Fees, Getting There and Getting Around ...
Rwenzori National Park lies in the far west of Uganda along the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border, on the east side of the Albertine rift valley. If you started your travel from somewhere say in the central; very likely from Entebbe Airport through the Capital Kampala, you will need to get to the districts of Bundibugyo, Kasese or Kabarole.
The Rwenzori National Park is a huge place - just shy of 1000 sq km in size; and about 70% of which exceeds an altitude of 2,500m (8,202 ft). The central and eastern half of the park lie just north of the equator.
The park has several entrances - call them trailheads; at Ruboni, at Nyakalengija, at Kilembe, at Mihunga and more .... Most people and all organised tours start from these points. You will find other points run by locals but these will not get you that far and not much to see - may be not!. It might be a day or two of hill walks at the boundaries of the park - that isn't good enough! Is it?
At these points you can book and pay for guides and porters, along with trekking equipment.
Photo by; Jorn Eriksson
Nyakalengija can be reached from the north through Fort Portal town, or from the south via Mbarara town through the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Nyakalengija is about 18km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road; 25km north of Kasese town.
You could quite easily catch a charter flight to Kasese from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi (off Kampala-Entebbe highway) ... but depends on where you are coming from; Read more about the other smaller airports in Uganda to find out where you can find a connection flight to Kasese.
Those who have more time have other ideas: You could see other National Parks in Uganda and lots more ...
If you are taking a self drive with a group of friends, you could drive to Mbarara town through Masaka town - this is one drive I love; gives you chance to see a detailed Uganda. The scenery is magnificent and there are tourist attractions to visit on the way, like the spot at the Equator and the bulemba houses - a sacred site that houses the remains of the first king of the Rwenzururu kingdom.
This route is also a double hit! - you get to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park first on your way to Rwenzori using the Ntungamo-Katunguru road. Continue north on the Fort Portal-Mpondwe road to Kasese. At this point you could decide to use the Kilembe trailhead which is very close to Kasese town.
... Further north - about 15 minutes from Kasese, you get to Ruboni, another trailhead at the south-eastern foot of Rwenzori Mountains.
Ruboni is a starting point for hill walks, bird and nature treks and walks through the traditional homesteads of the Bakonzo people. There are accommodation and catering facilities here that take care of different budgets - use this place to freshen up before you take on the Rwenzori. The scene here is magnificent as you look up the Mubuku valley.
Photo by; Jorn Eriksson
There are no roads within the park - surprised! Surely you wouldn't expect one here. Much of the exploration and hiking is done on foot. You've got to be ready for this. Do some shopping around and have the right gear and equipment.
One thing to keep in mind is that hiking - especially the hill walks and the climbing can be gruelling. A good part of the trails here are rough, with some sections ferociously steep with stones, wet and muddy.
You will quite easily get camping and lodging services in Ruboni, Nyakalengiya and Kilembe trailheads. Could be basic ... but the services are just enough to serve the purpose. These trailheads can be reached from Kasese town which also offers a range of services.
A small fee will be charged for most of the sites and activities within the park which is different from the entrance to the park and which will normally be subject to change. See current fees for National Parks in Uganda here ...
Look out for;
Go Ruboni - Ruboni Community Camp, Ruboni Turaco View Camp and the Geolodges Equator Snow (These have excellent top end facilities you will love).
Go Nyakalengiya - Rwenzori Mountains Safari lodges.
Go Kilembe - Trekkers Hostel.
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