Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a Ugandan national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Rwenzori Mountains in south western Uganda with the nearest tourists attractions include queen Elizabeth national park which is a popular wildlife safari destination.
Rwenzori Mountains national park is almost 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi) in size; the park has Africa’s third highest mountain peak and many waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers hence known for hiking tours in Uganda.
Rwenzori Mountains, previously called the “Ruwenzori Range” is a mountain range of eastern equatorial Africa, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). These mountains support glaciers and are one source of the Nile River.
Rwenzori Mountains has the height of 5,109 meters (16,762 ft). The highest Rwenzori peaks are permanently snow-capped.
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Virunga National Park are located in the range.
When was Rwenzori Mountains national Park established?
Rwenzori Mountains National Park was established in 1991. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 because of its outstanding natural beauty.
Biodiversity of Rwenzori Mountains national Park.
Rwenzori Mountains National park has many species that are endemic to the Albertine Rift system, and there are several endangered species in the park. It has a high diversity of plants and trees.
The park is noted for its botany, which has been described as some of the most beautiful in the world. There are five distinct vegetation zones in the park, which change according to changes in altitude.
Birding & Wildlife in Rwenzori mountains National Park: The Park has 89 species of birds, 15 species of butterfly, and four primate species. The park’s wildlife varies with elevation, and its species include the forest elephant, chimpanzee, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, duiker, and Rwenzori turaco.
When is the best time to Trek Rwenzori Mountains?
As its well-known that Uganda the pearl of Africa receives the equatorial climatic condition due to its location and closeness to the equator, Rwenzori trekking tours can be done throughout the year although it has the best time when it can be hiked.
It is possible to trek Rwenzori mountains all-year-round. However, certain months are characterized by colder weather, more rain and potentially loads of snow on the summit.
There are two distinct trekking seasons which constitute the best time to climb Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda.
They are January-March and June-October. January-March is generally colder than June-October and there is a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit.
Those clients that travel with interests of extending their trip to cover wildlife national parks like Kidepo Valley national park, Murchison falls national park & Queen Elizabeth national park are advised to consider traveling in the dry months.
Yet those traveling to add on gorilla trekking, they can travel any time and even enjoy the low months where tourism is not massive like the case in Summer times of June – October and December.
Rwenzori Safari planning guidelines before booking a Trekking Tour
Rwenzori Mountaineering service offers the top related advice and travel tips to help you in planning Rwenzori trekking tour to Rwenzori Mountains National park in western Uganda.
1. Select the Best route to Use when Climbing Rwenzori Mountains.
Rwenzori mountaineering tours and hiking experiences in Rwenzori mountains national park can be done using two routes either Kilembe Trail managed by Rwenzori trekking Services or Central Circuit that is managed by Rwenzori Mountaineering Services.
The Shortest and the least expensive route is the Central Circuit that is managed by the Locals.
Are you interest in long trek to Rwenzori Mountains to reach the peak?
Then the best option is the famous Rwenzori Trekking Services that offers the 9 Days Rwenzori Mountaineering Tour yet the one for shorter one is the 7 Days Rwenzori Trekking Tour.
Trekking Rwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda is always led by two companies that is Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS) and Rwenzori Trekking Services (RTS).
Rwenzori Mountaineering Services is the oldest and the local Community based projects that started the trekking tours to explore snow Caped Mountains.
The standard tour to visit summit Margherita Peak is 7 Days Rwenzori Trekking excluding the transfer days from Kampala to Kasese and back.
However those clients interested in adding on gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking is to book the 12 days Uganda Gorilla & Rwenzori Trek that is always escorted and guided by experienced tour guide of Active African Vacations LTD a local safari company based in Kampala Uganda with Extension offices to Rwanda, DR Congo (Goma & Bukavu) to encounter the African primates like the mountain gorillas, Chimpanzee in Kibale Forest national park.
Rwenzori Trekking Services is the Second Operator that leads Rwenzori trekking experiences using the Kilembe Trail which is the longest trail to reach to the peak.
Restrictive enough any travelers using this route will require to have minimum of 7 Days to be booked and confirmed for using this Route.
Active African Vacations is tour Company that has breathed new energy into planning and booking Rwenzori trekking tours to Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda.
Whatever route you select to use, the company is the most reliable booking agency. However you will experience the Rwenzori Central Circuit when returning from the summit of Rwenzori during the sloping back to the base.
2. The Right Shoes
Appropriate footwear for your Rwenzori hike will make all the difference in how much you enjoy your trek, regardless of the shape you are in.
You should try finding out about the terrain and anticipating of how the weather will be during your trekking time. T
his will help you determine whether you need sturdy waterproof boots with ankle support, light trainers or something in between.
Most importantly, make sure your shoes fit and spend some time breaking them in before you rack up the miles.
3. Pack Up Your Important Gear
A water bottle and a small backpack with a few essentials are trailside necessities – you can even keep it simple with a 2-in-1 pack with a hydration system, like a Camelback.
Pack some healthy snacks to nibble on to help keep energy levels up – you’re bound to find a great vista point for a picnic along the trail.
Throw some extra layers in your day pack too; Mother Nature loves to surprise us with unexpected winds or rain showers. Even though you checked the weather. This is quite common in the “mountains of the moon”.
Make sure that you still have room for your sunscreen, sunglasses, a map or guidebook, navigation tools like a compass or GPS system.
You will as well need some necessities like; small flashlight or headlamp, some first-aid supplies and any other region-specific necessities.
4. Learn to Navigate
Maps, especially the detailed topographic kind, can be overwhelming at first glance.
In such a scenario, you will need to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the map’s legend to help you understand your route and its distance and elevation.
With modernity, there are also many smartphone apps that can be useful on the trail, but keep in mind that you may not always have satellite access and your phone may run out of battery.
As for the maps for the Rwenzori treks, not so many people understand it since it is still developing as a tourist destination. But you could use the help of the guides at the base before you start the trek.
5. One Step at a Time
Before you start on a long distance, high elevation adventure, I would advise training up a bit by walking or running whenever you can so as to get your body fit.
Though mount Rwenzori does not require much technical skill to hike but a good body fitness level is greatly needed.
Whether you’re an urban hiker or live somewhere with access to nature trails, each step you take is one in the right direction.
Warm up your muscles with some light stretching and start walking at a steady maintainable pace – don’t push yourself too hard at the beginning.
6. Safety First
Whether it’s a friend or a friendly park ranger, or family. It’s always good to let someone know when and where you are going to hike.
You might always as your buddy to hike along with you.
If you don’t know anyone who enjoys a good hike, find out if your town or city or the destination you are going to has a hiking club.
As for the Rwenzori treks, you will never be alone, hikers are always accompanied by guides and porters who are always there to help you just in case of something.
The trekker’s safety in the Rwenzori is always guaranteed to some extent.
7. Plan your water requirements
Before hitting the trail, you need to Plan how much water you will need. As for the Rwenzori trek, water is almost everywhere and is clean.
So you will need to invest in water treatment tablets or a filtration system and fill up at designated water points.
It pays to do your research on water availability along the route. Single use plastic bottles are also a major waste problem so try to avoid them if you can.
With whom should you book your Rwenzori Mountains trek?
Booking your Rwenzori trek with the right agency is perhaps the single most important factor in determining the success or otherwise of your trek, Rwenzori Mountaineering service is the top most Ugandan Tour operator that is registered under Active African Vacations to offer treks to Rwenzori. The very company is listed and registered with AUTO (association of Uganda tour operators).
Company Details: Active African Vacations LTD
Email: [email protected]
Contact Number +2456774819223/ 701819223