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Rwenzori national park

Rwenzori national park is the world’s most thrilling and difficult mountain ranges to travel. A peculiar and enchanting realm of 996 square kilometers of fantasy vegetation, lakes, rocky outcrops, cliffs, towering glaciers, and snow-capped summits exists.

The Rwenzori Mountains National Park has Africa’s tallest mountain ranges. Its top is 5109m above sea level on Mt Stanley’s Margherita Peak, which is Africa’s third tallest. It is located placed atop of the equator and has six summits, three of which are constantly covered with snow, namely Mt Stanley, Mt Baker, and Mt Speke. The park has a total size of 996 km2. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, and World Geographic named it one of the top walks in the world. It is located in western Uganda, roughly 6 hours from Kampala.

Rwenzori is regarded as the “moon mountains,” a moniker given to it by the Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy in AD 150. Ruwenzori, the local name, translates as “rainmaker” or “cloud-king.” The Rwenzori, unlike the other main mountains in East Africa, is a piece of granite fractured through the bottom of the western Rift valley. The trail will take you through montane forest, bamboo forest, tree heath, hagenia-rapanea scrub, and afro-alpine moorland, among other plant types.

The mountain ranges have 20 lakes, the most reachable of which is Lake Mahoma. Mts Stanley, Baker, and Speke surround Lake Bajuku. On the Nyamwamba path, dams formed a string of eight lovely lakes, featuring Lake Kitandara.

Wildlife at Rwenzori national park

Birds

Over 177 bird species live in the park, including 19 Albertine Rift endemics. 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, are found in the woodland zone.

Rwenzori national parkAnimals

Elephants, Giant forest hogs, Rwenzori Otters, duikers, bushbucks, and leopards are among the 70 animal species found in the park, but they are rarely observed. Blue monkeys, Angola colobus monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and Chimpanzees are examples of primates.

Activities while at Rwenzori national park

Hiking

Rwenzori national parkClimbers may think about hypothermia and other kinds of altitude sickness, as well as how to cure them. Altitude sickness can affect anybody over 2500 m, regardless of age, fitness, or previous mountain trekking knowledge. Descending to a lower altitude is the most instant cure. For your hike, include the following essentials: a sleeping bag and warm clothing.

The Rwenzoris should be toured on foot, and you must be physically healthy and accustomed to rigorous sports. Margherita Peak has just been classed as a tough climb, and while you don’t need to be an expert hiker to complete it in winter conditions, some prior expertise is suggested.

From ‘peak baggers’ to birders looking to track down the region’s rare species, a wide range of treks ranging from one to twelve days are offered. Routes can also be extended for private parties to allow for additional time acclimating to the altitude or fully enjoy the calm, isolation, and majesty of the highlands.

Hiking routes

The Rwenzori peaks may be reached by two hiking circuits: the Central Circuit from Nyakalengija and the Southern Circuit from Kilembe. While Professor Scott Elliott pioneered the Southern Circuit in 1895, it was the Central Circuit, pioneered by Luigi di Savoia in 1906, that gave the only access to the highlands for many years.

monumental expeditions exclusively organizes walks along the Southern Circuit. This is due to the fact that it offers the most dramatic and spectacular experience of nearly impossible vistas. The southern circuit also includes several longer stretches that are beneficial for acclimatization.

 

Birding

Rwenzori national parkThe Rwenzori Mountains are one of the top birding places in Uganda, as they are home to several Albertine Rift endemics. It features a diverse flora that attracts a variety of bird species; the montane forest is ideal for bird viewing. The Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared Owl, Bearded vultures, and swifts should not be overlooked.

 

Nature walks

The settlements around the park provide guided treks along the slopes of Mount Rwenzori. Views of Baker and Portal peaks, as well as views of the tallest altitude, Margherita, may be obtained by following River Mubuku. Look for squirrels, Vervet monkeys, chameleons, and a variety of birds.

 

Cultural encounters

Interact with the Bakonzo who live in the Rwenzori slopes. Take a path and see them as they exhibit everyday chores such as gardening and animal husbandry, as well as making daily meals – from farm to supper. Visit the blacksmith, the traditional healer, the basket weavers, and the dance and storytelling performances. Furthermore, you may take a journey through the sacred valley to Bakonzo cultural sites; this trip takes around 7 hours in total.

How to access the Rwenzori national park

The park is accessible from Kampala through Fortportal or Mbarara via Rwenzori Mts National Park. You may also fly from Entebbe to Kasese Airfield on a planned or chartered trip.