Mountains of the Moon.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park’s remarkable landscape is bisected by the Uganda –Congo boundary which passes through Mt. Stanley the highest peak, The Congo side is also protected by the Virunga National Park. In 150 AD the Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy wrote of a snow capped mountain range, deep in the heart of Africa that he claimed was the source of the Nile which he called the Mountains of the Moon. In 1889 Henry Morton Stanley emerged from Central Africa to announce that such mountains exist, and in due course, started to explore Ptolemy’s Mountains of the Moon.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park today is remarkable for its flora rather than fauna. Elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog, bushbuck, chimpanzee and leopard are present but are rarely seen. However primates such as black and white colobus and the blue monkey may be seen, as well as the hyrax.

An ascent of the mountain passes through a series of dramatic vegetation zones from the montane forest (1500-2500m) then it gives way to the bamboo stands and messy tangles of Mimulposis (2500-3000m). This is followed by the lovely Heather-Rapenea zone (3000-4000m) which is characterized by giant tree-heathers, giant lobelia and groundsels. The Alpine zone (3800-4500m) has pretty thickets of Helichrysum or everlasting flowers. The Bigo Bogs in the upper Bujuku valley are colonized by tussocks of sedge.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is home to 241 bird species of which 19 are endemic to the mountain. There are several birds which are limited to just a few forests along the Albertine Rift are found here notably the Rwenzori Turaco and the Malachite Sunbird in the Alpine zone.

The climb up Rwenzori Mountain can be made with a walk through the valleys of the major peaks in the central circuit where you enjoy their magnificent setting or to scale three of the major peaks of Stanley, Speke and Baker. With point Margherita 5109m being the summit of the Range.