The Rwenzori the legendary Mountains of the Moon is found in western Uganda besides the Uganda-Congo border. The mountain is made of three equatorial snow summits the third highest peak in Africa, while the lower slopes are covered in moorland, bamboo and rich, damp montane forest. Big tree-heathers and colorful mosses are covered across the shoulder with massive lobelias and “endless flowers”, making an enthralling, magical section.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park defends the uppermost parts of the 120 km-long and 65 km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park crowds around 70 mammals and 217 bird species together with 19 Albertine Rift endemics, plus the world’s least vegetation.
The Rwenzori are a first-rate hiking and mountaineering destination. There is 9-12 day hiking and this requires experienced climbers to hike up to the top of the peak of Margherita – which is the highest peak, however shorter, non-technical hikes are possible to scale the neighboring peaks.
For those who favor something a little less vigorous, bordering Bakonzo villages offer nature walks, homestead encounter home cultural performances and accommodation, including home-cooked local cuisine.
When to Visit and the climate.
Rwenzori National Park is formal and rainy, think of daylight temperatures of 10-15°C, with much cooler dusks. From January to February and July to August months, these are the driest months, although heavy rain is expected at any time, so come when your well-equipped. The perfect season to hike the mountain starts from June, August, and December to February annually.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is located just few kilometers north of the equator on the Uganda-Congo boundary. The park trailhead at Ruboni can be accessed from Kampala from the north through Fort Portal (375km) or the south going through Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450km). Nyakalengija takes roughly 17 kilometers from Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town.
Charter flights to Kasese can be organized from Entebbe International Air port or Kampala (Kajjansi)
Areas of Interest
Equatorial snow peaks
Rwenzori mountain is made of 3 distinct mountain ranges, Though situated just miles north of the equator, and the highest being Mounts Stanley that is 5109 meters above the sea level ,the second being Speke which is 4,890metres high, finally Baker which is 4,843metres high. All these mountain ranges have got r permanent snow and glaciers on the summit. The snow peaks can be getting hold by hiking the Central Circuit and Kilembe Trails.
Land of the Triffid
The steamy, swampy, glacier-carved valleys of the high Rwenzori make a eccentric plant world colonized by triffid-sized forms of lobelia, heather and groundsel, crisp “never-ending flowers,” brightly coloured mosses and twisted trees wrapped with swags of lichen. The outcome is an ghostly scenery which, over the years, has been equated to the forests of the Jabberwocky, the Seven Dwarves and, unavoidably, Tolkien’s Middle Earth. These odd plants rate among the world’s vegetal riches, being found only on the uppermost mountains of East Africa.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park hiss over 20 lakes. The bottommost and most nearby is Lake Mahoma (2,651m) in the bird-rich forest of the Central Circuit. The nice-looking Lake Bujuku is at the crown of the profound, glacier engraved Bujuku valley in the gumshoe of Mounts Stanley, Baker and Speke. In the Nyamwamba Valley, raised by the Kilembe Trail, barriers formed by glacial debris have shaped a series of eight pleasant lakes. There variety of rivers and streams that instigate from the mountain, making sustenance for the flora and fauna in the flood plains and helping local communities.
Ruboni lies in the southeastern foot of the Rwenzori Mountains, is the trailhead for the seven-day Central Circuit to the great peaks. It is also the starting point for hikes, walks, bird and nature treks and walking through the traditional farmsteads of the local Bakonzo community. Accommodation catering for a variety of budgets offers stunning mountain sights up the Mubuku valley.
Visitor Information Centre
Till when the new Visitor Information Center is finished, all information concerning park activities will be obtainable at Rwankingi Park Headquarters (near to Ruboni Community Camp), at the trailheads and the offices of the Rwenzori tour operators. Guides and porters, along with trekking equipment, can be reserved by tourists at these places.
Bulemba shelters the relics of Rwenzururu’s first King, Isaiah Mukirania Kibanzanga, who is alleged to have protected the Bakonzo tribe from the Batooro harassment. Every year on 2nd September, all the Mukonzo show up for the pilgrimage to this holy site to perform sacrifices.
ACTIVITIES IN MOUNT RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK.
Mountain/Volcano Climbing in Rwenzori Mountains
The Central Circuit Trail: This is most stimulating; seven-day hike offers a globular trip of the high Rwenzori. Starting from the trailhead at Mihunga, the trail raises the Bujuku Valley through the Nyabitaba for familiarization before getting to the peaks. Customers linking the Central Circuit after Bujuku will cross the Scott Elliot and Fresh field permits to slope through the Mubuku Valley. Hikers can gauge the snow summits although various consider the excellent scenery plenty reward for their efforts.
Kilembe Trail: The lately regenerated Kilembe Trail climbs the southern slopes of the Rwenzori from a trailhead at Kilembe close to Kasese town. The path along the beautiful Nyamwamba Valley passes glacial lakes and certain magnificent lookouts before connecting to the the Central Circuit at Lake Kitandara. The regular direction scales Mount Baker however the setting makes it a shorter hikes worthwhile plentiful.
Hiking and Nature Walks in Rwenzori Mountains
The park gives a chance for nature walks within the central circuit zone. The nature walk trials include; trails up to Lake Mahooma and Buraro chimp forest; this will take you through the communities of Kichamba to arrive the Karangura ridge; and hiking to Bundibugyo region through Bwamba trail.
The societies of Turaco and Ruboni also offer an opportunity for guided forest walks of many distances just outside the park. Tourists follow River Mubuku, and preview sights of Baker and Portal Summits as they climb up to 2,300metres above sea level. On a pure day it is more likely to see the snowcapped on the peak of mount Margherita a truthfully remarkable view. Besides the way, keep your eyes open to spot some wildlife such as birds, chameleons, squirrels, vervet monkeys and many birds.
Bwamba Pass: Before the accomplishment of the road around 1938 to connect Fort Portal with the isolated town of Bundibugyo, indigenous people shadowed the most straight road between these settlements a hard, 1,500m high hike over the gentle north Rwenzori edge, recognized as the Bwamba Pass. The Abanya Rwenzori community group leads tourists through the mountain in an isolated mountain village to tour the bamboo forest and enjoy splendid rift valley sights.
Birding in Rwenzori Mountains
Birding chances are utmost in the montane forest; justifiably, insufficient species select to establish their home in the unfriendly world of the high Rwenzori. Robins, Sunbirds, Bee-eaters, and Barbets are some of the 217 species that live Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Furthermore species to see out in the montane forests are Bearded Vultures and Long-eared Owl while higher up on the slopes, Rwenzori Turaco, Swifts and Black Eagles may be seen spinning for prey.
Cultural Encounters in Rwenzori Mountains
Ruboni Community Camp
Find out the diplomatic farming village of Ruboni, household to about 2,000 Bakonzo, in the bases of the Ruwenzori’s. Move with the villagers as they present to you their daily activities, from grazing their animals, cultivation gardens where they get food to prepare their local meals. Encounter the traditional healers, story teller’s blacksmith, and basket weavers and enjoy a lively traditional dance performance supplemented by sparkling drumming.
Ruboni Community Camp
Ruboni Turaco View Camp
GeoLodges Equator Snow
Rwenzori Mountains Safari Lodge (Rwenzori Mountaineering Services)
Trekkers Hostel (Rwenzori Trekking Services)