“The Mystical challenge”
Africa’s highest mountain range . The 5100 meters Rwenzori Mountains are located in Kasese and thought to have been the snowy source of the legend Nile. the Mountains of the moon, the snow-capped range cited as the source of the Nile by the Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy. The first Europeans to see these legendary mountains were Arthur Jephson and Thomas Parke, members of Stanley’s cross-continental expedition led by Luigi da Savoia conquered all the major peaks.
The Rwenzori Mountain is the highest mountain range in Africa and are unique among East Africa’s major peaks in that they are not volcanic in origin, but they do rise directly from the Rift Valley floor.
The Rwenzori is known primarily for its challenging hiking and climbing possibilities but the range also supports a diversity of animals, including 70 mammal and 177 bird species, several of the latter being Albertine Rift endemics. It is the only national park in Uganda where the Angola colobus has been recorded, though identification of this localized monkey will require careful examination as the similar and more widespread black-and-white colobus also occurs on the mountain.
Hiking is one of the activities carried out on the Rwenzori Mountains. Two routes lead into high Rwenzori. The more established and the only option ascends the Mubuku and Bujuku valleys from Nyakalengija to the central circuit that winds between the main peaks. The new Kilembe Trail also offers rather more flexibility in tailoring itineraries to budget and time considerations than the Nyakalengija route. Climbing the mountain is also carried out. If intended to climb one of the glacial peaks, you will need to bring climbing boots and equipment such as ropes, ice-axes, harnesses, crampons and walking sticks.
When climbing the mountain from Nyakalengija, it is 22km northwest of kasese. The Rwenzori Mountain National Park is signposted off the tarmac Fort Portal highway about 7-8km out of kasese by an electric substation between the road bridges over the Mubuku and Sebwe River. Transport can be arranged through RMS or any private taxi driver for around ush50, 000. Many people overnight in Kasese immediately before and following their ascent. There are however, some options within the Mubuku Valley around Nyakalengija.
The base camp for the Kilembe Trails is the Rwenzori Trekkers hostel at the upper end of Kilembe town, 14km from kasese and 2km beyond the market and the bridge. One can stay at Rwenzori Trekkers for accommodation and RMS safari lodge for luxury. For budget one can use Base Camp and Ruboni Campsite