Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Located in Western Uganda along the national borders with the D.R. Congo, the magical Rwenzori Mountain also known as “Mountains of The Moon” rises to a height of 5,110 meters with an equatorial peak that is snow covered. Its lower slopes are covered with a verdant montane and moorland forest. This beautiful park which was selected by National Geographic as one of the best places for hiking in the world, offers visitors on Safari in Uganda a great chance to see various bird species among which are 19 species endemic to the Albertine Rift such as the Rwenzori Turaco.
About the National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is located in southwester Uganda close to the rim of the western Rift-Valley and it encompasses the districts of Kabale, Kisoro and Rukungiri. It covers a land area of 996 square kilometers. It sits at an altitude range of 1700 to 5109 meters with Mount Stanley being its highest peak.
The park’s habitat is mainly comprised of Montane forest having bamboo on the lower mountain slopes, while the higher slopes are covered with Afro-alpine moorland as well as heath.
It obtained the status of being a National Park in 1991.
What to do in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
With a list of 195 different bird species recorded in this park including a couple of Albertine Rift endemics, those enthusiastic about this activity will certainly enjoy the bird watching tours conducted here. Among the different species you might see here include: Shelley’s Crimsonwings, Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Handsome Francolin, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk,, Lammergeiger, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Turaco, Montane (Rwenzori) Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, Archer’s Robin-Cha White-collared Olive-back, Red-throated Alethe, Kivu Stripe-breast Tit Ground Thrush, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grey-chested Illadopsis Montane Evergreen Forest and Bamboo Warblers and the Collared Apalises among several others.
Visit the Lakes on this Mountain
There are over twenty small lakes found inside Mountain Rwenzori National Park, but Lake Mahoma found at an elevation of 2651 meters is the most accessible and commonly visited park. The central circuit that leads to this lake offers amazing bird watching views as well as interrupted sight of the mountain slopes. You can also visit the beautiful Lake Bujuku found in the Bujuku valley which is snow covered within the shadows of Mount Speke, Baker and Stanley. Along the stunning kilembe Trial in the Nyamwamba Valley are a number of dams which were formed by the glacial moraine that actually formed eight breathtaking lakes. You will see a number of streams and rivers flowing downwards along the mountain slope.
Hike to the Equatorial snow-covered peaks
This beautiful mountain has six different peak and what is amazing about it is that despite the fact that it is located near the Equator, the three highest peaks on this mountains are blanketed by snow. These include: Mt Stanley – 5,109 meters, Mt Speke – 4,890 meters and Mt. Baker – 4,843 meters. You can reach these peaks along the various trails including the Central Circuit and the Kilembe Trail. All hikes are arranged through Rwenzori Mountain Service (RMS) which works together with Uganda Wildlife Authority to maintain the trails and huts as well as to oversee all hikes.
Beat Time to Visit Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Although the park can be visited all year round, we recommend that you visit during the driest months starting in January to February and then from July to August. However don’t forest that it can rain any time up in the mountain.