Rwenzori Mountains National Park, the Mystical Challenge

Mountain Rwenzori National Park is located in south- western Uganda on the east of the Albertine rift valley; situated in Bundibugyo, Kabarole and Kasese, lies along Uganda’s border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

It was established in 1991 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The park was named after Rwenzori mountains, fabled “Mountains of the Moon” that take center stage in the park.

Mountain Rwenzori is a free- standing snow- capped block mountains along the border of Uganda and Congo with the third highest equatorial snow peak in Africa. Rwenzori (rain maker or cloud king) was mapped by Henry Stanley.

Its lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo rich and moist montane forests, colourful mosses, flowers and tree heathers create an enchanting fairytale scene.

The mountains offer a unique and pristine landscape of alpine vegetation, giant lobelias, groundsels and “everlasting flowers” in what is called “Africa’s botanical big game”.

That coupled with spectacular snowcapped peaks, V-shaped valleys, fast flowing rivers with magnificent waterfalls, clear blue lakes and its unique flora contributes to the mountain’s exceptional natural beauty

The park is home to 18 mammal species, 217 bird species, 9 species of reptiles and 6 species of amphibians. Large mammals such as elephant giant forest hog, chimpanzee, buffalo, bush back and leopards among others are present in the forest zone but are rarely seen.

Activities and Attractions in the Park

Hiking/ Mountaineering

Mountain Rwenzori is an undiscovered gem, visited by a few but the country’s most alluring hiking destination with a scenery best described as most beautiful. A hike will take you to experience its different types of vegetation, climate and beautiful glacial peaks.

While hiking, you will behold beautiful montane vegetation with luxurious tropical evergreen forests, differing land terrain, among others and when finally, at the top, your eyes will be welcomed by the majestic snowcapped peaks that will leave you breathless.

The mountain has been established as one of Africa’s great mountaineering adventures, offering a chance to ascend snow peaks and walk on equatorial glaciers.

Bird watching

The park has an unlimited view of bird species that have chosen this inhospitable environment as their home. Most common among these are bee eaters, Robins, Sunbirds, barbets, Rwenzori Turaco, long eared owl. Hikers that take on higher altitudes will be in position to view the Bearded vulture, swifts and black eagles.

Forest walks

The forest zone majorly occupies the lower contours of the park and can be visited for a day of nature walks. The walks can be arranged from Kilembe or Nyakalengija trailheads.

Cultural Encounters

Have fun with the Bakonzo as you learn more about their unique and rich culture. It ranges from an encounter with a traditional healer, a village school, crafts display and a live traditional performance or even a traditional thatched Konzo style museum that displays the implements used during the Rwenzururu struggle as well as other items of historical and cultural importance to the tribe like traditional dresses, handicrafts and many more.

Accommodation

Kasese has a decent selection of accommodation facilities and so is Fort Portal. These structures are beneficial to whichever budget you have.

Getting there

The park is majorly accessed from the Fort Portal- Kasese road either through Kilembe, Mubuku Valley at Mihunga or at Nyakigumba to Katebwa.

Air transport can be arranged from either Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Kasese

A customized trip to the park can be organized by SunTrack Adventures