Mountain Ruwenzori are a range of mountains sandwiched in eastern equatorial Africa, on the border between Uganda and the Democratic republic of Congo. It was named the mountains of the moon by geographer Alexandrine Ptolemy around the 2 nd century.
Mountain Rwenzori was established as one of Africa’s great mountaineering adventures after Henry Stanley’s 1888 visit of the mountain. Mountain Rwenzori is a UNESCO world heritage site listed as an area of exceptional natural beauty and depicted in antiquity as the source of the Nile by Diogenes, an Arabian sailor.
The mountains rise slightly north of the equator with a breadth of 30 miles and extends south between lake Edward and lake albert. Rwenzori bears six distinct mountains, Mt Stanley (5109m), mt speke (4980m), mt Baker (4883m), mt Emin (4797m), mt Gessi (4715m) and mt Luigi da Savior da Savior (4627m)
The descent to its east is more gradual to the uplands of western Uganda, the mountain is a bloke or fault mountain because it was not formed of a volcanic origin but instead a gigantic horst of six separated glaciated masses.
History has it that the fabled mountains of the moon were formed about 3 million years ago in the late Pliocene and they nearly cover 100,000 ha.
The Rwenzori ranges are separated by deeply cut river valleys that usually drain in to semliki river. Glaciers and small crater lake occur on the upper peak and the mountains upper region are permanently snow capped and glaciated.
Mountain Rwenzori is the 3 rd highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. Mount stanley is the highest point on mountain Rwenzori (5,109) meters above the sea level. Rwenzori vegetation ranges from tropical rain forest through alpine meadows to glaciated masses, reaching a high point in Mount Stanley at margherita peak (16,795 feet) (5,119m) People may have heard about Rwenzori as the best botanical big game (Rwenzori mountain national park), home to 9 reptile species, 6 amphibian species, 18 mammal species and 217 bird species that have been recorded including the Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori batis among others but it’s also economically important for mining copper and cobalt at kilembe.
The mountain slopes have been cultivated for centuries by the bakonzo people, gathering fire wood, farming on the foot hills and hunting from the surrounding forest.
The bakonzo people also have a belief that the mountain top is of spiritual importance to there tribe for keeping a high spirit called Kitasamba the God sitting at top the mountain. Community leaders still collect offerings and leave them in the forest for the god kalisha, Kitasamba s son who takes care of the mountain’s wildlife.
In the recent decades as the copper mines fell into disuse, the local community came to depend on tourism for its lively hood Rwenzori trekking services (RTS) opened a series of trails and camps leading from kilembe up in to the mountain in 2009 but many of them were destroyed.
Heavy rains in the days before had brought landslides, so it damned the river upstream, tore across kilembe trail. It is not an easy job but the guides have tried to clear the trails again.
The cost of a trek depends on how long you are spending in the mountain and the number of people you are travelling with and the season in which you’re traveling. Compared to popular treks like the Kilimanjaro, the Rwenzori’s are a fraction of price but no less impressive but it also requires a good level of fitness to complete it as it is physically demanding.
Mountain Rwenzori has two main trek routes and this is central circuit and kilembe route. The others include the bukurungu trail, kazingo trail and Nyakalenjija trail. Trails ascend to the peaks from kilembe, mihunga and Katebwa.
The central circuit runs to Elena hut with maximum of 7 days to ascend and descend. Kilembe route that summits margherita peak from the central circuit trail with maximum of 9-10 days to ascend and descend.
You should note that the above charges include the guides, porters, food, wages, park entrance fees, accommodation in the mountains, client’s food, gas fuel, chef, government tax and climbing equipment.
Hiking mountain Rwenzori is all year-round activity and it can be done around any month of the year as long as you are ready.
The cost of climbing mountain Rwenzori per person prices decrease slightly when you have a group of three or more. The trek provides great value during the low season because high seasons tend to increase the cost of the treks due to the available increased demand.