Rwenzori Mountains – Hunwick’s Camp to Margherita Camp

The trip notes claimed that day five in the Rwenzori Mountains would be a relatively easy walk. It was the shortest day so far, but three hours mostly uphill at altitude felt as exhausting as six hours walking at a lower altitude.

It was a short downhill from Hunwick’s Camp, back into another bog, with more mud to carefully navigate and a seemingly token section of boardwalk. Hard to tell why some areas have it and others don’t, other than a shortage of funds to put it in to protect the fragile environment underneath. The mud is also a key part of the experience of hiking here, though after a week of it the novelty can wear thin.

Walking past the Kitandara Lakes was rather pleasant, though required treading carefully through the mud.

Heading up the hillside the sun came out briefly, resulting in some beautiful lake views behind, and spectacular mountain views ahead.

The endlessly unusual and surreal plants continued, something that makes this walk unique compared to others I’ve done.

It clouded over but there were still some big views down the valley I’d walked up

As I got higher the track turned from mud to boulders to navigate, making me glad that it was dry as wet rocks can be lethal.

Just past a small lunch spot were the most epic views of the trip so far, looking down from over 4,000m above sea level into the the valley below.

There were lots of different types of moss around the track today.

Oddly it felt like we descended down to cross the 4,338m high Scott Elliott Pass.

There were good views back down the valley.

I made it to the 4,460m high Margherita Camp by noon. It is set in a rather barren circle of rocks that also hosted an Italian camp in 1906 when the area was explored. The neighbouring peak Margherita, at 5,109m the third highest in Africa, was named after the them Queen of Italy. After some basic mountaineering training dinner was early as I was getting up at 1am the next morning to summit it…

To finish with some stunning views before the sunset after venturing behind some piles of rocks to find a scenic spot!

Author: jontycrane

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