THE RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
The Rwenzori Mountain is the highest peak of the tectonic mountain ranges formed mountain from Uganda’s south western border with DR Congo Also called the mountains of the moon, Rwenzori is 120 kms long and 43 kms wide and includes a fantastic icy world and afro-alpine vegetation. The peaks lie in misty clouds, snow and glaciers often not seen form a far.
The mountains rose due to the formation of the East African Rift Valley system, and – unlike other high mountains such as Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya – are not volcanic mountains. The Rwenzori Mountains consists of six snow capped massifs separated with deep gorges; Stanley the highest with 5,109m, Speak at 4,890m, baker at 4,843m, mount Emin, Gessi and Luigi. Margherita peak is the highest peak on Mount Stanley.
Rwenzori mountains National Park
Rwenzori national park is a world heritage site, protected to the unique plants and wildlife that live on the slope of the Rwenzori mountain ranges. Located within the Park is Africa’s third highest mountain – Mount Stanley (5109mtrs). It was named after the famous explorer of the same name who was the first outsider to sight the mountain during his 1887 expedition. The word Ruwenzori means “rain-maker” and the mountains bring an average of over 5 mtrs of rainfall to the area each year. Unfortunately the snow covered peaks and glaciers are rarely visible.
The Park has a large variety of afro-alpine vegetation, including giant lobelias, tropical rainforests, heather and groundsels. There is also the chance to view chimps and other primates, elephant, buffalo, bushbuck, giant forest hog, hyrax, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and leopard.
Some of the unique birds found in the region are the Rwenzori Touraco, Francolin, Malachite sunbird, Olive pigeon and White-necked raven.
How to get there
The park is reached at the trailhead at Nyakalengija, 22km from Kasese, off Fort portal-Kamapla road. At Nyakalengija are park offices from where you’ll pay some small park fees. Charter flights are available from Entebbe and Kampala.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Trekking in these mountains is great for both the experienced mountaineer and the casual hiker, an interesting adventure you can ever think of. The central circuit trail is the popular hiking route normally takes 7 days and 6 nights to get to the peak. Make sure you pack rain gear, a sleeping bag, warm hat, snow goggles, warm socks and gloves, gaiters, walking stick, first aid kit and any other thing you need on a hiking trail.
Porters will be carrying your heavy equipment and food, leaving you with a small pack, rain gear, warm clothes, camera, water and any other light luggage
During the driest periods (July, August & December to February) visitors can take the Central Circuit Trail, which requires 6-7 days and reaches the higher mountains. Bad weather at other times makes these trips impossible, slippery trails, cold weather, steep terrain and high altitude sickness.
The Rwenzori Mountain lie across the western border of Uganda and rise to some height of 5,1OO metres. Listed here are the legendary ‘Mountains from the Moon’, a World Heritage Site – which incomparable, beautiful, mist-shrouded peaks give a unique backdrop to our most magnificent national parks.
Within the center from the range, which boasts Africa’s third greatest mountain, a few of the peaks carry permanent snow and glaciers, as the lower slopes are engrossed in dense forest. Walking trails about the lower slopes don’t demand alpinism experience, even though greater you decide to go the fitter you have to be. Excellent walking routes, such as the Bujuku circuit, are supplied through wonderful and different scenery.
For individuals who wish to chance a climb, several peaks provide challenges that match individuals within the Alps.These fabled mist-covered “Mountains from the Moon,” 120 km long and 48 km wide, were created from the block that was thrust up throughout the advance of the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley. In the center from the range, you will find six peaks transporting permanent snow, three with glaciers.The greatest of those peaks, and also the third greatest peak in Africa, is Margherita rising 5100 metre above ocean level.
The Rwenzori Mountain tops were gazetted like a National Park in 1991. The Park covers 996 km2 of rugged mountain terrain. Whether or not they are experienced climbers or casual day-walkers, Rwenzori Mountain National Park offers visitors a distinctive connection with an Afro-Montane jungle.
The primary attraction may be the luxuriant plant life found above 3000 m including the giant types of Lobelia, Louise and Groundsel. Rwenzori Mountain National Park can also be the place to find the hyrax, blue monkey, chimpanzee, giant forest hog and several unique bird species like the Rwenzori touraco, the handsome francolin and also the olive pigeon. It is on the slopes of Rwenzori that you’ll find other Uganda National parks such such Bwindi Forest National park that is famous for gorilla trekking and also Mgahinga Gorilla National Park where gorilla find there humble home.
The optimum time for hiking and trekking in Rwenzori is throughout the dry seasons from mid-December towards the finish of March and from June through mid-August.
By Road: From Kampala via Mbarara to Kasese, then continue 18km to Ibanda. Also from Kampala through Fort Portal after which 75km about the Fort Portal/Kasese road south. The Park is 25 km from Kasese. Have a left turn 4 km after departing Kasese about the Kasese-Fort Portal road.