SIZE: 998 sq km
LOCATION: On the Congo border close to Kasese.
The 120km Rwenzori chain is regarded to be the legendary snow-capped Mountains of the Moon, described by Ptolemy in AD150. Reaching an elevation of 5,109m, it is also Africa’s tallest mountain range, exceeded in altitude only by the free-standing Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro.
The distinctive glacial peaks are visible for miles around, but the slopes above 1,600m are the preserve of hikers, who rate the Rwenzoris to be the most challenging of all African mountains.
A variety of large mammals inhabits the lower slopes, but the Rwenzoris are notable more for their majestic scenery and varied vegetation. The trails lead through rainforest rattling with monkeys and birds, then tall bamboo forest, before emerging on the high-altitude moorland zone, a landscape of bizarre giant lobelias, towered over by black rock and white snow, looking for all the world like the set of a science fiction film.
WHAT TO DO:
The seven days/ six nights loop is a tough but rewarding hike taking in all vegetation zones bar the glacial peaks.
Shorter hikes can be arranged.
The high peaks should be attempted only by experienced mountaineers.