The park covers 996 kms, protects the slopes of the famous Rwenzori Mountains, which run for 120 km along the Congo border. It is a bloke mountain they are a result of the formation of the Rift Valley. The Rwenzori is the highest mountain range in Africa, with six glacial peaks: Mount Stanley, Mount Speke, Mount Emin Pasha, Mount Gessi, Mount Luigi da Savoia and Mount Baker. The main peaks, Margherita (5.109m) and Alexandra (5.083m) on Mount Stanley, are exceeded in altitude elsewhere in Africa only by Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The first European who climbed the peaks was in 1906 the Italian Prince Luigi Amedeo da Savoia, Duke of Abruzzi.
Animal Species in the Park
The interest for Rwenzori is also on the vegetation, which is divided into several altitude zones: the forest zone (between 1.800 and 2.500 m), the bamboo forest (up to 3000 m), the heath and Alpine zones (3000-4.500 m), with forests of giants heath plants, giant lobelias and groundsels. There are 70 mammal species recorded (elephants, golden cat, chimpanzee, yellow – backed duiker) and 177 birds, especially Albertine Rift endemics (Rwenzori Turaco, cuckoo, owl, francolin, robin).
Tourist Activities in the Park
Rwenzori Mountain trekking is the most popular activity here. Most of visitors undertake the excellent ‘central circuit’ trial, which takes 9days-8nights to complete and takes you to the main peaks. However, other shorter hikes are possible in the central area and in the North of Rwenzori. High mountain equipments are required, as the trials reach an altitude of 4.000m above.
The Rwenzori lies a few kilometers north of the equator, rising over 4000m above the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley. The park trailhead at Nyakalengeja can be reached from Kampala from the north via Fort Portal (375km) or the south passing through Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park (450km). Nyakalengeja is 17km off the Kasese-Fort Portal road and 25km north of Kasese town. Charter flights to Kasese can be arranged from Kampala (Kajjansi) or Entebbe International Airport.
At this park the accommodation facilities are somehow distant in the nearby towns like Kasese and Fort portal. For instance you rest at Mountain of the moon or Kyaninga lodge and the following day go for your mountain trekking experience.