Mount Rwenzori National Park with a geographical size of 996km2 and gazetted in 1991, was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1994 and Ramsar site in 2008. Located 295Km (5 hours and 30 minutes drive or 30 minutes flight)’ from Entebbe Airport, the mountain range of eastern equatorial Africa is located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was placed on the map by explorer Henry Stanley on 24th May 1888. He labelled it ‘Ruwenzori’, a local name which he recorded as meaning “Rain-Maker” or “Cloud-King.”
The Rwenzori is the remarkable Mountains of the Moon and the equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa (Margherita peak) at 5109m above sea level, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colourful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene. The combination of spectacular snow-capped peaks, glaciers, V-shaped valleys, fast flowing rivers with magnificent waterfalls, clear blue lakes and unique flora contributes to the area’s exceptional natural beauty. The mountains support the richest montane flora in Africa, encompassing the charismatic giant lobelias, groundsels, and giant heathers which have been called “Africa’s botanical big game”
Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori Mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.
This UNESCO world heritage site is protected as the Rwenzori Mountains National Park and managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. A nine- to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.