you.

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