Difficulty analysis

Climbing Mt Stanley demands great physical shape since it requires an average of 5-7 hours of hiking per day for several consecutive days while, at the same time, gaining altitude (i.e., oxygen in the air decreases as one comes closer to the top), which affects one’s breathing, fatigue levels, eating habits and sleep quality. In addition, the mixed terrain on the mountain is occasionally challenging, and trekkers will need to work with ropes and crampons for rock and snow at parts. Your guiding team will train you and help you use such gear, but prior experience is helpful. To further assist you in understanding whether you are fit enough to participate in this adventure, Rahhalah’s expert team will assess your fitness levels before your registration and, once you register, will help you prepare a training routine to guarantee the success of your trip.

Itinerary Details

Upon your arrival at the Entebbe International Airport, you will be welcomed by a Rahhalah representative, and you will be transferred to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. In the evening, the group will assemble for a welcoming dinner on your first night in Uganda. Accommodation: Papyrus Guest House or similar.
After breakfast, you will set out on a scenic drive to the charming town of Kasese. The drive is long (6 hours), but on the way, you will be treated to breathtaking views of the region's diverse ecosystems, each one being distinctly charming and alluring. Accommodation: The Bush Lodge or similar.
You will begin your expedition by hiking up the valley floor passing through the tall forest tress of the Afro Montane Forest Zone. This is a steady climb through a lush forest, where you can spot many species of birds or, even, blue monkeys. Hiking details: Trekking time: approx. 5-6 hrs. Altitude gain: about 1,146m Accommodation: Sine Hut (altitude: 2,596m). The accommodation units throughout the hike are wooden huts, dormitory style. Each hut can accommodate up to 8 people. There are beds and mattresses, but trekkers should carry their own sleeping bags.
Today you will enter the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone, which is accessed via a steep climb with many high steps. You will then continue to Kalalama camp located in the Heather-Rapanea Zone where you will most likely pause for a quick cup of coffee and a few minutes of rest. The trail continues meandering up and down the hills, while the surrounding valley is adorned with many giant heather trees that appear even more beautiful when shrouded in mist. Hiking details: Trekking time: approx. 6-8 hrs. Altitude gain: about 986m. Accommodation: Mutinda Camp (altitude: 3,582m).
Today you will cross the Mutinda valley passing through tussock grass and colorful flowers intertwined with numerous Giant-Lobelias. The next part of the trail is a steep ascend to Namusangi Valley (altitude: 3,840m) which has many waterfalls and gurgling running streams, and from then on, a further ascend to Bugata Camp. Hiking details: Trekking time: approx. 4-6 hrs. Altitude gain: about 518m. Accommodation: Bugata Camp (altitude: 4,100m)
You will start the day with an ascend over a ridge before reaching Bamwanjarra Pass (at 4450 m.) where there is a hut for resting in case the weather turns bad. The trail passes through the valley and around the edge of some marshes with thick ever-green vegetation, moss, giant groundsel and lobelia. Hiking details: Trekking time: approx. 4-6 hrs. Altitude gain: 350m. Accommodation: Hunwick’s Camp (altitude: 4,450m).
You will start the day by crossing the valley towards Lake Kitendara, where you will enjoy the views of the deep clear waters and the surrounding vegetation. You will then climb up Scott Elliott’s Pass and the ridge to Margherita Camp, situated between huge rocks that provide some shelter from the strong winds. Hiking details: Trekking time: approx. 4-6 hrs. Altitude gain: 511m Accommodation: Margherita Camp (altitude: 4,485m).
On the summit day, you will wake up very early, at 2:00 am, for a 30-minutes breakfast and then proceed with the final stretch to the top of Mt Stanley. Depending on the weather conditions and the pace of the group, you are expected to arrive at Margherita Peak by 10:00 am (before heavy clouds and, even snow, appear, as it occasionally happens after mid-day). From the summit, you will descend directly to Hunwick’s Camp (at 3,874 m). Hiking details: Trekking time: approx. 7-10 hrs. Altitude gain: 624m Accommodation: Hunwick’s Camp (altitude: 3,874m)
You will start the day by climbing the ridge towards McConnell’s Prong, from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the mountain’s three main peaks. From there, the trail meanders down to Kiharo Camp, situated in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation. Hiking distance: 11 km Accommodation: Kiharo Camp (altitude: 3,430m).
You will continue descending (for about 12 km), passing through Nyamwamba valley, and enjoying stunning views and a landscape full of moss-covered, cascading waterfalls, and forests full of life, birds and primates. Once you reach the base, you will be driven to the lodge for a well-deserved relaxing evening. Accommodation: The Bush Lodge or similar.
Early morning, you will head back to Kampala and Entebbe Airport for your departure flight back home (a 6-hour drive). It is recommended that you book a flight that departs between 18:00 - 20:00 hrs. Note: Only one group transfer is included in the price. Additional arrangements can be made at an extra cost. Optional: Instead of driving from Kampala to Kasese and back, a domestic flight can be arranged at an extra cost and subject to availability/weather conditions.