At 5,109 m, the Rwenzori Mountains contain the third highest mountain in Africa next to Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The mountain range consists of six massifs divided by profound gorges. They offer spectacular views of glaciers, snow-capped peaks, V-shaped valleys, rivers, waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, unique flora, various wildlife, and endangered species. Definitely worth the visit, this mountain range is sometimes known as the “mountains of the moon” as mist often lies over the rugged landscape of these magnificent hills making them highly visible from far away. The majority of the mountain range is now considered a World Heritage Site and is also covered by the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda and the Parc National des Virunga in Congo.
Due to its high elevation, humidity, and frequent rainfalls, the Rwenzori Mountains provide the perfect environment for many flora and fauna to truly flourish, reaching unusually large sizes. Some vegetation you are bound to encounter are giant groundsels, heathers, and lobelias. These plants are known as “Africa’s botanical big game”. The vegetation will change as one enters the five different vegetation zones found in the mountains, namely: grasslands, montane forest, bamboo or mimulopsis zone, heather or Rapanea zone, and lastly the afro-alpine moorland zone. In regard to fauna, the mountain range is home to roughly 220 different bird species and a number of endangered species such as forest elephants, l’Hoest’s monkey, eastern chimpanzees, and black-fronted or red dulker. Other animals that call this beautiful region home are leopards, bushbuck, giant forest hog, and buffalo.
This mountain range is perfect for the avid hiker and mountaineering visitors providing a picturesque environment with varied levels of difficulty.