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Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is located in southwestern Uganda on the east side of the western (Albertine) African rift valley. It lies along Uganda's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and borders the DRC's Virunga National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park was established in 1991. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 because of its outstanding natural beauty. The park has Africa's third highest mountain peak and many waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers. The park is known for its beautiful plant life.

This park comprises most of the central and eastern half of the Rwenzori Mountains. The Rwenzori Mountain is the highest mountain range in Africa and it's the third highest mountain peak in Africa, 6 glacial peaks: Mount Speke, Mount Stanley, Mount Gessi, Mount Emin Pasha, Mount Luigi da Savoia as well as Mount Baker. The main peaks can be probably compared to those of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The park has glaciers, snowfields, waterfalls, and lakes and is one of Africa's most beautiful mountain areas. This park hosts an estimate of 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world's rarest vegetation

The Rwenzori also famous as the Mountains of the Moon – lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and "everlasting flowers", creating an enchanting, fairy tale scene. The Rwenzoris are a world class hiking and mountaineering destination. A nine - to - twelve day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita, the highest peak,though shorter.
Rwenzori Mountains hosts a variety of creatures ranging from chameleons, butterflies, birds, flowers, waterfalls, rivers, creator lakes etc. The creatures' best explain the beauty of this Park. It's one of the top Parks in Africa with largest number of attractions. In addition, Rwenzori mountain national park has got 60 of 86 afro tropical highland biome species second to Bwindi impenetrable forest. These include; Rwenzori Turaco, the Bamboo Warbler, Golden Winged sun bird, Scarlet tufted malachite Sun bird as well as Stuhlmann's double collared olive back.

Equetorial Snow Peaks

The high Rwenzori comprises six distinct mountains. Although located just miles north of the equator, the highest of these - Mounts Stanley (5,109 m), Speke (4,890 m) and Baker (4,843 m) - all bear permanent snow and glaciers. The snow peaks can be reached by hiking the Central Circuit and Kilembe Trails.
Ruboni, found at the southeastern foot of the Rwenzori Mountains, is the trail head for the seven-day Central Circuit to the high peaks. It is also the starting point for hill walks, bird and nature treks and walks through the traditional homesteads of the local Bakonzo community

Vegetation in Rwenzori Mountains

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is known for its distinctive flora rather than its fauna. On the route to the peaks, hikers climb through a series of distinct altitudinal vegetation zones; montane forest, bamboo, tree heathers and afro-alpine.
The latter, with its emblematic giant forms of Senecio (groundsel) and lobelia, is one of the world's rarest botanical communities, being limited to East African mountains above 3800m.

Wildlife in Rwenzori Mountains

The park is home to 70 species of mammal, including six Albertine Rift endemics; four are endemic to the park and three are rare species. Other mammals include the elephant, chimpanzee, Rwenzori otter and leopard. Though wildlife is difficult to spot in the dense forest, do look out for primates such as colobus (Angola and black-and-white varieties are both present) and blue monkeys; small antelope such as bush bucks; and unusual reptiles such as the three-horned chameleon.

Birding in Rwenzori Mountains

The park is home to 217 bird species including several Albertine Rift endemics. Among these are 17 species that are endemic to the park making Rwenzori an important birding area (IBA). The forest zone at 1800 m contains a diversity of birds including the Rwenzori Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Long-eared Owl, Handsome Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Archers' Robin-chat, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Lagden's Bush Shrike, Slender-billed Starling, Blue-headed Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, Strange Weaver and several varieties of Barbets, Greenbuls, Apalises, IIladopsis, Flycatchers and Crimsonwings