Uganda
 
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Uganda safari - The Rwenzoris (the fabled Mountains of the Moon) lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene.

Climbing Rwenzori Mountains
Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park lies a few kilometers north of the equator on the Uganda-Congo border. The park trailhead at Ruboni can be reached from Kampala from the north via Fort Portal (375km) or the south passing through Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450km). Nyakalengija is 17km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town.

Charter flights to Kasese can be arranged from Kampala (Kajjansi) or Entebbe International Airport.

The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. A nine- to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.

Uganda Culture - Rwenzori_Mountains_National_ParkFor those who prefer something a little less strenuous, neighboring Bakonzo villages offer nature walks, homestead visits, home cultural performances and accommodation, including home-cooked local cuisine.

Climate
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is chilly and wet – expect daytime temperatures of 10-15°C, with much colder nights. January-February and July-August are the driest months, but heavy rain is possible at any time, so come prepared. The best time to climb the mountain is from June through to August and from December to February. -

Wildlife
The park is home to 70 species of mammal, including six Albertine Rift endemics; four are endemic to the park and three are rare species. Other mammals include the elephant, chimpanzee, Rwenzori otter and leopard. Though wildlife is difficult to spot in the dense forest, do look out for primates such as colobus (Angola and black-and-white varieties are both present) and blue monkeys; small antelope such as bushbucks; and unusual reptiles such as the three-horned chameleon.

Vegetation
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is known for its distinctive flora rather than its fauna. On the route to the peaks, hikers climb through a series of distinct altitudinal vegetation zones; montane forest, bamboo, tree heathers and afro-alpine. The latter, with its emblematic giant forms of Senecio (groundsel) and lobelia, is one of the world’s rarest botanical communities, being limited to East African mountains above 3800m.

Birds
The park is home to 217 bird species including several Albertine Rift endemics. Among these are 17 species that are endemic to the park making Rwenzori an important birding area (IBA). The forest zone at 1800m contains a diversity of birds including the Rwenzori Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Long-eared Owl, Handsome Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Archers’ Robin-chat, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Slender-billed Starling, Blue-headed Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, Strange Weaver and several varieties of Barbets, Greenbuls, Apalises, IIladopsis, Flycatchers and Crimsonwings.

Facts
Size: 996km2
The park was gazetted in 1991 and was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1994 and Ramsar site in 2008.

Highest point: 5,109m above sea level on Mt Stanley's Margherita Peak. Mt. Stanley is bisected by the border with the DR Congo.

The Rwenzori is not volcanic like East Africa’s other major mountains but is a block of rock upfaulted through the floor of the Western Rift Valley.

The Rwenzoris were christened the "Mountains of the Moon" by the Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy in AD 150.

The explorer Henry Stanley placed the Rwenzori on the map on 24th May 1888. He labeled it ‘Ruwenzori’, a local name which he recorded as meaning “Rain-Maker” or “Cloud-King.”