Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori

Everything you must know about the Bukurungu trail in Mount Rwenzori. Is your plan to visit Rwenzori Mountains National Park to discover off-the-beaten-track areas and trails? If yes, be prepared to take on the newly-discovered Bukurungu Trail on your next hiking safari. Besides being new, another thing that makes this Trail stand out is the fact that it is managed by members of the local community. It also provides opportunities for wild Camping (not spending overnights in Huts) as it is with other Trails such as the Kilembe Trail and the Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail.

For flora lovers, the Bukurungu Trail on Mount Rwenzori is known for featuring various vegetation zones that range from the tropical forest on the lower slopes, Heather and Lincen zone, Alpine, Rock, and Moorland. This variation in vegetation makes this Trail exceptional and worth trying during Rwenzori hiking adventures. Running through the Northern spur of the Rwenzori Mountains, this Trail covers several outstanding attractions such as Katebwa cultural sites, Kakaka areas in the Kabarole district, Bukurungu Flats, and Lake Muhule among others.

What you need to know about Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori

Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori was officially opened for hiking adventures in 2018, but it has been in existence since 2015 and is under the partnership of Uganda Wildlife Authority and WWF. This Trail is not as popular as the other two trails on Mount Rwenzori, but it is considered the most adventurous. For this reason, it is recommended for travelers yearning for real wild and undiscovered nature as well as plant lovers. Besides covering different Vegetation zones, the Trail also makes it possible to marvel at the sights of various Lakes including Lake Irene, Lake Bukurungu, Lake Mughuli, and Lake Bujuku.

Hiking Mount Rwenzori via Bukurungu Trail

Hiking to the highest Peak of the Rwenzori Mountains range (5109 meters above sea level on Mount Stanley) via the Bukurungu Trail lasts Eight days. This makes it longer but more rewarding than the Kilembe and Rwenzori Central Circuit Trails.

Typical Hiking Tours via Bukurungu Trail begin from Kasanzi Park Gate (found in Omukorukumi) and later join the Central Circuit at some point to make it possible for hikers to ascend to the Margherita summit. The Trail passes between Mount Gessi as well as the Portal Peaks and ends at Mihunga Park Gate. While on this Trail, hikers are treated to exceptionally beautiful views of several Lakes and deep gorges, Also, vegetation zones, remains of war heroes, the beautiful round tombs, a renowned chimpanzee viewing site, and many cultural sites are found along the Bukurungu Trail on Mount Rwenzori.

The Management of Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori

The management of Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori is under the Rwenzori Ranges Guides and Escorts Association (RRHA), a private Operator on behalf of the local community. Just like the other hiking Trails on Mount Rwenzori Bukurungu also has a booking Agent whom we partner with to provide unforgettable Rwenzori hiking safaris. For our Rwenzori Mountain climbing packing, Park entry fees, Camping, Ranger, and porters are included to create a trip of a lifetime.

Climbing Tours along the Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori

Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori can be best explored in 10 days and begins from Entebbe/or Kampala, followed by a transfer to Kasese for an overnight.

Day 1

On the first day, you are picked up from any location in Entebbe/or Kampala for a 6-7 hours drive to Kasese. Two routes lead to this western Uganda district- via Fort Portal and Masaka/Mbarara, and arrival is in the evening for an overnight in Kasese.

Day 2

The second day of your Mount Rwenzori hiking safari is when the actual hike begins. Hikers are transferred to Kasanzi Gate (in Omukorukumi) for briefing, registrations, and clear Park entry fees. Later you are joined by Porters and Park Rangers for the hiking adventure. It is on this day that you explore the stunning bends west of the ridge that overlooks Isule and Kasuka Valleys before continuing to Akebitakuli for a lunch break. The adventure continues with a hike through the Montane forest overlooking a Bamboo forested Valley with unique plant species such as Impetiens colobus as well as birds such as the Rwenzori Turaco. Overnight is at Rwigho Camp.

The Rwigho to Kambeho Camp hike is done on the third day of the trip, going through the heather trees and moss hanging on the trees. Expect to see lots of scencio trees, blackberries, and alchemila among other plant species.

Day 4

On the fourth day, visitors leave Kambeho Camp at 3700 meters above sea level, climbing along River Lhume. It starts early when the day is still fresh. It involves taking on the only steep Mughuli bypass while watching the unique vegetation along the Lake shores. Wildlife species are common along the Bukurungu Trail, especially on this day when Tree and Rock hyraxes, Rwenzori red-duikers, and wild pigs are common. This day’s hike ends at Mughuli Camp for an overnight.

Hikers leave Mughuli Camp for Bukurungu East Camp at 4291 meters on the fifth day. It is here that hikers can view two Mountains- Mount Gessi and the Portal Peaks. Thanks to the high altitude, this is the relaxation point for acclimatization, especially for hikers interested in continuing until the Margherita peak. Go through different vegetation types- giant lobelia species, alchemila, and others. Lunch break is at Kinyamiyeye and overnight at Bukurungu East Camp.

Day 6

On the sixth day, hikers using the Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori leave for Lake Bujuku while joining the Rwenzori Central Circuit. They cross River Bujuku to the lower Bigo bog to get to the Camp. It is at this point that a steep climb is started to get to the upper Bigo bog with views of the mystical Margherita peak. Overnight is at Omukendeghe Camp.

The hike to the next Camp (Irene Lakes Camp) continues on the seventh day while trekking to the Alpine zone and going all the way to the northeastern flank of Mount Stanley. Get prepared to reach Margherita’s peak the next day.

Day 8

On day eight, the ascent begins as early as 2:00 am for the hike to Margherita Peak at 5109 meters above sea level. Enjoy a moment of celebration and photography before returning to Bigo Camp for an overnight. However, a lunch break is en route at Irene Camp.

Day 9

On the ninth day, Hikers leave Bigo Camp for Mihunga Gate for a unique scenic viewing moment (especially the outstanding Rwenzori Mountains vegetation). Overnight within Kasese Town. Accommodation options include Tropical Savannah Guesthouse, Kamwe-Kamwe Hotel and Spa. Rwenzori Imperial Hotel, Kikorongo Safari Lodge, Ruboni Community Camp, and many others.

The Best time to explore the Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori

The Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori can be explored all year round, but different seasons provide different pros and cons. The wet season- March to May, September to November) is marked by higher rainfall levels which make trails muddy and slippery. It is for this reason that many hikers about the rainy season.

The months of June to early September and December to February are considered dry with clear blue skies, low rainfall levels, and warm temperatures. These are considered the best months to explore the Bukurungu Trail in Mount Rwenzori. However, it is usually cold (especially at night) in January and February, and the most ideal time to enjoy views of the snow-capped peaks.

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