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
The high peaks should be attempted only by experienced mountaineers.
The Rwenzori Mountains is made up of several massifs. There are six massifs in total that make up the Rwenzoris;
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, 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.
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 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 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 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.