Kilembe Trail Of The Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Kilembe trail/route, also known as the southern circuit trail route is an alternative trails route by Rwenzori Trekking Services for trekking Rwenzori Mountains in Rwenzori Naational Park. The Kilembe trail route starts from the sine hut (2,585 m), through Kalalama hut (3.147m) to Mutinda Camp (3.688 m), Bugata Camp (4.062 m), Butawu Camp (3.974 m), Margherita Camp (4,485 m). Return to Butawu Camp on the same day you will ascend to Margherita, descend to Kiharo Camp (3,460 m.), and finally returns to rangers’ post.

the kilembe trail mapThe Kilembe trail popularly known as the southern circuit, was opened in 2009, after the construction of the new huts in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. This  trail was opened, as an alternative route to be used by Rwenzori mountaineers to reach the peak, although it was first followed by Professor Scott Elliott in 1895, didn’t succeed to the Peak.

The circuit presents a rich vegetation and  animal life that the Rwenzori Mountains have to offer, and the treks along this, offers the best mountaineering experience of the  spectacular lake, magnificent peaks and the breathtaking glaciers among others.

The Rwenzori Kilembe trail route which is currently owned and managed by the Rwenzori trekking services, and offer a 7-8 days trek, which begins at 1450m, on the first day includes navigating through the magnificent mountains, and spending the first night at Kalalama camp at 3147m.

The second day trek kick starts at 9:00am, and continues through the steep bamboo-mimulopsis zone to Mutinda Camp at 4,688m.

Whereas day 3  trekking, navigates through the Alpine vegetation zone which consist of plants like giant lobelias, and spending an overnight at Bugata Camp.


Day 4 ascends up the Bamwanjara Pass (4,450m) which provides scenic views of the snow-capped peaks, where you will arrive at Hunwick’s Camp which is perched at the edge that overlooks Mount Baker.

The 5th day gradually increases to the highest point of the trek, leading to the Scott Elliott Pass on your way to Margherita Camp (4,845m).

On the 6th day, the hike normally starts at 3:00amp, because it involves climbing through the glaciers,  before the sun rises. This is because, when the glaciers melt, the trail that leads to the Margherita becomes impassable. The mountaineers always have the longest route, which is the most inspiring and the rewarding section of the trek. The scenic views of the Margherita peak will remain with you for a lifetime.

On the 7th day, you will slope downwards, walking through the valley, up to the camp.


As Of May 14, 2024 – Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) announced a temporary suspension of hiking activities to Margherita Peak in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. This decision came as a precautionary measure after a comprehensive assessment conducted by the team in response to reports of a crevasse formation in the Margherita glacier.
To make hiking safer, options of installing a permanent ladder at a strategic position on the right side of the Margherita glacier is still, being explored. This alternative route will provide a safer passage for hikers to Margherita Peak

In the interim, we encourage visitors to explore other picturesque peaks within Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Notable alternatives include Mount Speke, Mount Baker, and Cheptegei Peak on the Stanley Range. These routes offer breathtaking views and unique experiences amidst the stunning landscape of the park.
Uganda wildlife Authority prioritizes the safety and well-being of  all clients, and are committed to ensuring that all clients safely enjoy their visit to Rwenzori Mountains National Park, as they continue monitoring the situation closely and provide updates on the status of hiking activities to Margherita Peak as developments unfold.