Rwenzori Mountains NP

The Rwenzori Mountains lie along the western border of Uganda and rise to a height of 5100 metres. They form a magnificent landscape of non-volcanic mountains, 120 kilometres long and 48 kilometres wide. The so-called Mountains of the Moon were formed from a single block during the creation of the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley.

 Parks & places

Safaris featuring this park

At the centre of the range, there are six peaks, each capped with permanent snow, and three with glaciers. The highest mountain in the range, Mt Margherita, is the third highest in Africa after Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. The Rwenzori Mountains were gazetted as a National Park in 1991. The Park covers 996 km2 of rugged mountain terrain.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Rwenzoris is the diversity of plants, trees and wildlife. The vegetation zones are similar to those found on the other high mountains of East Africa (Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya). However, the greater rainfall has led to a proliferation of abundant growth in each of the climatic zones: elephant grass up to 1,800m, montane forest up to 2,500m, bamboo zone up to 3,000m, heather forest up to 3,800, and afro-alpine above this to the snowline. This vegetation creates a spectacular and at times challenging landscape to trek through. The summits of the peaks stand high above the surrounding greenery and the ascents are made almost entirely on rock and snow. The foothills of the Rwenzoris are home to the Bakonjo people who cultivate the fertile lower slopes growing a variety of crops.

The Rwenzori Mountains have a reputation for being wet. However, with careful planning this should not detract from the enjoyment of this unique mountain environment. By visiting at the driest time of the year and making early starts each day to beat the afternoon rainfall it should be possible to travel in this area. 

  • Highlights: Sightseeing - hiking and trekking
  • Weather conditions: The constant mist covers the mountain all year round. Better conditions in July and August.

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