RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK

Mount Rwenzori National Park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1994 in order to protect the natural beauty, flora and fauna of the area and the important watershed for the many lakes of the region. It is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda along the boarder of Uganda and democratic Republic of Congo. It’s a 5-6 hours drive from the capital Kampala, although a private charter flight can be arranged from Kajansi air strip to Kasese from which a transfer to the park head quarters in Nyakalenjija village along the Mubuku valley can be made. The park derives its name from the Rwenzori Mountains, and it’s commonly known as “Mountains of the Moon.” Mount Rwenzori national park is rarely visited despite its features which are so impressive. It’s regarded as the Africa’s third highest mountain peak with many waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers, and it’s also known for its beautiful plant life. It covers an area of about 1,000km2 (386sqmi) in size.

The Rwenzori range has 6 major peaks which include, 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) with Alexandra (5.083 m), Margherita (5,109 m) and Albert peaks (5.101 m) is the highest point. The Rwenzori Mountains comprise an extremely steep and rugged mountain range for 120 km along the Uganda and Congo border. The mountain complies of ancient rocks which were extruded from the surrounding plains during the formation of the western rift valley. These Precambrian rocks have produced soils of low fertility, except on parts of the northern ridge where volcanic ash from the Fort Portal plateau was deposited. Local guides and porters are sourced from the adjacent areas to provide services for trekkers since the park is managed by the Uganda wildlife authority in cooperation with the local community under an agreement with the Rwenzori Mountaineering Service. There are two main trekking routes available which follow the Bujuku and Mubuku rivers, on the eastern side of the mountains Treks can range from 3 – 10 days, depending on travelers interest upon the trail chosen. Special equipment is required for those intending to climb to the peaks. Day hikes are also an option. Not only hiking that is the only attraction at the park but the park is a home to a wide biodiversity over 70 species have been recorded at the park to mention some include Angola colobus, the black and white colobus, L’Hoest monkey, chimpanzees, forest elephants, hyrax, leopard, yellow backed duiker, golden cat, genet, giant forest hog and bushbuck most of these species can be seen at the lower slope of the forest zone.

Bird lovers are also rewarding a lot given the fact that the park is a home to over 241 species of birds which are recorded and 19 of them are endemic like the Rwenzori Turaco, the malachite sunbird, the long tailed cuckoo, long eared owl, handsome francolin, cinnamon chested bee-eater, robin, montane boubou, slender-billed starling, black eagle.

Community walks is also an interesting activity as Visitors who are interested in expanding their knowledge of knowing more about how Ugandans live and their culture are rewarded. The local people will explain to them how they have managed to leave in the area, explain their to visitors their farming methods, and also their Locally produced craft items and if visitors are interested they can purchased from the park tourist office and along the road at various craft markets.

Places to stay park

Trekkers Hostel, Rwenzori Mountains Safari Lodge, Ruboni Community Camp is situated at the gateway to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.