How to Get to Mount Rwenzori?

Are you thinking about hiking the legendary Mount Rwenzori, Africa’s third-highest peak but wondering about the most affordable, fastest, or most convenient way to get there? Maybe you’ve heard about the flying option and you’re wondering if you will need to drive at some point. Our article will provide some of the important things we’ve learned through experience, as well as through research to make it easy to plan your climbing safari.

The thrill of hiking Mount Rwenzori

The thrill of hiking Mount Rwenzori for many visitors goes right back to Prince Luigi Amedeo (the Duke of Abruzzi). He was an Italian Mountaineer and Explorer who first summited the Mountains of the Moon” in 1906. While fewer have heard the story of Tiki Harris the youngest person to reach the snow-capped peaks of the Mountain at 10 years or Beryl Park the oldest person to get to Margherita Peak at 78 years, it is undeniably even more inspiring. You might want to experience Africa’s third highest Mountain whose peak is filled with snow (a mystery) to explore its varying ecosystems and vegetation zones from montane forest, bamboo, heather, Alpine, and Rock, to the Glacier zone. Or it could just be the appeal of an African Adventure.  

Get to Mount Rwenzori

The real beauty of a Mount Rwenzori hike lies in the elusiveness. They start before you even hit the base of the Mountains of the Moon, arriving in the secluded remote areas of Uganda (especially Kasese). Here, you become familiarized with the Bakonzo people; their hospitality, mouth-watering food, rich cultures, and traditions which only serve to enrich the thrilling journey that awaits you. Mount Rwenzori is not climbed just for the sake of it but for its experience and the friendly people.

Is it your first time to hike Mount Rwenzori?

For those who have never hiked Mount Rwenzori before, the process of planning the trek is somewhat daunting, especially if you don’t know how to get there. Our articles will simplify the process by answering one of the most concerning questions asked by mountaineers. This will make it easier to plan the hiking experience of a lifetime.

Located in the deep western region of Uganda along the Congo border, Mount Rwenzori can be reached only by road. Nonetheless, there are two choices for Mountaineers- driving directly from Kampala/Entebbe or simply from Kasese (after flying in from Entebbe International Airport). Choosing the best option for getting to Kasese, the gateway into this top mountaineering safari destination will also depend on where you are coming from, how long you are spending in the Park, and of course your budget. However, most journeys normally begin (and end) in Kampala or Entebbe.

The cheapest way to get to Mount Rwenzori is by taking a road trip from Kampala or Entebbe. But is this the best way for you? Keep reading, because our article covers the different options, and gives the pros and cons of each.

The most expensive Way of Getting to Mount Rwenzori

The fastest and most convenient option of getting to Kasese typically involves flights to Kasese airstrip, meaning depending on the time you arrive in Uganda, you might not have to overnight in Entebbe. However, this option is the most expensive and the duration will depend on the routing of the day, as sometimes flights have to go through other airstrips in/near other National Parks. On average, it takes about 90 minutes. On arrival, a Native Africa Tours representative (safari driver) will meet you at the Airstrip and transfer you by road to the Base of Mount Rwenzori or any other accommodation close to the Park. AeroLink Uganda is the main operator of the domestic flights to Kasese Airstrip at the time of writing.

The cheapest Way of Getting to Mount Rwenzori

The least costly (although slower) way is to take a road trip from Kampala or Entebbe. This is a feasible option for mountaineers on a budget or those who wish to explore and relish Uganda’s countryside. Mount Rwenzori is about a seven to eight-hour drive from Entebbe (depending on the route used) and the roads are tarred, well-maintained with service stations along the way. Whether it is a chauffeur-driven or self-drive road trip, it is interesting to know that fuel is not a problem in the Pearl of Africa. Also, easy-to-follow maps can be provided by your Car Rental Agency. While the road conditions in some places aren’t excellent and there are usually numerous crashes and incidents, this option is worth trying. However, be prepared to enjoy a lot of flexibility, especially when on a self-drive trip to Mount Rwenzori.

Get to Mount Rwenzori

Where to stay on a safari to Mount Rwenzori?

Most visitors to Mount Rwenzori stay in Kasese Town, or the different accommodation facilities on the foothill/base of the Mountains of the Moon. You don’t stay inside the Protected Area, except when hiking Rwenzori. Kasese Town is over one and a half hours away by car but many mountaineers find it to be a good base for exploring Rwenzori and also Queen Elizabeth National Park. The accommodation options include Rwenzori Homestay, Rwenzori View Guesthouse, Margherita Hotel, Rwenzori Mountains Safari Lodge, Rwenzori Travelers Inn, Sandton Hotel Kasese, and many others.

During the hike itself, you will stay in either Tents or Huts. Do you know the difference between the two accommodation options? Well, the Tents are temporary and are provided to visitors by private trekking operators like Rwenzori Trekking Services while Huts are large and permanent structures provided by the National Park (managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority). Huts are available along the Rwenzori Central Circuit and Kilembe Trails.

If the chosen trail involves sleeping in Tents, you will be provided with Tents, sleeping bags, and other important equipment to make your stay comfortable. Preparation of meals and setting up of Tents is done by the seasoned mountain crew and porters, while you relax. The highlight of your hiking adventure will be having a hot drink and chatting in the evenings while enjoying views over the Mountains.

When is the best time to hike Mount Rwenzori?

Mount Rwenzori, protected by Mount Rwenzori National Park can be hiked throughout the year. This Mountain sits a few kilometers north of the Equator and typically experiences two seasons- Dry and wet. Notably, the seasons’ variations are laid over a hot muggy climate, which brings us to the question “When is the best time to hike Mount Rwenzori?”

Mount Rwenzori generally experiences two rainy seasons. The short one from October to November, then the long one from March to May. The Trails on the Mountains become wet, muddy, and slippery making it difficult to navigate while hiking. However, if you care less about the rainy weather and yearn for more solitude, then you might love hiking during these months. This is because there are far fewer people undertaking these adventures. However, expect dampness at most times.

The months of June to September are the peak hiking season on Mount Rwenzori, especially because it also coincides with the summer Holidays in Europe. These months are drier and cooler, although we always advise Native Africa Tours’ visitors to prepare for some cold nights. Expect much warmer weather and nicer visibility from December to February, which also coincide with the Christmas Holidays hence relatively busy.

In conclusion, getting to Mount Rwenzori is relatively easy with daily flights landing at Kasese airstrip. This is the most convenient option but if you hope to explore the beauty and remoteness of Uganda’s countryside, then you will consider driving from Entebbe/Kampala.

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