Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a 1994 heritage site covers an area of 996 km2 which stretches 120 km along the Congo border. It is a block mountain formed as a result of faulting. The Rwenzori Mountains is the third highest in Africa, with six glacial peaks: Stanley, Mount Speke, Mount Emin Pasha, Mount Gessi, Mount Luigi da Savoia and Mount Baker.
The main peaks, Margherita (5,109 m) and Alexandra (5,083 m) 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 and the oldest ever recorded person to climb mount Rwenzori was 78 in 2010, miss Beryl Park.
Species in Rwenzori National Park
The interest for Rwenzori is also on the vegetation, which is divided into several altitude zones: the forest zone (between 1,800 m and 2,500 m), the bamboo forest (up to 3000 m), the heath and Alpine zones (3000-4500 m), with forests of giants’ heath plants, giant lobelias and groundsels. There are 217 recorded bird species especially Albertine Rift endemics (Rwenzori Turaco, cuckoo, owl, francolin, robin). Different mammals are present in this park but they are not that easily seen in the thick vegetation of this park.
Activities in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Hiking is the main activity in this park and most of the visitors undertake the excellent “central circuit” trail, which takes 9 – 10 days to complete up to the main peaks. However, other shorter hikes are available in the central area and in the North of Rwenzori. High mountain equipment are required to hike to the very top of Magherita as the trials reach an altitude of 4,000 m above sea level.
Accessibility to Mountain Rwenzori National Park
The Rwenzori lies a few kilometers north of the equator, rising over 4000 m above the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley. The park trailhead at Nyakalengeja can be reached from Kampala from the north via Fort Portal (375 km) or the south passing through Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450 km). Nyakalengeja 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 facilities in Rwenzori National Park
At this park the accommodation facilities are somehow distant in the nearby towns like Kasese and Fort portal. For instance you rest at Mountain of the moon, Ndali lodge, Kibale safari lodge, Kyaninga lodge (Luxury) Fort Motel, Rwenzori Travelers Inn (Budget) and the following day go for your mountain trekking experience.