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Rwenzori Mountains National Park

A complete guide to Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Also known as the Mountains of the moon, Mount Rwenzori National Park is an interesting safari destination in Uganda famous for mountaineering safaris.

This website provides you an opportunity to go on a Uganda safari and visit one of the most pristine and unspoilt mountains on Earth. The Lonely Planet, publishers of world travel materials classified the central circuit of the Rwenzoris as the 9th best in the world for 2012, thus effectively making the same the best in Africa! Join the joy, with the guidance of tour operators in visiting this mountain and, join an exclusive club that has conquered its fastness.

You are dearly welcome to experience the courtesy of the local guides, the beauty offered by Rwenzori. Read through the website to get the basics.

Why Go Hiking in the Rwenzori Mountains

For bizarre vegetation and the chance to straddle the Equator atop the highest mountain range in Africa, the mist-shrouded and jagged Rwenzori Mountains are definitely worth a visit. The 120km range spans the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Unlike East Africa’s other large mountains, the Rwenzori are not volcanic; rather they were formed during the shift of the Rift Valley.

Often overshadowed by the likes of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ (so called by Ptolemy!) offer you the chance to marvel at some astonishing flora and fauna, a variety of forest mammals and over 170 species of birds. If you’re lucky, listen out for the chorus of chimpanzees, and forest elephant crashing through the undergrowth as well while on your lifetime safari in Uganda.

Trips to the Margherita Peak (5,401 metres) on the snowy summit of Mt Stanley will take trekkers through tropical jungle, sci-fi landscapes dotted with giant lobelia, alpine savannah and glacial fields, not to mention hopping from tussock to tussock in knee-deep bogs! Just don’t forget to pack your wellingtons…

Featured Tours to the Rwenzoris

Check out our best promotion tours to experience the Rwenzori Mountains!
$100 Trek to Baker and Weissman Peak

7 Days Trek to Baker and Weismann Peak

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$100 Rwenzori Hunswick Trek

6 Days Hunwick’s Trek

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$100 Rwenzori Chameleon

8 Days Rwenzori Wildlife & Birds

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$100 Kilembe Trail

7 Day Rwenzori Trek – Kilembe Trail

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$100 Ruboni Village Walk

4 Days Rwenzori Nature & Culture

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$100 Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail

7 Days Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail

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Things to See in the Rwenzoris

There are lots of things to see in the Rwenzori Mountains. From rare plants and animals to unique formations, there is a rich biodiversity to see within the Rwenzori Mountains.

Flora and fauna of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges

Mt. Rwenzori is endowed with diversity of fauna and flora. It boasts of its distinct vegetation variation ranging from African savanna at 1676-2286m, tropical forest to Alpine meadows, heath, bamboo and snow. These harbor a range of Rwenzori Mountains National Park’s diverse wildlife including 70 mammal species especially bush bucks, hyrax, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, 3 horn chameleon, duikers, elephants etc.

Lots of Birds

Over 217 bird species range within the varied habitats of Rwenzori Mountains including the Rwenzori Turacos, blue headed sunbird, montane sooty boubou, Rwenzori batis, Archers’ robin chat, long eared owl, barred long tailed cuckoos, slender billed starling. Others important birds include tiny sunbird, greenbul, apalis, golden winged sun birds etc.

Things to Do in the Rwenzoris

Hiking is the major holiday activity to undertake in the park. The hike takes you though all the vegetation zones and finally ends on the glacial peaks. Shorter hikes can also be arranged though the hike usually takes seven days. Nature walks on which different animals can be seen as well as birds.

Mountain climbing

The Rwenzori Mountains are among the most challenging mountains of Africa.


Birding-217 bird species make Rwenzori National Park one of the best birding safari destinations in Uganda and East Africa. The park has incredible birding trails to start your birding expeditions to sight birds such as the Western green tinker bird, golden winged sunbird, montane masked apalis, stripe breast tit, Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori batis, Crimson wings, white starred robin, scarlet tufted malachite sunbird, African lammergeier, black rough wings, Abyssinian ground thrush, Ruwenzori hill babblers, illadopsis, white necked raven, African cuckoo shrike.

Cultural Encounters

Mountaineering safari experiences in Rwenzori Mountains are never complete without a cultural encounter. After a thrilling trek to Margherita peak, don’t miss the exciting cultural dances, music performances at Ruboni as you also interact with the Bakonzo community.
Observe this!
The high peaks should be attempted only by experienced mountaineers.

Places of Interest

There are several places of interest that are worthy visiting in the Rwenzori Mountains.


In Rwenzori Mountains National Park, over 20 picturesque Lakes are all available for visitor exploration. Lake Mahoma is considerably the easiest to reach at 2651m, an area that is also endowed with bird species. Lake Bujuku is the other magical Lake that Rwenzori Mountains prides itself and this is found along the deep, glacier carved Bujuku Valleys at the Baker, Speke, Mt. Stanley shadow. The Nyamwamba valley which is accessible on the Kilembe trail has dams with glacial moraine and these have formed a string of 8 beautiful water Lakes. Besides Lakes, the block mountain range is also blessed with numerous streams and rivers that originate from summits of the mountain.


Located on the South-eastern foothills of Mount Rwenzori, Ruboni is another interesting place worth visiting on Rwenzori safari. The Ruboni trailhead is an ideal place to start trekking through the 7 day central circuit trailhead to the Rwenzori Mountain peaks. The area is also ideal for visitors to begin hiking tours, birding, community walks to Bakonzo local communities. Interestingly, visitors have where to stay after or before setting off to enjoy their nature walks, birding, hikes and in addition, enjoy great views of the Mubuku and peaks.


Bulemba is where visitors on Rwenzori treks find the remains of the 1st King of Rwenzururu. Isaiah Mukirania Kibanzaga was the first king of the Rwenzururu Kingdom and he played a role in saving the Bakonzo tribe from the oppression of the Batooro.

Rwenzori Mountains

The Rwenzori Mountains are the third highest mountains in Africa, rising to 5109 metres above sea-level. The mountains provide an unparalleled climbing experience seen nowhere else in Africa.

The Rwenzori Mountains is made up of several massifs. There are six massifs in total that make up the Rwenzoris.

Mount Stanley

Mt. Stanley is 5109m high, making it the highest of all the 6 Rwenzori Massifs with Margherita its highest summit. The Margherita peak features 11 subsidiary peaks and boasts of incredibly spectacular glaciers which include the Stanley plateau. Mt Stanley is what marks the Uganda and D.R. Congo boundary.

Mount Speke

Mount Speke, this is Rwenzori Mountain’s 2nd highest peak sitting on altitude of 4890m. It has 4 summits include Johnston at 4834m, Ensonga 4865m, Vittorio Emanuele at 4890 and at 4572m, there is Trident summit. Mt. Baker, Speke and Mt. Stanley make up a triangle that encloses the Bujuku Valley. It takes its name from John Speke, the renowned English explorer.

Mount Emin

Mt. Emin, 4798m is Rwenzori Mountain’s 4th highest peak. It has 2 peaks that are linked by a narrow ridge including Umberto in the southern side and Kraepelin.

Mount Gessi

Mount Gessi lies at elevation of 4715m and accessible via the Mugusu Valley. The Gessi peak was initially covered by ice & glaciers but they melted. Its 2 twin peaks include Loloanda and Bottego. Luigi di Savoia Mountain takes its name from the Duke of Abruzzi who climbed to most of the 6 Rwenzori Mountains peaks.


The Rwenzori Mountains features varying vegetation zones largely determined by altitudes. There are 5 distinct vegetation zones worth exploring on Rwenzori Mountain safaris. They include bamboo zone 2500 to 3500m, Montane 2000-3000m, grassland 1000-2000m, Afro-alpine moorland zone 4000-4500m, heather 3000-4000m. This block mountain also features strikingly beautiful plants at 3000m including the lobelia, giant tree heathers, groundsel and these are unique to the Rwenzori Mountain region.

Getting There

The Park can be accessed by both road transport and air transport. For those who want to travel by air a private charter flight can be arranged for you to Kasese air strip where a transfer to the park can be made. Nyakalengija trailhead lies off the Fort Portal road, 22km from Kasese. Transport can be arranged in Kasese.

Plan Your Hike in the Rwenzoris

To hike the great mountains you require a minimum of Seven days for a rewarding hike. However 10 days is the best for the hike to the peak (Margherita: 5109 m).

The Rwenzori range has 6 major peaks, Mt Stanley (5,109m), Mt Speke (4,890m) Mt Baker (4,843m), Mt Emin (4,798m), Mt Gessi (4,715m) and Mt Luigi di Savoia (4,627m).

The highest peak in the Mt Stanley complex is called Margherita peak (5,109) and it is this peak which makes the Rwenzori Mountains the 3rd highest range in Africa.

Best time to hike the Rwenzori Mountain ranges

Rwenzori Mountaineering adventures are perfectly done during the drier months of the years. To have a successful Rwenzori Mountain hikes, better to plan your hiking safari from December, January to February or June, July and August.

The Rwenzori Mountains Trails

The Rwenzori ranges has exceptional trails leading to different peaks on summits. The notable Rwenzori Mountain routes/trails include The Kilembe trail and the Rwenzori Central Circuit trail. If trekking is your thing then you have a million reasons to visit the Rwenzori Mountains for mountaineering adventures. It takes trekkers on Uganda safari in the Rwenzori Mountains about 8 days or more to ascend and descend from the summits. The treks to Rwenzori ranges normally start from Nyakalengija offices with briefing and expect to navigate via bamboo zones, heather zones, fig trees at the base, rocky grounds and so on.

Trekkers who aren’t experienced enough also have options to explore the Rwenzori Mountains. They can trek through the loop trail which covers 6-7 days taking them to a height of 4372m or spend 3 days exploring the moorland zone/alternative branch off the main loop to visit other nearby peaks.

Rwenzori Trekking Guide

What to carry for your Rwenzori Mountain hike

The essential climbing gear you should have while on Rwenzori Mountain hike include waterproof climbing/hiking boots, snacks, rain jacket, camera, daypack, insect repellent, waterproof hat, gloves, climbing/trekking poles/stick, insect repellent, sleeping bag, bottled water (carry enough).

How to access the Rwenzori Mountain ranges

If your plan is to go hike Rwenzori Mountains, the best ways to reach there is by road/by air. By road transportation, you can embark on a road trip from Kampala via Mbarara-Kasese or Kampala through Fort Portal city. Depending on the routes & car mechanical conditions, the Rwenzori Mountains are accessible within 6-7 hrs’ drive. By air, flights to Rwenzori Mountains begin from Entebbe Airport (EBB) and land at Kasese airstrip.

What to pack for the Rwenzori Mountain trek

Any trekker planning to trek through the Rwenzori Mountains must pack essentials such as waterproof trekking shoes/boots, warm clothes, rain jacket-waterproof, insect repellent, gloves, adequate drinking water, trekking stick, hat-waterproof, daypack-waterproof, camera etc. The other items that shouldn’t be excluded are sleeping bag, sunglasses, sunscreen.

Rwenzori Climbing FAQs

  • How difficult is Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains?
  • What are the Rwenzori Hike Routes?
  • When is the best time to climb Rwenzori Mountains?
  • How much does it cost to climb Rwenzori Mountains?
  • How can I avoid altitude sickness on Rwenzori?
  • What is the summit success rate for the Rwenzori Mountains?
  • What gear do I need to pack for the Rwenzori Trek?
  • What is the minimum age to climb the Rwenzori Mountains?
  • Do you recommend going on safari before or after hiking Rwenzori Mountains?


The available accommodation choices in and around the Rwenzori Mountains National Park range from Budget, Mid-range to Luxury. The rates for rooms may differ depending on the type of the lodge or hotel you book.

But the best places to consider booking include Equator Snow Lodge, a perfect safari lodge choice for luxury travelers. Tours Holiday Inn, Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite, Mihunga Safari Lodge, Ruboni Community Camp and Rwenzori Backpackers for budget and Ihumba Safari Lodge for mid-range or moderate visitors. There is also Rwenzori International Hotel and Hotel Margherita.

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