Mountain Rwenzori is the tallest block mountain in Africa with Margherita peak at 5109 m peak. Mt. Rwenzori is situated in western Uganda and shared by Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
This magnificent Park covering an area of 998 square kilometers is one of the most spectacular sites that Uganda prides herself in. Rwenzori Mountains National Park is situated in Western Uganda and is characterized by spectacular glaciers, crystal clear rivers, snow-capped Peaks, stunning Lakes, eye-popping waterfalls and boasts of interesting flora and fauna species such as several mammal species. Over 250 bird species including bird species endemic to the Albertine Rift region and 17 species endemic to the Rwenzori Mountains, 15 butterfly species.
This magnificent mountain is the third highest mountain in Africa with a height 5109 meters above sea level. Rwenzori Mountains National park was gazetted in 1991 and in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 it was inscribed. This national park is demarcated with clear boundaries to reduce on encroachment by the Local Communities and like other Parks in Uganda is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Quick Facts About the Park
The main part of the Rwenzori Mountain chain, which includes Africa’s third highest peak (Mount Margherita: 5,109 m). The region’s glaciers, waterfalls and lakes make it one of Africa’s most beautiful alpine areas.
The Park has many natural habitats of endangered species and a rich and unusual flora comprising, among other species, the giant heather. Below are some of the tourist activities done while at Mountain Rwenzori.
Climb Mountain Rwenzori – It takes a maximum of 8 days to hike up to Margherita peak.
Trekking: To fully explore the Rwenzori range and its layer upon layer of habitats – montane forest, bamboo, tree heathers and Afro-Alpine – you’ve got to pull on your hiking boots and trek. This is a brilliant but fairly challenging hiking destination, with marked trails maintained by several trekking companies. An 7 Day Central Circuit Trail will get you to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks or you can do day hikes to explore the forests and foothills.
You can combine a 7 Day Central Circuit Trail with adventures in Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in 14 Day Uganda Adventure offered by Climbing Rwenzoris.
Kasese town is gateway to trekking in the mountains.
Forest and Foothill Hiking on Mountain Rwenzori
Inexperienced Mountain climbers have an option of climbing on the mountain slopes and forest or taking part in activities like hand fishing along some of the streams on the mountain hills. You can walk in the forest to look for the three horned Rwenzori chameleon.
Birding on Mountain Rwenzori:
According to UNESCO labeled the Rwenzori area a key Birding Area (KBA). Mountain Rwenzori hosts different species of birds including the African Long-eared Owl, Archers’ Robin-chat, Barbets, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Blue-headed Sunbird, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Collared Apalises, Crimson wings, Dusky and Shelley’s Crimsonwings, Dwarf Honeyguide, Evergreen Forest and Bamboo Warblers, Flycatchers, Golden-winged sunbirds, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbirds, Birdwatching in Rwenzori MountainsGolden-winged Sunbird, Grauer’s Cuckoo-shrike, Greenbuls, Grey-chested Illadopsis, Grey-winged Robin, Handsome Francolin, IIladopsis, Kivu Ground Thrush, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Lammergeiger, Long-eared Owl, Montane Masked, Montane Rwenzori Nightjar, Montane Sooty Boubou, Olive Woodpecker, Oriole-Finch, Red-faced Crimsonwing, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Red-throated Alethe, Regal and Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Turaco, Slender-billed Starling, Strange Weaver, Stripe-breast Tit, Western Green Tinkerbird, White-collared Olive-back and White-starred Robin,
The Bakonzo people arrange cultural dance performances while sharing information about their history. While in their community, look for the medicine men, story tellers, fortune tellers and enjoy lots of local music, dance and drama performed by the Bakonzo group of people.
The other interesting cultural experience is to go for the Bulemba-Ihandiro Cultural Trail. This trail gives more exposure to the intriguing culture of the Bakonzo. There are opportunities to visit a traditional healer and local blacksmiths. Visitors learn how to make fire locally and weave baskets. The Bulemba-Ihandiro Cultural Trail also takes visitors to the Bakonzo traditional Museum. The local museum has a collection of traditional items of cultural and historical importance to the Bakonzo (Rwenzururu) including art pieces and locally made dresses.
Nature Walks at the Rwenzori Mountains
Rwenzori Mountaineering services arranges nature walks at the Rwenzori Mountain. It’s organized at the park borders and in Kilembe area. More so, follow the central circuit zone used for mountain climbing and then follow the nature walk trails.