The Rwenzori Mountains is an afro-alpine realm of luxuriant forests which feature the most extensive stands of alpine ‘big game’ plants in East Africa (such as giant groundsels and 7 metre-high powder-blue lobelia). This park features jagged peaks, alpine lakes and huge stands of aromatic evergreen Podocarpus trees, below which grow giant ferns, wild ginger, hibiscus, begonias, balsams and arum lilies.
Walking the quiet trails you may see black-fronted duiker, bush pig and giant forest hog – you may even see giant earthworms in shades of pink and green, some of which stretch to 45cm in length.
The forest bird-watching, meanwhile, is excellent. The park also offers the ideal environment for both experienced climbers and casual trekkers.
Area: 996 sq km
Location: Western Rift Valley at Uganda’s border with Zaire.
Altitude: To 5, 109 metres.
Physical features: Six peaks carrying permanent snow, three with glaciers Trails provide excellent hiking possibilities through the afro-alpine areas, traversing mountain streams and circling a number of lakes.
Vegetation: Giant tree heathers, blackberry, everlasting flowers, giant lobelia, giant groundsel and a number of other plants unique to afro alpine areas.
Fauna: Primates predominate including chimpanzee, Ruwenzori colobus, black and white colobus and blue monkey. Other mammals include elephant, bushbuck, giant forest hog, hyrax and leopard.
Birds: 195 species have been recorded including the endemic Rwenzori turaco and 20 species of sunbird.