Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains is World Heritage listed as one of the worlds great wonders and trully it is from the dense rainforests to the alpine landscape and glaciers it is an unforgettable experience.

The Rwenzori Mountains lie just north of the equator and extend for 110km by 50km. The Uganda DRC Congo border strikes along the ridges and cuts across the centre of Margherita Peak which stands at 5,109 metres. In the past several peaks sported large glaciers but most have receeded or completely disappeared in the last 10 years.

Rwenzori National Park – A Detailed Guide!

Come Visit Uganda’s Most Exciting National Park. Hike to one of the rooftops of Africa.

Rwenzori National Park is surely the most exciting, save for the challenge of climbing these ranges but … if you are the kind that roars to go, daring, enjoys the thrill of mountain climbing, then this is the ultimatum. Do the Rwenzori and you will have reached the summit.

It is a ‘must see’ for most who visit Uganda for it has quite a lot to offer – not just for the adventure of climbing. The Rwenzori National Park is home to about 70 mammals and over 200 bird species … and possesses some of the world’s rarest vegetation.

The Rwenzoris are amazing ranges – also known as the Mountains of the Moon, these legendary mountains are endowed with amazing equatorial snow peaks that include the third highest point in Africa. The slopes are covered in moorland, bamboo and thick moist forest.

It is such an enchanting scene out there – the mountainside is dotted with giant lobelias and the ever-present flowers from the huge tree heathers and the colourful mosses.

Go Hiking in the Rwenzoris

Here is an idea for those who wish to fundraise for a good cause; take on the Rwenzori challenge! Quite often, those who have climbed these ranges to fundraise have had a wonderful fundraising drive.

These ranges are a fantastic hiking and mountaineering destination … And just to have a feel of it especially if you are a first time climber, you could start with the non-technical treks that will get you to the shorter surrounding peaks.

… But why not go for the summit! A 7 Days Central Circuit Trail will get you to the Margherita – its highest point (the third highest point in Africa after Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro).

Found in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border, The Rwenzori National Park protects most of the mountain ranges and the surrounding areas. It is one of the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES found in Uganda.

However, more on the adventure side, the neighbouring Bakonzo villages offer nature walks, community cultural performances that will give you an insight into the culture in Uganda and an opportunity to try home-cooked Ugandan cuisine.

To get the most out of a visit to the Rwenzori National Park, one requires either a lot of time or some insider knowledge – unless of course you plan to use one of the tour companies here. Listed here are some tour operators with insider knowledge on planning expeditions to the Rwenzoris;

Quick Facts

Rainfall in the Rwenzori Mountains is fairly even throughout the year with November usually recording the highest rainfall at an average of 50mm or 20 inches with the average annual rainfall of 2,500mm (three metres of rain) It is this constant rainfall that creates the beautiful lush landscape and incedible wetlands with constant flowing rivers. The mountains are often shrouded in mist creating high humitity giving to lush carpets of moss and lichens.

The different vegetation zones of the Rwenzori Mountains lends itself to a wide diversity of vegetation, birds, animals, frogs, butterflys and the like.

1,000 – 2,100 metres is generally inhabited by human settlement where coffee, cassava, beans, millet and potatoes are grown. However due to the steep terrain the soils have been eroded badly and infertility is severely affecting local incomes.

2,100 – 2,400 metres is the montane forest of mixed broad leafed and podocarpus montane forest. Trees rarely exceed 30 metres and the forest canopy is broken allowing a dense underbrush to grow. It is this thich brush that is home to rare birds like the Rwenzori Batis & Rwenzori apalis. Elephant which were once proflic are not rarely seen. Chimpanzee Rwenzori colobus and blue monkeys may be seem as you walk the tracks. It is now very rae to see a leopard and they are said to be extinct in most of the park.

2,400 – 3,000 metres has bamboo growing on the steep slopes while giant heathers grow in the open areas along the ridge tops. In the valleys one can see many giant lobelias and mimulopis.

3,000 – 3,800 metres the soil on the ridge tops is generally poor and covered with giant heathers and braken ferns with areas of lush green moss and lichens. Old man’s beards hang from the trees setting a unique landscape backed by the towers peaks.

3,800 – 4,500 metres is the alpine zone with white flowering everlastings growing amongst the thick tussock grasses. Large areas of giant groundsel and the distinctive lobelia which have been described as ‘Africas botanical big game’

Above 4,500 metres is generally barren rock with patches of moss in protected areas.

Travel Planner

Here is a quick preview and facts about Rwenzori National Park; the size, the location, climate, habitant and nature and more …

See more Visitors’ Information for the Rwenzori National Park here; Fees, how to get to and around the Park.

FAQ; What should one bring for the Rwenzori hike? Read my response and advice here.


Most people underestimate the size of the park, what they exactly want to do (activities) and do not take enough time to do research.

As a result therefore, they spend a lot of time moving around and seeing only the most touristy, developed and crowded sites within the park – nothing like the wilderness experience they had hoped for …

A day or two trip can’t do this place justice. I consider seven days as the minimum. Five days or more would be adequate … and only if you plan to scale the shorter treks. So, if you have very limited time, should you even go? I will leave that to you.

Been To Rwenzori Or Plan On Going?

Share your thoughts and experiences. Let us know if Rwenzori lived up to your expectations or exceeded them. Maybe you can share a great tip on how to make the most of a visit.

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