Kabaffulo Safaris

Rwenzori Mountains National park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park complete guide for the first timers. The Rwenzori National Park is the most visited park for mountaineering after Kilimanjaro NP. The park features the majestic Mount Rwenzori (Mountains of the Moon) which rises at an altitude of 5109 meters. This legendary mountain is completely a block mountain and Africa’s third-highest mountain. What makes it unique is the fact that it is the only block mountain with glaciers/snow on its summits.

Where is Mount Rwenzori NP located?
Mount Rwenzori N/Park is found in the Western tourism circuit of Uganda, adjacent to the border with the D.R. Congo. This is a UNESCO Heritage Site listed and established in 1991. The park extends covering only 996 sq.km and its boundaries stretch in the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese and Kabarole.
In 2008, Rwenzori Mountains National Park was also listed among the Ramsar sites in Uganda. The park contains unique vegetation characterized by bamboo, montane, woodland and tropical rainforest.
Its mystical block mountain features 6 beautiful mountain ranges: Mount Gessi (4715m), Mount Speke (4890m), Mount Baker 4843m, Mount Stanley 5109m, Mount Luigi Di Savoia 4627m, and Mount Emin Pasha 4798m. Its peaks include Moebius Mountain 4925m, Alexandra 5044m, Albert 5101m and Margherita 5109m.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a water catchment area comprising of 20 Lakes that flow on its block mountain.

Other attractions in Rwenzori Mountains N/Park

The Rwenzori Mountains National Park holds a significant wildlife species, accounting for 70 species of mammals. The park’s mammal species include the Rwenzori otters, elephants, bushbucks, blue monkeys, chimpanzees, Rwenzori colobus monkeys, mongoose, Uganda clawed frogs, black and white colobus monkeys, leopards, golden cats, l’hoest monkeys, rock hyrax, and many reptiles including 3 horned chameleon.

Other than mountaineering, this park is also a special birding spot. It has a record of 217 species of birds and these include a variety of Albertine rift species that make it an important birding area. The birds to expect to encounter on a birding trip in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park: Archer’s robin chat, strange weavers, crimson wings, Rwenzori batis, montane sooty boubou, cinnamon chested bee-eaters, barred long-tailed cuckoos, strange weavers, long-eared owl, slender-billed starling, handsome francolins, Kivu ground thrush, lammergeyers, and others.

Tourism activities

If you are an enthusiastic mountaineering adventure seeker, Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one place you must consider a must-visit. The park offers memorable hiking experiences and getting to Margherita peak (5109m) is everyone’s dream. This is possible on the two designated trails including the central circuit and Kilembe trails. At least 9-10 days or more are required for you to trek up to the Margherita and or hike through other peaks.

Nature walks
The park offers more than mountaineering experiences. It also provides exciting and rewarding nature walking tours along its slopes. There are trails leading to different locations and include the Lake Mahoma and Buraro chimpanzee forest trail. This trail takes nature lovers to the communities around or you can take the Ruboni and Turaco community trails. You can also conquer the Mubuku River with a guide leading.

Birding/bird watching
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park offers the best birding tours and it is the best place to encounter most of the Albertine rift and endemic species. The birds to be identified include blue-headed sunbird, cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, grauer’s cuckoo shrike, montane sooty boubou, slender billed starling, Archer’s robin chat, Montane Rwenzori nightjars, barred long-tailed cuckoo, purple breasted sunbird, red thighed sparrow hawks, red throated alethe, Kivu ground thrush, golden-winged sunbird, dwarf honey guide, African long-eared owl, stripe breasted tit, scarlet tufted malachite, white collared olive back, dusky and shelley’s crimson wings, and lagden’s bush shrikes.

Cultural encounters
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park safaris also allow you to visit the adjacent communities for a cultural encounter. The park is surrounded by the Bakonzo communities and for authentic cultural experiences, you may also consider visiting the Ruboni village, or embark on Bulemba-Ihandiro cultural trail to Bakonzo traditional museum.

When to visit

Rwenzori Mountains National Park has its gates open to visitors all year round. But the dry season is the best time for guests to conquer at ease the park’s majestic block mountain- the Rwenzori Mountain ranges. The dry months: June, July, August, and December, and January to February.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park accommodation options
➢ Ruboni Community Camp
➢ Tropical Savanna Guesthouse
➢ Tours Holiday Inn
➢ Mihunga Safari Lodge
➢ Sandton Hotel Kasese
➢ Rwenzori Backpackers
➢ Trekkers Hostel
➢ Equator Snow Lodge
➢ Hotel Margherita
➢ Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite

How to travel to the park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Uganda) can be reached by road/air. Accessing the park by road is possible on 2 routes: the Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Kasese route or the Kampala-Mubende-Fort Portal route. By air, take a scheduled/chartered flight from Entebbe airport to Kasese airstrip.

Leave a Reply