Many of us are familiar with the Rwenzori Mountains range but not Mount Stanley yet the latter is part of the former. Mount Stanley is found within the Rwenzori mountains range, towering at an elevation of 5109 meters (16,763 feet) above sea level with its highest point being within both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Surprisingly, it is the third highest in the African Continent after Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro (standing at 5895 meters above sea level) and Mount Kenya (standing at 5199 meters above sea level).
The Peak of Mount Stanley as well as other surrounding peaks is very high enough to maintain snow. This Mountain was named after Sir Henry Morton Stanley (28th January 1841 to 10th May 1904), a Welsh-American explorer and journalist that was popular for exploring Central Africa and his search for an Explorer and Missionary known as David Livingston. Mount Stanley is therefore part of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mount Stanley is a fault block mountain standing between two rifts in the African Rift Valley System and were formed within the past 10 million years and contain quartzite and gneiss. They are generally blanketed by mist and usually receive rains with frequent thunder and lightning.
This Mountain is made up of two major peaks and a number of lower summits and they include Margherita Peak standing at 5109 meters (16,763 feet), Alexandra at 5091 meters (16,703 feet), Albert standing at 5087 meters (16,690 feet), Savoia at 4977 meters (16,330 feet), Elena standing at 4968 meters (16,300 feet), Elizabeth standing at 4929 meters (16,170 feet), Phillip at 4920 meters (16,140 feet), Moebius at 4916 meters (16,130 feet) and Great Tooth standing at 4603 meters (15,100 feet).
Mount Stanley was first climbed by Duke of the Abruzzi. J. Petigax, J. Brocherel and C. Ollier in 1906 and the Margherita summit was named after Queen Margherita of Italy. Nowhere else in the World will you find such breathtaking collection of bog, forests and moss looking more like those from the “Lord of the Rings than Earth.
Climate of Mount Stanley
Most of the year, Mount Stanley experiences heavy rain, snow lashes and sleet although it also experiences two drier spells in January/February and mid June to Mid August thus tourists are advised to plan their safaris for one of those time periods. Even then, there will be at least two weeks of frequent fog and showers. Some of the activities conducted around and on Mount Stanley include Mountain climbing, bird watching and nature walks among others.
How to Reach Mount Stanley
Much as it lies within two countries, the most accessible way to Mount Stanley is through Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air transport. With the latter, you fly from Entebbe International Airport/Kajjansi Airfield to Kasese Town then proceed to area of the Mountain by road.
Alternatively, you can proceed by road transport using a number of routes-Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi-Kasese to the Mountains of the Moon. You can however use the northern route of Kampala-Mubende-Fortportal-Ibanda-Kasese then to Mount Stanley.