Mahoma Trail in Rwenzori Mountains is a 28 km hiking trail that takes you around the lower slopes of Mount Rwenzori ending at the beautiful lake Mahoma. The trail is one of Uganda’s off the beaten tracks and it takes you to explore Mahoma lake and have a close view of the “Mountain of the moon peaks” as you hike through different Afro-montane regions. Hitting and experiencing the Mahoma trail takes 3 days and 2 nights minimum. Hikers can choose to extend their hike by including John matte Hut.
Mahoma nature walk trail starts at Ibanda or Nyakalenjija with a briefing from the guide who will advise about the walking trail and what to carry along during the hike. Once prepared on the first day you set off from the starting point and hike up through the pristine rainforest. You will go through a forested ridge called Kyambogho ridge that is a home to a number of blue monkeys and black and white monkeys. Along the ridge, there are beautiful views of the Mubuku valley.
The first day takes you to Omuka Kizza rest camp at an elevation of 2,997 meters high where you spend the first night. At this camp, you can see clearly Kasese town and the Rwenzori foothills.
The second starts at Omu’ka Kizza rest camp after morning breakfast. The hikers continue to trek through a bamboo and heather forest following the footprints of the forest elephants until you get to Lake Mahoma.
Some visitors have been lucky to find the forest elephants quenching their thirst at the hot springs. You get to trek through a narrow ridge that stretches up to Rukenga valley. Trekkers will rest and have an overnight stay around Lake Mahoma at an elevation of 3515 meters high.
The last day, which is the third day visitors get to tour around Lake Mahoma before they embark on the journey way back to the starting point. There are clear views of Mt Stanley and baker. Visitors descend down from Lake Mahoma through Mpanga ridge up to Ibanda or Nyakalenjija in Ruboni Village. Mpanga ridge joins Mubuku valley, which has the three horned chameleons. Visitors can choose to have nature walks through the village and interact with the locals (bakonzo) and know more about their lives. In the village, you can visit the traditional healers, black smith and the homes of Bakonzo.
Mahoma nature trail circuit in Rwenzori mountains is an alternative trail to the longer trails that take you up to the highest peak of mount Rwenzori the “Margherita“. The trail is within Mount Rwenzori national park that has over 70 mammals, 217bird species with 19 endemic birds to the Albertine rift.
While hiking on Mahoma nature walk trail or coming back from the trail, visitors can have a stay at any of the close accommodations on the slopes of Mount Rwenzori, some of these lodges; Ruhoni community camp, Equator snow lodge, Rwenzori backpackers, Tours Holiday inn and more. Or, they can choose to either stay in Queen Elizabeth national park or Kibale national park in Fort portal given that both destinations have about 2 hours’ drive from Mount Rewnzori national park respectively. The Mahoma trail circuit does not involve so much steep hiking but it tests your level of strength and stamina. Remember to carry the following for your mountain climbing experience;
- Hiking backpack
- Weather appropriate clothing (thick moisture – wicking and layers)
- Hiking boots or shoes
- Plenty of energy giving foods – enough drinking water and food to eat since no restaurants along the trail.
- First Aid Kit,
- Navigation tools such as map and compass
- Knife or multiple color