Located in Southwestern Uganda, Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of Africa’s most favorite mountaineering destinations. This park lies in the extreme western corner of Uganda at the border with the D.R. Congo. It is situated close to the Great Virunga National Park in Congo, taking its name from the ice-capped Rwenzori Mountain ranges. Mountain Rwenzori is one of the most beautiful mountains in Uganda.
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a Uganda safari park, created in 1991 and in 1994, it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2008, this park was recognized as a Ramsar Site and occupies a land area of about 996sq.km. Its boundaries stretch covering the Western districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Kabarole.
Featuring scenic rivers, lakes, diverse plant species, hot springs, waterfalls and glaciers, Mount Rwenzori National Park stands out among a few most beautiful parks in Uganda and Africa. Six mountain ranges make up the Mount Rwenzori including Mount Stanley where its highest peak- Margherita peak (5109m) is situated; Mount Bakers, Mount Speke, Mt. Gessi, Mount Emin Pasha, Mt. Luigi da Savoia. Rwenzori Mountains is a block mountain range and lies along the East African rift valley.
Wild animals & floral species
Mount Rwenzori National Park is home to more than mountain ranges. The park supports a diversity of animal species including the Rwenzori colobus monkeys, bushbucks, blue monkeys, red duikers, black and white colobus monkeys, Rwenzori otters, leopards, L’hoest monkeys, sitatungas, forest elephants, serval, genets, Uganda clawed frog , rock hyrax, chimpanzees, bushbucks, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, mongoose, golden cats, buffaloes, and more.
Bird species of Rwenzori Mountains N/P
Over 217 species of birds reside in the different habitats in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Most of the park’s bird species are endemic species including Shelley’s crimson wing, red-faced woodland warblers, Rwenzori collared birds, purple breasted sunbird, strange weavers, turacos, dwarf honey guide, montane masked apalis, Kivu ground thrush, and others.
The park has unique vegetation zones ranging in the different altitudes; heath, bamboo forest, dense montane forest, lobelias, hagenia, groundsels, moorland, and many others. There are also unique 9 reptiles including the three horned chameleons, 6 amphibian species, and adjacent to the park, there are Bakonjo and Bamba communities.
Exciting things to do on Rwenzori Mountains National Park holiday tour
Mountt Rwenzori National Park has several exciting experiences for tourists to enjoy. From mountaineering to simple guided nature walks.
Mountaineering or Rwenzori Mountain climbing
Mountain climbing or mountaineering is a special experience that awaits every enthusiastic adventure seeker on a Uganda safari. Mountaineering in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park offers a thrilling experience, a lifetime opportunity to hike to the Margherita peak on Mt. Stanley (5109m). Hiking Rwenzori Mountain to the peak requires at least 7-9 days and there are 2 trails to explore; the Central circuit. The central circuit is operated by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services. The Kilembe trail is the 2nd trail, a newly established route to the Margherita or other peaks of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges.
Hiking at the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges
Short forest and foothill hikes can be enjoyed on a Uganda tour in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. These hikes offer inexperienced hikers a chance to explore the Rwenzori Mountains. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding lush forests and wildlife.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park birding opportunities include identifying the Albertine rift endemic species and other bird species. The common birds to look out for on bird-watching tour in this park include lagden’s bush shrikes, barred long-tailed cuckoos, dusky and shelley’s crimson wings, African long-eared owl, cinnamon chested bee-eaters, archer’s robin chat, green buls, montane masked, grauer’s cuckoos, stripe-breasted tit, red-thigh sparrow hawk, illadopsis, red-faced woodland warblers, strange weavers, tinker bird, white-collared olive back, purple-breasted sunbirds, francolins, golden-winged sunbirds, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turacos, and more.
Experience true authentic African cultures on a cultural tour in the nearby local community of Bakonjo. Several practical activities are available here including basket weaving. Expect to explore the Bulemba-ihandiro cultural trail that introduces guests to the Bankozo museum.
Where to stay
Top places to consider for overnight stay on the Rwenzori Mountains National Park safaris include the Ruboni Community Camp, Rwenzori International Hotel, Equator Snow Lodge, Tours Holiday Inn, Tropical Savanna Guesthouse, Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite, Rwenzori Backpackers, Sandston Hotel Kasese and others.
Getting to Mount Rwenzori Park in Western Uganda
You can reach the Rwenzori Mountains National Park by road or air. By road, it will be a long drive of about 7-8 hours from Kampala to the Rwenzori. There is an option of driving along the Kampala-Mbarara-Bushenyi-Kasese route or set off from Kampala via the Mityana-Mubende-Fort Portal route. By road, fly from Entebbe airport to Kasese airfield and transfer to the park by car.