RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is an exceptional safari destination for hiking adventure. This park is situated about 400 kilometers away from Kampala city center, western Uganda and it is bordered by Kabarole, Kasese and Budibugyo district. This park derived its name from the scenic Rwenzori Mountain ranges which features as the 3rd highest snow peak in Africa and comprises of 6 mountains-Stanley, Emin, Gessi, Savoia, Speke and Baker. Its elevation ranges between 1670 and 5109 meters and comprises of numerous peaks including Mount Stanley (5109m), Mount Baker (4843), Mount Speke (4890M), Mount Luigi Di Savoia (4627m), Mount Emin (4798m), Mount Gessi (4715m), Margherita (5110m), Alexandra (5044m), Moebius (4925M).
Rwenzori Mountains National Park comprises of a rare vegetation zone including the bamboo, moist montane forest, moorland and others. Mount Rwenzori National Park is Uganda’s one remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Sites and spans within an area of about 1000 square kilometers. It hosts several rare plant species, over 70 mammal species, 217 bird species 19 of which are Albertine rift endemics, waterfalls, the magical Rwenzori mountain ranges among others. A hike to the top of this mountain may last you about 9 or more days to get to the Margherita peak and it is ideal for those who are physically well. Mount Rwenzori National Park features scenic waterfalls, blue cirque Lakes, unique vegetation as well as 18 mammal species, 217 avifaunal species, 9 reptiles, elephants, leopards, chimpanzees L’Hoest monkeys and others.
Activities to do in Mount Rwenzori National Park
Rwenzori Mountain range is exceptionally the best for mountain hiking experiences. Hiking through Mount Rwenzori takes you through distinct vegetation zones, glaciers and not to forget magical views over its peaks and surrounding areas. To get to its magnificent peak requires some physical wellness in you. This mountain features Mount Stanley, Vittorio Emmanuelle which stands at 4889 meters on Mount Speke, Edward at 4842 meters on Mount Baker.
If you can’t make it up to the Margherita peak, there is a better option for you to and that is nothing other than nature walks. On nature walk, you have a chance to sight at varied plant species, meet the Bakonzo communities for you to learn more about their cultures and traditions.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a birder’s paradise. A birding tour in this park gets you the best sight at diverse bird species including the barred long tailed cuckoo, long eared owl, Rwenzori Turaco, slender billed starling, Lagden’s bush shrike, blue headed sunbird, barbets, golden winged sunbird, greenbul, handsome francolin, strange weaver, illadopsis, crimson wings, flycatchers, cinnamon chested bee-eaters and many more.
A safari to Rwenzori Mountains National Park never goes without a visit to nearby local community to experience the African cultures. A cultural tour in this park gets you a chance to learn more about the cultural lifestyles and what they do each day learn more about drumming and unique dances among others. You can also head off to Ruboni village for you to explore more about their lifestyles and other interesting things.
When to visit Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park lies astride equator and due to its strategic location, most parts are wet compared to other parts in East Africa. The highest rainfall amount is experienced in the eastern slopes and rains kick start from March to May and from September to mid-December. A dry season is the best to explore this park and it starts from June to September and December to February. The temperatures range of about 5 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Where to stay in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The available accommodation options for your overnight stay in Mount Rwenzori National Park include Hotel Margherita, The Rwenzori International Hotel, Kitara lodge, The Equator snow lodge, Tropical savanna guesthouse-this is set along the Mbarara-Kasese route within Kasese Town and it is ideal for budget visitors on safari in Mount Rwenzori National Park.
Getting to Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is reachable within 5 hours or more hours’ drive from Kampala to Kasese. A 4 wheel drive safari car is more preferable. You can drive through Kampala-Fort Portal or Kampala-Mbarara-Queen Elizabeth.