Mountain Rwenzori National Park: Sometimes spelled as the Ruwenzori especially by the locals, all you need to know about mountain Rwenzori, the history and trekking trails. The mountain is situated on the border of Uganda and DRC fitted indoors of equatorial corridors of eastern rift valley. The ecosystem, location and accessibility of the mountain is a very crucial information considered to provide here. It’s known as the “mountain of the moon” due to their top glacier covers,
History of Mountain Rwenzori
The Rwenzori Mountains were spoken about in the earlier times by 150AD where the father of geography Claudius Ptolemy mentioned about the “Lunae Montes” the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ the snow covered ranges located in the equatorial of African. And he consider the mountains to be the source of the Nile the world longest river.
An attempt to follow up the research of Claudius prompted a number of explore many explore tried to reach the mountain which always failed and later by 1988 Sir Henry Morton Stanley discovered and reached the Rwenwori ranges.
The Rwenzori Mountain named a national park in 1991 and listed among the UNESCO world heritage site and Ramsar site by 1994. Rwenzori National Park covers an area of 996sqkm uniquely standing as a special few remaining glacier in African. The mountain is African’s 3rd highest peak coming after Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya respectively.
Mountain Rwenzori Ranges and Heights
The Rwenzori Mountain is formed of several ranges which are spread both in Uganda and DRC, among the ranges is Africa 3rd highest point the Margherita peak 5109m above. Among the ranges are the Mt. Stanley raised 5,109m Mt. Alexandria 5,083m, Mt. Albert 5,087m, Mt. Baker raised at 4,843m and Mt. Speke towering 4,890m. The 19th century, almost all these fascinating ranges were decorated with the topped glacier, but due climate changes researchers established that by 2040 the glaciers at Margherita would be no more because of increasing hotness. These peaks can be reached by hiking the Central Circuit trail or the Kilembe Trail. The highest range stretches about 120km long and 65 km wide. Stanley place the mountain on the map by 1888 and labeled it Ruwenzori the local name meaning “rain maker”.
Geography of Mountain Rwenzori
The Rwenzori Massif is formed of 6 ranges which detached by abysmal gulches; Mount Stanley (5,109m (16,762 ft)), Mount Speke (4,890m (16,040 ft)), Mount Baker (4,843m (15,889 ft)), Mount Emin (4,798m (15,741 ft)), Mount Gessi (4,715m (15,469 ft)) and Mount Luigi di Savoia (4,627m (15,180 ft)). And their height is arranged respectively, the summit of mountain Rwenzori is Margarita peak on Mt. Stanley.
The mountain lies in the equatorial zone of African decorated with flora ranging from tropical rainforest through alpine meadows, montane and the snow caped, it stands the best option for nature lovers. The slower slopes are overspread by a flourishing, Savannah, tropical, bamboo, humid montane forest and alpine moorland, vast tree heathers plus exciting mosses cover the sides of this mountain while the large lobelias and the endless flowers forming a sociable panorama.
The Rwenzori harbors approximately 70 different mammal species of Rwenzori otters, chimpanzees, white colobus monkeys, the blue monkeys and the Angola colobus, elephants and leopards, antelopes as well are scene at the lower slopes of montane despite the fact that wild animals are not commonly seen inside the dense forests of this park. And about 220 bird species of which the 19 species are Albertine Rift Valley endemics. The number of bird species makes the Rwenzori a significant international birding space, and among the bird species to encounter include; Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Crimson wings, numerous Barbets, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Flycatchers, Slender-billed Starling, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-starred Robin, Iladopsis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Long-eared Owl, Blue-headed Sunbird, Apalises, Archers’ Robin-chat, Handsome Francolin, Golden-winged Sunbird, Greenbuls, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, and a profusion Strange Weavers and the range of rare vegetation cover.
Location and accessing Mountain Rwenzori
The mountain is situated in the western region from Kampala capital covering districts of Kasese, Kabarole, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko straddling a distance of 120km long and about 65km wide. The mountain can be accessed through the two routes by road and as well can be accessed by a chartered plane.
The Kampala – Mityana –Fort Portal which is 300km distance about 5hours drive.
Then the Kampala –Mbarara – Bushenyi to Kasese approximately 350km roughly it’s a 6hours drive.
For easy accessibility of the park, can have a chartered plane arrangements at from either Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kasese airstrip about 30 minute flight.
Mountain Rwenzori Hiking Trail
Join a group of over 700 trekkers who decide to hike the Africa’s 3rd highest peak and heights of snow, however, hiking mountain Rwenzori suggests the Africa’s most challenging hiking experience. There are various hiking trails that anyone can choose to take park ranging from one and reaching to the summit it’s a 7 day trek.
The central circuit proposes the most remarkable trekking trail which tastes on scent of almost all the summits of the mountain. The 7 days of ascending and descending to the summit, arguably suggest the best walk through the bogy and rocky slopes with designated camping sites which you have to reach every hiking day.
One day Ruboni Village Walk
This is a one day hike which takes about 4 hours of hiking through the local Bakonzo people on this small village of Ruboni of about 2000 people. The walk brings their lifestyle close to you, and is great to encounter about these people. Meet them wavering baskets, blacksmith and the traditional healers using the vegetation collected herbs. Experienced how food is prepared on open fireplaces, hear stories from the elders and as well drumming and traditional dancing are part of the package.
On the Ruboni trails can take a long hiking trails where you’re accompanied by well-informed guide about the routes and wildlife. The trails is a birding space and even other wildlife species can be encountered.
3- Days Mahoma Trail
Can be started from Ruboni village, this hiking trail doesn’t need to have hiking services but can be handled by the expert guides. When having a huge load can use porter services to easy the hiking mood who can be obtained from the Ruboni village. When hiking on this 3 days trail can use huts placed for climbers of the Rwenzori, it’s as well as rewarding as far as mammals are concerned you can sight the giant heathers, lobelias, elephants or even chimpanzees and many encounters.
Things to do at Mountain Rwenzori
The Rwenzori Mountains offers opportunities for cultural experiences with one of the local tribes living at the foot of the mountains. Travelers can visit the village of Ruboni and learn the lifestyle and history of the Bakonzo tribe. In their community the Bakonzo people assemble cultural performances of drumming and dancing tall narrating.
Mountain Rwenzori hosts a great number of bird species including the seasonal and endemic species of about 217 bird species counted in the thicket, tropics afro-alpines vegetation. The Rwenzori is a very significant birding species in the country as it introduces some of the few bird species which can’t be collected anywhere else in the country. among the bird collection list are; Robins, Sunbirds, Bee eaters, Bearded, Vultures, Black eagles, Long eared owl, Stripe-breast tit, Red crimson winged, evergreen forest etc. The birding experience at Rwenzori can be a companied by a hunt of spotting of various wildlife views particularly mammals.