Rwenzori national park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a great hiking / Mountain climbing destination in Uganda sometimes referred to as the Mountains of the Moon in western Uganda on the border of Uganda and the Democratic republic of Congo and in district of Kasese.
The national park was gazzetted in 1991 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 offering great attractions and activities one must engage in.
The park covers 1,000 km2 (386 sq. mi) with great beautiful fauna flora and landscapes. The park has a number of plant species, animals and bird’s species that make it one of the places you must have in your bucket list of travel destinations.
The national park has the third highest peak on the African Continent making it one of the must climb mountains is you are interested in a mountaineering safari in Africa.
The Mountains vegetation consists of bamboo, moorland, and montane forests that are noticeable as you go high on the mountain and the mountain slopes have big tree-heathers, colorful mosses with beautiful flowers and giant lobelias.
The Park is 60 kilometers wide and one 120 kilometer long and the mountain range is habitat to 70 mammals species ,217 bird species of which 19 species are endemic to the Albertine Rift and the park has lots of chameleon, butterflies and lots vegetation types very unique.
Rwenzori Mountain was named “Mountains of The Moon “by one of the first geographers to visit it Ptolemy around 15 AD .
The Mountain was named “Ruwenzori” a local word which means a “Rain –Maker” and the mountains highest peak ,Margherita stands 5,109m above sea level with the oldest climber to get to the peak registered in 2010 is Ms. Beryl Park aged 78 yrs.
Mountain Rwenzori is a world-class hiking Destination that must be tried by hiking lovers with Expert hikers taking 9 to 12 days to get to Margherita the mountains highest peak.
The mountain Rwenzori has ancient rocks that were extruded from the nearby plains during its formation in the western arm of the rift valley and These Precambrian rocks weathering process created less fertile soils.
GETTING THERE GETTING TO RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK.
Mountain Rwenzori can be accessed by either road or air.
By Road to Rwenzori national park
Mountain Rwenzori can be accessed from Kampala by 2 two routes
Route 1 : Kampala – Mubende -Fort Portal-Kasese which is 300km with travel time of about 4hrs .
Route 2: Kampala – Masaka- Mbarara- Bushenyi -Kasese, which is about 350km with travel time of roughly 6 hours.
This route has attractions that can be seen on your way to Rwenzori and those are the Lake Mburo National Park , Queen Elizabeth National Park this rote is exceptionally longer necessitating one to have many pauses in their trip.
By Air to Rwenzori national park
A Chartered plane takes only 30 minutes to get to Kasese airstrip that is a few kilometers to the national park.
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS in RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Wildlife in RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Mountain Rwenzori National Park has a number of mammal species that are around 70 and 6 of the species are endemic to Albertine Rift . Some of the animals you will see in the national park are elephant on the low lands of the mountain, primates like chimpanzee, baboons , the blue monkey among others primates, the otter ,leopard etc. The national park does not offer great wildlife viewing opportunities because of the dense forest cover but the easiest primates to see are primates like the colobus Monkeys, the blue monkeys, antelopes like the bushbucks and the three-horned chameleon.
Vegetation in RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Mountains National Park has diverse beautiful flora which changes as one gets to the higher altitude of the mountain and this will easily be observed as you hike up the mountain.
The various altitudinal vegetation zones in the mountain are the tropical rain forest, tree heathers, the montane forest, the Afro-alpine and bamboo. The afro-alpine vegetation is mainly characterized with emblematic big forms of groundsel and lobelia, and the mountain has the world’s unique botanical communities that can only found on Rwenzori mountain only in east Africa above 3800 M Above sea level
Birds in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The Park has over 217 birds species and most of them are endemic to the Albertine Rift and these are 17 species making Rwenzori national park one of the great birding area.
The forest are that covers an altitude of 1800m above sea level has a diversity of birds like Handsome Francolin, , Rwenzori Batis, Strange Weaver and Barbets, Flycatchers ,Archers’ Robin-chat, Blue-headed Sunbird, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, the Rwenzori Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, as well as the Golden-winged Sunbird, Long-eared Owl , Apalises, IIladopsis, the Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, White-starred Robin ,the rare Montane Sooty Boubou, Slender-billed Starling, Greenbuls, and Crimson wings.
Equatorial Snow Peaks in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The high Mountain Rwenzori comprises 6 different Mountains and they are the highest which is Mounts Stanley that is 5,109m high, Speke that is 4,890 meters and Baker that is 4,843 meters high with permanent snow and glaciers on the peaks and these can all be reached by hiking through the mountains Central Circuit and the Kilembe Trails.
Land of the Triffids
This area is misty and boggy with glacier-carved valleys are a strange botanical world with by Triffids-sized forms of rare lobelia varieties and heather and groundsel, everlasting flowers , with colored mosses and gnarled trees .
Lakes in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park has 20 lakes with the most accessible being Lake Mahoma 2,651 meters above sea level that is in the bird-rich forest of the Central Circuit.
The other lake us the beautiful Lake Bujuku that is at the deep glacier carved Bujuku valley in the Mount Stanley shadow of Mount Baker and Speke.
Ruboni Ruboni in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
This is Located in the southeastern foot of the Rwenzori Mountains and is the trailhead used by hikers for the 7day Central Circuit to the peaks.
Tourist activities in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Bird Watching in Rwenzori Mountains National Park .
The park is habitat to round 217 birds species giving many birding opportunities in the montane forest and some of the rare birds species you will see in the forest are Robins, ,the Bee-eaters, Sunbirds and Barbets. Other interesting bird’s species one will see in the forest are the Rwenzori Turaco, the Long-eared Owl, Black and Swift Eagle, the Bearded Vultures, among others.
Hiking and Nature Walks in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The park provides opportunity to explore the fauna and flora in the through a rewarding nature walks especially in the central circuit zones of the national park. These nature walks take you through the trails that take you to Lake Mahooma, Buraro chimp forest and the communities of Kichamba to Karangura ridge .
Mountain Climbing in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The Central Circuit Trail of the Rwenzori mountain offers a 7 day climbing experience