Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park has an estimated size of 996 km2 . The park was gazetted in 1991 and was recognized as a world heritage site in 1994 and Ramsar site in 2008. It’s highest point is 5,109 m 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 bock of rock upfaulted through the floor of the western rift valley.

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”. The oldest recorded person to reach Margherita Peak was Ms Beryl Park aged 78 in 2010. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montance forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene.

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.

For 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

There are over 20 lakes in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The lowest and most accessible is Lake Mahoma (2,641m) in the bird- rich forest of the Central Circuit. The beautiful Lake Bujuku lies at the head of the deep, glacier carved Bujuku valley in the shadow of Mounts Stanley, Baker and Speke. In the Nyamwamba Valley, ascended by the Kilembe Trail, dams created by glacial moraine have created a string of eight delightful lakes. Several rivers and streams originate from the mountain, forming lifelines for the flore and flora in the flood plains  and supporting local communities.

Rwenzori Mountains National 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 unusuak repitiles such as the three horned chameleon.

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