Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one the best places for outdoor adventures in Africa. Located in western Uganda this Ugandan national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Rwenzori Mountains. The park covers almost 1,000 km² in size, the park has Africa’s third highest mountain peak and many waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers. Many travelers taking safaris in Uganda visit these fabled mountains of the moon located along the Uganda-Congo border.
The 120km Rwenzori chain is regarded to be the legendary snow-capped Mountains of the Moon, described by Ptolemy in AD150. Reaching an elevation of 5,109m, it is also Africa’s tallest mountain range, exceeded in altitude only by the free-standing Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro.
The distinctive glacial peaks are visible for miles around, but the slopes above 1,600m are the preserve of hikers, who rate the Rwenzoris to be the most challenging of all African mountains.
A variety of large mammals inhabits the lower slopes, but the Rwenzoris are notable more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. The trails lead through rainforest rattling with monkeys and birds, and then tall bamboo forest, before emerging on the high-altitude moorland zone, a landscape of bizarre giant lobelias, towered over by black rock and white snow, looking just like the set of a science fiction film.
If you like mountaineering, then the (5,119 m) high, snow covered Rwenzori Mountains – also known as the ‘mountains of the moon’ and protected as Rwenzori Mountains National Park which is also a World Heritage Centre – will offer you the unique experience you’ve been looking for. The mist-shrouded peaks provide stunning back drops to this magnificent mountain.
Ever since the Rwenzori became known to the World, its features have been changing. Today, the most visible and probably preventable, changes in the Rwenzori are the fragile vegetation along the trails. A trip into the Rwenzoris is an exhilarating and rewarding experience, but one which must be planned. The key to an enjoyable visit is ‘be prepared!’ You can do the central circuit in just 7 sevens and our excellent guides will be there to add flavor to your experience.
The few who have climbed this mountain have promised to come back, if you are an excellent hiker, looking for a lifetime adventure, the mountains of the moon are just your choice.
Things to See & Do
Mountain Rwenzori, has several tourist activities that include mountain hiking, climbing, biking, forest nature walk through the montane and bamboo forests, wildlife safaris, birding, Bakonzo community walk among others.
Mountain Trekking is the most popular thing to do in the Rwenzoris. The central hike to the Magherita Peak on Mount Stanley located 5,109m takes atleast 7 Days of a guided hike. According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and a great mountaineering destination in Africa offering a challenging hike to the snow capped peaks. A nine- to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.
Flora and Fauna
Rwenzori national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.
For those who prefer something a little less strenuous, neighboring Bakonzo villages offer nature walks, homestead visits home cultural performances and accommodation, including home-cooked local cuisine.