For adventure enthusiasts, think of a magical experience and think not beyond the Mount Rwenzori National Park. This montane park is situated approximately 400 kilometers off Kampala capital city, western Uganda and bordered by Kabarole, Kasese and Budibugyo district. It derived its name from the magnificent Rwenzori Mountain range which features as the 3rd highest snow peak in Africa. While here, you will find a rare vegetation zone especially bamboo, moist montane forest, moorland and other. This UNESCO World Heritage Site covers an area of about 1000 square kilometers and boasts of its rare plant species, over 70 mammal species, 217 bird species 19 of which are Albertine rift endemics, waterfalls, the magical Rwenzori mountain ranges among others. A hike to the top of this mountain may last you about 9 or more days to get to the margherita peak and it is ideal for those who are physically well.
Getting to Mountain Rwenzori National Park
To get to this park, you need about 5 hours or more to drive from Kampala to Kasese. You can take a car rental a 4 wheel drive safari car or a public means although this may not be favorable enough in case you are looking at something comfortable. The popular routes include the Kampala-Fort Portal or Kampala-Mbarara-Queen Elizabeth or alternatively, take a flight from Kajjansi airfield.
Climate of Mountain Rwenzori National Park
This park lies along the equator and most parts are wet compared to other parts in East Africa. Usually, the highest rainfall amount is experienced in the eastern slopes and rains kick start from March to May and from September to mid-December. For excellent tour, you can opt to travel to this park from June to September as most parts remain relatively drier. This area experiences temperature range of about 5 to 20 degrees Celsius.
What to see while on safari in Mount Rwenzori National Park
The notable attractions to explore in this park include Mount Rwenzori which also features waterfalls, blue cirque Lakes, unique vegetation as well as 18 mammal species, 217 avifaunal species, 9 reptiles, elephants, leopards, chimpanzees and many others.
What to do in Mount Rwenzori National Park
For thrilling and breathtaking hikes, Rwenzori Mountain National Park is the best place for you to pay a visit and you won’t regret in life. Climbing through the Rwenzori Mountain range is a rewarding adventure which takes you through its rare vegetation zones, glaciers and not to forget magical views over its peaks and surrounding areas. Hiking to the peak of this mountain requires some physical wellness in you. This mountain features Mount Stanley, Vittorio Emmanuelle which stands at 4889 meters on Mount Speke, Edward at 4842 meters on Mount Baker. For any need to take part in this adventure, we advise you that you first exercise before the actual hike.
You can also take a 7 day trek around the central tourism circuit and 5 day trek on the kilembe route to southern parts of the park.
In case you can’t be part of the strenuous mountain climbing to the margherita peak, no need to worry about which activity to per take because this park is also ideal for nature walks. On nature walk, you have a chance to sight at varied plant species, meet the Bakonzo communities for you to learn more about their cultures and traditions.
This park is another significant birding spot in Uganda. It is endowed with distinct bird species which dwell in this park and make up a total of about 217 making a few important birding areas. The notable birds for you spot out while on birding safari include barred long tailed cuckoo, long eared owl, Rwenzori Turaco, slender billed starling, Lagden’s bush shrike, blue headed sunbird, barbets, golden winged sunbird, greenbul, handsome francolin, strange weaver, illadopsis, crimson wings, flycatchers, cinnamon chested bee-eaters a mention but a few.
There are many opportunities for you come close to locals especially at the foothills of Mount Rwenzori. On cultural tour, you get a chance to learn more about the cultural lifestyles and what they do each day learn more about drumming and unique dances among others. Besides, you can as well pay a visit to Ruboni village for you to explore more about their lifestyles and other interesting things.
Where to stay in Mount Rwenzori National Park
There are many accommodations for you to spend a night in this park and they include among others-Hotel Margherita which is situated at the base of the mountain just a few kilometers from Kasese town. Amazingly, a side from accommodation, they also offer Rwenzori experience.
The Rwenzori International Hotel-this is located about 3 kilometers off Kasese airstrip just at the base of Rwenzori Mountain range. This provides executive self-contained rooms to single non-self-contained rooms with camping options.
Kitara lodge-this is located about 16 kilometers off Katunguru gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This accommodation facility is very keen on environmental conservation and it is built using renewable materials. The Equator snow lodge-this is also set at the base of the mountain and offers luxury accommodation services. Below it, there is a roaring Mubuku River and its cottages are constructed using the river rocks thus making it a few exceptionally rare facilities for one to spend a night while on safari in this park.
Tropical savanna guesthouse-this is set along the Mbarara-Kasese route within Kasese Town and it is ideal for budget visitors on safari in Mount Rwenzori National Park.
In conclusion, Mount Rwenzori National Park is a few most magnificent parks in Uganda and East Africa at large. A visit to this park rewards travel endeavors with variety of attractions and experiences ranging from thrilling mountaineering to cultural encounters.