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The Rwenzori Mountains
are an impressive range of often snow-capped peaks which runs down the western border of Uganda
, separating the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This has long been a place of legend. Cited by Ptolemy in 150AD as being the source of the Nile and long known as the Mountains of the Moon, the peaks were first explored by Europeans only as late as 1906.
The range is about 120 km long and consists of six massifs separated by deep gorges, the highest peak being Mount Stanley at 5,109 metres, only 800 metres lower than Mount Kilimanjaro
This is an extremely humid area, frequently enveloped in clouds. Climate zones range from tropical rainforest, through alpine moorland to alpine desert, often with snow on the peaks.
The mountains are renowned for their super-sized vegetation, with unique varieties of giant groundsel and giant lobelia, as well as a six metre moss-covered heather.
The peaks themselves provide some excellent technical slopes for climbers and mountaineers, plus a wonderful week-long non-technical trekking circuit around the high tarns.
However there have been some major security incidents over the years, related to the unrest over the border in Congo. Continuing concerns continue to prevent us from recommending expeditions to this area.
Here in western Uganda we tend to focus more on areas such as Bwindi Forest
, Queen Elizabeth
, Kibale Forest
and Murchison Falls