The best time to trek Rwenzori mountains is here!!!
The rain season is ending this May, in Uganda. The community around Rwenzori Mountains and travelers around the world are getting ready for the tourist peak season starting soon. The Rwenzori Mountains is one of the ten national parks of Uganda. This park can be visited any time of the year but it has two peak seasons in each year, and this is when most people trek. The first season covers June to August while the second season covers December to end of March. in Evidence, I talked to some tourism service providers around Rwenzori and they were getting ready for the tourist season. This timing gives the trekkers a whole seven months of good climate trekking season per year. This same timing, the dry seasons from June to August and December to February, covers the best game viewing months in Uganda. Primate walks in the forest are a big part of any safari in Uganda. The habitat of rain forests is, by default, very wet and one can’t avoid rain completely. However, after heavy rain, the skies often open up to bright sunshine. This timing makes it possible for travelers to add Rwenzori mountain trekking to their longer game safaris of Uganda.
However, unlike in the past when the mountain infrastructure was not very good, it is still possible to trek during the off peak seasons. Given the good infrastructure that has been put on the mountains. Bridges board walks and good huts have been constructed on the mountain trails to enable an all year round experience for the mountaineers who choose Rwenzori for their holiday. For those who may want to understand a little more about the Rwenzori Mountains, The mountains hold the highest point in Uganda at 5109m above sea level and permanent glaciers on its several peaks. The highest point is Margarita peak on mount Stanley. Rwenzori is a range of mountains connected with the Virungas on the Congo side. Ashe highest point in Uganda, Margarita peak is also the third highest point in east Africa after Batian on Mount Kenya at 5199m and Uhuru on Mount Kilimanjaro as the highest at 5895 of the three highest mountains.
Those who have trekked the three East African mountains have said that Rwenzori is the most unique and challenging of the three. Besides the uniqueness to other mountains in east Africa, Rwenzori Mountains are the least visited due to low publicity. This makes the mountain less explored or degraded and therefore a perfect holiday destination. Unlike Kenya and Kilimanjaro being volcanic mountains, Rwenzori is a block mountain whose ranges were formed as a result of an uplifted block. The Rwenzori range is about 120Km long and 65Km wide. Recently Rwenzori mountains national park has developed several trekking trail routes that basic to experienced trekkers can explore. With the shorter trails introduced, now trekkers of Rwenzori can experience from one day of trekking and return to the base camp hotel to about 9 days of trekking or even longer for those who want to climb the high snow peaks. Please note that special skills and equipment will be required for climbing the high snow peaks. One can choose to hire these tools from the base camp or come with their own. The park and different concessionaires have provided special mountain climbing skills to the guides and ranger who take tourists to this mountain so trekkers can be sure to be in safe hands.
The different trails one can participate in include the Ibanda central circuit trail and the Kilembe route trail leading to the peaks or you may choose to do shorter days and don’t make it to the peaks. The Mahoma trail loop is at the central circuit gate is a wilderness camping trail that take a maximum of three days two nights. There are also shorter one day nature trails that you can explore and return back to the community. These include the Buraru chimp trail, the Nyabitaba one day nature walk and other shorter trails at the several gates and ranger posts.
Besides the mountains trails in the park, the communities have also established village trails in the hills, forests and villages adjacent to the park. These community trails don’t require payment of the park entrance fees but they are also beautiful showcasing the Rwenzori natural and cultural heritage in this beautiful mountain setting. The forest hikes are conducted in the forests that share the ecosystem with the park, making it possible to see the unique wildlife such as plants and insects, rivers and water falls, birds, the small animals like three horned chameleons and reptiles or sometimes the primates, if on the lucky day they have crossed from the park. These same communities offer cultural demonstrations in the villages. Besides the community tours, the communities and other investors have established lodges and campsites that enable visitors to spend a night in this unique mountain village setting as you take the views and breezes of the high mountains. you can book some of the community holidays at www.pearlsofuganda.org