The Rwenzori Mountains – the fabled Mountains of the Moon – 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 moorland, bamboo and rich, moist mountain forest. Huge tree heathers and colourful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairy tale scene.
Mountain climbing is the major activity with trekking along the Rwenzori Central Trail Circuit taking up to 7 days.
A World Heritage Site, vegetation in the Rwenzoris ranges from tropical rainforest on the lower slopes through to alpine meadows before reaching the snow line.
The range supports its own species and varieties of giant groundsel and giant lobelia. Six small mammals are Albertine Rift-valley endemic, including the Rwenzori otter shrew and the Rwenzori red duiker. It supports 19 endemic bird species, including the Rwenzori Turaco, and the Blue-headed sunbird. Endemic reptiles include the Great Lakes bush viper and the Strange-horned chameleon. 217 bird and 77 mammal species have been recorded in the Rwenzoris. Unlike other national parks in Uganda which offer excellent game viewing opportunities, Rwenzori is better known for its spectacular scenery and unique plant life.
Size and accessibility:
Established in 1991, it covers an area of 995 km2. The 6 mountain ranges of the Rwenzori include Mt. Stanley (5,109 m), Mt. Speke (4,890 m), Mt. Baker (4,843 m), Mt. Emin (4,798 m), Mt. Gessi (4,715 m) and Mt. Luigi di Savoia (4,627 m), separated by deep gorges. Mt. Stanley is the largest with Margherita (5,109 m) as the highest peak. The highest Rwenzori peaks are permanently snow-capped. No roads exist within the park, and different parts of the mountain can only be explored on foot along established trails.
The starting point to trek in the Rwenzori mountain is Kasese. A drive from Kampala takes about 4 to 5 hours.
Flights from Entebbe to Kasese airstrip are available on regular basis.