Mt Rwenzori has a lot of fauna and flora to display. However these are couples with the fantastic activities that are one can participate in like Mountain climbing Tours, Scenic Tours, and Mountain Hiking Expeditions.
More than 996km sq national parks conserve the upper slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains, running from almost 120km a long the Congolese border west of Fort Portal and Kasese.
The Rwenzori Mountains are taken to have been the source of the legend of the mountains of the moon, the snow-capped range seen as the source of the Nile by the Roman geographer Ptolemy. The first European to view these renowned mountains were Arthur Jephson and Thomas Parke, the members of Stanley’s cross continental expedition to save the Emin pasha, which passed through the area in 1889.
Mt Rwenzori is considered to be the highest mountain range in Africa. It has the loftiest peaks, Margarita having 5,109m and Alexandra with 5,083m. Extinct volcanoes are altitude exceeded in Africa on Mount Stanley by only Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya which are both extinct volcanoes isolated a above the surrounding palms. The mountains are exclusive a among east Africa`s main peaks in that they are not volcanic in origin, but they do rise straight away from the Rift valley floor and their formation like that of Kenya and Kilimanjaro, was related to the geographical upheaval that created the Rift. A side from Mt Stanley, there is other four glaciers peaks in Mt Rwenzori like – Mount Luigi da Savoi, (4,627m), Mount Emin (4,791m), Mount Gessi (4,715m) and Mount Speke (4,890).
The Mountain is famously known for its taxing hikes and climbing possibilities, with a range that supports a great number of animals, include 70 mammals and 177 bird species, a good number of the letter being Albertine Rift Endemics. It is the only national park in Uganda where the Angola colobus Monkey has been registered, though identification of this localized monkey will need careful examination as the similar and more common black-and-white colobus monkey that are found on the mountain.
Just like any other large east African mountain, the Rwenzori range can be divided into several altitude zones, which starts at around 1,800m,has the most varied fauna. The only mammals you are likely to see in the forest are the a aforementioned colobus and blue monkeys, though several other large mammals are present, including elephant, golden cat, servalline genet, Chimpanzee, yellow-backed duiker and giant forest hog. At night, listen out for the distinctive and eerie call of the southern tree hyrax.
The forest zone is a habitat to a variety of birds, as well as Rwenzori turaco, hand francolin, cinnamon-chested bee eater, long eared owl, barred long-tailed cuckoo, Archer`s ground robin, white-starred forest robbin, flycatcher, greenbul, strange weaver, crimsonwing, golden-winged sunbird, Legden`s busg shrike, Rwenzori batis, montane sooty boubou and many more.
Health tips while on Rwenzori trail
For those interested in Hiking, you should not try to climb the mountain except if they are reasonably fit, nor have heart and lung problems. Hikers must have it mind that, however that physically fit people are more prone to attitude sickness because they move too fast. There is the necessity for hikers to be familiar with the symptoms and treatment of hypothermia and a number of forms of altitude sickness. Few people hike above 3500m without getting at least minor symptoms of altitude sickness like sleeplessness, fatigue, headache, breathlessness, nausea and swelling of the legs and hands. Should any of these symptoms turn out to be serious, especially if they are seriously getting worse, move straight away. Also going down 500m is enough to begin the recovery. Sleeping high with significant symptoms is hazardous if in doubt move down to sleep low.
When to Hike
The most excellent time for mountaineering is during the dry seasons from mid-December to the end of March and from June through Mid-August.
How to get there
When you are coming from Kampala, you move passed Mbarara to Kasese, afterwards carry on 18 km to Ibanda. Also from Kampala via Fort Portal and afterwards 75km on the Fort Portal/Kasese road south. The park is 25 km from Kasese. Use the left turn 4km after leaving Kasese on the Kasese-Fort Portal road.
When you arrive in Kasese, the Nyakalengija trailhead lies off the Fort Portal road, 22km from Kasese. Transport can be booked through the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS). Secure parking is present at the RMS head quarters.
Where to stay:
Hostel and campsite at the trailhead, basic hiking huts close to the loop trail. Kasese has a midrange hotel, a number of budget lodgings, and a campsite.
DAY 1: To Lake Bunyonyi | Boat ride on the lake
Our tours representative will pick you up and transfer you to Kabale. Lake Bunyonyi is located at 1962m above sea level and surrounded by steep sided heavily cultivated mountainous scenery. Lake Bunyonyi (the word means ‘the place of many little birds’) is about 25 km long and 7 km wide. With 29 islands dotting the centre of lake and depths varying from 44m to 900m. If the later is true it will make the lake the second deepest in Africa. The lake surface is a fresh 25 degrees celcius, bilharzia free and safe for swimming. Needless to say the spectacular scenery makes for an overnight experience at Lake Bunyounyi more desirable than staying in Kabale. There is accommodation to meet all budgets and different needs. Lunch en route then you will proceed to Lake Bunyonyi for a boat ride. Return for dinner and over night at your lodge at Arcadia Cottages / Bushara Island Camp
DAY 2: To Bwindi Forest Np
You will then be transferred to Bwindi national Park. After your breakfast in the morning, you will visit the forested surroundings of Bunyonyi. You will see the local people who will be ready and happy to receive you, wave at you as you pass by. Ensure you have your camera to take some pictures.
DAY 3: Gorilla Tracking
After an early breakfast and briefing by a ranger guide, enter the Gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The area offers a dramatic steeply forested landscape and increasingly dense vegetation criss-crossed by numerous animal trails. Mammals here include the endangered Mt. Gorillas, rare golden monkey, the Colobus monkey, buffalo and bush-buck. The thrill of observing gorillas is a moving and exciting adventure. After the long days adventure you will return to your hotel for dinner and overnight rest in your lodge. Meal plan and accommodation: full board
DAY 4: Bwindi Forest Park – Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Drive out of Bwindi National Park Northwards after breakfast to Queen Elizabeth National park via Isasha sector of the climbing lions. En route you will spot, if you lucky see the tree climbing lions, savanna grasslands, and Ankole cattle grazing in the meadows. You will arrive for lunch, dinner and overnight accommodation at Jacana Safari Lodge. Meal plan and accommodation: full board
Jacana Safari Lodge
DAY 5: Game Drive | Launch Cruise | Kazinga Channel
Experience as you will discover savannah wildlife during your early morning game drive and later the boat rides which takes place after your lunch. During both expeditions, you will be able to view the various animal and bird species. The animals found here include: lions, elephants, buffalos, hippos, Uganda Kob, Baboons, and other antelope. Some of the birds seen on the Kazinga channel include: the shoebill, black bee-eater 11 species of kingfisher and others Falcons. In the evening you will then return to your chosen accommodation for dinner and overnight rest. Meal plan and accommodation: full board
DAY 6: Transfer to Rwenzori National park – Hike up to Day 12
On this day, Nyakalengija (1615m) – Nyabitaba Hut The Central CircLiit starts at the RMS offices. After you should arrive in the morning to allow ample equipment and meet your guides and porters. The by passing through farmland to the park boundary below it follows the Mubuku river, crossing its Mahoma trib starting a long, steep climb up onto a massive ric Nyabitaba hut. Th-e hike takes around 5 hours.
During this part of the trip you may hear chim see black and white colobus, blue monkey and t coloured Rwenzori turaco.
DAY 7: Nyabitaba (2651 m) – Mubuku River (2l Matte Hut (3505m)
This involves a demanding 7+ hour trek up to Johl The Central Circui t ‘proper’ starts a few hundred mE Nyabitaba where the trail divides. The right fork I peaks up the Bujuku valley while the path on the le1 the subsequent descent.
The trail leads to the Kurt Shafer Bridge which Mubuku valley just below the river’s confluence wit I valley. Beyond the river, a muddy, slippery trail clir up through bamboo forest.
After a five hour trek is the start of the giant lobelia ar zone, a vegetation type limited to East Africa’s highes The final hour’s walk to John Matte hut passe! Challenging bog full of extraordinary plants!!
DAY 8: John Matte (3505m) to Bujuku (3962m)
The route fords the Bujuku River as you cross the bog, A steep clim b follows to reach the Upper Bigc a boardwalk has been constructed to assist walkE weather, there are superb views of Mt. Stanley at this cavernous, glacier-carved valley. Above the bog steady climb ovell” glacial moraine, criss-crossing t trail reaches the lovely Lake Bujuku. The last stage of the 3-5 hour hike to Bujuku Hut past Cooking Pot Cave is perhaps the muddiest stage of the expedition. The hut is well placed for parties climbing Mt. Speke.
DAY 9: Bujuku (3962m) – Scott Elliott Pass (4372m) Kitandara (4023m)
From Bujuku hut, the trail crosses more mud before climbing steeply through a forest of giant groundsels, climbing a short metal ladder to ascend the Groundsel Gully. Above the gully, a branch in the trail climbs directly to Elena Hut (4430m) for the ascent of Margherita peak on Mt. Stanley (5109m). This climb needs an ice axe, mountain boots, crampons and ropes.
The main trail continues up a steep scree slope over Scott Elliot pass, the highest point on the circuit. The pass provides fabulous views back down the Bujuku valley and of Mts. Stanley and Baker towering above. Beyond the pass, the route runs downhill beneath the massive cliffs of Mt. Baker. After passing Upper Lake Kitandara, the 3-5 hour hike ends at the hut beside Lower Lake Kitandara, a beautiful site surrounded by towering peaks.
DAY 10: Kitandara (4023m) – Freshfield Pass (4282m) – Guy Yeoman (3505m)
Freshfield is a long flat traverse through tracts of fabulously colourful moss (and more mud), beyond which the long descent to Nyakalengija begins. The hike to Guy Yeoman hut takes around 5 hours. The hut enjoys a lovely location close to the Mubuku River with terrific views of the looming Mt. Baker to the north.
DAY 11 & 12: Guy Yeoman (3505m) – Nyabitaba (2651 m)
The descent to Nyabitaba takes around 5 hours but with an early start it is possible to make it all the way down to Nyakalengija. Below Guy Yeoman, the route descends the cliffs of Kichuchu. Beyond Kichuchu the muddy path crosses the Mubuku River twice before climbing upwards to Nyabitaba to complete the circuit.
DAY 13: Nyabitaba (2651m) – Nyakalengija (1615m)
The descent from Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija takes 2-3 hours. You will be transferred to Kasese For dinner and over night at Hotel Magherita.
DAY 14: Transfer to Murchison Falls Np
You will be transferred to Murchison Falls NP through the verdant country side of Fortportal. Dinner and over night at the Nile safari Camp
DAY 15: Game Drive | Launch Cruise | Bottom of the Falls
After an early breakfast drive through the scenic Northern Route to the shores of Albert Nile. Explore the Parks amazingly high concentration of game. In search of Lions, expect to see many Giraffes, large herds of buffalos, Kobs, water-bucks, and Elephants. Return to the lodge for relation. Lunch at your Lodge. Catch up the Launch Trip at 2Pm to the bottom of the falls. 3 hours Launch trip hike the fall. A boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls is amongst the unforgettable experience the park has to offer giving the opportunity to view giraffe, elephants, groups of hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, lions, and an abundance of bird-life including the famous shoe-bill stork. This park offers typical African safaris and the launch cruise. Return to your Lodge
DAY 16: Transfer to Kampala
Lunch en route then later you will be transferred to Mabira rain Forest Lodge for dinner and over night at the rain Forest Lodge.
DAY 17: White water rafting – Jinja | Departure
Go for white water rafting in Jinja and transfer to the airport for your late night flight back home.