The Rwenzori Mountains reach heights up to 5,109 meters (16,762 ft). The highest Rwenzori peaks are permanently snow capped.
Trekking the mystic Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda is a truly fantastic and unique experience, the wonder of the high glaciers, the beauty of the valley of nine lakes, the bearded lichen hanging from giant heather with a backdrop of rocky cliffs, crags and snow capped peaks. The wide variety of flora and fauna with several biospheres as you ascend through different vegetation zones creates the ultimate experience for trekking. Never before has this unique and beautiful trek been available, totally untouched and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful treks in the world.
Rwenzori Mountains is the biggest mountain range in Africa located in Uganda and DRC. The snow covered Rwenzori Mountains-also known as the MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON and protected as Rwenzori Mountains National Park which is also a World Heritage Center – will offer you the unique experience you’ve been looking for in Africa. Uganda mountain hiking safaris that lead you up the mist-shrouded peaks provide stunning backdrops to these magnificent mountains, including six main mountains with peaks exceeding 4,500m of altitude Mt. Stanley, Mt. Speke, Mt. Baker, Mt. Gessi (in the Congolese side), and Mt. Emin Pasha, Mt. Luigi di Savoia. They are found along the border between Uganda and DRC, the highest peak is Margherita which is 5,109.
Lying slightly north of the Equator, the Ruwenzori Range has a maximum breadth of 30 miles (50 km) and extends south-north for 80 miles (130 km) between Lake Edward and Lake Albert. The Ruwenzori Range falls steeply westward to the Western Rift Valley, while its descent to the east is more gradual, leading to the uplands of the western part of Uganda. Unlike most African snow peaks, the Ruwenzori is not of volcanic origin but is a gigantic horst of six separate glaciated masses, reaching a high point in Mount Stanley at Margherita Peak (16,795 feet [5,119 m]). The Ruwenzori Range’s largest mountains are separated by passes and deeply cut river valleys that all eventually drain into the Semliki River. Glaciers and small lakes occur in the upper valleys. The permanent snow line stands at about 14,800 feet (4,511 m) on the east and 15,900 feet (4,846 m) on the west. The mountain summits are often hidden in cloud cover, created periodically by moist airstreams from the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Queen Elizabeth (Ruwenzori) National Park (established 1952) is located east of Lake Edward and south of the Ruwenzori Range in southwestern Uganda.
Currently, the best access to the Rwenzori is from Uganda. The Entebbe Airport, on the shores of Lake Victoria, is excellent with frequent connections to Nairobi. It is actually a much more modern airport than Nairobi and may become increasingly prominent if the unrest in Kenya during 2008 continues. There are many hotels available in Entebbe and in Kampala only about half an hour to the north. From Kampala, there are two major routes to the mountain: a northern one through the beautiful town of Fort Portal, then south to Ibanda, and a southern route through Kasese that crosses the equator twice. Each of these takes the better part of a day to reach Ibanda at the foot of the mountains. The roads on the northern route vary from excellent to rough dirt tracks, while those on the southern route are generally good paved surfaces. Sadly when I visited, there was the constant smell of burning forests on the northern route as the once extensive forests are converted by slash and burn agriculture.