Rwenzori National Park is surely the most exciting, save for the challenge of climbing these ranges but ... if you are the kind that roars to go, daring, enjoys the thrill of mountain climbing, then this is the ultimatum. Do the Rwenzori and you will have reached the summit.
It is a 'must see' for most who visit Uganda for it has quite a lot to offer - not just for the adventure of climbing. The Rwenzori National Park is home to about 70 mammals and over 200 bird species ... and possesses some of the world's rarest vegetation.
The Rwenzori Ranges - Photo by; Jorn Eriksson
The Rwenzoris are amazing ranges - also known as the Mountains of the Moon, these legendary mountains are endowed with amazing equatorial snow peaks that include the third highest point in Africa. The slopes are covered in moorland, bamboo and thick moist forest.
Photo by; Jorn Eriksson
Photo by; Jorn Eriksson
It is such an enchanting scene out there - the mountainside is dotted with giant lobelias and the ever-present flowers from the huge tree heathers and the colourful mosses.
Here is an idea for those who wish to fundraise for a good cause; take on the Rwenzori challenge! Quite often, those who have climbed these ranges to fundraise have had a wonderful fundraising drive.
These ranges are a fantastic hiking and mountaineering destination ... And just to have a feel of it especially if you are a first time climber, you could start with the non-technical treks that will get you to the shorter surrounding peaks.
... But why not go for the summit! A nine to twelve hours day trek will get you to the Margherita - its highest point (which also turns out to be the third highest point in Africa after Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro).
Photo by; Jorn Eriksson
Close to the Summit - Photo by; Jorn Eriksson
Found in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border, The Rwenzori National Park protects most of the mountain ranges and the surrounding areas. It is one of the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES found in Uganda.
However, more on the adventure side, the neighbouring Bakonzo villages offer nature walks, community cultural performances that will give you an insight into the culture in Uganda and an opportunity to try home-cooked Ugandan cuisine.
To get the most out of a visit to the Rwenzori National Park, one requires either a lot of time or some insider knowledge - unless of course you plan to use one of the tour companies here.
... Unfortunately I cannot give you more time than what you already have for your visit but here is a bit of insider knowledge;
Here is a quick preview and facts about Rwenzori National Park; the size, the location, climate, habitant and nature and more ...
See more Visitors' Information for the Rwenzori National Park here; Fees, how to get to and around the Park.
... And then the FAQ; What should one bring for the Rwenzori hike? Read my response and advice here.
And here is a satellite shot and a map to show you the location of the park. You could be lucky to see some current webcams as well ...
Tips on how to use these Ugandan Maps...
So much for official tourist information ... but here is some information that they never tell you about. Information you ought to know;
You probably have heard or read reviews/ comments like;
'... we should have never gone there. It was a total waste of time and not worth, Go to Murchison Falls that's much better ...'
Believe you, me, such comments are not unusual. Some will leave Rwenzori National Park disappointed!
... And the reason is down to a few nitty-gritty's;
Most people underestimate the size of the park, what they exactly want to do (activities) and do not take enough time to do research.
As a result therefore, they spend a lot of time moving around and seeing only the most touristy, developed and crowded sites within the park - nothing like the wilderness experience they had hoped for ...
A day or two trip can't do this place justice. I consider seven days as the minimum. Five days or more would be adequate ... and only if you plan to scale the shorter treks. So, if you have very limited time, should you even go? I will leave that to you.
... And what about hiring a tour company or self drive? Some people ask me in emails if I think they have to find a tour company to run them through the park. Have to???, you don't really have to do anything! If tours are not your thing, do not do it - simple!
And please don't miss quote me on that; tour companies are good and they really do a professional job - and especially if you do not have much time on your holiday to explore.
If you don't mind joining a group of likeminded travellers, then you could think of self driving. This arrangement seems to work for many who are on a work visit or have been in the country for some time. You could quite easily linkup with some lovely people and have a wonderful experience.
... And one other thing, keep it to a 4WD; Yes, you might do with a 2WD ... but you don't want to miss out on the best parts of the Rwenzori National Park. Read more about driving in Uganda here.
Otherwise, you will have some good reason for taking a tour company instead of self drive. Provided you pick the right company ...
Share your thoughts and experiences. Let us know if Rwenzori lived up to your expectations or exceeded them. Maybe you can share a great tip on how to make the most of a visit.
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