Editor’s note: This article was published before the coronavirus pandemic, and may not reflect the current situation on the ground.

Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains are home to six of Africa’s 10 tallest peaks. But where Kilimanjaro welcomes some 50,000 hikers every year, Rwenzori barely breaks 1,000. Welcome to the home of Africa’s secret summits. 

The oldest person to summit Uganda’s Margherita Peak was a Canadian woman named Beryl Park. She was 78 years old and she topped the 5,109-meter (16,761 feet) pinnacle after just five days of hiking in 2010—a feat so impressive, it’s on par with some of the world’s greatest mountaineering exploits.

Fast forward eight years and I’m in the remote Rwenzori Mountains National Park following—slowly—in Beryl’s boot steps. While I’m not here to make the summit push (Margherita is incredibly technical and not for the crampon-less) I am hoping to reach Mutinda Lookout, a 3,975-meter-tall (13,041 feet) block of granite towering over the valley.