Mount Rwenzori National PARK

by | Jul 15, 2023 | 0 comments

Mount Rwenzori National PARK

It is often referred to as the mountains of the moon, because of its unique outstanding features. Hiking to the top of Margherita, where dreams meet reality, with spectacular view of the World is a fascinating must visit destination.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a snow caped mountain range located in the Rwenzori Mountains. Almost 1,000 km2 (386 sq. mi) in size, the park has Africa’s third-highest mountain peak and many waterfalls, lakes, and Glaciers.

The Park is known for its outstanding natural beauty.

The Rwenzori Mountains, the renowned mountains of the moon lie in the Southwestern side of Uganda along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. What surprises many people is how snow can appear on the equator.

The Equatorial snow summits include the third-highest peak in Africa, while the lower slopes are covered in moorland, bamboo, and luxuriant, humid montane forest.

Vast tree heathers and vibrant mosses are swathed across the mountainside with huge lobelias and “endless flowers” creating a fascinating fairytale scene.

Mount Rwenzori has 6 peaks with the highest being Mount Margherita standing at 16,762 feet and it is permanently snow-capped.

The other peaks include Mount speak at 16,043 feet, Mount Baker at 15,889 feet, Mount Emin at 15,742 feet, Mount Gessi at 15,469 feet and Mount Luigi di savoia at 15,181 feet.

This mountain has continuously been a center of attraction because of its fascinating areas like the waterfalls, snow/glaciers and Lakes.

The Rwenzori Mountains National Park preserves the highest parts of the 120 kms long and 65 kms wide Rwenzori Mountain range and the Park headquarters are found in Nyakalengija Village at the Mobuku Valley.

This National Park covers an area of 998 square kilometers and is shared by 3 districts that is Bundibugyo, Kabarole and Kasese districts, and 70% of the park area exceeds an elevation of 2500m.

The Park was gazette in 1991 and subsequently became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to its spectacular beauty and in 2008 it was declared a Ramsar site.

This Park offers shelter to over 70 mammal species and about 217 bird species including 19 species that are Albertine Rift endemic.

 

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Attractions in Rwenzori National Park.

Mount Rwenzori.

The Rwenzori Mountains has exceptional plant species/different Vegetation zones (types) found in different altitudes. Between 1500 and 2500m is the montane forest, the bamboo forest then follows within 2500 and 3000m,

From 3000-4000m is the heather and ripened vegetation characterized by the huge heathers Erica, Giant Lobelias and Senecio. From 4000-4500m is the Alpine vegetation zone characterized with never-ending flowers (Helichrysum).

Wildlife.

There are 70 species of mammals in this park such as three horned chameleon, Forest Elephants, Bushbucks, Golden cats, Giant Forest hogs, Hyrax, Buffaloes, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Blue monkeys, Angola Colobus, chimpanzees, Yellow-backed duiker, Black and white colobus, Golden Monkeys and Leopards among others.

These mammals are mainly found on the lower slopes of the mountain, though they are not in large numbers.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a home to 241 bird species including 19 species that are endemic to the Albertine Rift.

For example, long-eared owl, Rwenzori Batis, White stared Robin, slender-billed starling, Cinnamon, Long-tailed cuckoo, Rwenzori Turaco, the Handsome francolin, the Malachite sunbird, Blue-headed sunbird, Golden-winged sunbird and Black eagle among others.

Other species of birds include the Mountain bustards, olive pigeons, White-necked Raven.

 

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Activities to do in Rwenzori National Park.

Mountaineering

The park is known to be a world-class mountaineering and hiking destination in that more than 80% of visitors of visit this park purposely visit it for mountaineering/hiking.

This adventure usually takes 9-12 days and involves skilled climbers who go up to Margherita summit (undeniably the highest peak of this mountain).

Hiking on Rwenzori Mountains offers along the Nyakalengija central circuit or Kilembe trails-these are explored by hikers or climbers on a Uganda hiking holiday and Mahoma trails, Ruboni etc. are perfect for visitors who want the easy to hike trails.

These are the best for nature walks in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

Hiking.

Hiking to the summits of Rwenzori Mountains is a great opportunity of a lifetime experience for hikers as they get to explore more about the Margherita Peaks which stretches up to 5109m.

Trekking to Margherita is for energetic hikers and about 8 days or more can earn you a complete round trip.

Visitors on Rwenzori Mountaineering are led by experienced guides and stopovers made giving you encountering birds, wildlife, snow, spectacular views of Kasese, Queen Eizabeth National Park and other ranges.

Nature Walks.

Mount Rwenzori National Park guided nature walks are on the fascinating activities tourists’ must-visit while on their Uganda Safari.

The nature walks in this park offer exceptional on-foot-walk experiences to all nature loving visitors in the Pearl of Africa.

Tourists follow the marked trails including the Buraro chimp forest trail, Lake Mahoma trail that provide remarkable foot journeys. Nature walks give the best experience for birding, viewing wildlife like three horned chameleon and also Photography.

Birding

Mount Rwenzori National Park is a gem area for spotting a variety of bird species with magnificent nature sounds, they are including bee-eaters, illadopsis, crimson wings, cinnamon chested, barred long tailed cuckoos, Rwenzori turacos, slender billed starling, golden winged sunbird, Rwenzori batis, lagden’s bush shrike, apalises, montane sooty boubou, barbets to mention but a few.

Cultural encounter

Mount Rwenzori National is surrounded by various tribes like the Bakonjo, Batoro that engage guests’ community visits and cultural encounters.

This is done mostly at Ruboni Village where you get to meet the Bakonzo local residents who inhabit the base area of Rwenzori Mountains.

The visitors engage in traditional way of life, cultural dances, cultural food, and local agricultural methods of farming on the slopes of the mountain, black coffee experience that will diversify your cultural exploration.

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About the Author

Tony Kizito

Tony is an enthusiastic and self-motivated tour Consultant with over 5 years in delivering professional tailor-made Trips across East Africa. I am keen to offer strong attention to detail, understand the travelers' needs and then craft unforgettable African safari experience.

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