Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Mountains of the Moon)
Rwenzori Mountains National Park – Despite being at the equator, the Mountains of the Moon have six permanently snowing peaks and glaciers. The three peaks with glaciers are visible from all corners of miles distances as one travels through western Uganda.
There are five different Vegetation Zones known to the famous Rwenzori Mountains, namely; The Grassland Zone- from 1000-2000 metres above sea level, Montane Forest- from 2000-3000 metres above sea level, Bamboo/Mimulopsis Zone- from 2500-3500 metres above sea level, Heather/Rapanea Zone- from 3000-4000 metres above sea level, and the Afro-Alpine Moorland Zone- from 4000-4500 metres above sea level.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park Hiking
- Rwenzori is not only celebrated for being Africa’s third-highest mountain but also Uganda’s highest. The sophisticated mount Stanley which harbours Margherita Peak stands at the highest elevation of 5,109 metres above sea level. Rwenzori is known to have six significant peaks namely; Mount Stanley the highest at 5,109 metres above sea level, Mount Speke at 4,890 metres above sea level, Mount Baker at 4,843 metres above sea level, Mount Emin at 4,798 metres above sea level, Mount Gessi at 4,715 metres above sea level, and Mount Luigi di Savoia at 4,627 metres above sea level.
- Mountaineering is the most popular tourist activity in the park, and the primary circuit takes you through all vegetation zones up to the glacial peaks. However, there are also shorter hikes for fewer days and distance since the primary course, which takes one to the highest peak, is recommended for experienced mountaineers. The trails are developed in a way that even non-skilled hikers are not left out.
- For these and more other reasons, many hikers have rated Mountain Rwenzori the most challenging of all Africa’s mountains.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park Birding
- Birding Mountain Rwenzori National Park can be so productive since the park boosts of 217 bird species Checklist. Here is home to seventeen bird species of the twenty-four Albertine Rift endemics known to Uganda and 59 of the 88 Afro-tropical Highlands that occur in Uganda.
- Among the many species to look out for will include; the Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Black-faced and Collared Apalis, Stripe-breast Tit, Rwenzori Batis, the Purple-breasted, Malachite, Blue-headed, Stuhllman’s and Tiny Sunbirds. Other regular birds include; Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Long-eared Owl, Western Tinkerbird, Olive Woodpecker, Grey-chested Babbler, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Cinnamon Bracken, Evergreen Forest and Bamboo Warblers among others.
Mammal experience is unique with probably non-recorded species. However, one can expect to see Common Chimpanzees, Angola pied colobus, Mantled guereza, Blue monkey which frequent the park’s trails. There are also records of forest adapted Elephant, Bushbuck, Giant forest hog, Hyraxe and the rarely encountered Leopard.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
- Size: 996 sq km
- District: Rukungiri, Kabale and Kisoro
- Geographical Location: In the Northern part of the Albertine Rift and the west of the Great East African Rift Valley.
- Altitude: Up to 5,109 metres above sea level (The highest elevation in Uganda.
- Rwenzori Mountaineering
- Birdwatching Uganda
- Game Watching
- Nature Walks