SHORT TRIPS IN THE RWENZORI
-One day trip
-Two days trip
-Three days trip – Mahoma Trail
Many people are asking us about possibilities to do short trips in the Rwenzori, maybe for only 1 or 2 days. In this chapter we would like to give you some information about options of one day trip or short trips in the Rwenzori.
Anna Christian Mariella Rwenzori June 2012
If you arrived in the Rwenzori area and wish to have a short activity, other than the central circuit trekking, these are the options.
Community Walks. From the Ruboni Community Camp you can book a guide to take you in the surrounding areas of the Ruboni and Mihunga villages. The slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains, just before the border of the national Park, are fertile lands where live communities of Bakonjo people. It is interesting and rewarding to take a walk and see the traditional works still present in this area, like the blacksmith and production of iron spears and knives or the handicraft production, like craft weaver and basket making. Some Bakonjo elders will be enthusiastic to spend time with you and to tell stories and legends of the ancient time, which are brought up today by the word of mouth. Another interesting encounter is the traditional healers or traditional doctors, the ones who used and still use today the power given to them by the gods of the traditional religion.
Forest walk. The area just approaching the national park along the Mubuku Valley is much cultivated but at the same time is rich of pristine nature and vegetation. Some of the hills are covered by forest. You can book a guide from the Ruboni Community Camp and he will take you for a 3 or 4 hours short excursion through forested areas outside the national park. Expect to see and learn from the nature, the species of trees, the small animals like chameleons and lizards, who are still so common here, as well as to see black and white colobus monkeys and other monkeys. Birding is also interesting, as you might spot the typical Rwenzori Turaco, common boubou, African wagtail.
Lake basin beginning of the trek
For two days trip along the Mobuku Valley, we suggest to do the trekking inside Rwenzori Mountain National Park, from the headquarter of the park found at an altitude of about 1700 meters up to Nyabitaba Hut at 2.652 meters. This trekking starts in the morning through the mountain forest. The last hour of the trekking is a bit more demanding as the trail starts ascending faster and passes through some rocks as well. Nyabitaba Hut is beautifully located, with in front the Mount Kyniangoma and on the North the Portal Peaks. The hut is located at the limit of the bamboo zone. If you want to see more and enter the bamboo zone as well, take the short trail from Nyabitaba leading to Lake Mahoma and coming back to Nyabitaba. The first day you spend the night in Nyabitaba Hut and the following day after breakfast you start descending to the camp base.
The Mahoma Trail
The trail has been open for exclussively wilderness camping. The hiking goes through the mountain forest, giving you the opportunity to see wildlife like the black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, chameleon, Rwenzori Turaco. The shortest trekking is 3 days. An extension of one day can be arranged including John Matte Hut.
Day 1- From Ibanda to Omu’ka Kizza Rest Camp (2.977 m)
After breakfast at your Hotel / Campsite from Ibanda or Nyakalenjija, the trekking starts through the pristine rainforest of Kyambogho ridge with a view of the Mubuku Valley then climb the heavily forested ridge which is home to many primates, such as black and white colobus monkey, blue monkey and occasionally the L’hoest monkey, up the Omu’ka Kizza Rest Camp at 2,977 metres. Here you will enjoy the magnificent views over the Rwenzori foothills and Kasese town 2,160 metres below. During this part of the trip you may hear chimpanzee and see black and white colobus, blue monkey and the brilliantly colored Rwenzori turaco. The camp is a camping site in the wilderness.
Day 2 – Fromo Omu’Ka Kizza Rest camp to Mahoma Lake
Early morning after breakfast, you will hike to Mahoma Lake. The forest will give you way to along a narrow moss covered ridge up to 3,515 metres through an incredibly beautiful forest of giant heather covered in layers of bright green moss. You will follow the footprints of mountain Elephants through the bamboo and heather forest; you may get the chance to watch them having a drink at the hot spring. The ridge will lead you to the Rukenga valley where you will see the everlasting flowers (mimulopsis eliotti) and the giant lobelia. You then cross to Mahoma lake Camp for overnight. If the sky is clear that day, from the camp you may be able to see Mt.Baker, Mt.Stanley and the Portal Peaks.
Day 3 – Mahoma Lake to Ibanda
After breakfast you may go for walk around the lake and then descend back through Nyabitaba ranger post and the Mpanga ridge to adjoin the Mubuku valley, a home of three horned chameleon which will lead you back to Ibanda.