It is so wonderful travelling off the beaten track. One sure way to do this is to make sure you visit the Rwenzori Mountains during your trip to Uganda. Many people travelling to Uganda end at visiting the Rwenzori region without actually visiting the Rwenzori Mountains and miss the charm of Uganda by just an inch. Rwenzori Mountain is one of the major landmarks of east and central Africa. This mountain that is 120km long and 48km wide is a natural mother to the entire cross boundary region across Uganda and Congo. Being the highest block mountain on the African continent, the areas influenced by this mountain includes some of the most popular national parks of Uganda including Queen Elizabeth national park and Kibale forest national, part of virunga national park and other parts of eastern Congo.
Some other theories say, Rwenzori Mountain is the natural source of the Nile River. Further elaboration to this theory suggest that, the Rwenzori glaciers provide the waters through the rivers in Congo and Uganda which rivers fill the lakes, Victoria, George, Edward and Albert which supply water to the river Nile through the different points. River Nile is known to start from Lake Victoria in Jinja, where rafting and bungee jumping is done. It is unfair visiting Uganda to enjoy her natural beauty yet go back without experiencing the natural mother of all these beauties.
Besides the national parks, water sources and other ecosystems, Rwenzori Mountains influences a big range of cultures living near these ecosystems. This rich culture and wildlife is what gives uniqueness and value to your travel and safari experience within the Rwenzori region. Visiting these national parks and making all sorts of wildlife tours and safaris, without visiting the Rwenzori Mountains therefore, is the reason we feel you will likely take an incomplete story. This post is partly to help and encourage you to visit the actual Rwenzori Mountains during your trip. You can visit the foothills or mountains without affecting your safari plans. The Rwenzori mountain experience can be included to your trip by allocating a minimum of one day and night to your plan of visiting Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale forest national park, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Semulik national park or even Murchison falls national park. In one day, you can take one of the community tours hiking up to 2400m above sea level or take the nature walk to the first camp of Rwenzori Mountains at 2632m above sea level. Other activities you can participate in include the village tours, cultural dance experiences, and homestay experiences, forest walks in the jungle neighboring the park or just staying around to interact with the local community living on the Rwenzori foothills. For those interested in the high mountains, you can make a seven to eight days trek that takes you up to 5.109m above sea level on the margarita peak, the highest point of Rwenzori mountains, Uganda.
This is how it works. The trip to the Rwenzori mountain either starts from the northern part; Murchison falls, Fort portal, Kibale national park or Kampala for those using Mubende – Fort portal road, or from the south; Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Lake Bunyonyi Kabale, Mgahinga national park, Rwanda, lake Mburo national park, Queen Elizabeth National park or from Kampala, for those using the Masaka – Mbarara – Kasese road. On either of these routes, from one of the mentioned park and locations, one wishing to include Rwenzori Mountains on their trip only needs to add 17km drive off the Kasese – Fort portal road to reach the Rwenzori gateway. This gateway is located on Nyakalengija gate of Rwenzori mountains national park. You branch off at Nkenda Electric terminal (locally called Kisanyarazi), 10km from Kasese town or 65km from fort portal on Kasese fort portal road. Follow the sign of Rwenzori mountains national park. Nyakalengijo gate way is where the central circuit and mahoma trails start. This is the best and easiest trail to access the High peaks of Rwenzori Mountains. The gateway is also beautifully located bellow the portal peaks with scenic views from the community lodges ad accommodations. The community is rich with small animals, and rich culture of the Bakonzo people who will show you around the foothills during the village walks or take you to the high mountains.
We shall be happy to provide the itinerary to guide you on the time and activities you can do at the gateway to explore the Rwenzori mountains. At the end of the trip you will have whole experience of Uganda and Rwenzori.
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