From Nyabitaba Hut the trial leads west ward for half a kilometer then drops steeply to Kurt Shaffer Bridge, crossing below the confluence of Bujuku and the Mubuku rivers. By turning right to the Bridge you begin to climb the central circuit anti-clock wise since the clockwise direction is much more difficult and adds considerable danger for you and your porters.
After crossing Kurt Shaffer Bridge the muddy, slippery trial climbs steadily up through bamboo forest. After one and a half hours you encounter an area of slippery boulder hopping which some hikers consider the most difficult and dangerous footing of the circuit.
After five hours of travel from Nyabitaba, you reach the hut at Nyamuleju and its accompanying rock shelter. Nyamuleju means” Place of beards” and refers tomoss and lichen hanging from the trees. If you had a late start or know that there is a large group ahead of you at the next hut, you might consider spending the night here. On a rare clear day Mts. Stanley and Speke can be seen from top of the rock near the hut.
Nyamuleju also marks the start of the giant lobelia and groundsel zone, this remarkable vegetation type is found nowhere else in the world except high-altitude tropical African Mountains. The one-hour walk to John Matte hut (3,414 m) is through a challenging bog, full extra ordinary plants and the slow pace can be a delightful chance to examine and photograph this unique environment, typical time to reach John Matte from Nyabitaba is 7 hours.
Some hikers consider this to be the most tiring and longest day of the circuit, so an early start is important. The loss of altitude to Kurt Shafer Bridge means the total elevation to be gained on this day id about 915 m. Hikers who feel they have reached their limits by this point should consider John Matte a reasonable stopping point. You can enjoy the unique vegetation in the bog and the great view, then the following day begin your return journey to Nyabitaba.
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