Mount Ruwenzori is situated in Kasese district in the western part of Uganda bordering Congo. The mountains have also been known as “mountains of the moon”. The mountain rises at an elevation of 5110 meters above sea level. Mount Ruwenzori is the third highest mountain in Africa after mount Kilimanjaro and mount Kenya, with Africa’s third, forth and highest peaks. Mount Ruwenzori is the hardest to climb of all African mountains and it will therefore require physical fitness.
Mount Ruwenzori was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and it was declared by UNESCO as a world heritage and Ramsar site in 1994. The park covers an area of about 996 kilometers squared. Mount Ruwenzori is characterized by blue lakes, snow fields, alpine highland glaciers, dense montane and bamboo forests, heath, moorland, groundsels, Lobelias and Hagenia. Mount Ruwenzori melt water represent the highest springs of the Nile which is the worlds longest river, in 150 AD Claudius Ptolemy claimed the snow peaked mountains to be the source of the mighty Nile. This mountain is a must visit when you go on Uganda safari holidays.
Mountain climbing is the main tourists activity in mount Ruwenzori national park, the mountain provide stunning views said to be one of the most spectacular on earth. Day hikes can also be organized for those who don’t want to reach the mountain peaks. Mount Ruwenzori is very challenging therefore you must be in good shape to take a 7 – 9 day journey to the top.
The Ruwenzori mountain slopes are filled with various wildlife species making 18 species of mammals, 6 species of amphibians and 9 species of reptiles. Some of the animals seen at the Ruwenzori mountains include elephants, leopards, bush bucks, giant forest hogs, bush bucks and many more. There are also various primate species in the Ruwenzori mountains like blue monkeys, olive baboons, black and white Columbus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, chimpanzees and many more.
Ruwenzori mountains national park boasts with 217 species of birds. Some of the birds in Ruwenzori mountains are the Ruwenzori collared birds, Queens turaco, Shelley’s crimson wing, dwarf honeyguide, red faced woodland warbler, Kivu ground thrush, strange weaver, barred long tailed cuckoo, purple breasted sunbirds, collared apalis and montane masked to mention a few.
For a feel of African authentic culture, tourists can explore the neighboring Bakonjo villages at the mountain slopes and learn about peoples ways of lives and how they have adapted staying at this mountainslopes for years. Nature guided walks can also be organized and the local traditional dancers can perform their traditional dances. Tourists visiting Ruwenzori mountains national park can sleep in Equator snow lodges, Ruboni community camp, Hotel Margherita, Ruwenzori international hotel, Katara lodge and many others. Mount Ruwenzori national park can be reached from Kampala within 5-6 hours however tourists can fly in to Kasese airfield from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield.