QUICK LOOK AT MOUNT RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK:
- The park was gazzetted in 1991 and in 1994 it was recognized as a world heritage and Ramsar site in 2008
- it is located in kasese district, south western Uganda
- The park stretches as far as 996sqkm
- The park comprises of Rwenzori Mountain the highest mountain range in Africa
- The park has the Africa’s third highest peak and has many waterfalls, lakes and glaciers.
- The park is largely known for its beautiful plant life
- The park accommodates about 70 mammals and 217 bird species
- Rwenzori is not a volcanic like other East Africa’s common mountains but rather a block of rock up faulted through the plains of western rift valley
- The highest point is 5109m above sea level on mount Stanley’s magherita peak
- The explorer Henry Stanley put rwenzori on the map on 24th may 1888 and labeled it Ruwenzori
- Alexandrine the geographer researcher, photographer Ptolemy in AD150 baptized the rwenzoris as the mountains of the moon
- Later in 1899, the English explorer Henry Morton Stanley christened them as the Cloud Mountains.
Kampala from the north via fort portal [375km]
From south via mbarara and QENP [450km]
Nyakelengija is 17km off kasese-fort portal road and 25 km north of kasese town
Charter flights from Entebbe international airport or kajjansi to kasese- 1-2hours
This is the third highest in Africa rising up more than 16700 feet above sea level and its highest peaks rise above the clouds and are permanently snow capped.
It is located in mount Rwenzori national park in kasese district of south western Uganda.
The mountain ranges include mount Stanley-5109m, mount speke-4890, mount Baker-4843, mount Emin-4798, mount Gessi-4715, mount luigidi savoia-4627
The mountain ranges are higher compared to the Alps and they have glaciers that are one of the sources of river Nile the longest river in the world.
Margherita peak is the highest peak on the ranges making it the third highest peak in Africa with its twin peak mount Stanley the 4th and the 5th peaks being mount Speke and Mount Baker are within the park
The mountain ranges were first brought to notice by the photographer, geographical researcher Alexandrine around AD150 who even baptized it the mountain of the moons.
1. MOUNTAIN CLIMBING.
The scenery on the mountain is the most beautiful thing one can long to see. Mount Rwenzori is covered in different types of vegetation and climate. There is a farmland of crops for instance coffee on the foothills of the mountain, coffee is one of the major exports of Uganda. The beautiful land terrain and plant life of submontane vegetation covered by the tropical evergreen forest will definitely amaze you
The hikes through the forests at the foothills will enable you enjoy unique activities like fishing with your hands in the stream.
3. BIRD WATCHING.
UNESCO named Rwenzori the key birding area, the place has got about 217 species of birds and 17 of them are so rare and can only be found in Rwenzori. These include Rwenzori Batis, white starred Robin, Rwenzori Turaco, long eared owl, montane, sooty Boubou, slender billed starling, fly catchers, cinnamon- chested, bee-eater and many others.
4. NATURE WALKS.
The park provides an opportunity for nature walks within the central circuit, you will be able to do trails up to lake mahooma and Buraro chimp forest, a guided community walk will lead you to places like kichwamba, karagura ridge and later you may do a hike to Bundibugyo through Bwamba pass that was formerly the only connecting link of fort portal and Bundibugyo before the road was built.
5. CULTURAL EXCHANGE.
While on the hikes at the foothills of the mountain you will get an opportunity to meet the locals performing their cultural dances and they will take you through drumming lessons and a lot more of their culture especially in Ruboni village.
6. Lounging on the foothills
You would want to rest in a cool environment after tiring day. There are quite number of scenic lodging facilities around mountains of the moon and at night you may get an opportunity to hang around bon fire as you listen to the tales of the mountains
PLANNING A RWENZORI TREK?
- Must hire a porter who who is allowed to carry a maximum of 15kg each that include your food, clothes and hiking materials. Porters make your camping comfortable
- Uganda wildlife authority[UWA] allocates armed ranger guides to the hikers who guide you throughout your hiking trip
- You need a walking stick that you may even get from the bamboo around with the help of the guides
- You may also need water proof clothing
- Stock up plenty of your favourite snacks
- You need to pack enough water to keep you hydrated at high altitude. Hot water bottle is also advised
- You need hiking boots with ankle support that hold enough grip.
- -Hotel Margarita located at foot hills of the Mountain.
- Rwenzori International Hotel-3kms from the Kasese Airstrip.
- Katara Lodge is situated 16km from the katunguru gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
- Tropical Guest House.
BEST TIME TO HIKE;
The feedback from different visitors and the Rwenzori tourism services [RTS] suggest that January, February, march, July and September would be the best months for hiking since it is the driest season of the year.
RATES [UWA FEES]
- Foreign non residents- USD 35
- Foreign residents-USD 25
- Children-USD 5
- Nationals- 15,000UGX