RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a perfect destination for hikers to embark on challenging hiking/mountaineering adventure safari. The park is home to mystical Rwenzori Mountain ranges (Mountains of the Moon) and is situated in Western Uganda, close to Congo border about 120kms South of Lake Albert and North of Lake Edward. Rwenzori Mountains National Park was designated as a national park in 1991 and in 1994, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This park is reachable about 5-6 hours from Kampala capital city.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park sits on an area of about 996sq.km, comprising mainly of mystical Rwenzori Mountain ranges-which consists of 6 peaks-the Margherita peaks at 5109meters on Mount Stanley; Mount Gessi, Emin, Luigi da Savoia; montane forest consisting of bamboo, hagenia, alpine moorland, and tree heath. This park straddles between altitude 1700 and 5109 meters with Margherita peak being the highest peak. Rwenzori Mountains National Park derives its name from Rwenzori Mountain ranges.
Wildlife in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Over 70 mammal species thrive within Rwenzori Mountains National Park and they include among others the Angolan colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, blue monkeys, giant forest hogs, buffaloes, golden cats, elephants, black and white colobus monkeys, leopard although rarely spotted, bushbucks, duikers, Rwenzori otters.
- Birdlife in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
About 217 distinct bird species can be identified on Uganda safari in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. They include 19 Albertine rift endemic species. The birds to identify on a birding tour in this park include Lagden’s bush shrike, red-faced woodland warblers, cinnamon chested bee-eater, golden-winged sunbird, long-eared owl, archer’s robin chat, Rwenzori turacos, white starred robin, slender-billed starling, Shelley’s crimson wings, strange weavers, red-throated alethe, Kivu ground thrush, montane masked and collared Apalis, stripe breast tit, purple breasted sunbirds, western green tinkerbird, grey chested illadopsis, olive woodpeckers, red thighed sparrow hawk, oriole finch.
- Other attractions in Mt. Rwenzori National park
There are over 20 scenic lakes are within Rwenzori Mountains National Park including Lake Mahoma which is the most reachable. Lake Bajuku is along the valley of Mount Stanley, Speke, and Baker.
Activities to do in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
What sets the Rwenzori Mountains apart from the rest of Uganda’s parks is its thrilling and lifechanging mountaineering experiences. Climbing Mount Rwenzori is by far the most exceptional safari experience offered to visitors in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The 2 trails to hike to the summit of Rwenzori Mountain ranges include the Central circuit trail and the Kilembe trail which is ascending trail on the Southern foothills of Rwenzori Mountains.
- Bird watching
With over 217 distinct bird species, the Rwenzori Mountains is of no doubt an incredible birding safari destination visitor on Uganda safari should consider visiting. The birds to identify on a birding tour in this park include red-faced woodland warblers, cinnamon chested bee-eater, golden-winged sunbird, long-eared owl, archer’s robin chat, Rwenzori turacos, white starred robin, slender-billed starling, Shelley’s crimson wings, strange weavers, red-throated alethe, Kivu ground thrush, montane masked and collared Apalis, stripe breast tit, purple breasted sunbirds, western green tinkerbird, grey chested illadopsis, olive woodpeckers, red thighed sparrow hawk.
- Nature walks
Nature walks are an exceptional way to discover in and around the Rwenzori Mountains. The best spots to explore on a nature walk in this park are Lake Muhooma via Buraro chimp forest, Karangura ridge then connect to Kichwamba Communities. You can also embark on guided forest walks via Ruhoni communities, proceed about 2300 meters which come with an amazing view of Margherita peak. On guided nature walks, expect to see vervet monkeys, birds, chameleon to mention but a few.
- Cultural encounters
Enhance your experience in Rwenzori Mountains Park by embarking on a cultural tour in the Bakonzo community just at the base of Rwenzori Mountain ranges. On a cultural tour, pay a visit to the traditional healer, basket weavers, blacksmith or enjoy stories as they are told by Bakonzo.
- Best time to visit the Rwenzori Mountains
Visits to Rwenzori Mountains Park can be done at any time of the year. However, July, August and January, February are considered the best months to visit this park.
- How to access the Rwenzori Mountains
Rwenzori Mountains Park can be accessed by road or by air. By road, it consists of a drive from Entebbe or Kampala through Fort Portal or through Mbarara. Alternatively, flight services are available from Entebbe Airport to Kasese airfield from where one connects to Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
In conclusion, for a thrilling adventurous safari experience in Uganda, a hike to Rwenzori Mountains National Park is truly a rewarding experience.
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