Africa Safaris To Rwenzori Mountains
These pre-planned Africa safaris are all-inclusive and can be customized to meed any traveler’s demands.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Trekking, Nature Walks, Peak Climbing
As early as 150 AD, Alexandrine Photographer, Ptolemy wrote of a snow capped Mountain range deep in the heart of Africa, which he claimed was the source of the world’s longest River, The Nile. He called it “Mountains of the Moon.”
Indeed, over centuries, Mountaineers who later explored Ptolemy’s mountains found the high Rwenzori glaciers and snow peaks whose melt waters certainly represent the highest springs of the Nile. The alpine highland of glaciers, snowfields, hot springs and blue cirque lakes make Rwenzori one of Africa Safaris most beautiful mountain parks.
Reaching an Elevation of 5109m, Rwenzori is Africa’s tallest mountain range exceeded in altitude by Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya, carrying Africa’s third, fourth and fifth highest peaks that are visible for miles around. Some of its peaks incomparable, beautiful and mist- shrouded carry permanent snow and glacier, while the lower slopes are covered with dense forest.
The Mountain slopes above 1,600m are the preserve of hikers who rate the Rwenzoris to be the most challenging of all African mountains. A variety of large mammals inhabit the lower slopes but the Rwenzori are notable more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. Its five distinct vegetation zones montane forest, bamboo forest, tree heath-bog, Hegenia, Rapania scrub and afro- alpine moorland provide a unique back drop to one of the most magnificent national parks in the world. Several endangered species and very unusual cloud forest flora like giant heathers, groundsels and lobelias, characterize the ranges as Africa’s botanic big game’.
In 1991, Rwenzori Mountains were gazetted as a national park and is both a World Heritage and RAMSER site.
Activities in Rwenzori Mountains
The six- day loop trail is the tough but rewarding hike taking in all vegetation zones and glacier peaks. There are ascents to major peaks within the Rwenzori ranges along both routes. These include ascents to Magherita (5109m) on Mt Stanley, Vittorio Emmanuelle (4889m) on Mt Speke, and Edward (4842M) on Mountain Baker. These hikes offer commanding and panoramic views of other peaks with in the ranges. However, high peaks should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers.
This is done along two routes; a 7 Day trekking of the central tourism circuit, 5 Day trek along Kilembe route to the southern part of the park. Shorter hikes can be arranged.
There are trees in the park which allows visitors up close interaction with nature.
Attractions to Rwenzori Mountains
Mountain climbing is the most attractive activity on the legendary “Mountain of the Moon” that lies Between altitudes 0 06’ south and 0 46’ North and longitudes 29’ 47’ west and 30’ 11 East, Its diverse heavily snowcapped peaks are one of the few pristine and spectacular landscapes of the world.
Although variety of large mammals inhabits the lower slopes, the Rwenzori’s are notable more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. The ranges are scenic with pristine and spectacular landscape that comprises of waterfalls, hot springs, blue cirque lakes, snow clad peaks and stratified vegetation which is an attraction not only for visitors, but also creates potential for research as well as resources for the nearby communities.
The peak is also home to 18 species of mammals, 217 species of birds, 9 species of reptiles, and 6 species of amphibians. Elephants, buffalos, giant forest hog, bushbucks, Chimpanzees and leopards are present rarely seen. However primates such as the black and white colobus monkeys and the blue monkey may be seen. In the Rwenzori’s are also some unique and rare animal species like three horned chameleon, the Rwenzori colobus, Rwenzori turaco and the Rwenzori double collared sunbird.
The park is also cultural heritage for the neighboring communities. Eighteen sacred sites have been identified, mapped and protected as worship areas.
Best time to climb Rwenzori Mountains
The best time to climb the Rwenzori mountain is from June through to August and from December to February. January-February and July-August are the driest months, but heavy rain is possible at any time, so come prepared. Rwenzori Mountains National Park is chilly and wet – expect daytime temperatures of 10-15°C, with much colder nights.