You will enjoy Ruwenzori Mountains National Park if you're seeking an exciting hiking safari in Africa.

Unlike many mountain hiking safaris, the Mountains of the Moon will offer you one of the most daring mountain climbling experiences in Africa along with a thrillling view of Ugandan Wildlife.

Ruwenzori Mountain National Park

In this guide you will find Tips and information that will help you plan that memorable mountaineering vacation to the Rwenzori Mountains.

You will find


The Ruwenzori is the highest mountain range in Africa with its loftiest peaks Margherita (5,109m) & Alexandra (5,083m) on Mount Stanley.

Rwenzori mountains are unique in that even though they arose from the Rift Valley floor like Mount Kilimanjaro & Mount Kenya, they are not volcanic in origin like their counterparts.

This Ruwenzori mountains National Park covers 996 km sq and it protects the upper slopes of the mountains which run for almost 120km along the Uganda - Congolese border west of Kasese and Fort portal.

If you thought that the only reason you will go to the Ruwenzoris is mountain climbing and hiking then you've got it wrong!

Getting there and away!

The Nyakalengia trailhead is 22km northwest of Kasese.

The Ruwenzori Mountains National Park (RMNP) is sign posted off the tarmac Fort Portal highway about 7-8km out of Kasese by an electric substation between the road bridges over the Mubuku and Sebwe rivers.

You can arrange your transport through the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS) or by a private taxi at UGX 30,000-35,000 (USD 15-18) one way party.

Interesting Creatures in the Ruwenzori Mountains National Park

The beautiful Ruwenzori Mountains National park supports a diversity of fauna including mammals & bird species.

Like other large East African mountains, the Rwenzori range can be divided into several altitude zones, each with its own distinct microclimate, flora & fauna.

The forest zone starts at around 1,800m and it has the most varied fauna.

You will be able to see

  • The Colobus & blue monkeys,

  • Ruwenzori Colobus Monkey

  • Other large mammals like elephants,

  • The Giant forest hog,

  • The yellow-backed duiker,

  • And the chimpanzee.

Ruwenzori Mountains National Park is also a home to a diversity of birds including

  • The Rwenzori turaco,

  • The long eared owl,

  • The handsome francolin,

  • The different species of sun birds,

  • The cinnamon chested bee- eater,

  • Several varieties of barbet,

  • The Archer’s ground robin,

  • The white-starred forest robin,

  • The flycatcher

  • And the greenbul.

If you are in this area at night you won’t miss out the distinctive & eerie call of the southern tree hyrax.

Above an altitude of about 2,500 meters,in Ruwenzori Mountains National Park, you find the true forest giving way to dense bamboo forest stands and at about 3000-4500meters, there is open vegetation of the heather & Alpine zone.

You will find the forests of giant heather plants & giant lobelias groundsel up to 10m high.

Mammals are scarce above the forest zone, but the're few birds in this zone worth looking out for like:

  • The black Eagle which you will occasionally see soaring overhead,
  • The Black Eagle in Africa

  • The lammergeyer (bearded vulture)
  • And the scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird.

Climbing the mountain?

You will find a good network of trails and huts on the Ruwenzori mountains national park.

The general rule is that you should avoid the peaks if you're not an experienced mountain climber.

Most Uganda tourists therefore stick to the Loop Trail which takes six to seven days and reaches an altitude of 4,372m.

You also have the option of taking a shorter three day hike through the forested foothills into the moorland zone

Your third option, when you want to spend longer on the mountain, is to divert from the main loop to some of the peaks.

The cost of a seven-day, six night hike along the Central Circuit loop trail is fixed at USD 500 per person for non- residents and USD 460per person for East African residents.

You will pay this fee to the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS).

The price includes

  • Hut fees,
  • A guide and
  • Four porters per person.


The above fee is exclusive of park entrance, payable to the national park office.

The park entrace fee is set at USD 25 per day, bringing the cost of the standard circuit at USD 675.

The Rwenzori Mountaineering Services can arrange prices for shorter and longer hike durations as required.

How to make Hiking Arrangements?

All hiking arrangements must eventually go through the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS).

You may either book directly through their offices in Kasese or

Through the Uganda Wildlife Authority headquarters in Kampala.

Alternatively, you can book your hike through one of the local Uganda tour operators.

Tips on Mountain Health.

Do not attempt to climb the Rwenzori unless you are reasonably fit.

Bear in mind that even if you are fit, some people are more prone to altitude sickness because they ascend too fast.


We can't stress it enough that you require above-average fitness and stamina before darring to hike in the Ruwenzori Mountains!

This is largely due to the muddy condition of the Rwenzori trails!

In some parts you might literally have to walk through waist-high mud.

Most people regard the Rwenzori Loop Trail to be a tougher hike than the ascents of either Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Kenya.

So if you think you are fit & adventurous, you are welcome to the pearl of Africa to hike the great Rwenzori.

Clothes & equipment you need.

It is very essential that you prepare yourself with proper cloths before exploring the Rwenzori mountain.

Cold & wet conditions are normal on the mountain; and therefore you will need plenty of warm cloths for the nights.

The rainy season is from April to mid June & October to early December but you should be prepared for rain at all times of the year.

The paths are incredibly muddy after it rains and in some parts it becomes knee deep particularly around the Lake Bujuku, Bigo Bogs & on some parts of the trail between Kitandara and Guy Yeoman huts.

We therefore advise you to wear

  • Gumboots
  • A water proof jacket
  • and Water proof trousers.

Before you climb , you need to waterproof your cloths & matches.

Most of the hiking & climbing equipment you need could be hired from Ruwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS), this also includes the Maps & guides.

Return from The Ruwenzori Mountains National Park Guide to The Uganda Tourism Business Guide.



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