Within the western part of Uganda is a unique marvelous natural geographical feature that towers high above the sounding terrain in Uganda and this is the majestic Mountain Rwenzori. Commonly referred to as the “Mountain of the Moons”, this great mountain lies on Uganda’s boarder with the Democratic Republic of Congo lying west of Uganda and this has been one of the main attributes for which Uganda was named the “pearl of Africa.” It was declared among the UNESCO world Heritage Sites and is a very great wonder within Uganda. The Rwenzori Mountain actually needed not to be announced publicly to the a well known as it majestically stands as the third highest roof-top on the African continent.
The mountain rises to a height of 5109 meters with its highest peak being permanently covered with snow. The Rwenzori has 6 peaks with the highest of all being the Margherita at 5109 meters. This is followed by the Alexandria peak at 5083 meters, Mount Satnely, mount Speke peak at 4890 metetrs, Mount Emin peak at 4791 meters, mount Gessi and Mount Luigi at 4715 meters and 4625 meters respectively.
Vegetation Zones on Mount Rwenzori
The Rwenzori mountain has five deferent vegetation zones that include the vast grasslands that cover an altitude of 1000 to 2000 meters, the montane forest between altitude of 2000 to 3000 meters, this disappears into the bamboo zone at 2500 to 3500 meters, the heather zone at 3000 to 4000 meters and further higher the afro – alpine – moorland at 4000 to 4500 meters moving higher you will find the rough snow covered rocked. Each zone supports a different plant cover with the giant lobelia as well as the giant cactus being the most prominent plant species.
The lower altitudes of the Ruwenzori are sheltered by thick tropical rain – forest with intersperse with a number of rivers. The soils are very fertility and the areas receive heavy rainfall all throughout the year. Trekking along the lower slopes is quite challenging and the terrain is damp, muddy and slippery. The verdant forest supports a diversity of tree species that offer shelter to small animals like monkeys.
Wildlife on Mountain Rwenzori
The slopes of the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ provide habitant to a diversity of wildlife among which are several primate species such as the white and black colobus monkeys, the L’Hoest monkeys, and chimpanzees; other mammals like forest elephants, hyrax, and duikers; about 15 butterfly species, over 85 bird species like the Francolin, Montane Nightjar, Archer’s Robin Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Montane Masked Apalises, Red throated Alethe plus the dwarf Honey-guide.
Tourist attractions on Mountain Rwenzori
The most prominent tourist activity on mountain Rwenzori is hiking. The hikes journey you through the different vegetation zones all the way to the high glacial peaks. The hikes can accommodate both amateurs and professional hikers with a number of short hikes organized specifically for the less physically fit. Normally to summit the peaks, it requires a hike of seven days allowing better acclimatization as you hike to higher altitudes.
Nature walks are another interesting activity that is often carried out on this beautiful mountain accompanied by well trained nature walks with great knowledge about the flora and fauna of the area around including the different tree species, varieties of butterflies, primates and other large mammals.
Bird watching through the lower slopes of the mountain unveiling to you the various bird species among which are a number of endemic species worth seeing.
What to bring to Mountain Rwenzori
Below I have listed some of the key items you require if you are going to hike this great mountain Rwenzori:
A Sleeping bag, cameras, a rucksack, binoculars, a sleeping mat, a hat, good strong hiking boots, sun glasses, sun cream, water-proof trousers, a cup, insect repellants, a rain coat(since the rains up on the mountain are very un predictable), a sweaters, a heavy warm jacket, Light changeable clothes, a pair of hand gloves, torch, a scarf and a jumper.
We welcome you all to join in on the very adventurous yet challenging fun with ultimately very rewarding experiences as you hike to the roof top of one of the highest mountains in Africa; the Mountain of the Moon (Mountain Rwenzori)