Mount Rwenzori national park is located in kasese in the western part of Uganda. The national park is sometimes called the mountain of the moon and was gazetted in 1991. The national park has an area cover of 996 square kilometers and it’s popular for its amazing plant life as well as the highest peak. The national park is a home to 70 mammals and over 217 bird species which include 19 albertine rift natives. The national park has attractions as well as activities that are carried out by tourists while on a Uganda safari.
ATTRACTIONS IN MOUNT RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK
The national park is a home to 70 mammal species where 6 species are natives to albertine rift and 4 species that are endemic to the park and the 3 rare species. Mammals include elephants, leopards, rwenzori otter and chimpanzees. Therefore while on a safari to the national park one can look out for primates such as black and white monkeys, blue monkeys as well as bushbucks and reptiles such as the three horned chameleon.
The national park is known for its diverse and amazing flora rather than fauna. For the hikers who follow the rwenzori route pass through the altitudinal vegetation zones such as from the tropical rainforest to the tree heathers, montane forest, afro-alpine and bamboo. The afro-pine is characterized by the emblematic bagworms of senecio and lobelia which is a unique botanical community that is found in the mountains above 3800m.
The national park is a home to over 217 bird species where 17 species are endemic to the mountain which makes it an important birding area. Birds such as handsome francolin, barred long-tailed cuckoo, blue-headed sunbird, long-eared owl, apalises, greenbuls, strange weaver and flycatchers among others.
EQUATORIAL SNOW PEAKS
The national park comprises of six peaks and are found in the north of the equator the highest being Mount Stanley. Others include Speke, and baker which all have permanent snow and glaciers. The snow peaks can be reached by hikers through the central circuit and kilembe trails.
The national park has over 20lakes which can be spotted while on a Uganda safari. The most accessible one being lake Mahoma, lake Bujuku that lies at the apex of the deep, glacier caved Bujuku valley in the shadows of Mount Stanley, Baker and Speke.
These are located in the southeastern foot of the Rwenzori Mountains and it’s the trail head that is used by hikers to the high peaks. It’s as well the beginning point for the nature walks in the hills and bird treks and walks through the traditional homesteads of the local bakonzo community.
BULEMBA BULEMBA HOUSES
The houses are of a historical importance to the bakonzo because it’s where the remains of the rwenzururu kingdom were placed. The leader by names of Isaiah Mukirania Kibanzanga who was believed to have been significant in saving the bakonzo from the Toro oppression. Therefore on every 2nd September the bakonzo convene and attend pilgrimage to the sacred site where they make sacrifices in memory of their great king
ACTIVITIES IN MOUNT RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK
The national park is a home to over 217 bird species which gives an opportunity to the tourists to spot a number of birds while on a Uganda safari. The birding activity is mainly carried out in the montane forest. These include; bee-eaters, sunbirds, rwenzori turaco, long-eared owl, bearded vulture, robins and black eagles among others.
While on a nature walk in the rwenzori national park, tourists pass through the amazing features such as Lake Mahoma, Buraro chimp forest, karangura ridge and the local community of kichwamba. These nature walks usually take place in the kilembe and central circuit. While on a nature walk, you will spot the snowcapped peaks, river mobuku and wildlife such as elephants, vervet monkeys and bird species such as barred long-tailed cuckoo, handsome francolin, cinnamon-chested bee-eater and Archer’s robin-chat.
Mount climbing on mountain rwenzori is the most adventurous and interesting hike while on a Uganda Hiking safari. The hike takes you to the 6 peaks where you will spot lakes, vegetation and animals. While on the hike you will use two demarcated trails that lead to the mysteries of the park. The trails used are the central circuit which takes 7 days and the kilembe trail which ascends from the south slopes of Rwenzori Mountain.
The national park is surrounded by many local ethnic tribes such as bakonjo, bamba who demonstrate their way of life. While on a safari there are trails followed such as Bulemba-Ihandiro cultural trail where you will get to visit the traditional healer muhima, basket weaving, traditional fire making, black smiting as well as the kamusonga river.