Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park Travel Guide
Rwenzori Mountains National Park – The mythical Mountains of the moon lie in western Uganda at the border of Uganda and the DRC. It is composed of 6 mountains with one of them (Stanley) being Africa’s third highest peak at 5,109m above sea level-Margherita peak. This peak is popular because it is always covered by snow throughout the year. This region also lies across the equator and the heat from the equator melts the snow and water flows down the mountain through different routes forming rivers Nyamwamba, Nyamugasani, Mubuku in Kasese and river Mpanga in Fort Portal. Mt. Rwenzori stretches about 120km long and 65km wide with varied vegetation which harbor 70 mammal species and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine rift endemics and was declared a heritage site by UNESCO.
It is easy to get to the park by use of road or air transport. By road, 300km from Kampala via Mubende to Fort Portal for about 4 hours or from Kampala via Masaka – Mbarara through Bushenyi to Kasese covering a distance of about 350km in approximately 6 hours and then connect to the park. Passing via Masaka gives an appealing opportunity to break at Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks. By air, charter flights are arranged from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi to Kasese airstrip which takes about 30minutes and then connect a shorter route to the park.
Entrance fee to the park is US$35, US$25 and UGX15,000 for foreign nonresidents, foreign residents and East African citizens respectively.
Tourism activities in Rwenzori national park
To climb to the peak of the mountains of the moon under guidance of a ranger, several communities are encountered on the foothills of the mountain with homesteads of the Bakonzo who demonstrate their skills in basket weaving, perform their dances, and tell stories of their ancestors. Climbing to Uganda’s largest mountain enables you to have a clear view of the beautiful gentle and steep slopes of the ranges. The gentle slopes of the mountain are covered with crops like coffee and scattered houses. As you ascend further, you may come across some of the rare plants and flowers of the montane vegetation and the endemic famous Johnson’s three horned chameleon. Conquering the mountain to the top awesomely brings you to the beautiful snowcapped peak.
Mountain climbing permits cost US450 for foreign non residents and foreign residents and UGX50,000 for East African citizens.
Birding/nature walk in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Birding takes place around the foothills of the mountain from Kilebe and Nyakalengijo trailheads. It has 217 bird species and some of the species spotted around these areas are; Rwenzori Turaco, Slender-billed starling, White-starred robin, Golden –winged sunbird, Rwenzori batis, Barred long-tailed cuckoo, Greenbuls, Long-eared owl and many others.