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.
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 Mt. 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.
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…
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.
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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.
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
The high peaks should be attempted only by experienced mountaineers.
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 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.