Rwenzori Mountains © Jorn Eriksson
Forming the western border of Uganda lie the majestic Rwenzori
Mountains, the legendary snow-covered 'Mountains of the Moon' as
described by Ptolemy in 150 AD. Reaching an altitude of 16,762ft
(5,109m), they form Africa's highest mountain range, lower only
than the freestanding Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya, and include
Africa's third highest peak, Point Margherita on Mt Stanley.
Protected within a national park, the six peaks and their slopes
form a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination.
Experienced alpinists will find challenging climbing opportunities
on three glacial peaks over 16,000ft (5,000m), while serious hikers
will enjoy the demanding six-day Bujuku Circuit that offers superb
scenery and is regarded as the most challenging of all African
mountain walks. However the Rwenzoris are not the only hiking
destination in Uganda. Mt Elgon National Park in eastern Uganda on
the border with Kenya offers an exciting alternative to hikers with
no technical mountain experience, but who still enjoy being able to
reach the highest point.
The extinct, 14,177-foot (4,321m) volcano has a four-mile (6km)
wide caldera encompassing impressive caves and hot springs. Its
highest peak, Wagagai, does not project noticeably above the
crater. It is possible to reach the summit of Mt Elgon in three
days and no special equipment is necessary. In south west Uganda,
three extinct volcanoes in Mgahinga National Park also offer
exciting hiking without the necessity of special mountaineering
equipment. Mt Sabyinyo, Mt Muhabura (the highest at
13,540ft/4,127m) and Mt Gahinga are part of the Virunga mountain
range belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mt Gahinga
is also famous for its mountain gorillas.