Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda mountain trekking tour

Rwenzori mountains national park gets its name from the mountain Rwenzori also known as mountains of the moon. Mountain Rwenzori is the highest mountain in Uganda and the third highest mountain in Africa. The mountain has several Glaciers, waterfalls, and lakes. This national park is located in south western Uganda on the east side of the western African rift valley in Bundibugyo District.

It is a block mountain resulting from the formation of the Rift Valley. The Rwenzori Mountains is the highest mountain range in Africa, with six glacial peaks: Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, Mount Emin Pasha, Mount Gessi, Mount Luigi da Savoia and Mount Baker which has made Mountain trekking tour and safaris to Uganda an Unforgettable Experience to all the World’s Mountain Hikers.

The main peaks, Margherita (5.109m) and Alexandra (5.083m) on Mount Stanley, are exceeded in altitude elsewhere in Africa only by Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The first European who climbed the peaks was in 1906 the Italian Prince Luigi Amedeo da Savoia, Duke of Abruzzi.

History of Rwenzori Mountains national park

Rwenzori Mountains national park was established in 1991 and was designated a UNESCO world heritage sight because of its outstanding beauty. The mountains were, however, a rebels hideout for a long time till recently. The mountain was discovered by Henry Morton Stanley in 1888 as the first European to see this wonder. The highest peak on this mountains is called Margherita.

Species to adventure on your Rwenzori Mountains National Park:

The interest for Rwenzori is also on the vegetation, which is divided into several altitude zones: the forest zone (between 1.800 and 2.500 m), the bamboo forest (up to 3000 m), the heath and Alpine zones (3000-4.500 m), with forests of giants heath plants, giant lobelias and groundsels. There are 70 mammal species recorded (elephants, golden cat, chimpanzee, yellow-backed duiker) and 177 birds, especially Albertine Rift endemics (Rwenzori turaco, cuckoo, owl, francolin, robin).

  • Wildlife in the park

Rwenzori mountains national park hosts 70 mammals and over 177 bird species, these animals include Elephants, Giant forest hog, Ruwenzori otter, Duikers, Bushbucks and Leopards that are difficult to find though. There are also several Primates such as the Blue monkeys, Angola colobus monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys and Chimpanzees. One of the most fascinating animals at the park include the three-horned chameleon.

The park is also a home to over 177 bird species with most of them found in the forest zone, they include; Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared owl, Archers’ Robin-chat, Lagden’s Bush-shrike, Blue-headed, and golden-winged sunbird, White-starred robin, Slender-billed Starling, and Cinnamon chested Bee-eater among others.

Relief and Vegetation in the park

The park has about 20 different lakes and these include; lake Muhoma, Lake Bajuku, lake Nyamiteza, Kitandara lake, and several other lakes. It also consists of six massifs separated by deep gorges these include, Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, Mount Baker, Mount Emin, Mount geese, Mount Luigi di Savoia. The park also has several rivers such as River Bujuku, River Mugusu, and many other rivers. The mountain ranges are also a significant source of water to the Nile system due to the heavy rains they receive as well as melting Glaciers.

The vegetation in the national park changes according to altitude. It is stratified and attraction to visitors as well as a resource to the nearby community.

Activities to do on your Rwenzori Mountains National Park

In this particular national park, mountain hiking is the major activity due to the presence of Mountain Ruwenzori. On this activity, the tourists take about seven days and six nights to get to the highest peak on Mountain Rwenzori known as Margherita. You will be able to see a variety of animals and birds especially on the foothills of the mountain. However, this hike is not an easy expedition, therefore you must be healthy and physically able to take on this challenge.

Additionally, Rwenzori Mountains National park should be the ideal location for bird watching because it has varied vegetation that attracts several bird species. You will definitely see birds like the Rwenzori Turaco and the long-bearded owl.

To add to that, you get the opportunity to encounter the community nearby and learn about their culture. The Bakonzo, in particular, are the group that you will be able to visit. At Ruboni community camp in the foothills of Rwenzori. You will be given the chance to walk with the villagers as they go through their daily routines. You will see blacksmiths, traditional healers and enjoy the thrilling dance performance.

The park also offers nature walks and hikes up the trails to Lake Mahooma and Buraro chimp forest through the communities of Kichamba to the Kirangura ridge. On this walk, you need to keep your eye out for the three-horned chameleon of Rwenzori, Squirrels, vervet monkeys and many birds.

Accommodation in the Rwenzori mountains national park

Your visit to Rwenzori Mountains national park will be made memorable at several lodges. These lodges include; Ruboni community camp, Sandton hotel cases, Ruwenzori Travellers Inn, Hotel Margherita, Rwenzori view guest house, White House hotel, Springs International hotel, Rwenzori Mountains safari lodge and Marafiki safari lodge.

How to get there

You can take a 6-hour road trip via Fort Portal from Kampala to the park Alternatively, you can take a flight from Entebbe airport to Kasese airfield and it takes about 2 hours to get there.

In conclusion, if you desire adventure, you definitely have to visit Rwenzori Mountains national park where you will experience nature at its best.

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