+255 753 522 721 info@wildgiantsafaris.co.tz

11 Day Margherita Peak Summit 5109m

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+255 753 522 721

info@wildgiantsafaris.co.tz

Day 1: Arrival Entebbe airport

Arrival at Entebbe airport and you will be met by our experienced driver guide who will transfer you to hotel in Entebbe. (Sleep at The Boma guest House (Upmarket) Papyrus Guest house (Midrange)

Day 2: Transfer to Kasese Rwenzori Mountains National Park

After an early morning breakfast, driver will be ready to transfer to Kasese, on the way stop over Fortportal for lunch. After lunch you will have a short trip at one of the most amazing Amabere caves and simple hike to view the crater lakes in Fort portal which helps in acclimatization before you continue to kasese. Sleep at Margherita Hotel (Upmarket) or Sandton hotel (Midrange) Trekkers hostel (Budget)

Day 3:Briefing from guides and start hike and sleep at Sine camp 2596 metres

Start at Trekkers at 1,450 meters and sleep at Sine Hut at 2,596 meters being a height gain of 1,146 meters, or those who are fit and want to proceed to Kalalama Camp at 3,134 metres may do so and apart from the fantastic views gives you more time at Mutinda Camp where you may climb up to Mutinda Lookout at 3,975 metres.

We start by walking up the valley floor through tall forest trees of the Afro Montane Forest Zone. This is a steady climb with multitudes of birds and a chance of seeing blue monkeys scampering off through the forest. At times visitors may see troupes of 15 to 20 black and white Colobus monkeys as they swing through the tree tops. There are rare sightings of the L’Hoest monkey which are part of the Bukonzo cultural emblems and are protected by the virtue of the King or Omusinga or you may hear wild chimpanzee in the distance. There is wide variety of plant species from forest trees to bamboos thickets, low shrubs, flowers, fungi, and with many moss and lichen covered vines hanging from the tall trees creating an awesome appeal. Enock’s Falls are just 200 meters from Sine Hut and offer a splendid opportunity to capture a great screensaver for your memories.

At Sine Camp 2,596 metres we have wooden huts set between tall forest trees on a narrow ridge where you may sit and enjoy the beauty of the Afro Montane forest while you look down at a fantastic waterfall crashing over the rocks far below. Some clients prefer to sit outside enjoying the warmth of the campfire and chat to the guides about the mountains and life in their community. Sine is just below the bamboo zone and the area around has many different bird species. 150 meters from the camp is Enock falls which is set in livid green vegetation and hanging vine. Truly beautiful. Sleep at Sine, or those who are fit and want to proceed to Kalalama Camp at 3,134 metres may do so and apart from the fantastic views gives you more time at Mutinda Camp where you may climb up to Mutinda Lookout at 3,975 metres.

Day 4: Hike to Mutinda camp 3688metres

Trekking starts at 8.30am and almost immediately you enter the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone which is steep climb with many high steps. In the wet season the bamboo zone is rather muddy and slippery making the going slow. However the atmosphere and the forest is beautiful as you climb 551 metres altitude and a distance of 1.8km to Kalalama Camp at 3,147 meters which is in the Heather-Rapanea Zone where you can take a rest and a quick cup of tea or coffee before heading on to Mutinda Camp. The trail meanders up and over several small knolls along a ridge top then drops down the side of the valley before climbing again, and in doing so cross several small streams and pass close to moss covered waterfalls. You then climb steadily along the side of a beautiful mossy river which tumbles down over the rocks under the Giant Heather trees whose trunks are covered in green moss with old man beards (Usnea lichen) hanging from the branches. The trail twists and turns as you climb up the deep valley, which has an enormous variety of plants and flowers. This valley is unique with many Giant Heather trees creating a beautiful atmosphere often shrouded in mist.

In the afternoon you may wish to climb up to the top of the Mutinda Lookout (one to two hours up and one hour down) The views are amazing as you stand on moss covered rocks at 3,925 meters with views across the Rwenzori Mountains and down to Kasese town and Lake George. For those clients who are climbing to Margherita or any of the main peaks climbing Mutinda 3,975 meters is also an excellent way to acclimatise and reduce the risk of high altitude sickness
Sleep at Mutinda Camp at 3.582 metres

Day 5: Hike to Bugata camp 4062 metres

The trail to Bugata Camp is boggy particularly in the wet season but with a little skill you can step from tussock to tussock to make the going easier. First you cross the Mutinda valley through the tussock grass and everlasting flowers interspersed with many Giant Lobelias before climbing a steep section up to the Namusangi Valley (3,840 meters), with sheer waterfalls and looking back you get fantastic views of Mutinda Peaks. The Namusangi Valley is wide, with many ups and downs as the trail climbs steadily to Bugata Camp at 4,100 metres.

Day 6: Hike to Butawu camp 3974 through Bamwanjara Pass

Trek to Hunwick’s Camp via Bamwanjarra Pass. As you leave Bugata Camp you pass up a ridge then drop down slightly before ascending to Bamwanjarra Pass at 4,450 meters where we have a hut should the weather turn bad. From the pass on a clear day you get excellent views of the three main peaks. The trail passes down the valley and around the edge of some bogs and thick ever green vegetation, moss. giant groundsel and lobelia. Here is possibly the best place in all the Rwenzori to observe the Malachite Sunbird as it feeds on the many lobelia flowers and a known breeding site. Farther on there is some steep sections before a steady climb up and over a ridge to Hunwick’s Camp which is situated on the top of a deep valley and has good views of Mt Stanley, Mt Baker, Weismanns Peak and McConnell’s Prong.

Day 7: Hike to Margherita Camp 4485 metres via Scott Elliot Pass

From Hunwick’s we pass down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitendara which is very stunning with deep water and beautiful vegetation. From here you climb up Scott Elliott’s pass then up the ridge to Margherita Camp 4,485 metres which is situated between some huge rocks and offering some shelter from the strong winds. This is the very spot where the Duke of Abruzzi camped when making his climb to Margherita Peak in 1906.

Day 8: Summit Margherita peak 5109m and sleep at Butawu Camp

Wake up at 2am and catch an early breakfast before heading off to climb Mt Stanley at 2.30am. This is necessary as the weather has changed a lot and often even during the dryer season the mountain is closed in with heavy clouds and snow falls from 1 pm to 4pm and this happens within a short period of 10 to 15 minutes as the clouds rise up from the extensive Congo rainforests. During January and February 2017 clients were closed in and unable to walk during heavy snow storms which previously were not heard of during the dryer season and arrived back at Margherita camp well after dark with one group arriving back at 11pm totally exhausted. Due to this change in weather we have set a strict turn around time of 10am so if you do not reach the peak before then you must turn around regardless of the disappointment in the interests of safety. Margherita glacier has also suffered with global warming and as the outer edges of the glacier recede the ice is becoming steeper with one section of about 200 meters more than 60% grade. Combined with this much of the blacker has melted underneath causing caves under the ice and as it get thinner eventually caves in. So is necessary that clients understand and take advice of where the guides suggest to pass.For those clients with less mountaineering experience we suggest that you stay on Stanley glacier and climb up to a good vantage point on a rocky outcrop on the southern edge of Alexandra Peak to enjoy fantastic views over Congo and the lower mountain ridges.After ascending the peak at 5,109 metres you then pass directly down to Hunwick’s Camp at 3.874 metres

Day 9: Descend to Kiharo Camp 3518m

Distance to Kiharo Camp 11km Time taken to walk 4 to 7 hoursFrom Hunwick’s Camp we start the day by climbing up a ridge towards McConnell’s Prong where you get the best views of all three peaks and Scott Elliott’s Pass before reaching Oliver’s Pass at 4,505 metres. The distance from Hunwick’s Camp to the top of Olivers Pass is 3km The trail then cuts across below Weismann’s Peak to the confluence of the Nyamwamba River which flows down thought Kilembe and Kasese to Lake George in Queen Elisabeth National Park.If you wish to climb Weismanns Peak 4,620 metres from Olivers pass you may do so at an extra cost of $20 each. On a clear day you get fantastic views of Margherita and Mt Stanley, Mt Speke and Mt Baker.After crossing the confluence the trail meanders down the valley to Kiharo Camp at which is situated in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation. On the way down the valley after each bog you will climb over a ridge of stones and earth which seems out of place but actually was pushed there by slow moving glaciers which eventually stopped moving, melted and left a pile of rocks and debris in front of where the glacier once stood.

Day 10: Hike down to base camp and transfer to Magherita hotel

Distance Kiharo Camp to the park gate 12.2km and another 2.8km down to Trekkers Hostel Time to walk 5 to 8 hours so those who need to connect to flights back to Kampala or travel on to other activities need to leave Kiharo early.The trail down the Nyamwamba Valley is mostly downhill and absolutely stunning with beautiful views, moss covered rocks along the river, cascading waterfalls, deep valleys and forests are possibly the best in the Rwenzori Mountains. This part of the trail took us six years to find a way through and a route which is easy enough for tourists to use. In 1937 the explorer and geologist McConnell tried to find a way up this valley but failed and have to turn back and search for another route up the mountain but now you can experience this truly beautiful valley.A few kilometers from Kiharo Camp the path turns off to the right to pass along the river. In the clear areas you may catch a glimpse of a Duiker quietly feeding in small clearings as you pass along the river. If you wish you may prefer to walk down the river itself opping across the rocks as you pass down. A few kilometres down the river it becomes very steep with multitudes of waterfalls so we have to move away from the river and follow a narrow ridge to bypass steep sections. At the bottom we again meet the river where there is a huge rock shelter and a place to rest for a while. After crossing a small stream you climb up a gentle slope before turning back down to the river to avoid another set of waterfalls which are impassable. The forest along this section is magnificent and full of life with many birds, primates, dikers and hyrax. A great experience and ending to a fantastic trek. Sleep at Margherita Hotel (Upmarket) or Sandton hotel (Midrange) Trekkers hostel (Budget)

Day 11: Drive back to Entebbe and fly out

We recommend Safari extensions to relax off at the end of the trek, nearest parks recommended:Queen Elizabeth National Park & Bwindi Impenetrable Gorilla National Park.

TRIP QUOTE

 No. OF PEOPLE

PRICE PER PERSON IN USD (RACK)

PRICE PER PERSON MID-RANGE

2 PAX

$2938

$2555

4 PAX

$2550

$2215

6 PAX

$2475

$2150

8 PAX & MORE

$2405

$2090

Start & End Point

Entebbe airport

Min. number to guarantee tour

2

Max number of participants:

8+

Departure day:

Daily

Price Includes

  • Park entrance fees
  • Accommodation at Full board
  • Transfers
  • English speaking guides
  • Bottle water (not during the hike)

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance covering rescue and medivac.
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Beverages
  • Service tips
  • Visas
  • International Flights
  • Items of personal use such as Phone calls
  • Laundry etc

Important to know

Essentials
Clothing
Not Included

EQUIPMENT

Harnesses, caribinas, ice axes, helmets, rubber boots (are must have) and ropes are all provided for this trek. We do hire sleeping bags at $20 and price is for the whole trek. Please feel free to request for a full packing list depending on the hike you chose. You need to book sleeping bags in advance as we do have less in stores. Temperatures can go as low as -2 degrees above 4000m and 5 degrees below 4000m and highest of 15 degrees which mainly around 2900 and 3500 during day.

FOOD

Food is provided during the hike and is prepared by the guides, they’re trained to do the preparation and cooking throughout the hike. The meals are mainly healthy and designed to keep you healthy throughout your whole trek. We do cater for all meal allergies and we will be happy to receive information about food allergies. Please note that no bottled water is supplied on the treks, all water is got from streams and purified before drinking and hence one should carry water purifiers to cater for at least 3ltrs a day. Guides though boil water at night for teas and coffee and one can option to fill up their water bottles with boiled water.

ACCOMODATION

All nights in the mountains are fully supported with huts and permanent tents in camps on a multishare basis with a mattress. One will need to carry a warm sleeping bag as it’s not provided.Nights before and after the trek are in a good quality hotel in either singles or twin sharing depending on choice. We as well offer budget and midrange accommodation

PORTERS

Porters will carry luggage maximum weight 25kg, we advise that clients carry a big backpack which the porters will be carrying and a day pack for your personal equipment which you will be carrying yourself. One should carry backpack covers incase of any rains.Two porters per client are provided any extra porters can be organized at $15 per day.

GUIDES

Guides will always be provided and that is 2 guides which is the minimum standard for 1 to 5pax and 3 guides for 6pax to 15pax. The guides are all well trained, with first aid skills, guiding skills, evacuation skills, flora and fauna, abseiling, cooking, safety & security and customer care. We are always cautious about Safety and security hence ensure that guides are constantly train for safety and security.

INSURANCE

Insurance, is mandatory for all our treks and all clients should buy there insurance before arrival covering Medivac and evacuation at an altitude of 4000metres and above. Please note that no trek will depart without insurance. In-case of any emergency, all huts are equipped with stretchers, guides carry satellite phones and all the teams are always equipped with a first aid boxes. Guides will analyses the situation and inform ground rescue in any emergency, as first aid will be done to minimize the effect or any other sickness.

TIPS

We recommend $5 per day for guides and $2 per day for porters this can be put together and handed to the ground operations manager at the end of the Trek who helps share it with the group.

Clothing (essential):

  • Summer shirt/s and shorts – for walking in the heat at the start of the trek
  • Warm long-sleeved shirt – for when it gets cold
  • Warm long walking trousers (not jeans!)
  • Fleece jacket (one or more, and/or a down jacket) – for additional warmth; or a warm anorak/jacket which should not be too heavy
  • Thermal underwear
  • Good quality waterproof and windproof outer shell (Jacket & trousers)
  • Cheap plastic poncho
  • Hat – a warm hat and a sun hat (that has both a peak and shades the back of your neck)
  • Wool Hat/Balaclava
  • Gloves – 2 pairs; one pair of thin liners and another of warmer, waterproof outer gloves are more practical than mittens.

Footwear:

  • Mountain boots – essential (good quality well worn in)
  • Walking Shoes (another pair of lighter weight walking shoes / trainers for the start of the climb)
  • Several pairs of warm, cushioned socks (so you always have a dry pair to change into)
  • Gaiters have a limited but useful role in preventing scree, snow and mud (at the start of the climb) from getting into your boots. Rubber boots can work out more and are a must have.
  • Crampons – essential

Equipment (essential):

  • Good quality Sleeping bag (minimum rating of 4 seasons)
  • Soft Bag / Hold all or Rucksack (framed or unframed) – large enough to hold your personal gear (limit 25Kg) on the mountain; this will be carried by a porter.
  • Daysac – minimum capacity 20kg – that you will carry. Big enough for you to carry your daily water (3litres), lunch box, camera, wet weather clothing and fleece jacket.
  • External protective cover for rucksack & daysac (or pack all contents in plastic bags for water-proofing)
  • Polarized snow glasses or goggles – to protect your eyes from sun glare and snow. At the very least good quality sunglasses (models with side-shields are preferable).
  • High factor sun block (minimum factor + 15)
  • Lip salve
  • Head Torch and a set of spare batteries (special batteries are not always available locally)
  • 2nd / Back up torch and spare batteries
  • Water bottle(s) (strong) to hold 3 liters – which you will carry with you, daily)
  • Water treatment tablets / iodine or quality filter (although water gets boiled for you by our staff many people prefer to treat/filter their own water)
  • Spare plastic bags (to keep things as dry as possible)
  • Wash kit plus a small towel
  • Basic First Aid kit (for personal use) including paracetamol & dehydration sachets
  • A few of your favorite sweets/’chewies’/dried fruit

We provide harnesses, ropes, caribinas, ice axes, hooks,figure 8, ascenders, ice screwsand helmets.

  • Travel Insurance covering rescue and medivac.
  • Bottled Water during the hike.
  • Alcoholic Drinks.
  • Beverages.
  • Service tips.
  • Visas
  • International Flights.
  • Sleeping Bags.
  • Items of personal use such as Phone calls, Laundry etc.
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