5 Days Weismann’s Peak Trek – Reaching 4,620 Meters : The journey begins at Trekkers Hostel Kyanjuki, a mere walk of 12 kilometers from Kasese town, just past Kilembe Copper mines. Commencement is around 8:30am, though there is flexibility until 10am. Meet your guides and receive a briefing before your adventure. The initial walk involves a 2.2 km journey to the UWA Rangers Post at 1,727 meters.
Day 1: Ascend to Sine Camp at 2,596 meters
Dive into the Afro Montane Forest Zone as you tread the valley floor. The ascent is steady, surrounded by tall forest trees. Listen to the chirping birds and be watchful of the blue monkeys. At times, you might catch view of 15 to 20 black and white Colobus monkeys swinging through. There is also the chance to spot the elusive L’Hoest monkey, a cherished part of Bukonzo culture protected by the King or Omusinga.
The trail reveals a splendid variety of plant species, from towering forest trees to bamboo thickets, low shrubs, and vibrant flowers. Enock’s Falls, a mere 200 meters from Sine Hut, offers a picturesque memory to capture.
Day 2: Reach Mutinda Camp at 3,588 meters
Walk into the Bamboo and Heather-Rapanea Zone on your way to Mutinda Camp. Traverse ridges, cross small streams, and witness moss-covered waterfalls amidst unique plant and flower species found above 3000 meters. Among them are Giant Heather trees adorned in green moss with Usnea lichen hanging from their branches. Mutinda camp, set near a charming river and waterfall, presents an option to summit Mutinda lookout at 3,975 meters. Covering approximately 6.1 km over 6 to 8 hours of walking.
Day 3: Trek to Bugata Camp at 4,100 meters
The trail ahead can be hard, especially during the wet season. Skilled stepping makes the journey easier. Walk through the Mutinda valley through tussock grass and everlasting flowers, encountering many Giant Lobelias. Ascend a steep section to the Namusangi Valley, where sheer waterfalls and spectacular views of Mutinda peaks await.
The Namusangi valley’s leading to Bugata Camp at 4,062 meters. Here, you are greeted with vistas from Lake Kopello to Weismann’s Peak, often draped in snow. This area abounds with tussock grass, everlasting flowers, St John’s Wort, giant groundsel, and Giant lobelia. The unique Red Forest Duiker thrives here, a sub-species exclusive to the Rwenzori Mountains. Covering 4.9 km, the journey takes you from 3,588 meters to 4,100 meters.
Bugata Camp offers modern facilities, solar lights, and excellent toilet and bathroom facilities. It even houses a helicopter pad (GPS reading N 18.312 E29 53.457) for potential helicopter rescue, although the cost in Uganda is notably high at around $10,000 per hour flying time. Insurance for rescue is advisable.
Day 4: Summit Weismann’s Peak at 4,620 meters
Get on a 3.7 km climb to Weismann’s Peak, a 9 km total distance to and from the peak. The journey begins by walking across the hillside below cliffs above Bugata Lake. You will pass by Lake Kopello, with water temperatures averaging 2˚C. As you ascend, you will encounter exceptional views of the four lakes along the valley below.
The last section leading to the peak involves steep solid rock, and snow or ice can make it challenging. Ropes might be necessary for safety. On clear days, revel in breathtaking views of the main peaks – Mt Stanley, Mt Speke, and Mt Baker. The top of Weismann’s Peak boasts a unique dome shape, adorned with lush moss that creates an enchanting atmosphere.
While Stella Peak lies nearby at 4,626 meters, it’s a technical climb best suited for those with experience and a head for heights. Crossing to Stella Peak is not recommended.
From the peak, descend directly to Kiharo Camp at 3,460 meters along the Nyamwamba Valley. The valley’s head showcases a Giant Groundsel area with dense evergreen undergrowth and moss, creating its micro-environment beneath towering rocky peaks. As you continue the descent, you will observe flat boggy areas formed by glaciers millions of years ago. The valley is also home to the distinctive Red Forest Duiker. At night, Kiharo Camp, nestled amidst evergreen plants and babbling streams, comes alive with the calls of rock hyrax.
Day 5: Return to Basecamp
Descend through the Nyamwamba valley, a stunning route showcasing moss-covered rocks, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. This segment took six years to develop into a tourist-friendly path. In 1937, explorer and geologist McConnell attempted but failed to reach this valley. Now, you have the opportunity to experience its true beauty.
As you approach Kiharo Camp, you can choose to walk along the river itself, walking across rocks. While it is initially steep with numerous waterfalls, you will move away from the river and walk through a narrow ridge to bypass these challenging sections. Upon reaching the bottom, a massive rock shelter called Riverside Rock Shelter provides a perfect lunch spot. After crossing a small stream, ascend a gentle slope, as the section near the river is overly steep. The forest in this area is a beautiful spectacle, with birds, primates, duikers, and hyrax. This concludes an adventurous trek.