Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is within the legendary Rwenzori Mountains which are Africa’s highest mountain range, 5,109 meters (16,762 ft.) above sea level with 6 massifs separated by deep gorges. The 6 massifs are Mount Stanley (5,109 meters) highest peak known as Margherita, Mount Speke (4,890 m), Mount Baker (4,843 m), Mount Emin (4,798), Mount Gessi (4,715 m), and Mount Lugi di Savioa (4,627 m).
Rwenzori or also known as Mountains of the Moon is located along the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwenzori Mountain ranges were formed about three million years ago as a result of an uplifted block of crystalline rocks. During their formation, the uplift led to the formation of Lake Albert, Lake Edward, and Lake George which are the present-day African Great Lakes
The peaks of the mountain ranges (not a single free-standing mountain) are snowcapped and glaciated though because of the effects of climate change the snowcapped peaks are slowly melting.
The mountain ranges were named the Mountains of the Moon by the Greek Scholar Ptolemy during the European exploration of Africa and also identified it as one of the sources of the Nile River.
The high Rwenzori is a montane wonderland, with the trails to the snow peaks of the ranges following glacier-carved valleys with fantastically colored mosses and rare Afro-alpine plants that include giant forms of lobelias, heathers, and groundsels. The vegetation is unique as one hike to the top of the mountain.
Hiking Mountain Rwenzori
The major activity in the park is hiking and definitely a great place of interest for hikers who visit the county mainly because hiking the ranges is unique than hiking the free-standing mountains like Mount Kilimanjaro.
To reach the peak, hikers climb through different vegetation types ranging from tropical rainforest through alpine meadows to snow. There are a variety of vegetation species supported by the ranges and these include giant groundsel, giant lobelia, and heather as tall as 6 meters (20 ft.) covered in moss.
There are different hiking routes or trails in the park and hikers can have short or long hikes depending on what their interests are. For hikes to the Margherita peak, hikers are recommended to hike for at least 9 Days to and from.
During the hike, tourists use a chain of basic huts and campsites for accommodation to ascend the mountain from Kilembe and Nyakalengija. When going for a hike on Mountain Rwenzori, remember to pack the right clothing, mostly warm.
The best time of the year to climb the Rwenzori Mountains is during the months of January to March and June to October. However, January to March is generally colder than June to October and therefore has a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit.
Apart from hiking, one of the very outstanding species in the park is the three-horned chameleon which is mainly common in this area.