Rwenzori Mountains National Park is home to one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Located in the Rwenzori mountains and nearly 1000 kilometers square (386 square miles) in size, the park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its extraordinary natural beauty. Come and experience the most fulling hike of your life, as the mystical park boasts breath-taking waterfalls, high glaciers, the valley of nine lakes, a variety of flora and fauna, many endangered species and other captivating scenery.
The park is owned by the Ugandan government through Uganda National Parks. It is protected, although extraction may be sanctioned by a board of trustees. Kasese, 437 km (260 mi) west of Uganda’s capital Kampala, is the gateway to the park. The town has hotels and lodges, while the park has camping, a good trail network and huts for hikers. The park has excellent trekking and climbing opportunities with spectacular views and unusual scenery. The most popular trek is a seven-day circuit of the park.
Conservation and tourism.
The park is owned by the Ugandan government through Uganda National Parks. It is protected, although extraction may be sanctioned by a board of trustees. Kasese, 437 km (260 mi) west of Uganda’s capital Kampala, is the gateway to the park. The town has hotels and lodges, while the park has camping, a good trail network and huts for hikers. The park has excellent trekking and climbing opportunities with spectacular views and unusual scenery. The most popular trek is a seven-day circuit of the park.[
Activities carried out on Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
- Bird watching.
Due to the fact that the park is habitant to round 217 species of birds, Birding opportunities are greatest in mainly in the montane forest and the most important about this park is that its home of few but rare bird species and among these involves Bee-eaters, Robins, as well as Sunbirds and Barbets are some of the 217 species found in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Besides the ones mentioned the other species to watch in this park involve the Rwenzori Turaco as well as the Long-eared Owl, while at higher altitude and specifically on the slopes one can view the Bearded Vultures, Black and Swift Eagles which are rotating from side to side looking for prey.
- Cultural encounters in Rwenzori mountains.
Visitors who decide to take safaris to Rwenzori Mountains national park can discover the calm, polite farming village identified as Ruboni which is home to an estimate 2,000 Bakonzo people living at the foothills of the mountains of Rwenzoris. While at this area visitors can walk with the villagers as they show to visitors their daily activities which range from raring their traditional animals and crops to preparing nice delicious Ugandan meals with the freshest ingredients. The guide can also lead visit to meet the blacksmith and traditional healer of the area, guests can also meet basket weavers and storytellers, and enjoy a vibrant dance performance organized by the locals to entertain the visitors who have paid tour to them.
Alternatively, your guide will lead you along the River full of rocks also called Mubuku River. Ruboni according to the local language of the people living in this area means clear water in and here also visitor will required to follow this crystal-clear stream and visitors can enjoy watching villagers who will be passing while carrying crops and wood. When the trail is almost ending visitors are rewarded with clear view of the many colorful native birds such as the Rwenzori Turaco as well as the tiny sunbirds and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters. The area even houses the colour changing chameleon as well as squirrels and vervet monkeys among others.
Look out for Baker and Portal Peaks rising above the forests. On a clear day the snowcapped Margherita Peak is also visible – a truly spectacular sight.
Rwenzori Turaco View Camp Site .The tiny village of Mihunga is near the, snow-capped peaks of Rwenzori Mountains. The Bakonzo tribe who are the inhabitants of this mountain managed to live in this place for over 300 years without running water and electricity and this particular community has got accustomed to its traditional way of life which is muching to the climate and steep green hillsides of the Rwenzori foothills.
Mihunga‘s community tourism group in alliance with Turaco View, usually organize tours for visitors to take cultural tour to this village. The activities here include visitors watching demonstration by a traditional healer, whose traditional herb-based prescriptions are believed to cure many ailments. Visitors are also taken to visit village school and experience a crafts demonstration and sometimes even dance performances are organized here also..
Visitors can also choose to walk with a local guide through the surrounding forests. They may be lucky enough to spot brightly colored turacos in the forest canopy. The expert guides will be able to point out other species such as bee-eaters, sunbirds and playful black-and-white colobus monkeys.
Bulemba-Ihandiro Cultural Trail .This trail is anticipated to take visitors six to seven hours walk through the holy valley and other sites of great cultural importance to the Bakonzo tribe. A community guide will introduce visitors to the traditional healer and also explaining how the powers of the healer work and finally visitors are guided to the local blacksmith, who will reveal the spiritual importance of each and every traditional stool of the Bakonzo community.. Basket weaving and fire making skills are also demonstrated along the route.
The trail then takes you across the Kamusonge River whose waters are believed to be sweet and react very quickly to slowdown the thirst. After some good time of moving visitors will be given time to rest while enjoying magnificent mountain views as well as shelter from the equatorial sun, Then after the break visitors are requested to continue with the journey for one final hour and this will take them through the museum which is thatched in the traditional Konzo style. On display of the museum are the equipment’s that were used during the Rwenzururu struggle, also in this museum traditional dresses and the other items of historical and cultural importance to the people of the Rwenzoris are exhibited.
- Nature walks.
The park provides greatest chances for travellers interested in nature walks especially within the central circuit zone. These nature walks include taking trails up to Lake Mahooma as well as Buraro chimp forest; the activity also involves walks through the communities of Kichamba to reach the Karangura ridge and hiking to Bundibugo area through Bwamba pass.
The communities of Ruboni and Turaco View also offer guided forest walks of various lengths and these are done outside the park. Visitors can follow the River Mubuku, and glimpse views of Baker and Portal Peaks as they hike up to 2,300m above sea level. On a clear day it is even possible to view the snowcapped Margherita Peak – a truly spectacular sight. Along the way, keep an eye out for chameleons, squirrels, vervet monkeys and many birds.
Bwamba Pass: Before a road was built in 1938 to link Fort Portal with the remote town of Bundibugyo, local people followed the most direct route between these settlements – a tough, 1,500m high trek over the steep north Rwenzori ridge, known as the Bwamba Pass. The Abanya Rwenzori community group leads visitors over the mountain through isolated mountain villages to visit the bamboo forest and enjoy superb rift valley views.
- Mountain and Volcano climbing in Rwenzori Mountains
The Central Circuit Trail: This challenging but rewarding seven-day climb offers a circular tour of the high mountain Rwenzori. From the trailhead at Mihunga, the route ascends the Bujuku Valley via Nyabitaba for acclimatization before reaching the peaks. Clients joining the Central Circuit after Bujuku will traverse the Scott Elliot and Fresh field passes to descend through the Mubuku Valley. Climbers can scale the snow peaks though many consider the exceptional scenery ample reward for their exertions.
Kilembe Trail: The recently reopened Kilembe Trail ascends the southern slopes of the Rwenzori from a trailhead at Kilembe near the town of Kasese. The route along the lovely Nyamwamba Valley passes glacial lakes and some stunning viewpoints before joining the Central Circuit at Lake Kitandara. The standard route scales Mount Baker though the scenery makes shorter treks rewarding enough.