Rwenzori national park - "The mystical challenge"


Park at a Glance
• Size: 996km2
• The park was gazette in 1991 and was recognized as a
world heritage site in 1994.
• Highest point: 5109m above sea level on Mt Stanley's
Margherita peak. Mt Stanley is bisected by the border with
the Dr Congo.
• The rwenzoris were christened the "Mountains of the
moon" by the Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy in AD150.
• The explorer Henry Stanley placed the Rwenzori on the
map on the 24th May 1888. He labeled it 'Ruwenzori', a local
name which he recorded as meaning "rain maker" or"cloud-king."
• The oldest person to reach the peak margherita peak was Ms Beryl Park, aged 78.



Rwenzori National Park is also home to 18 species of mammals, 217 species of
birds, 9 species of reptiles and 6 species of amphibians.
Large mammals that include; elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog,
bush buck, chimpanzee and leopard are present but rarely seen,
however in the forest zone, droppings of elephants are frequently
seen, while noisy chimpanzee, Blue monkeys, black and white
colobus monkeys are common. In the Rwenzori's are also some
unique and rare animal species like the three horned chameleon, the
Rwenzori colobus, Rwenzori Turaco and the Rwenzori double
collared sunbird.
The park is also a cultural heritage for the neighboring communities.
Eighteen charismatic sacred sites have been identified, mapped and
protected as worship areas.


Road & Air
Rwenzori Mountains are located within four district Bundibugyo,
Ntoroko, Kabarole and Kasese districts in Western Uganda bordering
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The two major entry points to ascend to the Peaks (Nyakalengija
central circuit and Kilembe Trail) are located near Kasese town, while
the third Nature walk trailhead is at Kazingo near FortPortal town in
Kabarole District. e Nyakalengija trailhead which is 22 km off the
Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25 km north of Kasese town can be
reached from Kampala via Fort Portal road (375km) or via Mbarara
and Queen Elizabeth National park (450km).
Transport can also be arranged on chartered flights from Kampala
at either Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe International airport to Kasese
The Rwenzori Mountains are very wet with rain falling on most days
even in the dryer months. Above 2,500 m clouds can persist for
several days and annual precipitation above the foothills averages
2,500 mm, peaking twice in March-May and August-December.
Monthly rainfall can reach 375 mm. Snowfall is regular and ice frost
forms in freezing mists on the mountains. At high elevations the
diurnal temperature range is moderate, swinging daily from above
to below freezing, alternating between 'winter' at night and
'summer' by day.
Anytime of the year.

As early as 150 AD, Alexandrine photographer, Ptolemy wrote of a
snow capped mountain range deep in the heart of Africa, which he
claimed was the source of the world's longest river, e Nile. He
called it "Mountains of the Moon."
Indeed, over the centuries, mountaineers who later explored
Ptolemy's mountains found the high Rwenzori glaciers and snow
peaks whose melt waters certainly represent the highest springs of
the Nile.
The alpine highland glaciers, snowfields and blue cirque lakes make
Rwenzori one of Africa's most beautiful mountain parks.
The elusive mountains of the moon whose snow capped peaks are
often veiled by clouds and mist rises up to 5109M above sea level.
Rwenzori is Africa's tallest mountain range exceeded in altitude by
Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya, carrying Africa's third, fourth and fifth
highest peaks that are visible from miles around.
Some of its peaks (incomparable, beautiful and mist-shrouded)
carry permanent snow and glaciers, while the lower slopes are
covered with dense forest.
The Mountain's slopes above 1,600m are the preserve of hikers who
rate the Rwenzori to be the most challenging of all African mountains.
A variety of large mammals inhabit the lower
slopes but the Rwenzori Mountains are notable
more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. Its five
distinct vegetation zones - montane forest, bamboo forest, tree
heath-bog, Hagenia-Rapanea scrub and afro-alpine moorland -
provide a unique backdrop to one of the most magnificent national
parks in the world. Several endangered species and very unusual
cloud forest flora like giant heathers, groundsels and lobelias,
characterize the ranges as 'Africa's botanic big game'.
In 1991, Rwenzori Mountains was gazetted as a National Park and in
1994 UNESCO inscribed it as a World Heritage and later a RAMSAR
Aesthetic values of the Rwenzori's can be put into three categories
of trekking, nature walks and peak climbing:
This is done along the two routes; a 7- day trekking along the central
tourism circuit, and a 10 -day trekking along Kilembe route through
Scenic Nine lakes, panoramic view of Virunga National Park, to
Kitandara connecting to the central circuit leading to the peaks.
Shorter hikes can be arranged.
Nature Walks
Standard Nature walk trails, traverses the forested vegetation
zones, to offer back to earth interaction with nature, including bird
watching, scenic views, waterfalls, butterflies.
Peak Climbing
The trail loops to the peaks are challenging, but rewarding hikes,
taking all vegetation zones and glaciers. ere are ascents to major
peaks within the Rwenzori ranges along both routes.
These include ascents to Margherita (5,109 m) on Mountain Stanley,
Vittorio Emmanuelle (4,889 m) on Mountain Speke and Edward
(4,842 m) on Mountain Baker. ese hikes offer commanding and
panoramic views of other peaks within the ranges. However, high
peaks should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers.

The Rwenzori Mountains are the homelands of the Bakonjo and
Bamba peoples. e indigenous people are Bantu speaking
community who have lived in the foothills of the mountains for
generations, and whose culture is adapted to the steep slopes and
climate of Rwenzori.

Mountain climbing is the most attractive activity on the legendary
"Mountains of the Moon" that lies between altitudes 0° 06' South
and 0° 46' North and longitudes 29o 47' West and 30° 11' East. Its
diverse heavily snow capped peaks are one of the few pristine and
spectacular landscapes of the world.
The ranges are scenic with pristine and spectacular landscape that
comprise of waterfalls, blue cirque lakes, snow clad peaks and
stratified vegetation which is an attraction not only for visitors, but
also creates potential for research as well as resources for the
nearby communities.

Recommendations for basic items to come with for Hikers OR Hire from us.
• Sleeping bag,
• Warm clothings,
• Hand gloves,
• Snow glasses,
• Hiking boots,
• Rain gears,
• Head spot light

We work close with Rwenzori Mountaineering Services and Rwenzori Trekking Services.

Email us on: for free safari information about hiking rwenzori, food, porters, guides and camping, at free of charge.