Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, presents a unique challenge for experienced trekkers. Known as the "Mountains of the Moon," these mystical peaks rise dramatically from the jungle floor, shrouded in mist and capped with glaciers. Treks can range from shorter adventures exploring the foothills to multi-day expeditions attempting to summit Africa's third-highest peak, Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley. 


The Rwenzori Mountains National Park offers one of the most challenging and exciting mountain ranges for trekking in the world. Spanning across an area of 996 square kilometers, the expanse of Rwenzori showcases a mystical world of lakes, rocky outcrops, cliffs, high glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and fantastical vegetation, all of which make it a perfect destination for those seeking an escape.

In terms of altitude, the peaks here might be lower than those of other mountains in the world, with the highest point being Mount Stanley's Margherita Peak, which stands at 5,109 meters above sea level, making it the 4th highest peak in Africa. However, the park's remoteness, fluctuating weather conditions, low visitor numbers, viewpoints, and startlingly diverse vegetation make it a thrilling experience for adventurous trekkers who are looking for something unique.

The Rwenzori Mountains were declared a national park in 1991. It was then recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1994 and a Ramsar site in 2008, which testifies to the mountains' international scientific importance. The name "Rwenzori" roughly translates to "Rainmaker," which highlights the mountains' significance to Central Africa.

Due to the high level of precipitation, the atmosphere in the park is wet, with rainfall exceeding 3 meters annually. This creates lush vegetation on the lower slopes and snow and ice on the higher reaches. Although the glaciers have retreated significantly over the past century due to climate change, climbers in the wet season months will still have to navigate ice walls and significant snowfall to reach the peaks.

Trekking in The Rwenzori Mountains

To explore the Rwenzoris, you must be physically fit and accustomed to enduring activities. Trekking is the best way to explore the mountains. Margherita Peak is now considered a technical climb and requires some experience in winter conditions, although you don't need to be an expert climber.

Hiking Routes

A range of treks from one to twelve days are available to suit different interests, such as 'peak baggers' and birders who wish to trace the region's endemic species. If necessary, the routes can be extended to provide more opportunities to acclimate to the altitude or simply to enjoy the mountains' peace, seclusion, and beauty.

The Central Circuit out of Nyakalengija and the Southern Circuit out of Kilembe provide access to the Rwenzori's peaks.

Shorter Trekking Routes

  • Rwenzori Mountains Sampler (2 days, max altitude 2,596 meters): A brief taste of the Rwenzori's beauty, perfect for those with limited time.
  • Rwenzori Exploration (3 days, max altitude 3,174 meters): Delve deeper into the mountains, gaining altitude and enjoying more expansive views.
  • Mutinda Lookout Trek (4 days, max altitude 3,975 meters): Ascend to Mutinda Lookout for breathtaking panoramas of the Rwenzori range.
  • Rwenzori Waterfalls Trek (4 days, max altitude 3,174 meters): Combine hiking with the discovery of cascading waterfalls hidden within the mountain range.
  • Conquer Weismann's Peak (5 days, max altitude 4,620 meters): Challenge yourself with this ascent to Weismann's Peak, a non-technical climb on the Rwenzori massif.

The Southern Circuit was the route first followed by Professor Scott Elliott in 1895, but the Central Circuit, pioneered by Luigi di Savoia in 1906, provided the only access to the mountains for many years.

At Mahanda Safaris, we only organize treks for the Southern Circuit since it provides the most intense and impressive experience of almost unbelievable landscapes. The Southern Circuit also has some longer routes that benefit acclimatization and enhance the overall experience.

Challenging Longer Treks

  • Rwenzori Peaks Challenge (10 days, max altitude 5,109 meters): Tackle four major summits within the Rwenzori Range for a true mountaineering adventure.
  • Margherita Peak Ascent (10 days, max altitude 5,109 meters): Focus on reaching the Rwenzori's highest point, the glacier-capped summit of Margherita Peak.
  • Ultimate Rwenzori Experience (12 days, max altitude 5,109 meters): The most comprehensive Rwenzori trek, incorporating multiple peaks and exploring the range's diverse landscapes.

  • Mount Baker Climb (7 days, max altitude 4,842 meters)

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