Birding mount Rwenzori National Park
Looking for birding mount Rwenzori National Park Uganda? Rwenzori national park is also home to Mountain Ruwenzori. Mountain Ruwenzori is known for permanent snow on all its six peaks. The park has recorded about 217 bird species. It is also home to 17 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics and 58 of the 88 afro Tropical highland biome endemics that call Uganda Home.
Some of the bird species you expect to see while on safaris here are; Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, Archer’s Robin-Chat, African Long-eared Owl, Western Green Tinkerbird, Olive Woodpecker, Grey-chested Illadopsis, Rwenzori Hill Babbler Grey-winged Robin, Cinnamon Bracken Evergreen Forest and Bamboo Warblers, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Mountain Sooty Boubou, White-collared Olive-back, Red-faced, Red-throated Alethe, Montane Masked and Collared Apalises, Stripe-breast Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted, Malachite, Blue-headed, Rwenzori Double-collared, Tiny and Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbirds, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Dusky, and Shelley’s Crimsonwing and many more
The Rwenzori mountains national park was named after the famous Rwenzori Mountains. This mountain is also referred to as the MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON and is boasts of an elevation of 5,110m. The Rwenzori range has six significant peaks which include, Mt Baker (4,843m), Mt Emin (4,798m), Mt Gessi (4,715m) and Mt Luigi di Savoia (4,627m Mt Stanley (5,110m), Mt Speke (4,890m)). The highest peak is the Mt Stanley complex and is called Margherita peak (5,110), and it is this peak which makes the Rwenzori Mountains the 3rd most upper range in Africa.
Mountain hiking is the major holiday activity to undertake in the park. The hike takes you through all the vegetation zones and finally ends on the glacial peaks.
BEST TIME TO VISIT RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK FOR BIRDING
Ruwenzori National Park can be visited throughout the year, but the best time for viewing game is during the two dry seasons: The months of June to August and December to February are the two dry spell, while the rest of the months are the wet ones and are usually muddy and impassable.
April, May and November are the peak months for the rainy season. These are the low tourism months of the year and the period when heavy rains occur.
WHAT TO DO IN RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK AFTER BIRDING
Ruwenzori national park is a UNESCO world heritage site and visiting it guarantees you some special sightings. Here are some of the things you expect to see or do in this national park;
Ruwenzori is one of the highest mountains in Africa and hiking it takes about 9 days. The highest peak of this mountain is called Margherita and it is snow capped throughout the year. This is one of the exciting things for anyone visiting this national Park.
Being a park that is covered by a mountain, there is alot of nature to explore I regards to vegetation and many more. You will definitely expect to see many birds on these trails for bird watching enthusiasts, a lot of butterflies and many other small flying insects and vegetation.
Rwenzori National park is home to about 20 lakes with Lake Mahoma being the most accessible since most of them are in the mountains. Lake Bajuku is located in the valleys of Mt Stanley, Baker and Speke. There are 8 beautiful lakes on the Nyamwamba trail including Lake Kitandara.
Cultural and community walks
Interact with the Bakonzo people living on the foothills of the Rwenzori mountain. We shall take a trail to see the locals as they demonstrate their daily activities like gardening and animal husbandry, preparing daily meals – from farm to meal. Look out for a visit to the black smiths, traditional healers, basket weavers and dance and storytelling performances. Alternatively, you can take a trail to culture sites of the Bakonzo people through the holy valley; this trail takes in total about 7 hours.
WHERE TO STAY IN MOUNT RWENZORI NATIONAL PARK DURING BIRDING
Rwenzori National Park has a wide range of accommodation facilities. Since most of it is mountainous, there are not many lodges in the national but on the out skirts and the neighboring district of Kasese. Here are some of the facilities you can check out;
Rwenzori Trekkers Hostel, its ideal for those going to hike. It’s about 12km from Kasese town towards mountain Ruwenzori.
Ruboni Community Camp, this is fully operated by the Bakonzo local community and its located at the Main Gate of the National Park.
Geo lodge Equator Snow Lodge, This lodge is also at the gate of the national park and it’s a big partners Mountain Rwenzori Mountaineering services. It has just four rooms and this makes it a really cozy place to stay.
Birding mount Rwenzori national park safari can be extended to other destinations such as Kibale forest, Queen Elizabeth national park, Ruhija sector in Bwindi among others.