Activities in Mount Rwenzori National Park in Uganda

Activities in Mount Rwenzori National Park in Uganda: Mount Rwenzori national park lies in western Uganda along the Congo border. The national park gets its name from Rwenzori Mountain, also known as “Mountains of the Moon”. 

Activities in Mount Rwenzori National Park in Uganda

Rwenzori Mountains national park was gazetted in 1991 and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. The national park covers 996 square kilometers making it among the smallest national parks in Uganda.

The national park is home to 70 mammal species, 217 species of birds including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation. Rwenzori Mountain is made up of six glacial peaks namely; Speke, Stanley, Gessi, Baker, Emin Pasha and Luigi di Savoia. The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination.

Activities in Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

Visitors interested in visiting the national park can engage in a number of activities such as;

Mountain/ Volcano  Climbing:

Mountain or rather volcano climbing is the main activity offered to visitors in Rwenzori Mountains national park.  It is one of the highest mountains in Africa and a nine day hike will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita which is the highest peak. There are also shorter, non-technical treks for visitors looking to scale the surrounding peaks.  There are two hiking trails in the park, which include;

  • The central circuit trail which starts at the Mubuku River, which ascends a steep ridge of glacial moraine to Nyabitaba Hut, and ends Margherita peak. Hikers using this trail will take 7 days to reach the summit. The snow-capped mountain peaks mark the highlight of any mountaineering activity on the mountain.
  • Kilembe Trail; This trail begins from Kilembe near Kasese town which located in the southern part of the national park. This trail takes hikers through the glacial lakes, Nyamwamba Valley and joins the central circuit at Lake Kitandara. Hikers using this trail will be able to explore the three highest peaks, vegetation cover, plant species and sight some wildlife.


Birding opportunities in Rwenzori Mountains national park are best done in the montane forest.  Among some of the bird species sighted in the park include Bee-eaters, robins, barbets, Rwenzori Blue Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Golden winged sunbird, the Western green tinker bird and so many more. Other bird species to look out for include the Long-eared Owl, Bearded Vultures, Swifts and Black Eagles among others.

Guided Nature Walks:

The communities of Ruboni and Turaco View offer visitors guided forest walks of various lengths just outside the park. Visitors can also follow the River Mubuku and glimpse views of Baker and Portal Peaks as you hike up 2300 meters above sea level.  On a clear day, hikers can view the snow -capped Margherita Peak which is a very spectacular sight. The real appeal of Rwenzori lies, arguably, not in the joy of reaching the top, but in the opportunity to hike through superb mountain scenery enlivened by equatorial snow and outlandish vegetation. Bearing this in mind, shorter to lesser peaks is becoming increasingly popular amongst hikers in the park. Some of the popular hiking destinations are found along the Kilembe trail, and include the 4627m Mount Luigi da Savoia which offers hikers with stunning views of the afro-alpine vegetation, patches of equatorial snow and glaciers.  The Nyakalengija Trailhead offers a two day hike to the scenic Lake Mahoma in the bamboo forest. There is also the Kazinga trail that offers hikers a day long traverse of the north Rwenzori ridge between the Fort Portal plateau and Bundibugyo town in the Semliki Valley on the western side of the mountain. Hikers should look out for the three-horned chameleon and Rwenzori colobus monkey.

Cultural Encounters

Cultural encounters at Rwenzori Mountains national park will give you the opportunity to have in-person encounters with the friendly locals living in communities near the park. Visitors can take community cultural tours to Ruboni village which is home to over 2000 Bakonzo. This farming village is located at the foothills of Rwenzori Mountains. Tourists visiting the village are welcomed with joyful folk songs and dances from the local dance troupes, giving visitors a taste of their unique culture.

Accommodation in Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

If you are looking  to spend a day or more in the park, try booking accommodation in the following places; Ruboni Community Camp, Ruboni Turaco View Camp, GeoLodges Equator Snow, Rwenzori Mountains Safari Lodge and Trekkers Hostel.

How to Get to Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

The national park can be accessed by air transport where you can book a chartered flight from Entebbe airport to Kasese Airfield and later connect by road to the park.

The park can also be accessed by road where you use public means or a private vehicle from Kampala via Fort Portal to the park or from Kampala via Mbarara and Kasese then connect to Rwenzori Mountains national park which takes 4 to 5 hours.

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