Climbers to Mt. Rwenzori will now have a newer challenge as Uganda Wildlife Authority opens a new trail. The Bukurungu trail was identified by the Rwenzori Ranges Guides and Escorts Association over four years ago, as an alternative to the present trail climbers are using.
George Businge, the warden for the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, says this adds a new trail to the existing Central Circuit through Mihunga, Kilembe Trail, and Kakuka Trail.
The Bukurungu trail is expected to take between 7-9 days to Margherita Peak and back. UWA is now working with the WWF to develop the trail to include facilities to ease the journey for climbers.
Uganda Tourism Board, Chief Executive Officer Stephen Asiimwe says the new trail is a very welcome development for both the community and the tourists.
“This trail gives the community in the Buhuhira sub country of Kasese District economic benefits through the provision of services and products to the climbers,” Asiimwe says. The locals work as porters for the climbers and also have the opportunity to start income generating activities like sale of crafts.
Mt. Rwenzori about 350km and five hours west of Kampala City is Uganda’s highest mountain. The Rwenzori ranges are also Africa’s highest mountain range. Also known as Mountains of the Moon, the ranges straddling the equator have permanent glaciers through the year.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a World Heritage Site, protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.
The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. A seven- to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.