Rwenzori Mountain Treks and Climbing
Virunga National Park also offers spectacular trekking and climbing trips to the Rwenzori mountains in the north of the park. Known also as the “Mountains of the Moon,” the Rwenzoris reach a height of 5,109 m (16,761 ft) and contain the largest glaciers left on the African continent. Those who trek and climb in the Rwenzoris will experience a stunning variety of landscapes, including bamboo and giant fern forests, alpine meadows and lakes, and snow-capped peaks. The flora and fauna of the Rwenzoris is equally diverse. Forest elephant, Okapi, chimpanzees, and numerous bird species make the Rwenzoris their home. The best weather in the Rwenzoris usually happens from January through mid-March and June to late August. There are four huts in the Rwenzoris: Kalonge (2138 m/7014 ft.), Mahangu (3310 m/10,859 ft.), Kiondo (4200 m/13,779 ft.), and Moraine (4350 m/14,271 ft.).
Please note: trekkers and climbers must be at least 15 years of age. Permit price does not include transport. Transport options can be found
Visitors can access the Rwenzoris two ways:
- Fly into the town of Beni and then take a pre-arranged taxi ($150 per vehicle) with ranger escort to Virunga’s Mutsora ranger station ( ~1.5 hours). Flights from Goma and elsewhere can be arranged through local tour operators or directly through Busy Bee Airlines.
- Cross into the DRC from Uganda at the Mpondwe/Kasindi border crossing and take a pre-arranged taxi ($150 per vehicle) with ranger escort. The drive to Virunga’s Mutsora ranger station also takes ~1.5 hours.
The cost of each option below includes permit and use of the hut system. All groups should plan and spending their first night at the Mutsora Station tented camp because it’s not possible to begin trekking on the same day as one arrives. The cost of the tented camp is $25 per person/night (payable on site) and includes access to cooking facilities. At this time, the park is not able to supply gear or food for guests, so please come prepared. Porters are available for hire. From Mutsora station to Kiondo hut, the cost is $10.00 per porter/day (15 kg maximum). From Kiondo to Moraine hut, the cost is $17.00 per porter/day because of the difficult terrain.
Trekkers wanting only to reach the Kiondo hut will need good hiking boots, rain gear, and a warm base layers. Those wanting to climb Margherita Peak or any of the other summits, will also need to bring their own climbing equipment. Virunga rangers accompany all trekkers and climbers up to Moraine hut.