Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the picturesque Uganda safari parks and is officially recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the leading mountaineering/trekking spot in Uganda, East Africa, and a trek through is a great chance to conquer the Margherita Peaks (5109m).
Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda lies within the Kasese district on the western side of the border with Congo. It gets its name from the legendary Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon. This is also ranked as Africa’s 3rd tallest mountain and comes after Mt. Kilimanjaro and Kenya. However, for the most challenging mountain treks, it is the right place to visit.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda was declared a National Park in 1991. In 1994, its status quo as a UNESCO heritage site and as a Ramsar site, it was recognized in 2008. The park sits on approximately 996sq.kms of land area and it encompasses unique vegetation zones plus other natural features. These comprise snow fields, groundsels, moorland, bamboo forest, alpine highland glacier, blue lakes, heath, lobelias, dense montane forest, and hagenia. On Uganda safari, the Rwenzori Mountain is the main area of interest.
Attractions in Mt. Rwenzori National Park
A population of 70 (seventy) species of mammals ranges within the dense vegetation of Rwenzori Mountains National Park. These comprise 6 endemic Albertine species and 4 endemic species to Mt. Rwenzori. They include Rwenzori otter, chimpanzees, elephants, duikers, leopards, hyrax bushbucks, l’hoest monkeys, and Angola black and white colobus monkeys. Additionally, unique reptiles like the 3 (three) horned chameleon exist here.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park also hosts abundant birdlife of about 217 species inclusive of Albertine rift endemic species, 17 of these are endemic to this area. They consist of the handsome francolin, blue-headed sunbird, Rwenzori turacos, cinnamon chested bee-eaters, long-eared owl, barred long-tailed cuckoo, slender-billed starling, Rwenzori batis, golden-winged sunbird, montane sooty boubou, white starred robin, archer’s robin chat, crimson wings, illadopsis, lagden’s bush-shrike and more.
A total of 20 lakes make the Rwenzori Mountains National Park one of the picturesque Uganda safari parks. These comprise scenic water lakes like Lake Mahoma, Lake Kitandara, Lake Bujuku, and others. On the extremely deep, glacier-carved Bujuku valley is Lake Bujuku and the easiest to visit of these lakes is Lake Mahoma.
Equator snow peaks
The Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon are comprised of six summits/peaks with permanent snow-cap. These exist in different altitudes; Mt. Speke (4890m), Stanley (5109m), Baker (4843m), Luigi da Savoia, and Mt. Emin Pasha.
Activities to carry out while on Uganda safari in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
No number of words can describe the thrill a trekker or climber gets on Rwenzori Mountaineering. Visit the Rwenzori Mountains National Park for life-changing mountain trekking adventures as you conquer its epic peaks including Margherita. There are two trails offering remarkable treks to summits of Rwenzori Mountain- the Central Circuit and Kilembe Trails.
Rwenzori Mountains National Parks comes with an incomparable natural endowment. A nature walk through the different trails here introduces you to the distinct attractions in and around the park. The key regions of visitor desire include River Mubuku and the beauty of guided nature walks is that you get exposed to a variety of species, inclusive of primates such as vervet monkeys. Birds like handsome francolin, archer’s robin chat, barred long-tailed cuckoo, cinnamon chested bee-eater, white starred robin, long-eared owl, Rwenzori batis, etc.
Birding expeditions in and around Rwenzori Mountains National Park come with astonishing bird sightings that make it a birder haven. These consist of long-eared owl, Rwenzori turacos, sunbirds, black eagles, cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, barred long-tailed cuckoo, archer’s robin chat, handsome francolin, white starred robin, etc.
Adjacent to Rwenzori Mountains National Park exists the Bakonzo/Bakonjo, Bamba, and other tribal groups. A cultural visit to the Bamba/Bakonzo community is a great opportunity to explore more about their unique lifestyles, cultures, and traditions and enjoy the dances, music performances, etc. In addition, you get to meet the renowned local traditional healer and also, have hands-on experience during basket weaving, etc.
Best time to go trekking safaris in Rwenzori Mountains NP, Uganda
Rwenzori Mountains National Park attracts tourists all year round. But, the best months of the year to consider taking an Uganda safari here are during the drier months of the year- June to September and December to February. For enjoyable treks to Margherita peak, ensure that you have packed well and start with a hiking stick, waterproof trekking boots, first aid kit, jackets, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, etc.
Accommodation/places to stay
There are many accommodation options around Rwenzori Mountains National Park-budget, midrange, and luxury. At the base, the lodges/hotels to book include the Rwenzori International Hotel, Equator Snow Lodges, Mihunga Safari Lodge, Rwenzori Backpackers, Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite, Tours Holiday Inn, Sandton Hotel Kasese while trekking to the summits, there are plenty of camps/huts on every stop points.
How to get there -Uganda safaris
By road travel- Rwenzori Mountains National Park is approximately 437kms off from Kampala city center. To trek to the Margherita and other peaks, the 2 trails to conquer include the Kilembe trail in Kasese/Nyakalengija Central Circuit. By air travel: Chartered flights set off from Entebbe Airport/Kajjansi airfield to Kasese airstrip.