UGANDAUnrestrained nature
Uganda has some of the richest ecological diversity in the entire world.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

The legendary snow-capped “Mountains of the Moon”

Rwenzori Mountains National Park lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. This 996sqkm national Park protects the upper slops of the Rwenzori Mountains the highest mountain ranges in Africa. The Park’s loftiest peaks Margherita (5109m) and Alexandra (5083m) on mount Stanley are exceeded in altitude elsewhere in Africa only by Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene.

In AD150, the Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy wrote of the Rwenzori Mountains as snow capped mountain range, deep in the heart of Africa that, he claimed, was the source of the Nile and which he called the Mountains of the Moon. Over the centuries this curious notion of tropical snow faded into mythology and, when John Speke found the Nile’s exit from Lake Victoria, a place in fiction for the Mountains of the Moon seemed assured. But then, in 1889, Henry Stanley emerged from central Africa to announce that such a mountain did exist. He mapped it by its local name of Rwenjura or ‘rainmaker’.

Rwenzori Mountains were declared a Forest Reserve in 1941. This reserve was recognized as the largest catchment area giving rise to numerous streams that supply water to the surrounding communities as well as maintaining the flow of water to lakes Edward, George and Albert. Rwenzori Forest reserve was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and declared a world heritage site in 1995. The national Park protects the upper slops of the Rwenzori Mountains the highest mountain ranges in Africa.

The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination with  nine- to twelve-day trek  to the summit of Margherita the highest peak and shorter non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.

Getting there:

The Rwenzori trailhead at Nyakalengija can be reached from Kampala from the north via Fort Portal (375km) or the south passing through Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450km). Nyakalengija is 17km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town. Charter flights to Kasese can be arranged from Kampala (Kajjansi) or Entebbe International Airport.

See:

The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination with  nine- to twelve-day trek  to the summit of Margherita the highest peak and shorter non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks. A visit to the Rwenzori National Park offers you the opportunity of discovering some of the mountain’s secrets for yourself.

The Rwenzori is known primarily for its challenging hiking and climbing possibilities but is also remarkable for its flora rather than its fauna. Elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog, bushbuck, chimpanzee and leopard are present but are rarely seen. Primates such as black and white colobus and the blue monkey may be seen, as well as the hyrax, the elephant’s diminutive cousin. 
The Rwenzori is home to 241 bird species of which 19 are endemic to the mountain. Several birds are limited to just a few forests along the Albertine rift, notably the Rwenzori Turaco. In the alpine zone trace for the Malachite Sunbird.

Like any other African mountains, the Rwenzori range can be divided into series of increasingly dramatic vegetation zones. Above the Bakonzo farmlands, montane forest (1500-2500m) gives way to bamboo stands and messy tangles of Mimulopsis (2500-3000m). This is followed by the lovely Heather-Rapenea zone (3000-4000m), which is characterized by giant tree-heathers (Erica spp.), garishly coloured mosses and drab beards of lichen. Spectacular forms of giant lobelia (Lobelia spp.) and groundsels (Senecio spp.) are first found in this zone. These plants persist into the highest, Alpine zone (3800-4500m) where they are joined by wiry but pretty thickets of Helichrysum or ‘everlasting flowers’.
The Bigo Bogs in the Upper Bujuku Valley are colonised by tussocks of sedge (Carex spp). These provide climbers with useful if disconcertingly wobbly ‘stepping stones’ with which to negotiate these notoriously muddy sections.

Soaring, mist-covered snow capped peaks straddling the equator, in the heart of Africa. The Rwenzoris have for four centuries been the cause of speculation, mystery, myth and fable. In ancient times the Greeks believed that a great African mountain range they called the “Mountain of the Moon”, provided the legendary source of the Nile.

Rwenzori Mountain National Park Trail Accommodation

Rwenzori National Park boasts a wide range of accommodation facilities. There are a number of huts strategically positioned along the trails. There are however some options with in the Mubuku valley around Nyakalengija including RMS Safari Lodge that offers upmarket accommodation, while budget accommodation facilities are offered from Base Camp, Ruboni Campsite, and Rwenzori Turaco Camp.

FORT PORTAL

Delightfully Fort Portal and the nearby areas provide upmarket accommodation from Kyaniga Lodge, Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Ndali Lodge and Mitandi mountain Huts, moderate accommodation from Kluges guest Farm, Rwenzori View Guesthouse, Sunrise apartments and Fort Motel, while Budget accommodation is offered atCrater Valley Resort, Cornerstone Hotel, Rwenzori Travellers Inn, Rujuna Hilltop Guesthouse, Kenneth Inn and Soka Hotel.

KASESE

Many people overnight in Kasese town from the Margherita Hotel just outside Kasese offers moderate accommodation while budget accommodation can be got from Rwenzori International Hotel, Virina Gardens, White House Guesthouse, executive Inn and divine Inn.

 

Weather

Kampala
May 26, 2017, 11:37 pm
Mostly clear
Mostly clear
18°C
current pressure: 1020 mb
humidity: 95%
wind speed: 1 m/s SSW
sunrise: 6:43 am
sunset: 6:51 pm
 

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