How Much Does It Cost to Hike Mount Rwenzori?

How much does it cost to hike Mount Rwenzori? A hike to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Rwenzori is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, as you will be following in the footsteps of famous Explorers like Henry Morton Stanley as you ascend winding trails in Uganda, and cross suspension bridges as well as glaciers.

Hiking Mount Rwenzori, dubbed the “Mountains of the Moon” brings out a range of emotions- incredulousness, astonishment, anxiety, satisfaction, and so on but the commonest emotion normally whirls around…money. Summiting Africa’s third highest Mountain (Mount Stanley, which is part of the Rwenzori Mountains range) is undeniably a feat of personal achievement that only the ambitious mountaineers aspire to. It is undoubtedly not a simple task and requires a lot of training, determination, stamina steadfastness, and cash as well.

The Hiking Experience for a lifetime 

It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to hike the mystic Mount Rwenzori, the natural wonder of beautiful high glaciers, the spectacular beauty of the Valley of Nine Lakes, the extraordinary bearded lichen that hangs from giant heather with a backdrop of rocky cliffs, snow-capped peaks, and crags. The plethora of birds (including the Tufted Malachite sunbirds, Rwenzori batis, Ruwenzori nightjar, Regal sunbirds, Dusky Crimsonwing, and many others), wildlife (like the three-horned chameleons), and plants coupled with the numerous biospheres, as you ascend through the various Vegetation zones, is the epitome of ultimate experiences for hiking. The stunning Rwenzori Mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that provides the unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of Mother Nature at its best. The Flora here varies from the lush and dense tropical rainforest, bamboo forests, and montane cloud forests to the Alpine vegetation which creates phenomenal sceneries.

The elusive peaks of Mount Rwenzori are usually summited by over 1000 people each year, and these normally include teenagers to pensioners in their 70s, illustrating that physical strength only gets you so far but a positive state of mind helps conquer mountains. However, the question many intending climbers have is “How much does it cost to hike Mount Rwenzori?” We shall break down the cost of this life-changing adventure but one thing for sure is that it depends on several factors including how many people you are traveling with, the number of days, and the chosen trail.

The Central Circuit Trail

The seven to nine-day Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail is one of the unmissable trails that can be hiked on Mount Rwenzori. This Trail costs between $1400 and $1800 per person and includes the $35 per person for Park entry (paid to UWA), hiking guides, meals, and accommodation while on the Rwenzori Mountains. However, guests will be required to hire/bring rain jackets, gardening gloves, head socks, sleeping bags, hiking boots/shoes, walking poles, and socks which aren’t included in the cost yet are equally crucial for a seamless experience. 

Besides the  7-9-day Central Circuit Trail, mountaineers can also hike for two to 6 days, stopping at any of the Camps/Huts- Nyabitaba Camp, John Matte Camp, or Bujuku Camp which cost between $400 per person to $1000 per person. This cost will include Park entry fees of $35 per person, porters, food, hiking guides, and accommodation (where need be) while on the Mountains. However, this cost doesn’t include hiking equipment which is hired separately at the Base.

The Kilembe Trail

Besides the Central Circuit Trail, The eight-day Kilembe Trail also leads to the Margherita Peak (the highest peak of Mount Rwenzori) and normally costs between $1500 and $1700 per person. This includes only the $35 per person for park entrance paid to Uganda Wildlife Authority, equipment (harnesses, crampons, ice axes, ropes, and carabiners), guides, meals, porters, and accommodation while on the Mountains. Hikers are however required to bring along warm clothing, sleeping bags, hiking boots, and rain jackets, which are important for unforgettable hiking experiences.

Shorter hikes (1-6 days) are available to Bugata Camp at 4062 meters above sea level, Sine Camp at 2596 meters above sea level, or Hunwicks Camp at 3974 meters above sea level.

What is the best Mount Rwenzori hiking season?

Mount Rwenzori hiking can be done all year round but there are several things to consider when deciding on the best time of the year to hike. These factors include weather and crowds since the weather along the hiking trails changes greatly over the year, as do the numbers of people exploring these trails. When these two factors are considered, you will be in a better position to choose the time of the year that favors you as well as your preferences.

While knowing the weather is important in deciding when to hike Mount Rwenzori, it is notoriously difficult to predict, although it is not as gloomy and cold as you can imagine it to be. For instance, the temperature generally exhibits a big gap- cold at night and warm during daytime. Therefore, the best months to hike Mount Rwenzori are June to September and December to February. During these months, the temperatures rise moderately and become warmer with more daylight for hikers to explore while the night gets as cold as in the wet season.

These months are the peak seasons for Mount Rwenzori hiking, making the area popular and trains get crowded at these months. It will be difficult to have the main trails to yourself, and you may sometimes struggle to find your first pick of accommodation.

The Wet seasons 

The wet months- March to May, and October to early December are considered the off-season for Mount Rwenzori hiking. During these months, the area sees its coldest days with temperatures dropping to as low as -10⁰C. The Rwenzori Mountains may seem formidable during this time of the year, but it is not squarely impossible. Several passionate mountaineers have hiked the different trails of Mount Rwenzori even in the wet season.

The wet season can be a wonderful time of the year for true adventures on Mount Rwenzori, provided that you are well prepared for the cold weather. Expect to get treated to breathtaking mountain views as well as clearer skies, and all you will be required to do is gear up properly. Also, this is the perfect time for hikers who wish to avoid hustling for space with other hikers, as it is considered an off-season for the Mount Rwenzori hikes (because fewer visitors are received during these months).

What to pack for the Mount Rwenzori hike?

Packing for the Mount Rwenzori Hike can be very challenging for several reasons. For one, you might wish to have everything you require to complete the hike but remember that leaving out important things can be so costly in more ways than one. Also, you wouldn’t want to overpack as a way of being under a certain baggage allowance. However, our tried and tested Mount Rwenzori Packing list is what you will need at this point. Therefore, you will need a warm waterproof rain jacket, glove liners, lightweight waterproof trousers, a backpack, a sleeping bag (can be hired at the base Camp), Hiking socks and walking socks, a sun hat, sunglasses, trekking t-shirts/shirts, Gaiters, toiletries (sunscreen and lip block, hand and body lotion, wipes, toilet paper, and personal medication), a first aid kit (with blister plasters, anti-diarrhea tablets, and rehydration sachets), to mention but a few.

Now that we have answered the questions of “how much does it cost to hike Mount Rwenzori?” Book your hiking tour Now. You will create a signature of memories. 

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