The snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori mountain range lie along and share the western border of Uganda with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is regarded to be legendary snow-capped mountains of the moon, described by Ptolemy in AD150. The highest peak reaches an elevation of 5,102m; it is also Africa’s tallest mountain range, exceeded in altitude only by the free standing volcanoes of Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Gazetted in 1991, covering an area of 995 km , the 6 mountain ranges of the Rwenzori include , Mt Stanley (5,109m)Mt. Speke (4890m) Mt Baker ( 4,843m)Mt Emin ( 4,798m),Mt. Gessi (4715),Mt Luigi Di Savio (4627m)separated by deep gorges. Mt. Stanley is the largest with Margerita (5109m) as the highest peak. Although located just miles north of the equator, highest Rwenzoris are permanently snow- capped. The snow peaks can be reached by hiking the Central Circuit and Kilembe Trails.
There are no roads within the park; the Rwenzoris can only be explored by foot along established trails.
Unlike other national parks, in Uganda, that offer excellent game viewing opportunities, Rwenzori is better known for its specular sceneries and unique plant life. The misty, boggy, glacier-carved valleys of the high Rwenzori form a strange botanical world inhabited by triffid-sized forms of lobelia, heather and groundsel, crisp “everlasting flowers,” garishly coloured mosses and gnarled trees draped with curtains of lichen. The result is an otherworldly setting which, over the years, has been compared to the forests of the Jabberwock, the Seven Dwarves and, inevitably, Tolkein’s Middle Earth. These strange plants rank among the world’s botanical treasures, being found only on the highest mountains of East Africa.
There are over 20 lakes in Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The lowest and most accessible is Lake Mahoma (2,651m) in the bird-rich forest of the Central Circuit. The beautiful Lake Bujuku lies at the head of the deep, glacier carved Bujuku valley in the shadow of Mounts Stanley, Baker and Speke. In the Nyamwamba Valley, ascended by the Kilembe Trail, dams created by glacial moraine have created a string of eight delightful lakes. Several rivers and streams orginate from the mountain, forming lifelines for the fauna and flora in the flood plains and supporting local communities
Mountain Climbing is the major activity with trekking along the Rwenzori central trail circuit taking up to 7 days. Ruboni, found at the southeastern foot of the Rwenzori Mountains, is the trailhead for the seven-day Central Circuit to the high peaks. It is also the starting point for hill walks, bird and nature treks and walks through the traditional homesteads of the local Bakonzo community.