Central Circuit Trail in the Rwenzori Mountains

The central circuit path route can take you through Mount Baker, Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, and occasionally the Rwenzori Mountains National Park’s Weismann summit.

The most popular hiking path in the Rwenzori Mountains is the central circuit trail, which is supervised by the Rwenzori mountaineering service. This excellent walk passes through all of the major plant zones, providing a dramatic contrast in scenery from the tropical lowlands at roughly 1,000 meters as it progressively climbs via gorges and super valleys to the granite summit of Mount Stanley. It passes through the lower and upper Bigo bogs, where walk boards have been installed to make passage through the boogy region easier.

The most suitable climbing Rwenzori mountains national park can be explored on the 7 Days Rwenzori Mountaineering Tour or the 8 Days Rwenzori Hiking Tour, which are among the top Rwenzori Mountaineering Tours booked at Rwenzori Mountaineering Services. It is possible for solo travelers with budget travelers or group tours which can have extra Uganda wildlife Safari add-ons like Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale National Park, and Wildlife watching in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

This path will take you up to the top of the peak, Margherita, and back in 7-8 days. This journey is definitely better done with the assistance of guides and porters to assist with navigating, cooking, and carrying bags. This also makes exploring and enjoying the surroundings simpler. This trek’s whole circle will take you via 6 separate campgrounds.

Central Circuit Trail
Stopover Points on the Central Circuit Trail in the Rwenzori Mountains.
  • Nyabitaba at 2651 meters
  • John matte at 3505 meters
  • Bujuku at 3962 meters
  • Elena at 4541 meters
  • Kitandara at 4023 meters
  • Guy yeoman at 3505 meters

About Central Circuit Trail in the Rwenzori Mountains

The Rwenzori Mountaineering Services owns and manages the core circuit, which begins at Mihunga gate at 1651m.  Although the trail between the John Matte and Bujuku camps is often marshy, this is the most convenient, quickest, and fastest approach to the Margherita summit. The central circuit path route can take you through Mount Baker, Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, and occasionally the Rwenzori Mountains National Park’s Weismann summit. The Central Circuit is the most popular and shortest ancient traditional hiking path among Rwenzori mountaineers. The trail/route is owned and operated by Rwenzori mountaineering services, a community-based organization that approaches the Rwenzori mountains from the east.

This magnificent trail winds through five different vegetation zones, providing spectacular views of Mount Baker, Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, and Weisman Peak as it crosses both the lower and upper bigo bogs, which are firmly supported by boardwalks for easy trekking. The center circle route connects Mihunga to Bujuku through Nyabitaba and John Matte.  The route continues from the Bujuku to additional summits, the Scott Elliot Pass, and the Kitandara lakes. It then continues on to Bujuku Valley through the new field pass.

The path is relatively rocky, with five evenly spaced huts that serve as overnight rest stops for all mountaineers climbing the Alps. Nyabitaba hut, John Matte hut, Bujuku hut, Elena hut, Kitandara hut, and Guy Yeoman hut are all weather tolerant. The trail, however, follows the thick forests and bushes, which are a natural home to various mammals and bird species such as hyrax, forest elephants, L’hoest monkeys, Black and White colobus monkeys, three-horned chameleons, Rwenzori Turaco, handsome francolin, barred long tail cuckoo, strange weaver, and others.

Finally, safaris along this path include 7-day central circuits, 6-day Weismann treks, and 5-day Rwenzori treks, among others, depending on the strength and preferences of each climber, as the trail travels through all five vegetation zones.

Other hiking trails on Mount Rwenzori.

Aside from the central circuit trail on Mount Rwenzori, hikers can also use the Kilembe Trail to get to the summit.

About Kilembe Trail

The Kilembe track on Mount Rwenzori is another alternative for hikers, albeit it is more difficult to reach Margherita Peak than the Central Circuit route. It is difficult and difficult to win, and we recommend that all inexperienced hikers avoid this path. It is challenging and quite steep, requiring a lot of energy throughout the trekking excursion.

Due to its remarkable beauty, it is a very beautiful route to follow, allowing hikers to explore more on the many paths/trails they take as they ascend and descend the Mountain. The many paths/trails allow you to see the changing landscape, which includes the Forested Area, Rocky Areas, Boogy Environment, and Pristine Environment. Because of the difficult experience, this should be your Route to Margherita Peak for all keen hikers. At various points along the mountain, you will sleep in huts.

When is the best time to climb the Rwenzori Mountains

Most people visit prefer to climb the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda during the months of July, August, and September. The following months are favorable: October, January, and February. These six months, including December, are considered the prime season for Rwenzori hiking treks. The months of December, March, and June are considered shoulder seasons. Finally, rain is expected in April, May, and November. These three months are Rwenzori’s low season, with many tour operators providing discounts.

Hiking the Rwenzori Mountains During the Peak Season.

The nicest part about climbing today is that you can be completely dry. Yes, it can rain at any time of year, particularly in the jungle and moorlands, although the rain is usually mild and irregular. If you stay dry, you will be more comfortable and have a more enjoyable trek to the mountain summit. Furthermore, the panoramas are accentuated by bright and sunny skies throughout the dry season. The disadvantage is that there are many climbers on the pathways, which may take away the feeling of being on a huge, lonesome mountain. Most people, unsurprisingly, prefer to climb during the dry season since the possibility of beautiful weather overcomes any fears they may have about encountering other people on the mountain.

Central Circuit Trail

Hiking the Rwenzori Mountains During the Low Season.

Some travelers choose to climb the Rwenzori Mountains during the low season in order to have the mountain to themselves. The mountain is mostly deserted, and you can be the only group at a campsite. This is tranquil, and many individuals want solitude when they wander outside. Second, while it rains often during the low season, it generally rains in the afternoon. The majority of the trekking on Rwenzori may be done in the mornings, limiting time spent on the trail while it rains.

What can one see during their climb along the Central Circuit in the Rwenzori Mountains?

70 animal species and 177 bird species live in the vegetation zones. Among the creatures are elephants, chimpanzees, Rwenzori otters, and leopards. Despite their prevalence, they are rarely seen because of the dense vegetation. Primate species like colobus (Angola and black-and-white varieties are thought to exist), blue monkeys, and small antelope like bushbucks are easier to spot, as are rare reptiles like the three-horned chameleon.

Because several of the bird species here are Albertine Rift endemics, the Rwenzoris is designated as an Important Birding Area (IBA). The greatest diversity is found in the montane forest where you may see the Rwenzori Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Long-eared Owl, Handsome Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Archers’ Robin-chat, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Slender-billed Starling, Blue-headed Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, Strange Weaver and several varieties of Barbets, Greenbuls, Apalises, IIladopsis, Flycatchers and Crimson wings.

Is it difficult to hike the Central Circuit Trail in the Rwenzori Mountains?

Hiking the central circuit trail in the Rwenzori Mountains is quite a challenging hike hence it is recommended for hikers who are experienced in long and strenuous mountain hikes.

Where can one sleep when hiking the central circuit trail in Rwenzori Mountain?

Lodging on a Rwenzori hiking excursion is both practical and fun. Resting points along the Central Circuit trail in the Rwenzori Mountains include; Nyabitaba, John Matte, Bujuku, Elena, Kitandara, and Guy Yeoman huts.

After a long travel, the creature comforts of a low-cost hotel will feel luxurious. The wooden shelters in the mountains are erected to keep the worst of the weather out and to provide space for storing supplies required along the way. The slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park are home to a number of quaint lodges, hostels, and campers that provide ideal bases for your adventures.

What other activities can one combine with hiking the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda?

The most popular gorilla trekking location in Uganda is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Mountain Gorilla families live in the deep bush. Uganda is home to the world’s biggest and most tightly monitored mountain gorilla population, which is divided between two national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park is undoubtedly Uganda’s most popular tourist attraction. The activity includes a unique encounter with mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas may be found in four national parks: Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Uganda is home to half of the surviving mountain gorilla population. Uganda is also the only country with mountain gorillas in two separate national parks.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale National Park.

Kibale Chimpanzee Trekking brings you to one of Uganda’s most popular parks. Kibale National Park is located in the districts of Kibale and Kabarole in western Uganda. The park was founded in 1995 to protect the forest and prevent illicit logging, but chimps have now become a major draw. The Rwenzori Mountains, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Semuliki National Park are all nearby. Kibale is known as the world’s monkey capital due to the vast variety/density of primates and for being the greatest spot in East Africa to monitor chimpanzees.

Kibale National Park in Uganda is home to over 324 bird species, including the Black-capped Apalis, African Pitta, Crowned Eagle, Woodland Warbler, Black-eared Ground Thrush, Blue-headed Sunbirds, Yellow-spotted Nicator, Little Greenbul, Black-bee Eater, Collared Apalis, and Purple-breasted Sunbird. Golden cats, Warthogs, Hippos, Buffaloes, Forest Elephants, Bush Pigs, Bushbucks, Sitatungas, Duikers, Mongooses, Buffaloes, and leopards are among the mammals.

Game Drive Safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Kasese district is one of the greatest places in Uganda to see big game, including savannah elephants, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, buffalo, and other antelope. It features large savannah plains where tourist cars travel via trucks heading to various spots within the park where most of these animals hide. The park is the second largest in Uganda after Murchison Falls National Park, and it is located in western Uganda, spanning to the DRC on its southern border of Ishasha. The tree-climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park have been observed on fig trees in the Ishasha district.

Queen Elizabeth is one of the locations you should not miss on your Uganda safari if you want to have an exciting vacation. In this park, wildlife drives are conducted in two areas: the Kasenyi plains and the Ishasha sector. Kasenyi plains, on the other hand, is more popular due to the enormous quantity of Uganda kobs that attract lions, leopards and spotted hyenas. It is also easily accessible due to its proximity to the major road. Kasenyi also includes several fascinating features such as Lake George, craters, and a variety of wildlife.

Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are conducted in the morning from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. and in the evening beginning at 4:30 p.m. The four-hour forest drive is an exciting part of the safari because you may see leopards in trees defending their prey, thousands of Uganda kobs and waterbucks grazing, enormous herds of buffalo in different regions of the park, and herds of elephants and warthogs. When you go on a morning game drive, the dawn is also quite vivid, and those who go on an evening game drive have really beautiful views of the sundowner.

Following the wildlife drive, the driving guide brings you to Bunyampaka crater lake, where flamingos congregate when migrating from Lake Nakuru in Kenya. It also provides stunning views of the salt pans formed by humans mining salt in this crater.

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