The Rwenzori Mountains National Park was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. Also, this Uganda’s distinguished national park was declared to be among the best places to hike in the world by the world geographic. The Rwenzori Mountains National Park is popularly known for the type of mountains it has. In fact, this national park has the highest mountain ranges in Africa.
The word Rwenzori can be translated as “rainmaker” or “cloud-king,” and unlike most mountains in East Africa, Rwenzori is not volcanic. Hiking across the mountains in this national park includes walking across different types of vegetation such as montane forest, bamboo forest, tree heath, hagenia-rapanea scrub, and afro-alpine moorland.
This park occupies an area of about 996 km2 and is located in western Uganda, which is a 6-hour drive from Kampala. The highest point of the national park is 5109m above sea level on Mt Stanley’s Margherita Peak, and it happens to be the third-highest in Africa.
In terms of wildlife, there are over 70 mammal species that can be found in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, and some of them include Elephants, giant forest hog, Rwenzori Otter, duikers, bushbucks and Leopard. Also, there are over 177 bird species that can be found in this park.
One of the significant activities that attract a lot of tourists to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park is the mountain hiking experience that it offers. A hike into the Rwenzori Mountains can be filled with excitement and can be an exhilarating experience. But tourists are advised to embark on this hike being prepared as even experienced hikers can get affected by the mountain conditions. There are various starting points for mountain hikers.
During this hike, tourists can spot birds of different species. Also, items to carry when going on this hike include a sleeping bag, warm clothing, raincoat, waterproof over trousers, plastic bags for wet clothing, and plenty of snacks.
Tourists can get to have a perfect view of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park by engaging in a nature hike. A hike like this in the national park can get the tourist to see beautiful areas of the park and other animals. Tourists can get a first-hand view of the highest peak in the park and also get to see animals such as Vervet monkeys, chameleons, and many spectacular birds while hiking.
Another exciting tourist activity in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park involves bird spotting and watching. With over 177 bird species including Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared owl, Archers’ Robin-chat, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Blue-headed, and Golden-winged Sunbird, white-starred Robin, Slender-billed Starling, and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, this park is rated as one of the best places to see birds in Uganda.
The best spot to see a lot of birds is the montane forest.
Tourists can get to explore the tradition and culture of the settlers in the Rwenzori region. Tourists can get to see how they prepare their meals, weave baskets, and other cultural activities. Tourists can also hear tales and stories that regards the tradition of the people. This experience is a fascinating one.
Being prepared with cameras, thick clothing, snacks, water, and other necessities is the only way to get the best out of every activity to engage in while at the park. This national park is one of the reasons to visit Uganda.