Hiking Rwenzori mountains in Uganda – The Rwenzori Mountains are the biggest mountain range in Africa located in Southwestern Uganda along the Democratic Republic of Congo border with the largest part of it standing at 2500m above sea level. The snow covered Rwenzori Mountain – also known as the “mountains of the moon” is protected as Rwenzori Mountain National Park and is a World Heritage site.
The Rwenzori’s give climbers a rewarding world-class hiking and mountaineering experience any time of the year. The mist-shrouded peaks provide stunning backdrops to these magnificent mountains; including six main mountain peaks exceeding 4500m of altitude namely: Mt. Stanley, Mt. Speke, Mt. Baker, Mt. Gessi (on the Congo side), and Mt. Emin Pasha. Mt. Luigi di Savoia. These are found along the Uganda and Congo border.
Hiking Rwenzori mountains in Uganda – The mythical mist covered commonly called Mountains of the Moon on Uganda’s western boundary with the Democratic Republic of Congo lie on the north west of Queen Elizabeth National Park and cover a place of roughly 90 Kilometers north to south and 50 km from east to west in their widest. The Rwenzori National Park protects the breathtaking scenery and one of a kind vegetation of those mountains.
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The high points of the Rwenzori Mountains include seven different massifs each having lots of different peaks that stay eternally snow and glacier covered. Margherita summit on Mount Stanley is the next greatest mountain in Africa. Sophisticated networks of rivers drain the glaciers and accumulate the tropical downpours, dividing deep gorges and valleys throughout the hills. The yearly rainfall received round the mountain which leads to luxuriant montane forest on the lower slopes up through zones of pine and shrub heath into the fro- alpine zone.
The Rwenzori is famous chiefly for its hard hiking and climbing chances, but the scope also supports a diversity of creatures such as a number of the latter being Albertine Rift Endemics and zebras. The National park is the only area in Uganda in which the Angola colobus was recorded.
The Angola colobus, the black and white colobus, L’Hoest monkey, chimpanzees, forest elephants, hyrax, leopard, yellow backed duiker, golden cat, genet, giant forest hog and bushbuck.
There are 241 species of birds recorded and 19 of them are endemic like the Rwenzori Turaco, the malachite sunbird, the long tailed cuckoo, long eared owl, handsome francolin, cinnamon chested bee-eater, robin, montane Boubou, slender-billed starling, black eagle.
Mount Rwenzori National Park is located along the equator and because of this; most parts are wet compared to other parts in East Africa. The highest rainfall amount is experienced in the eastern slopes and rains kick start from March to May and from September to mid-December. For excellent tour, you can opt to travel to this park from June to September as most parts remain relatively drier. This area experiences temperature range of about 5 to 20 degrees Celsius.
To get to this park, you need about 5 hours or more to drive from Kampala to Kasese. You can take a car rental a 4 wheel drive safari car or a public means although this may not be favorable enough in case you are looking at something comfortable. The popular routes include the Kampala-Fort Portal or Kampala-Mbarara-Queen Elizabeth or alternatively, take a flight from Kajjansi airfield.
There are many accommodations for you to spend a night in this park and they include among others-Hotel Margherita which is situated at the base of the mountain just a few kilometers from Kasese town. Amazingly, a side from accommodation, they also offer Rwenzori experience.
The Rwenzori International Hotel-this is located about 3 kilometers off Kasese airstrip just at the base of Rwenzori Mountain range. This provides executive self-contained rooms to single non-self-contained rooms with camping options.
Kitara lodge-this is located about 16 kilometers off Katunguru gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This accommodation facility is very keen on environmental conservation and it is built using renewable materials.
The Equator snow lodge-this is also set at the base of the mountain and offers luxury accommodation services. Below it, there is a roaring Mubuku River and its cottages are constructed using the river rocks thus making it a few exceptionally rare facilities for one to spend a night while on safari in this park.
Tropical savanna guesthouse-this is set along the Mbarara-Kasese route within Kasese Town and it is ideal for budget visitors on safari in Mount Rwenzori National Park.
It’s always good to know the months suitable for trekking; Mountain Rwenzori national park can be visited any time of the year, however the suitable months to visit the Rwenzori national park is during the dry season, which is from June and August and between Decembers to February these are known as the dry months.