The Ruwenzori mountains also are known as Ruwenzori mountains or mountains of the moon are situated in central equatorial east Africa bordering Congo and Uganda, the mountains are believed to be the source of the Nile and support glaciers.
The Rwenzori Mountains are characterized by tropical rainforests, alpine meadows, giant groundsel, giant Lobelia, heather zone, bamboo zone, nival zone, and snow. The Rwenzori Mountains have undergone an impact climate change in that in 1906 the mountains had 43 glaciers distributed to six mountains with a total area of 7 kilometers but by 2005 less than half of these glaciers were still present.
Rwenzori mountains range about 120 kilometers in length and 65 kilometers wide with highest peaks being Mount Stanley at 5,109 meters above sea level with Margherita peak being the highest point, mount Speke at 4,890 metres, Mount Baker at 4,843 metres, mount Emin at 4, 798 metres and mount Gessi at 4, 715 metres, and mount Luigi di Savoia at 4,627 metres above sea level.
The majestic Rwenzori Mountains are 5,109 meters high above sea level. The mountains were formed as a result of an uplifted block of crystalline rocks during Pliocene epoch; the uplift resulted to the formation of African great lakes that is Lake Albert, Lake George, and Lake Edward.
The first traverse of the Rwenzori mountains was done by Polish climbers Janusz Chalecki, Stanisław Cholewa and Leszek Czarnecki, with Mirosław Kuraś accompanying them on the last half of the traverse in 1975, the climb started on the 27th of February and ended on the 13th of February.
Rwenzori mountains can be climbed from Virunga national park in Congo. Virunga national park was made a world heritage site in 1979 and it harbors the endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, chimpanzees, forest elephants, buffalos, Kobs, lions and so much more. The Rwenzori Mountains shelter a range of wild species at its foothills and some of these include forest elephants, chimpanzees, Okapi and more.
Hiking the Rwenzori Mountains in Congo
The Rwenzori mountain hike starts from Mutsora point at the Virunga national park, the hike starts through Mutwangato Kyadonlire then spend a night at Kalonge the first stopover the hut. The second day is strenuous as you hike through 1,500 meters high on a top hill and spend a night at Mahangu hut.
The next day tourist’s hike to 4,303 meters above sea level through moss covered tree trunks and roots to Kiondu hut with very spectacular views of the valleys and the mountain top, the hike continues to Wasuwameso at 4,462 meters. Wasuwameso needs typically technical skills and fitness but the hustle is worth as you get breathtaking views of Margherita peak, Lake vert, Stanley plateau, Lake Noir, Alexandra peak and the glaciers.µ
The next day you will continue to Moraine hut crossing through a very deep abyss, you can continue to Margherita peak with the enormous views of lake Gris. You can descend the next day passing through various points of the previous days and camping until you arrive at the slopes.
When hiking the Rwenzori Mountains, tourists can sleep in various accommodations at Virunga national park like Tchegera tented camp, Mikeno lodge, Kibumba tented camp, and many others.
The best time to visit the Rwenzori Mountains is in the dry season from June to August when the weather is dry and provides excellent views, visiting in the wet season is not advisable as the trails become slippery and weather unfavorable. Tourists planning to hike mount Rwenzori should carry good hiking water proof boost, rain jackets, insect repellents, sun screens, warm clothing, energy snacks, drinking water, binoculars and so much more. potters are also available to help tourists with luggage.