Mount Rwenzori National Park

The Ruwenzori Range was visited in 1889 by an expedition that was led by the British-American explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley, and the major peaks were explored and climbed in 1906 by the expedition of the Italian Luigi Amedeo, duke of Abruzzi. Several peaks rise above 4877 m (16,000 ft); the highest peak is Margherita Peak at 5109 m (16,763 ft).

General Information

Mountain Rwenzori    lies  along the western border of Uganda and rise to a height of 5,1OO metres. Here are the legendary 'Mountains of the Moon', a World Heritage Site - and these incomparable, beautiful, mist-shrouded peaks provide a unique backdrop to one of our most magnificent national parks. In the centre of the range, which boasts Africa's third highest mountain, some of the peaks carry permanent snow and glaciers, while the lower slopes are covered with dense forest. Walking trails on the lower slopes do not call for mountaineering experience; although the higher you go the fitter you need to be.
           
As early as 150 AD Ptolemy had written of the "Mountains of the Moon", where snows fed the lakes, sources of the Nile". The Rwenzori range lies along the western border of Uganda and represents a true mountain range composed of several massifs; it includes Africa's third highest summit, Point Margherita (5109m). These massifs offer great attractions to climbers, walkers and naturalists. There are several endemic species of birds including the brilliant Rwenzori turaco, also monkeys, red forest duiker, hyrax and leopard. Some elephant and buffalo live in the lower valleys. Though the flora is similar to other East African mountain ranges it is exceptionally luxuriant mainly as a result of the high rainfall in the area; however, from mid-December to the end of February and from mid-June to mid-August there is little rain and good climbing weather.

The Rwenzori Park is a splendid world of ice and snow, with its massive ice-rime sculptures and mind-boggling vegetation, and surpasses other afro-alpine areas in its beauty, wonder and interest to mountaineering enthusiasts. This park contains 6 snow-capped peaks, covering 996 sq kms that provides a magnificent environment for both experienced climbers and casual day hikers. These legendary mountains exhibit spectacular scenic beauty and provide a unique habitat for many rare and indigenous plants and animals. The Highest mountain in the range, Mt. Stanley, is the third highest in Africa after Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. Its highest peak, Margharita, rises 5109 m above sea level. The giant lobelia and the groundsell are hallmarks of the Rwenzori. All of the above make this park an unforgettable visitor destination.

Around Rwenzori Mountain National Park

Excellent walking routes, including the Bujuku circuit, are provided through wonderful and unique scenery. For those who want to attempt a climb, several peaks provide challenges that match those in the Alps.These fabled mist-covered "Mountains of the Moon," 120 km in length and 48 km in width, were formed from a block which was thrust up during the creation of the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley. At the centre of the range, there are six peaks carrying permanent snow, three with glaciers. The highest of these peaks, and the third highest peak in Africa, is Mt. Margherita rising 5100 metre above sea level. Chimpanzee, giant forest hog and many unique bird species such as the Rwenzori Turaco, the handsome francolin and the olive pigeon

When to visit the park

Avoid the rain seasons at all costs. The Rwenzori is one of the main watersheds of the Nile receiving rain throughout the year but exceptional amounts from March through till June and September through December.

Getting There:

The Park is 25 km from Kasese. Leave Kasese in the direction of Fort Portal and take a left turn after 4 km. The junction is signposted with a large yellow Rwenzori Mountains National Park sign. The route to Ibanda is 15 km along a rough track. Ibanda is the HQ for the national park and trail head. Vehicles could be left here for the period of the trek. For those leaving vehicles in Kasese (Margarita Hotel) or if traveling by public means a special hire vehicle is the most sensible option to get up to Ibanda where transport is very infrequent. Rwenzori Mountaineering Services offer a transfer services

Accommodation on the Mountain for Mt climbers

There is a series of huts on the 'Circuit' route. In 1996 the huts of Nyabitaba, John Matte, Guy Yeoman and Elena where in fair to good condition, the hut at Kitandara lake was in poor condition, the hut at Bujuku resembled nothing more than an iron sheet shelter which was very dirty and inadequate. Camping on the mountain would be preferable, however the terrain resembles a floating bog.

Accommodation in Ibanda:

Ruboni Camp: Community project of the Ruboni Community Tourism Association supported by UCOTA (Uganda Community Tourism Association). There is a booking office in Kasese town where a special hire taxi can be arranged for you or alternatively take a matatu to Ibanda from Kasese and walk the short distance to Ruboni Camp. Follow the signposting for the RMS offices and continue up the trail to the camp situated just outside the park gate.

Rwenzori Mountaineering Services Bunkhouse: Located at RMS's offices next to the National Parks Headquarters at the entrance to Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Meals are available through a local womens group.

Rwenzori Basecamp Guesthouse: Located in Ibanda village 4 kms from the National Park. Rwenzori Basecamp offers single, double and twin accommodation in comfortable surroundings. Some rooms are self-contained, DSTV, fully stocked bar, meals to order. Safe secuire parking for vehicles left whilst on the mountain.

 

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