Formally identified with the legendary ‘’Mountain of the moon” as depicted in the ancient times as the source of the Nile, Mount Rwenzori is the perfect place that should be visited by all travelers.
The Rwenzori Mountains reach heights of roughly 5,109 meters with its highest peaks permanently snow-capped. This range covers both Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Virunga; it is important to note that Rwenzori’s highest peak known as Margherita peak is found on Mount Stanley.
Mountain Rwenzori is believed to have been formed approximately three million years ago in the late Pliocene epoch as a result of an uplifted block of crystalline rocks including gneiss, amphibolites, granite, and quartzite. An action that led to the split of paleolake Obweruka creating three of the present-day African Great Lakes namely; Lake Albert, Lake George, and Lake Edward.
In the past, during the late 19th and early 20th century, a Photographer Vittorio Sella took several photographs of the Rwenzori Mountains, going ahead to develop documentaries of his retreat on the range’s glaciers. Up to now, Vittoria’s work is conserved at the Istituto Di Fotografia Alpine Vittorio Sella in Biella and in Museo Nazionale Della Montagna in Turin both in Italy. Some pieces can also be traced at galleries of Makerere University in Uganda.
Rwenzori Mountain comprises of six massifs divided by deep gorges, namely; Mount Stanley 5,109 meters , Mount Gessi 4,715 meters, Mount Speke 4,890 meters, Mount Emin 4,798 metres, Mount Baker 4,843 meters and Mount Luigi di Savoia 4,627 metres, with Mount Stanley possessing several subsidiary summits, of which Margherita Peak is the highest point.
Interestingly, it was on 27 January 1975, which saw the polish climbers; Janusz Chalecki, Stanislaw Cholewa and Leszek make History by being the first hikers to traverse all the six Massifs of the Rwenzori Mountain from January 27 to February 13. Their friend Mirosław Kuras joined them on the last half of the navigation
This Mountain is also famous for its evergreen eye-catching vegetation, ranging from tropical rainforest through alpine meadows to snow. Variety of giant groundsel and giant lobelia tall heather covered in moss that lives on one of its peaks, most of the range is now a World Heritage Site jointly managed by the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in south-western Uganda and the Virunga National Park in the eastern DRC.
Mountain Rwenzori has five overlapping vegetation zones in the Rwenzori Mountains such as the evergreen forest zone; the bamboo zone; the heather zone; the alpine zone; and the nival zone. The Mountains vegetation is unique to the equatorial alpine Africa
Fortunately, there is no water shortage in the Rwenzori; however, several members of the afro-alpine family bear resemblance to species that normally flourish in desert climates it being that the is not always readily available to the afro-alpine plants when it needs it, additionally, the night frosts usually affect the sap transport in the plants and the absorption of water by its roots.
The Rwenzori national park, which is the conservation area for the mountain, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers almost 1000 sq2 km and traversing Kabarole, Bundibugyo and Kasese districts. This area absorbs a large section of the eastern half of the mountain, known for its beautiful plant life, coupled with waterfalls, glaciers and magnificent rare mountainous vegetation. The Rwenzori national park has amazing glaciers, snowfields waterfalls making it a very attractive Alpine area around the world offering chances of engaging in numerous activities;
Though not yet discovered by many, Mount Rwenzori offers all hikers unforgettable ultimate experience, the landscape on the mountain has been named as one of the most beautiful on the planet! It is covered with different types of vegetation and climate which will leave you with amazing memories as you hike its heights. Climbing this haven takes 7 days to reach the peak as catch the sight the farmland with crops such as coffee which is a very important cash crop in the country, you will behold beautiful land terrain and plant life of sub-montane vegetation in the Afro-montane zone covered by luxurious tropical evergreen forest with a high richness in color and species and finally to the top, where will come close to the majestic snowcapped peaks that will leave you breathless.
With over 217 species of bird species with 17 of them can unique to the area, Rwenzori national park is a perfect destination for birding. The different bird species leave you fascinated because of the smile there color and sound, some of those species include, the Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared Owl, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Strange Weaver, Archers’ Robin-chat, Rwenzori Batis, White-starred Robin, Montane Sooty Boubou, Slender-billed Starling, LApalises, Crimson wings and Flycatchers among others.
The Rwenzori national park can be accessed from Kampala; it takes roughly five hours’ drive to reach the Kasese when using a public means, for example, a bus. However, you can also opt for an aircraft that will only about an hour and a half.
Though uncovered by many Travelled, Rwenzori mountains offer a variety of amazing breathtaking activities, all you need is to add it to your bucket list as the next destination.