The Mountains of the Moon
The fabled ‘Mountains of the Moon’ in Rwenzori Mountains National park, one of Uganda’s UNESCO heritage sites lie in western Uganda along the Congolese border. It is here where the snow-covered equatorial peaks rise to a height of 5109m and the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland and rich montane forests.
Rwenzori Mountains National park protects the eastern slopes and glacial peaks of the 120 km long Rwenzori Mountains offering a world class hiking and mountaineering destination.
The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest points in Africa, stands along the equator between the Uganda and Congo border and lies on the eastern side of the Albertine Rift valley.
It comprises of distinct mountain ranges the highest being Mount Stanley at 5109m, Speke at 4890m, and Baker at 4843m which are all snow capped with glaciers. It was gazzetted in 1991 and named UNESCO heritage center in 1994 and a Ramsar site in 2008 covering an area of 996 sq km with 70% of its altitude lying 2500m above sea level.
It’s also well known for its flora rather than fauna due to its distinct vegetation zones with include montane forest zone, bamboo, tree healthers, afro alpine, senecio and griant lobelias which are one of the world’s rarest botanical communities.
Most of the park is accessible only to hikers although the magnificent scenery and 19 Albertine Rift endermics would be ample reward to Birders.The bird list includes Rwenzori turaco, long eared owl, sunbirds, flycatchers and rare mammals such as the three horned chameleon and much more.
What Activities to do
- Mountaineering and hiking
- Bird watching of over 195 species
- Nature guided tours through all the vegetation zones at the glacial peaks.
- Cultural visits to the bakonzo communities and see their various homesteads, and walk through their villages on the footprints of the mountain.
How to get there
The Nyakalengija trailhead is 22km from Kasese off Fort Portal road. So access can be from Kampala via the north through Fort Portal which is 375km or through Mbarara Queen Elizabeth which is 450km.
It can also be accessed by air from Kajjansi airfield to Kasese.
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