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


The legendary ‘Mountains of the Moon’ as described by the Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy 2,162 years ago, lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in high altitude moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. The 996sqkm Rwenzori Mountains National Park was established in 1991 and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994 and an international Ramsar wetland site in 2008. The national park hosts a variety of species of wildlife that include 70 mammals and 217 birds, including 19 species that are endemics to the Albertine Rift, as well as some of the world’s rarest plants.

It is to that that the Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination that offer multi-day treks around and up to the highest peaks. For those who prefer something a little less strenuous, neighboring communities also offer nature walks, cultural performances and accommodation.

For years the number of visitors to the region has been limited, due in part to limited tourism activities and facilities offered in the area. To address this gap, the USAID funded Sustainable Tourism in the Albertine Rift program (USAID-STAR) with support from US Forest Service, and in partnership with Ecotrust, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Geolodges worked together to improve the tourism products being offered in and around the mountain to promote greater visitation to this incredible world-class destination by;

Building a New Trail – Mahoma Nature Trail. The trail is a 28 km long loop-trail starting and ending at the Nyakalengijo Gate of the national park. USAID-STAR with support from US Forest Service and in partnership with UWA developed the trail as a way to diversify the options available to visitors to the region. The trail traverses the lower slopes of the mountains culminating at Lake Mahoma where the trail joins the existing ‘Central Circuit’ trail to return to the park gate. The entire circuit could be completed in 1-3 days long hikes, or parts of it as a day hike.

Also a new Rwenzori Mountains Visitor Information Center has been built. The New Rwenzori Mountains Visitor Information Center is a multi-function facility next to the park, providing information and services for visitors to the region. The Center offers information about the history and ecology of the mountains and their people, it also has space for UWA briefings and registration before entering the park, a restaurant and space for a craft shop. The Visitor 2 Information Center will allow people traveling to the region to learn more about the National Park and the mountain, its people and their culture.

Geolodges, in partnership with Ecotrust have also just opened a new lodge, called Equator Snow that is linked to the Visitor Center, to service visitors to the park and compliment the existing community camps in the region. To build on these facilities, UWA and USAID-STAR with support from US Forest Service built a new trail on the mountain that allows visitors to experience the destination in shorter 1-3 day walks and therefore attract a broader market to the region.

The partnership of providing the addition of these new tourism facilities and the trail aims to boost tourism to the mountains, increasing revenues for the people of the region as well as support UWA and Ecotrust in their ongoing conservation efforts.

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June 27, 2017, 11:47 am
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
current pressure: 1020 mb
humidity: 70%
wind speed: 2 m/s SSE
sunrise: 6:49 am
sunset: 6:57 pm

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