Rwenzori Mountain National Park

Rwenzori Mountain National Park is found in the western part of Uganda and was referred to as the “mountain of the moon” a name given it by Alexandria the geographer. The park stretches up to Democratic Republic of Congo and its conservation area is known as the Virunga National Park. it has the third highest peak in Africa which is the Margherita peak.it lies aside the equator with 6 peaks but three of them are permanently covered with snow that is the Mt Stanley, Mt Speke and Mt Baker. It was gazzetted in 1991 and became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994. Mountain Rwenzori National Park covers an area of 996 square kilometers and was named by world geographic among the perfect hiking destinations in Uganda and in the world at large.

Mountain Rwenzori is not volcanic as other major east African mountains but it is a block of rock faulted through the floor of the western rift valley. Climbing leads you through the varied vegetation covers which may include bamboo forest, tree heath, montane forest, hagenia-rapanea scrub plus afro-alpine moorland.

 

Wildlife in Mountain Rwenzori National Park

Animals

The park hosts over 70 mammal species which include the leopards, elephants, bushbucks, giant forest hog, Rwenzori otter, duikers but they are hardly seen. Even primates are seen here and they include black and white colobus monkeys, Angola colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and chimpanzees.

Birds

The park was blessed with over 217 bird species plus the 19 Albertine rift endemics. Most of these birds live in the forest zone and these variety of birds can leave you captivated including the the long eared owl, blue-headed and golden-winged sunbird, white-starred robin, Rwenzori turaco, bush strike, archers’ robin-chat among others, the handsome Francolin, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, montane sooty boubou, slender billed starling among others.

Activities in Mountain Rwenzori National Park

Mountain climbing

Mountain Rwenzori is covered with different vegetation types and climate leaving you spell bound as you scale its height. There are farmland with crops on the foothills of the mountain like coffee which is a very important cash crop in the country. You will climb the beautiful land terrain and plant life of sub montane vegetation in the montane area covered with tropical evergreen forest. You will behold the magnificent snowcapped peaks that will leave you breathless and teary eyed.

Bird watching

Since it harbors some of the Albertine rift endemics, mountain Rwenzori is among the best birding spots in Uganda. Its vegetation is a home to different bird species. The best bird watching area is the montane forest. You can spot different bird species like the long eared Owl, Rwenzori turaco, bearded vultures and swifts.

Nature walks

The people near the park provide guided walks along the slopes of mountain Rwenzori. You can use river Mubuku to view the Baker and portal peaks and also the sight of the highest peak Margherita. During the nature walk you can spot the vervet monkeys, chameleons, squirrels and several spectacular birds.

Hiking

You can delight in hiking experience during the day through the forests at the foothills. You can encounter the thrilling activity like the spot fishing activity in streams.

Cultural encounters and community walks.

You will be welcomed by the local people the Bakonzo who live on the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. Watch them doing their daily activities like preparing daily meals, gardening and practicing animal husbandry.  Visiting those weaving baskets, traditional healers and the black smith. You can also take a 7 hours trek to the Bakonzo cultural site.

Getting to Mountain Rwenzori National Park

You can get to mountain Rwenzori national park by road or chartered flights. The journey from Kampala to Kasese can take 5 hours and half if using the public transport like link buses which take that route. Since western Uganda is a mountainous area, four wheel vehicles are good to use but it also takes the same hour as the bus. It can take one hour if you go by a flight. You can have a stopover in Fort portal where you have to travel to Kasese. From Mubuku it is only 15 minutes to the north of Kasese. After passing Bugoye power plant up to the gate, you can hire porters or guides plus other people to help you.

Accommodation in Mountain Rwenzori National Park

Mountain Rwenzori has a variety of good and affordable accommodation facilities. They range from luxury, mid-range and budget facilities. They have free Wi-Fi and the rooms are well equipped with the usual amenities like showers, bathrooms, flush toilets, flat TV screen with satellite channels among other requirements. Some of them include;

 Hotel Margherita; here they have a recommended customer service and pride in offering a full Rwenzori experience. You will delight in quality lodges which start from single and double rooms to executive and family suites which takes up to five people.

Katara lodge; it is found 16k kilometers from Katunguru gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This lodge was build out of the renewable materials like wood and grass. The live in grass thatched cottages, built in wood which was hand crafted and woven by the local people. The lodge has a swimming pool which is salty and the electrical energy used is solar power.

Rwenzori International power; it is located 3 kilometers from Kasese airstrip at the foot of mountain ranges. Its services range from self-contained rooms to single non self-contained rooms plus camping facilities with tents if you prefer outside. Its restaurant offers affordable local cuisines and a well stocked bar with different types of beverages. The lodge also offers a health and fitness center with gym, sauna, body massage and steam bath facilities to its visitors.

Tropical savannah guest house; the lodge is a perfect option for tourist travelling on a budget safari. It is found along the Mbarara-Kasese road in Kasese town. They have free Wi-Fi networks, showers , flush toilets, flat TV screen with satellite channels .the lodge also has a fully stocked bar with different beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, the restaurant which serves daily breakfast plus local cuisines. Lastly but not the least the lodge has laundry services, tour services, car hire services plus parking services.

Best time to visit mountain Rwenzori national park

In order to catch the glimpse of the mountain ranges, you have to visit the park in the months of dry season in the months of June to August and from December to February for those who prefer mountain climbing. Though the park can be visited throughout the year. Rwenzori Mountains is mostly visited in the dry months than in the colder months of March to May and September to November. You can enjoy cool and fine weather in the region during this season. These months dry months of December, January and February are peak period for climbers who seek to reach the Margherita peak.

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