Mountain adventures in the UK and Bulgaria
Here at Uhuru we provide a range of mountain activities, from guided day walks and hut to hut treks, to Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions.
Our time is split between the UK and Bulgaria, so please, take a look at the ‘what we do’ page, have a read of our blog or social media and if anything whets your appetite, then drop us a line.
Thanks, Peter & Jacqui
For the last 8 years we’ve been leading people of all ages and abilities on day walks, hill skills, trips and expeditions in the UK, Europe and North Africa. Not to mention enjoying our own personal trips!
We always aim to provide a relaxed, enjoyable, interesting and if you want it, challenging time in the mountains.
All our days are matched to the person or group, we’ll be honest with you as to the degree of difficulty, what kit you’ll need and won’t ever drag you up a mountain on a route march!
Since 2005, we’ve been coming to the town of Bansko, in the heart of the Pirin Mountains. Taking every opportunity, in both summer and winter conditions, we’ve explored the mountains and have built up a portfolio of walks and treks, from day to multi day adventures. So many in fact, that to list them all here would be overload.
We work with individuals and groups and can also help with your accommodation in Bansko, from hostel to hotel or even put together a bespoke multi activity trip.
During the summer months we’ll be posting dates for pre planned hikes in the Pirin, which you’re welcome to join. Keep an eye on our blog and social media for details.
Although we do work privately, over the years we’ve come to recognise that some people like to join a group. It’s a great way to meet like minded folk and enjoy a day in the mountains at the same time. Last years “peaks and ridges” programme proved popular, so for this summer we’ve put together another series of hikes in July and August. They are of various levels of ability and include some old favourites, as well as some exciting new routes.
Our idea is to lead a small group of between 4 and 8 people on each hike. The cost is £15 p/p (33Lv p/p), this includes transport from and back to Bansko, but excludes any chairlifts we may use.
NB The costs for the Musala hike (1/8) and the Sinanitsa overnighter (13/8 & 14/8) are priced separately
11/7 – Vihren Summit Our favourite route up the highest peak in the range begins at the Vihren hut. We then contour Vihren’s Eastern flanks to the Golyam Kazan cirque. From there it’s up to the summit via the Northern face. This route requires the use of your hands. In places there are fixed chains to help if needed and there are some areas of moderate exposure. This walk starts at 1950m and the summit is 2914m. Grade Hard
18/7 – Muratov Peak We ascend this peak via Muratovo Ezero (Lake). There is a short section to the summit which may require the use of your hands. From the summit we can descend, either back to the lake or over the summit to the preval (pass) before returning to the lake for a rest stop. This walk starts at 1950m and we climb to 2669m. Grade Moderate
23/7 – Hvoinati Peak From Vihren hut we walk to Vihrenski preslap and then on to the summit. This walk starts at 1950m and we climb to 2635m. Grade Moderate
27/7 – Mt. Kutelo via its Ridges We start at the Banderitsa Hut (1810m) and climb steeply through the trees to the Golyam Kazan cirque. The hike then continues to the summits of Kutelo 1 and 2 (2908m) across the ridges linking them, before descending onto a small stretch of the Koncheto. This is for experienced hikers, comfortable with both, sustained periods of exposure and used to a long mountain day. Grade Hard+
30/7 – Bezbog Peak We’ll take the chairlift from Gotse Delchev Hut nr Dobrinishte to Bezbog Hut then walk to Bezbog summit. We start walking around 2240m and climb to 2645m. This a great introductory hike to the Pirin mountain summits, with beautiful views from Bezbog summit. Grade Easy
NB: You’ll need 18Lv p/p for the chairlift, which is paid locally
1/8 – Musala Summit Standing at 2925m and being the highest peak in the entire Balkan peninsula, Musala is a must do peak for any mountaineer in Bulgaria. We will drive from Bansko to Borovets and take the gondola before staring our walk to the summit. Our route takes us past mountain lakes and meadows before meeting the rocky path to the summit. En route, there is the opportunity to rest and refuel at one of the mountain huts we’ll pass. After the walk we can have something to eat before returning to Bansko. Grade Moderate to Hard
NB: the price for this walk is to be confirmed once we have this years transport costs, but we estimate it to be between £35 to £40 per person (for guiding and transport).
3/8 – Pirin Balcony Hike This is a beautiful, scenic walk. We start at the Banderitsa Hut (1810m) and climb steeply through the tees to an alpine meadow, which sits in a cirque at around 2400m. We then gain the footpath to Vihren and traverse along it to the Vihren Hut. From there we return to Banderitsa via the valley. Grade Moderate
This walk is being run by us in support of Trailsystem and Sunflower; two not for profit organisations here in Bulgaria. Trailsystem works in conjunction with the National Park to promote mountain activities. Sunflower supports elderly, disabled and disadvantaged people living in the Razlog valley. All our proceeds from this walk go equally to them.
6/8 – Djamdjiev Ridge to Vihren Summit We start from either the Banderitsa (1810m) or Vihren (1950m) huts and walk up to the beginning of the ridge. From here on, expect plenty of hands on scrambling and exposure as you gain the summit of Vihren (2917m). On the way, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of the Pirin and won’t meet many more people. We return to the hut via Vihrens’ southern flank. This route is for experienced mountain walkers who have preferably completed a route such Tryfan or Striding Edge Grade Hard+
13/8 & 14/8 – Sinanitsa Hut Overnight Hike Pack your toothbrush and join us for a two day hike deep into the heart of the Pirin. We’ll walk from the Vihren valley over the Banderishka porta to stay overnight on the banks of the Sinanishko Lake in the beautifully located Sinanitsa hut (2200m). The following day we have options for return, which could include the peak Sinanitsa peak itself (2516m). Each day will be between 5-7hrs of walking. Grade Moderate
The cost of this trip is, £45 (100lv) p/p and includes, guiding, transport and the hut. We’ll eat our evening meal and breakfast at the hut, which we’ll need to pay for directly there.
If you’re interested in this walk please contact us ASAP so we can confirm places with the hut and give you more information on what you’ll need to bring with you
17/8 – Polejan Peak We’ll take the chairlift from the Gotse Delchev hut, near Dobrinishte, to Bezbog hut. From there, it’s on to the summit via the Bezbojki Preval. This is an iconic hike in the range, and one we consider to be a stunner. We start walking from around 2240m and climb to 2851m. Grade Easy+
NB: You’ll need 18Lv p/p for the chairlift which is paid locally
22/8 – Vasilashki Ridge Walk This is a route we discovered a couple of years ago and its become one of our favourites. Starting from Vihren hut, we walk along the alpine valley to Todorina porta, from there it’s along the Vasilashki ridge to Vazela peak. In places there are short periods of exposure and you may need to use your hands to get over small rocky steps. This hike starts at 1950m and we climb to 2620m. Grade Moderate to Hard
27/8 – We’re planning a walk for here and are always looking for new routes, so it’s still a work in progress. We’ll post up the details as soon as we’re happy with it.
29/8 – Another work in progress…
The grades explained
Easy – Suitable for most regular walkers in good health. These are generally between 5 to 7hrs of walking, which is predominantly on clear paths, although the terrain can be rocky underfoot. (UK example; English Lake District, Wainwright fell e.g Skiddaw ).
Moderate – Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers, they are generally on good paths and tracks, but can include stretches on boulder fields/broken ground and or exposed areas. Usually 7 – 10hrs walking. (UK example, Welsh 3000ft peak e.g Snowdon ).
Hard – Challenging days. Walks at this grade are suitable for regular hill walkers who are used to extended days and can involve difficult broken terrain, as well as periods of exposure. (UK example, Scottish Munro or ridge walk e.g Ben Nevis, via the Carn Mor Dearg arête).
There are many factors that contribute to the difficulty, such as length of day, the terrain and weather . Since some of these can change, our grades can only provide a general indication. They can’t take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions or are just unsure, please contact us.
What do you definitely need to bring/wear?
- Walking boots or approach shoes. not trainers.
- Suitable trousers, leggings or shorts. not jeans.
- A fleece top or similar.
- Waterproof jacket.
- Drink minimum of 1ltr
- Food and trail snacks for each day of your walk.
- Personal first aid kit. suitable for bumps, bites, headaches and small cuts and any personal meds
- Sun hat, sun glasses and sun screen.
- A rucksack to put it all in.
Extra stuff for overnight trips
- A change of underwear and socks
- A warm down or synthetic fill jacket. Even in the summer we also take a hat and a pair of gloves
- Trainers, sandals or slippers, suitable to wear in and around the hut
- A head torch or hand torch
- Wash kit and toiletries. Don’t forget contact lens stuff, if you use them of course…
- Some loo roll never goes a miss
- A bigger rucksack to put it all in.
How to book on any of the walks
Step 1: Contact us using this drop us a line link. Remember to include:
- The names and ages of all those wanting to come along.
- The walk(s) you’re interested in joining. Please be realistic with your capabilities.
- If you require transport.
Step 2: We’ll reply and confirm the availability. Your place(s) are then reserved for 3 days to give you time to pay.
Step 3: Pay the invoice that we’ll have sent you. There’s an option for both, Paypal or Bank transfer. Once this is done your place is secured.
If you are in Bansko and want to pay by cash, let us know and we’ll arrange this, but places are limited, so your place(s) can’t be secured until you’ve paid.
The small print
As much as we like to work on an informal basis, we have to let you know of the following:
- Our participation statement, “Uhuru Trekking recognises that any mountain based activity has a level of danger of personal injury or death. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement”
- If we cancel the walk, you get all your money back, no quibble. I will try to rearrange, but there’s no obligation on you.
- If you cancel, with more than 14 days to go, you get all your money back, 0-13 days 50%
- Your safety is of paramount importance to us, but in the unlikely event we need it, Mountain rescue is not free in Bulgaria. Please check that your insurance covers you for both this andpersonal injury. (If you’re not covered, our friends at Bansko Tourist Information have put together a deal for Bulgarian mountain insurance.