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Best Time To Visit Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The Rwenzori mountain National Park in Uganda covers nearly 100,000 ha in western Uganda and comprises the main part of the Rwenzori chain, which includes Africa’s third highest peak (Mount Margherita: Its located along the Uganda Congo boarder . its also known as the mountains of the moon as named by Henry Stanley in 1988 and after this it was placed on the map.
The beauty of this mountain ranges from amazing snow caped peak to the un touched authentic fauna and flora. Most tourist who wish to visit the mountain Rwenzori national park always wonder what’s the most convenient time to visit. well here i present to you the best time, months and seasons which are best for touring the national park basing on ones personal interests.
Rwenzori can be visited throughout the year, whether in the wet season or the dry season . However different activities have different times where the can be best done. The following are the seasons indicating the best time to visit mountain Rwenzori;
The dry season is the best time to visit Mountain Rwenzori. This period favors most activities like , nature walks, cultural Encounter, Hiking and nature walks, Mountain /Volcano climbing, Birding and many more. The wildlife within the Rwenzori National Park is easily seen.
The dry season is most convenient time for tourists who wish to hike the Margherita peak is early in the morning at around 8am when the mist clouds are vailing off the peak hence offering a clearer view of the peaks and glaciers.
Note that the best time to visit Mountain Rwenzori is in the months June to August and from December to February .Tourists frequently visit during these months as the weather is favorable hence its the busiest season of the destination.
The long wet season in Rwenzori start in March and end around May. The short wet months of the year in Rwenzori fall around October to November. Generally, the weather in Rwenzori is unpredictable-it does vary from year to year and at times, rains occur earlier than expected or late. Activities such as bird watching and sight seeing can be carried out as birds are many due to plenty of food in the wet season.
However, it should be noted that African weather is unpredictable hence rain is expected whether in the dry or wet season hence tourists are recommended to always carry hiking boots, rain coats which are water proof ,long sleeved shirts, long trousers, hats, sun glasses etc.
Rwenzori mountains trip is characterized by activities like road trip on the way to the destination, mountain climbing ,hiking, nature walks, good scenery birding , wildlife view and many other’s when looking for the best time to visit the mountain it should depend on ones interests rather than considering the weather as different activities are carried out in different times of the season.
This can be done through a trusted tour operator such as Kubwa5safaris.one may extend his visit to other national parks and tourism areas in western Uganda such as queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park Semuliki wild reserve, Mabere Manyinamwilu in Fortpotal for a greater experience.
Attractions in Mountain Rwenzori National Park
Rwenzori Mountain National Park is a home to large number of approximately 70 mammal species, out of which 6 are endemic to the Albertine rift, 4 to the park while 3 are rare species. There also other rare mammals such as elephants, chimpanzees, the Rwenzori otter as well as Leopards. Although the mammals in the Rwenzori National Park are hard to find, chances are high that the hikers might encounter the black & White Colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, tiny antelopes including brushbacks and unusual reptiles like the three horned chameleon.
MT Rwenzori has an extensive and diverse vegetation zone beautifully classified into 6, from the savannah zone(680m-1800m) through the Afromontane Forest zone, Bamboo Forest Zone, heather/Rapenea Zone, Afro-alpine moorland zones and rocky/glacier zone
The afro-alpine zones is characterized by the emblematic big forms of groundsel and lobelia which is one of the world’s unique botanical communities, which is only found in the mountains beyond 3800m in East Africa.
About 217 bird species inhabit the mount Rwenzori National Park, from which 17 are endemic to the Rwenzori National Park which makes it an important birding area. The forest Zone at comprises of a number of birds like the Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Blue headed Sunbird, Long eared Owl, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Rwenzori Baits, Archers’ Robin chat, White-starred Robin with even the rare Montane sooty Boubou, Greenbuls, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, slender-billed starling, Strange Weaver, not forgetting the Golden winged Sunbird, , barbets, Apalises, Illadopsis, Flycatchers & crimson wings.
Rwenzori snow peak
Rwenzori National Park has 6 ranges, which are located are located a few miles north of the Equator, with the highest peak on Margherita at 5109m then followed by Speke(4890m) & Baker(4890m), each containing snow & glaciers. These peaks can be reached through both routes of the central circuit & the Kirembe trail.
The mountain contains about 20 lakes. Lake Mahoma (at 2651m) along the central circuit can easily be reached, while the Bujuku Lake lies at the Apex of the deep glacier curved Bujuku valley, in the shadow of Mount Stanley, Speke and Baker. In the Nya Mwamba valley, the ascent through the Kirembe trail where the glacial moraine deposited in the man-made dam, which has for a long time formed a string of 8 enjoyable lakes. Several River streams start from the mountain, forming lifelines for a number of plant & animal species in the flat plains and supporting the local communities.
Things To Do On Mountain Rwenzori
Hiking Rwenzori Mountain
Rwenzori Trekking Services offers a variety of trekking and climbing options from one day to twelve days to suit your style of adventure and schedule. The Rwenzori range is a true mountain range with many climbs and descents and making it a tough climb however the scenery and beautiful vegetation are incredible.
Rwenzori National Park is home to around 217 bird species making it a suitable destination for birding enthusiasts. Some of the birds to be seen include the Rwenzori Turaco, long-legged owl, sunbirds, bee-eaters, Robins at higher slopes are the Bearded vultures, Swifts, Black eagles and many others.
Mountain Rwenzori National Park is an enchanting destination is well known for unique botany with distinct vegetation zones i.e. moorland, bamboo, colorful mosses, huge tree- heathers and rich moist montane forest which blanket the slopes of the mountain at a different altitude and this favors nature walks.
Rwenzori National park has a strong cultural and spiritual attachment with the Bakonzo & the Bemba people. The Bakonzo believe that, right from the old days, they have always regarded the MT Rwenzori, as a repository of many blessing to their social-economic well being. As such, the mountains constituted a form of reserve long before the colonial period. The cultural significance of the mountains is demonstrated by the traditional rituals performed within the park which includes the construction of the hunters shrines for animal sacrifices, ceremonies for exorcism of the evil spirits, and human burials among others.
The Bakonzo tribes, as well as the Bambi believe that when a person dies in the Rwenzori mountain, their bodies must not be brought back to their people, but rather be burred there .Not only that! The Bakonzo also believe that the snow ice (also called the “Nzururu”) is the Fathered of the Bakonzo deities, with “Kitasamba” and “Nyabibuya” are always responsible for all people who are in the mountain Rwenzori , the communities, & its welfare
Are you a mountain photographer and you are interested in Photography Safaris on Mountain Rwenzori. Yes, it is possible to hike and take photographs of the summit of Mountain Rwenzori Peak at 5109 meters above sea level. MT Rwenzori favor’s photography especially for birders , gorilla tracking etc.
Accommodation Facilities in Mountain Rwenzori
Ruboni community camp;
Located on a hillside next to the main gate of the MT Rwenzori , this camp been an innovator in community tourism within the local area. The camp is fully owned and operated by the Bakonzo community who have lived in the foothills of the Rwenzori’s for over 300 years. Although the camp is ideal for mountaineers, it is also an exciting environment for travelers who want to take their adventures at a leisurely pace. The camp offers a range of activities which will immerse you with nature and culture of the Rwenzori’s, including a traditional dance performance and an overnight hill walk.
Rwenzori trekkers hostel;
Located in Kyanjuki village, Kirembe, Trekkers Hostel is just 12km from Kasese. The hostel is the most popular place to begin and end a trek, and it offers spectacular views of the Nya Mwamba river and the Rwenzori . Situated at 1,450m, the renovated copper mine has a lovely, cool climate even in January and February. The hostel provides a range of accommodation options, including camping, dormitories, single rooms, and double rooms.
How to Access Mountain Rwenzori
The nearest built-up area to the Rwenzori Mountain is the city of Kasese. You can access the mountain by both air and road transport.
When using air transport, you can also get to Mountain Rwenzori in Kasese by flight from Entebbe. The flights depart Entebbe at 7am and 12:30pm daily, and line up well with hike departures. The return flight leaves Kasese at 10:45am and 2:45pm daily. The flight time is about 1 hour.
This is the only route road from Entebbe/Kampala, via Fort Portal takes 6-8 hours. Its an amazing journey filled of sightseeing. You will enjoy wonderful scenic environments before you get to the mountain.
It’s also possible to reach the mountains by public bus from Kampala. The bus departs from Kampala city center every hour and costs approximately 50,000 UGX . We recommend Link Bus or Kalita Transporters bus. From Kasese, you can hire a taxi to Kirembe for ~40,000 UGX. Total transfer time is around 10 hours.
If you book with us, all transfers can be arranged for you.
Treks in the Rwenzori’s begin at Trekkers Hostel Kirembe (also known as Rwenzori Backpackers Hostel Kyanjuki). The treks begin with an 8:00am briefing from the guides. The hostel is 12km from Kasese (30-40 minutes by road). If coming up from queen Elizabeth np, the journey takes about an hour. Bwindi Impenetrable np in the south-west corner of Uganda (home to the mountain gorillas) is about a six-hour drive.
Frequently asked questions about Mt Rwenzori national park
after conducting research, formulated the most frequently asked questions by tourist that I think might be of your help and they include the following
- How long does it take to climb mountain Rwenzori?
one may ask himself how long it takes to climb MT Rwenzori. well Rwenzori Central Circuit Route It’s the shortest trek to reach to the peak of the mountain in the mountains of Rwenzori. Though there can be some variations on the route, the trail will take typically 6-7 days to reach the peak and descend back.
- How much does it cost to climb Mt Rwenzori?
- How much is entrance to MT Rwenzori national park?
- How cold is MT Rwenzori?
- Which district is Mt Rwenzori located in Uganda?
- Which lake is found on top of MT Rwenzori
Lake Bujuku is located in Kasese district, in Western Region of Uganda and it is found between the ranges Mountain Rwenzori, approximately 5 hour drive from Kampala, the capital.
- What animals are in the Rwenzori Mountain National Park?
The park’s wildlife varies with elevation, and its species include the forest elephant, chimpanzee, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, Lhotse’s monkeys, Ruwenzori duiker, and Rwenzori turaco.
- Which tribe live on Mountain Rwenzori?
The Bakonzo, though currently known as the Rwenzori Mountain national Park’s Native tribe, they are believed to have originated from Congo, in the past 300 years ago. They are now 800000 Bakonzo individuals scattered all over Uganda.
- How much is the entrance fee for Rwenzori Mountain National Park?
- What’s the best time for Rwenzori mountains trekking?
- what to carry while hiking Rwenzori mountain
Sleeping Bag. Nights in Rwenzori are very cold and any investment in a quality sleeping bag is worth it. Large duffle bag, Day bag (backpack),T-shirts, Ski Jacket, Trekking Pants, Several pairs of socks ,Poncho.