The fabled “Mountains of The Moon” lie in Western Uganda on the Congolese border, with snow-covered, equatorial peaks rising to height of 5110 m and lower slopes blanketed in moorland and rich montane forest. Most of the park is accessible to hikers with magnificent scenery and 19 Albertine Rift endemics, amongst them;
Rwenzori Turaco and Shelley’s Crimsonwing, would be ample reward for the intrepid, backpacking birder.
The Rwenzori Mountains have been selected as one of the
World’s Best Hikes by National Geographic!
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ABOUT THE MOUNTAINS
- Districts : South Western Uganda, on the edge of the western rift valley, shared by Rukungiri, Kabale and Kisoro Districts.
- Size : 996 Km-Sq.
- Elevation : 1700 metres to 5109 metres atop Margherita peak on Mount Stanley.
- Habitat : Montane forest with bamboo ( Arundinaria ) on lower slopes, heath and Afro-alpine moorland on higher slopes.
- Status : National Park since 1991.
- Timing : January – February and July – August are the driest months but rain is possible year round.
- Time required : 3 days for the shorter foothill hike and 6-7 days for the usual mountain loop.
- Birds Recorded : 195 species.
There are many bird species to lookout for among which include:- Albertine Rift endemics like; Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Montane (Rwenzori) Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Kivu Ground Thrush, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Montane Masked and Collared Apalises, Stripe-breast Tit, Rwenzori Batis, (Grauer’s Cuckoo-shrike ), Blue-headed, Regal and Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Strange Weaver, Dusky and Shelley’s Crimsonwings.
Others to lookout for are; Lammergeiger, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Long-eared Owl, Western Green Tinkerbird, Olive Woodpecker, Grey-chested Illadopsis, Grey-winged Robin, Evergreen Forest and Bamboo Warblers, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Montane Sooty Boubou, Golden-winged and Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbirds, White-collared Olive-back, Red-faced Crimsonwing, Oriole-Finch.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park is accessible from Kasese. All hikes need to be arranged through the Rwenzori Mountain Service ( RMS ), an organisation that works in conjunction with the Ugandan Wildlife Authority to control hiking in the area and to maintain trails and huts.