Mount Ruwenzori (Mountains of the Moon), located in the western part of the East African Rift system, on the border of Uganda and Congo. Most, 80% of the mountain range is located in the territory of Uganda and has the status of "National Park Rwenzori Mountains."

Ruwenzori mountains
Map of Mount Ruwenzori

The part that is in the Congo is the Virunga National Park.

Rwenzori Mountains today are one of the few places in the world, almost unexplored by man. In general, until the 19th century it was believed their existence is not proven. Only in 1888 saw their first European Briton Henry Morton Stanley. He was lucky to be in this area on a sunny day, and he saw the mountain peaks. Until this moment dozens of researchers in Africa passed, but all the time peaks were covered with clouds, and none of them knew about the presence here of the mountain range. Although the ancient Greeks thought that the Nile water fed by snow from mountain ranges to the south of the equator they called Mountains of the Moon. And for the first time in the Rwenzori map it was applied only in 1906 by the Italian explorer Luigi Amedeo di Savoia-Aosta, Duke of the Abruzzi.

Total Rwenzori mountain range has 10 peaks Margaret peak (Margarita) (5109 m.), Alexandra peak (5091 m), Moebius (4918 m), Elena (4970 m), Savoy (4977 m), V.Emmanuel (4890 m) Edward (4843 m).

Ruwenzori (Mountains of the Moon) - the world of first person

According to one of the scientific theories of man is causing climate change. According to this version, about 10 - 20 million years ago in East Africa began to be created conditions for the emergence of mankind. At that time, the African continent was covered by dense tropical forests, desert areas almost was not. However, at a depth of 140 - 200 km. there was a huge formation of red-hot magma, which geologists call "African superplume". Under the pressure of the plume the crust starts to crack from the north to the south, resulting in a giant rift basin, and with it appear mountains, contributing to climate change in East Africa. Today, these arrays are called Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. During their appearance are under the influence of the plume in the sky spewed lava fountains of fire. The pressure of the magma temperature of about 1500 degrees persists to this day.
At the same time, on the shore of an ancient lake Obveruka which subsequently disappear, begin to emerge the Rwenzori Mountains. First, their height is not more than 1000 meters and it is not enough for a radical climate change area. It will take a few million years, which would Rwenzori reached its height, and stood in the way of rain clouds, thus thwarting the natural irrigation of the land on the east side. At that time on earth is happening everywhere cooling. And under the influence of these changes in East Africa appears a being endowed with great brain, which gradually becomes on its hind legs, thus making the first steps to becoming a man.
Rwenzori Mountains and still considered one of the few places almost unexplored by man. It is believed that the fauna of these places is not much different from the fauna of those distant times. And to be in the Rwenzori mountains, to some extent comparable to a journey to a time machine.

Flora and fauna

In the mountains of the Rwenzori (Ruwenzori), there are 5 types of vegetation zones, which are arranged depending on the height above sea level.
At an altitude (1000-2000m) - it is meadows and pastures (2000-3000m) mountain forest (2500-3500m) bamboo - acanthus area (3000-4000m) briar - rapaneya area. In these places, heather reaches a height of 15 meters. Being among the bushes so high you feel dwarf. And at an altitude (4000-4500m) is an African moorland.
Due neorganichno hunting in 1970 - 80 years in the Ruwenzori mountains greatly reduced the number of animals. In the forest zone, you can sometimes see the forest elephants and bulls, are more common chameleons, chimpanzees, monkeys, Colobus, hyrax, a South African antelope. At an altitude of about 4000 meters, you can find a leopard.
Rwenzori Mountains, one of the most important habitats of birds in Uganda. Total 195 species recorded in the park.

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Giant bizarre plants in the Rwenzori mountains. It made its first steps of human ancestors. Vegetation at the height of 3500-4000 meters. Photo from Wikipedia.

Trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon)

In Uganda, many working tour agencies organize trekking in the Rwenzori (Ruwenzori). Programs are offered at various times and the level of complexity. There are options, which occupy only one day, and there are more than a week, when will climb to the highest point peak Margarita.
How to get to Ruwenzori
The nearest town from the place where the tracking starts, it Kasese town. To get to it you can from Kampala on a bus, the road will be approximately 8 hours and costs about $ 15. To get to the place from Kasese start trekking can take a taxi or motorcycle taxi, motorcycle taxi to be cheaper, but it is only one person fits. Transfer you can arrange tour agencies organize trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains, but this time it is necessary to discuss separately.
The price of trekking
The cost of tracking very strongly will depend on in a tour agency will be placing and the number of people in the group. I'm with a friend paid $ 180 for trekking, plus $ 35 for each day of stay in the national park and the addition of $ 250 per person for two days. This amount included: food, accommodation in a wooden house and porters. Since the two of us, accompanying staff went three men. If our group would be three people, the price would be less than $ 30 per person. As mentioned above trekking cost can vary greatly in different travel agencies. For a similar program another office, we billed $ 770 per person.
On how many days to keep trekking

The one-day trekking - it's roughly a walk in the woods, breathe fresh air, almost none of which will not be able to see interesting things, and even more so if you are in Africa for several days or more, and for this the world will perceive not with such enthusiasm as the first . Most will be sorry for the money spent. This option is most suitable for pensioners and people with disabilities. Best to go at least as it is two days, and preferably three or four. According to what the most interesting and spectacular views begin above 3,000 meters. My friend and I took a two-day trek on the morning of the second day up to the level of 3000 thousand, and then began to descend. And to be honest, now I'm a little sad that we take at least a day more.

I'm with a friend, Mikhail, go trekking in the mountains Ruvezori (Ruwenzori) in January 2013. This photo trekking can be viewed on this page.

Mountain Rwenzori trekking photo

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Start trekking

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When people go trekking for a week or more they are accompanied by a large number of porters that with decreasing load, go back. Two of the porters we met on the way.

mountains of the Moon

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mountains of the Moon

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At an altitude of 2000 meters above the start to meet the bamboo thickets.

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Those were our faces when we got to the overnight trip. Although the height was only 2596 meters.

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When I went trekking in the Himalayas, to overcome such a height was given to me a lot easier. Probably recovery rate was more benign.

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But after we took 150 grams of cognac, fatigue and passed it became more fun.

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Making stops in paragraph virtually nothing, around the jungle thickets in which to walk without a guide, can be dangerous. On this, as an alternative entertainment card game.

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And our staff lived in this little shed.

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On one side of the place where we stopped for the night was a waterfall, and on the other a precipice.

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The next morning we climbed to an altitude of 3000 meters. That's what we were able to see from this point. Then began the descent.

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Along the way we met a plant covered with bizarre mosses and lichens.

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Probably about as the world looked the first man.

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This is already visible and the finish line.

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This is the most interesting being who we met for two days of trekking. There were healthy ants.

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That is our whole team, in the final stages of trekking in the Rwenzori Mountains.

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