Hiking The Rwenzori Mountains

The legendary mist covered commonly known as Mountains of the Moon on Uganda’s western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo lie to the north of Queen Elizabeth National Park and cover an area of approximately 90 Kilometers north to south and 50 kilometers from east to west at their widest. The Rwenzori National Park protects the spectacular scenery and unique vegetation of these mountains.

The high points of the Rwenzori Mountains consist of seven individual massifs each with a number of separate peaks which remain permanently snow and glacier covered. Margherita peak on Mount Stanley, at a height of 5109 meters, is the third highest mountain in Africa. Complex networks of rivers drain the glaciers and collect the continual tropical downpours, carving deep gorges and valleys through the mountains. The annual rainfall received around the mountain is in excess of 1500 millimeters which results in luxuriant montane forest on the lower slopes, up through zones of bamboo and tree heath to the fro- alpine zone at about 3000 meters.

The Rwenzori is known primarily for its challenging hiking and climbing possibilities, but the range also supports a diversity of animals, including 70 mammals and 177 bird species, several of the latter being Albertine Rift Endemics. The National park is the only place in Uganda where the Angola colobus has been recorded. The mountain is divided into several zones. The forest zone is a home to a diversity of birds including Rwenzori turaco, barred long tailed cuckoo, long eared owl, handsome francolin, cinnamon Chested bee eater, Archer’s ground robin, white starred forest robin, Rwenzori baits, montane sooty boubou, Lagden’s bush shrike, slender billed starling, blue headed sunbird, greenbuls, aplis, illadopis, flycatchers and crimsonwing.

The Rwenzori offers treks of walkers and climbers of varying abilities. Trips are normally arranged for 6-7 days and preparations can be made either through a tour operator in Kampala like Trinita Safaris. Mountain guide will be hired from mountain Rwenzori mountaineering services who will guide you to incredible breath taking landscapes, fresh waters, flora and fauna that make Rwenzori a unique world heritage site. Potters and equipment and purchase food in Kasese town. The best period to hike Mount Rwenzori is during the months of January and February and June to August during which the weather conditions are at its best. A trip to Rwenzori is a memorable experience to last a life time. Hikers are recommended to carry with them a copy of the Rwenzori Mountain.