Rwenzori Mountain National Park
Rwenzori Mountain National Park is famously known of holding the third highest mountain peak called Margherita in Africa raising up with the height of 5,109m and also known of being one of Africa’s beautiful mountain areas and plant life. The park is situated is the south-western region of Uganda in Kasese district on the eastern part of the western Albertine rift valley and it lies between Uganda’s borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo next to Virunga national park in Congo. Rwenzori mountain national park was created in 1991 and later in 1994 it was designated as a world heritage site because of its magnificent natural beauty for example waterfalls, lakes, glaciers and snowfield. However, it is located in the small town of kasese at the same time one of the districts in Uganda. The park is estimated for about 1000 square kilometres of its land which measures 120 kilometres long and raises 48 kilometres wide at a low and high altitude of 2500 meters [8,200ft] at the edge of Albertine rift valley. The eastern half of Rwenzori mountain ranges above dry plains which are positioned just north of the equator.
The Rwenzori Mountains are considered to be higher than the Alps and are an ice-capped mountain of equatorial snow peak that is the third highest peak Margherita which is one of Mount Stanley’s twin summits. Africa’s 4th heights peak called mount Speke and 5th mount Baker which are positioned in inside the park and they have impacted a lot on Uganda’s Tourism site and because of its natural beauty. The park is biodiversity of several species which are endemic to the Albertine rift system with over five distinct vegetation zones, plants, trees species, 217 species of birds bee-eaters, robins, sunbirds, barbets, Rwenzori Turaco, long-eared Owl, black Eagles, Rwenzori nightjar, Rwenzori Double Collared sunbird, Archer’s Robin-chat, Mountain Black Boubou, Rwenzori Batis , Mountain Masked Aplis and many more. It also has wildlife including four primate species like black and white monkeys , Lhoest’s monkeys, 70 species of mammals like forest elephant, Chimpanzee, hyrax, duiker and many more others. Rwenzori mountain national park is managed by Uganda wildlife Authority.
Historically before being called Rwenzori mountain national park it was named Mountains of the moon by a European man called Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy in late AD 150 and later it was explored by Henry Stanley who placed the Rwenzori on the world map on 24th May 1888 and he described it Ruwenzori as a local name which he recorded as ‘’Rainmakers’’. Rwenzori mountain is famous because of the highest peak ‘’Margherita’’ which has made it popular in trekking at the top of the mountain and the trek lasts from 7 to 9 days circuit of the park. In 2010 the oldest person at the age of 78 managed to reach Margherita peak and made historic a record.
Activities done in Rwenzori Mountain National Park
Mountain Climbing: Rwenzori Mountain is called a world class mountainous destination and at the sometimes is called the most beautiful on the earth. The mountain is covered with several species of vegetation and climate change weather which will leave you with a bound unforgettable experience as you trek its heights. It will not be unlike climbing into heaven and trek might take seven to nine-day trekking till to the summit of Margherita peak which measures 5001 high and if you amazingly reach the top, as a traveller you can behold about magnificent snow-capped peaks that will leave you breathless, trekking can be helped by the skilled climbers. Perhaps the viewing is rewarding with vibrant farmland with cash crops in the foothills of the mountain and such crops include coffee and after trekking at the top of the mountain you can move along the land terrain and plant species of the moist montane forest covered with vegetation, colourful mosses and other species.
Bird watching: Rwenzori mountain national park also boasts with beautiful bird species of over 217 and 17 are endemically visiting this park you cannot leave without spotting out one of these bird species which can leave you captivated and such birds include; long-eared Owl, Barred Long-tailed, Cinnamon Chested Bee-eater, Strange Weaver, Archers Robin-Chat, White-starred Robin, Blue-headed Sunbird, Barbets, Golden-Winged Sunbird, Green bulls, Crimson wings and Flycatchers, Handsome francolin and as many as you expect to see.
Lounging on the foothills of the mountain: It is awesome here at Rwenzori when you are done with your day wonder activity rest of time you can be able to cool off in scenic lodgings around the mountains take shower and also look at its beautiful scenery. At night visitors can be able to chill out in the brighter star night sky around a bonfire which is quite amazing.
Hiking: Travellers can also enjoy day hikes through the trails of lake Muhooma and you end up linking to the neighbouring communities of Bundibugyo continue passing through Bwamba and as long as your hiking you can have great viewing of various species such as mammals, birds, vegetation as well as doing fishing at Lake Muhooma and viewing of mount Baker is rewarding.
Culture encounter: Visiting mountain of the moon you shouldn’t leave without visiting the local resident at the foothills of Rwenzori carrying out their exciting cultural lifestyle, in a way of listening to their traditional songs, dances and if you get interested you might join them in their traditional lessons on drumming and dancing.
The best time to visit the park is in the dry season from June to September and December to February when the area is in good condition as well as road transport.
Accommodation in Rwenzori Park
Rwenzori mountain national park offers nice lodges and hotels with good facilities, amenities and panoramic viewing around is rewardable such lodges include; Rwenzori international Hotel, Katara lodge, Equator snow lodge, Tropical savannah Guest House but room rates differs on traveller’s wallet.