Park at a Glance

 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 DR Congo.

    The Rwenzori is not volcanic like East Africa’s other major mountains but is a block of rock up-faulted 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 labelled 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 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 colourful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairy-tale scene.

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.

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.

 

Park Activities

what to do

Suggested Itineraries

Four Day Culture and Nature Tour Open or Close

  •     Kilembe Trail Open or Close
  •     Central Circuit Open or Close

Day One: Follow the Mubuku River before ascending a steep ridge of glacial moraine to Nyabitaba Hut (2651m).

Day Two: Start with a steep descent to cross the Mubuku River, followed by a long hike along the boulder-strewn sides of the Bujuku valley through forest, bamboo and heather zones to John Matte Hut (3505m)

Day Three: Cross the famous Bigo Bog and the Upper Bujuku Valley beneath the massive cliffs of Mount Baker. The route skirts Lake Bujuku to reach Bujuku Hut (3962m) at the head of the valley between Mounts Stanley and Speke

Day Four: The route climbs the rocky Groundsel Gully and steep scree slopes to Scott Elliot Pass (4372m) for an unforgettable view back down towards Mount Speke and Lake Bujuku down the U-shaped Bujuku Valley.  The climb finishes at Elena Hut (4541m) below the snowline of Mount Stanley.

 Day Five: The Big Day! Start before dawn for the chilly trek through snow and ice to climb to the 5109m Margerita Peak, the roof of the Rwenzori, before the views and the route are obscured by mist. The descent returns to Scott Elliot Pass and descends the deep Kitandara Gorge to a mountain hut by the twin Kitandara lakes (4023m).

Day Six: Begin with a steep climb to Freshfield Pass (4282m), a spectacular spot carpeted by bright yellow mosses and offering tremendous view of Mounts Stanley and Baker. The trail descends the Upper Mubuku valley to Guy Yeoman Hut (3505m).

Days Six and Seven: Below Guy Yeoman, the trail follows the Mubuku down the cliffs of Karirupea to complete the Central Circuit at Nyabitaba Hut. Hikers may overnight here to continue to the trailhead at Ruboni for greater comforts.

  • Mountain Hiking
  • Bukurungu trail
  • Kazingo Trail
  • Sebwe Falls
  • Kinyampanika Chimpanzee Trails

Park Accommodation

where to stay

NYAKALENGIJA

Rwenzori Mountains Safari Lodge (Rwenzori Mountaineering Services)

KILEMBE

Trekkers Hostel (Rwenzori Trekking Services)

Note: Both trailheads can be reached easily from Kasese town, which also offers a number of accommodations.