Rwenzori Mountains were declared a Forest Reserve in 1941. This reserve was recognized as the largest catchment area giving rise to numerous streams that supply water to the surrounding communities as well as maintaining the flow of water to lakes Edward, George and Albert. Rwenzori Forest reserve was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and declared a world heritage site in 1995. The Rwenzori Mountains have a range covering an area of 996 sq kms, commonly referred to as the legendary “Mountains of the Moon” for its mist-shrouded, snow-capped peaks that lie 4° north of the Equator.
The mountain range has six peaks that stretch from Mt. Stanley with Alexandria and Margherita (Africa’s third highest Mountain at 5109 metres), Mt. Speke – Vittorio Emmanuele (4889m), Mt. Baker (4843m), Mt. Gessi (4797m), Mt. Emin (4791m) and Mt. Luigi de Savoia 4626). Mt. Rwenzori is re known for its un engineered, steep – slippery trails and frequent rain. High altitude, rain, cold temperatures, mud, bogs and steep terrain make it the most challenging safari in Africa. Nevertheless it is an excellent destination for keen hikers and climbers. The best time of the year for hiking is during the dry seasons from July – August and December – February. However, it is still possible to trek in other un mentioned months.
The fauna of this park is reasonably well known with a checklist of 70 mammal species and 182 birds. The Rwenzori Colobus Monkeys (Colobus angolensis), L’Hoesti’s Monkey (Cercopithecus l’hoesti), Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis), Rock Hyrax (Procavia syriacus), Red Forest – Black fronted Duikers (Cephalophus nigrifrons), Elephant (loxodanta Africana), Leopard (Panthera pardus) and the three horned chameleon (Chameleo johstonii) are some of the wildlife that can be spotted.
By Road: From Kampala via Fort portal to Kasese or from Kampala through Fort Portal to Kasese. Nyakalengija the park headquarters of Rwenzori Mountains National park is 25 km from Kasese town.
By Air: Chartered planes can be booked for your flight to Kasese Airstrip from Entebbe and then by road to Nyakalengija.
There are a range of hotels, lodges, guest houses and camping sites in Kasese while huts and rock shelters are available on the mountains for climbers. Recommended hotels include: Margherita Hotel, Rwenzori International Hotel and Rwenzori Base Camp.