About Rwenzori Mountains National Park:
Location: Western Uganda.
By Air: Chartered flights from Kampala at either Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe International airport to Kasese airfield.
By Road: The Nyakalengija trail head which is 22km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town can be reached from Kampala via Fort Portal road (375km) or via Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National park (450km).
What To Do:
Birding, Cultural encounters in Rwenzori Mountains, Ruboni Community Camp, the Rwenzori Turaco View campsite, Bulemba Ihandiro Cultural Trail, the nature and hiking walks, Volcano/Mountain climbing, the central circuit Trail, the Kilembe Trail, Mubuku River
When To Go:
The Rwenzoris have got a very short dry season which is between June and August and the other is between December and February. These are also the best times to visit this national park.
The Rwenzoris – the fabled Mountains of the Moon – lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.
The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. A nine- to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.
Birding - There are also birding opportunities in Rwenzori and are mostly found in montane forest, some of the few species are found in the unreceptive world of the high Rwenzori. Some of the bird species include; the bee eaters, sun birds, Robins, Barbets and these are some of 217 species found in Rwenzori Mountain National park.
The Cultural encounters in Rwenzori Mountains & The Ruboni Community Camp - You can discover the passive farming village of Ruboni which is home to over 2000 Bakonzo found in the foothills of the Rwenzoris. You can as well walk with the villagers as they show their daily activities from caring for their animals and crops to organising meals with the freshest ingredients. You can as well meet the blacksmith, basket weavers, the traditional healers and well as the storytellers were you will also enjoy the beautiful dance performance that are followed by the lively drumming.
Mubuku River - The Ruboni word also means clear clean water in local language of Lukonzo, and you will also follow the crystal clear stream that passes through as the villagers carry crops and wood. More so as the trail goes upwards, the guide will show many colourful native birds like the tiny sunbirds, the Rwenzori Turaco as well as the Cinnamon chested Bee eaters. There are also squirrels, vervet monkeys as well as the chameleons.
The Rwenzori Turaco View campsite - This is a small village of Mihunga that faces towards the rocky snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. Bakonzo tribe have lived here for over 300 years with no running water and electricity and this community has gotten used to the way of life to the climate and the steep green hillsides of the Rwenzoris.
The Bulemba Ihandiro Cultural Trail - This is a 6 to 7 hour trail movement through the holly valley and many other sites of great cultural significance to the Bakonzo tribe. The community guide will introduce you to the traditional healer, as he explains his powers, commonly known as “Muhima” as well as to the local black smith, who will reveal the spiritual significance of the traditional Bakonzo stool. The other skills to be enjoyed include; basket weaving and fire making as they are demonstrated along the route.
The trail will take you to Kamusonge River whose waters are also believed to be quick and sweet to reduce the thirst. There is also a break in a hut in order to enjoy the fantastic mountain views as well as shelter from the equatorial sun, before boarding the final hour long walk to the museum that is thatched in the traditional Konzo style.
The nature and hiking walks in Rwenzori Mountains - This park also gives an opportunity for the nature walks in the central circult zone. These trails also include; trails to Lake Mahooma and Buraco chimp forest. The walks through the communities of Kichamba to arrive at the Karangura ridge and the hike to Bundibugo
The park provides opportunity for nature walks within the central circuit zone. These include trails up to Lake Mahooma and Buraro chimp forest; walks through the communities of Kichamba to reach the Karangura ridge; and hiking to Bundibugo area through Bwamba pass.
The communities of Turaco view and Ruboni will also offer a guided forest walk of high lengths outside the park. The visitors will also follow the river Mubuku as well as the sight views of baker and portal peaks as they hike up to over 2,300m above sea level. Just on a clear day, it’s also possible to view the snow-capped Margeherita peak which is a great spectacular sight. And along the way, you will keep your eyes to see the chameleons, sqirrels, vervet monkeys as well as birds.
Volcano/Mountain climbing in Rwenzori Mountains, The central circuit Trail - This is so challenging and a seven day climb will give you a rounded tour of the high Rwenzori. Just from the trailhead at the Mihunga, the route rises the Bujuku Valley via Nyabitaba for the acclimatization before arriving at the peaks. The clients will join the central circuit after the Bujuku that passes the scott Elliot as well as freshfield that goes through the Mubuku Valley. The climbers can also scale the snow peaks and many might consider the extra ordinary scenery which is a plenty reward for the efforts.
The Kilembe Trail - This is the recent opened Kilembe trail that rises in the southern slopes of the Rwenzori from a trailhead at the Kilembe just near the town of Kasese. This route is along the Nyamwamba Valley that goes through the glacier lakes and the spectacular view points before joining the central circuit at Lake Kitandara. The standard route also shows Mount Baker has got scenery that makes shorter treks. The tours can be booked through Rwenzori Mountaineering services and Rwenzori trekking services.