Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The park covers 996 kms, protects the slopes of the famous Rwenzori Mountains, which run for 120 km along the Congo border. It is a bloke mountain, they are a result of the formation of the Rift Valley. The Rwenzori is the highest mountain range in Africa, with six glacial peaks: Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, Mount Emin Pasha, Mount Gessi, Mount Luigi da Savoia and Mount Baker. The main peaks, Margherita (5.109m) and Alexandra (5.083m) on Mount Stanley, are exceeded in altitude elsewhere in Africa only by Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The first European who climbed the peaks was in 1906 the Italian Prince Luigi Amedeo da Savoia, Duke of Abruzzi.
The interest for Rwenzori is also on the vegetation, which is divided into several altitude zones: the forest zone (between 1.800 and 2.500 m), the bamboo forest (up to 3000 m), the heath and Alpine zones (3000-4.500 m), with forests of giants heath plants, giant lobelias and groundsels. There are 70 mammal species recorded (elephants, golden cat, chimpanzee, yellow – backed duiker) and 177 birds, especially Albertine Rift endemics (Rwenzori Turaco, cuckoo, owl, francolin, robin).
Most of visitors undertake the excellent “central circuit” trial, which takes 9days-8nights to complete and takes you to the main peaks. However, other shorter hikes are possible in the central area and in the North of Rwenzori. High mountain equipments are required, as the trials reach an altitude of 4.000m above.
The Rwenzori lies a few kilometers north of the equator, rising over 4000m above the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley. The park trailhead at Nyakalengija can be reached from Kampala from the north via Fort Portal (375km) or the south passing through Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450km). Nyakalengija is 17km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town. Charter flights to Kasese can be arranged from Kampala (Kajjansi) or Entebbe International Airport.
Accommodation on the Mountain
Several Mountain’s huts on the ‘Circuit’ route are provided, huts of Nyabitaba, John Matte, Guy Yeoman and Elena, Kitandara and Bujuku hut. Camping on the mountain would be preferable however the terrain resembles a floating bog.
Rwenzori Mountaineering Services Bunkhouse: Located at RMS’s offices next to the National Parks Headquarters at the entrance to Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Meals are available through a local women’s group.
Rwenzori Base camp Guesthouse
Located in Ibanda village 4 kms from the National Park. Rwenzori Basecamp offers single, double and twin accommodation in comfortable surroundings. Some rooms are self-contained, DSTV, fully stocked bar, meals to order. Safe secure parking for vehicles left whilst on the mountain.
Ruboni Camp: Community project of the Ruboni Community Tourism Association supported by UCOTA (Uganda Community Tourism Association). There is a booking office in Kasese town where a special hire taxi can be arranged for you or alternatively take a matatu to Ibanda from Kasese and walk the short distance to Ruboni Camp. Follow the sigNational Parkosting for the RMS offices and continue up the trail to the camp situated just outside the park gate
Other accommodation facilities are somehow distant in the nearby towns like Kasese and Fort portal.
Accessing rwenzori mountains
By road; from Kampala through Fort Portal Rwenzori lies 375Km or south via Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth is 450Km. The park is 25km from Kasese town.
By air: Aeolink operates scheduled flights to Kasese Airstrip thus easy connection to The great mountains of the Moon