Rwenzori National Park



Also known as the Mountains of the Moon—the source of the Nile referred to in Ptolemy's ancient Geography—the Rwenzori is the highest nonvolcanic mountain range in Africa, rising from the Rift Valley floor near Queen Elizabeth National Park to the 16,761-ft/5109-m Mount Margherita. Accessible only to dedicated hikers, the mountain's muddy upper slopes form one of Africa's prime mountaineering attractions.

The Rwenzori's features include geothermal activity, oversized vegetation such as giant lobelias and groundsels, equatorial glaciers, numerous lakes, and a series of jagged mountains that form the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. A World Heritage Site, Rwenzori Mountains National Park was off-limits for much of the 1990s because of rebel activity, but trekking is again offered in the park. There is a seven-day circuit in the mountains that anyone can attempt, though it's hard going, but only experienced climbers should attempt the ascent of Mount Margherita. The range is 250 mi/400 km west of Kampala.

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