So wonderful travelling off the beaten track!! One sure way to do this while in Uganda is to visit the Rwenzori Mountains. Many people travelling to Uganda end at visiting the Rwenzori region without actually visiting the Rwenzori Mountains. Imagine how many people have missed this charm by an inch. Rwenzori Mountain is one of the major landmarks of east and central Africa. This mountain is 120km long and 48km wide. It is a protected as a national park by Uganda government since 1991, A ramsar site, a world heritage site and therefore a natural mother to the entire cross boundary region of Uganda and Congo. Being the highest block mountain on the African continent, rwenzori mountins influences many ecosystems including of the most popular national parks including Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale national, Virunga national park, other parts of eastern Congo and many community livelihoods in the east and central African region. The mountain covers an area of 996 km-sq, and its highest point is 5109 meters on mount Stanley. Rwenzori habitat is dominated by Montane forest with bamboo on lower slopes and heath / Afro-alpine moorland on higher peaks. While here, you will find some of the 70 mammals and 217 bird species that live on this mountain landscape. these include around 19 Albertine Rift endemics, according to latest research. The park is also home to some of the world’s rarest vegetation that you will not find in other east African mountains.
Some Theories say, Rwenzori Mountain is the natural source of the Nile River. Further elaboration to this theory suggest that, the Rwenzori glaciers provide the waters through the rivers in Congo and Uganda which rivers fill the lakes, Victoria, George, Edward and Albert that supply water to the river Nile through the different points including pouring into lake Victoria. River Nile is known to start from Lake Victoria in Jinja, where rafting and bungee jumping is done. Your journey is rather incomplete, visiting Uganda to enjoy her natural beauty yet go back without experiencing the natural mother of all these beauties.
Besides the national parks, water sources and other ecosystems, Rwenzori Mountains influences a big range of livelihoods near these ecosystems. You will explore this rich culture and wildlife during your travel and safari experience as you visit the actual Rwenzori Mountains during your trip. The Rwenzori mountain experience can be included to your trip by allocating a minimum of one day and night to your plan of visiting Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, Semulik national park or even Murchison falls national park. through these and may tailored tours, we make it easy for you to tale a complete experience by visiting the Rwenzori mountains without affecting your other safari plans. In one day, you can take one of the community tours hiking up to 2400m above sea level or take the nature walk to the first camp of Rwenzori Mountains at 2632m above sea level. Other activities you can participate in include the village tours, cultural dance experiences, and homestay experiences, forest walks in the jungle neighboring the park or just staying around to interact with the local community living on the Rwenzori foothills. For those interested in the high mountains, you can make a seven to eight days trek that takes you up to 5.109m above sea level on the margarita peak, the highest point of Rwenzori mountains, Uganda.
This is how it works. The trip to the Rwenzori mountain either starts from the northern part; Murchison falls, Fort portal, Kibale national park or Kampala for those using Mubende – Fort portal road, or from the south; Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Lake Bunyonyi Kabale, Mgahinga national park, Rwanda, lake Mburo national park, Queen Elizabeth National park or from Kampala, for those using the Masaka – Mbarara – Kasese road. On either of these routes, from one of the mentioned park and locations, one wishing to include Rwenzori Mountains on their trip only needs to add 17km drive off the Kasese – Fort portal road to reach the Rwenzori gateway.
This gateway is located at Nyakalengija gate. You branch off at Nkenda Electric terminal (locally called Kisanyarazi), 10km from Kasese town or 65km from fort portal on Kasese fort portal road. Follow the sign of Rwenzori mountains national park. Nyakalengijo gate-way is where the central circuit and mahoma trails treks start. This is the best and easiest trail to access the High peaks of Rwenzori Mountains. The gateway is also beautifully located bellow the portal peaks with scenic views from the community lodges. The community is rich with small animals, and culture of the Bakonzo people who will show you around the foothills during the village walks, forest treks, hill clim treks or take you to the high mountains.