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Author: Rosie Fuller

Continuing our exploration of the best hikes in the world, we’ve turned our attention to the Rwenzori Mountains in all their glory.

Lying between the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, the Rwenzori Mountains offer hikers a stunning variety of landscapes including forests, alpine meadows, lakes and diverse wildlife encounters.

The highest of the Rwenzori mountains is Mount Stanley, standing at an awesome 5,109m, it is also Africa’s third highest peak. If you plan to summit Mount Stanley, then make sure you have properly acclimatised to the altitude and undertaken sufficient training beforehand. Otherwise, there are plenty more stunning trails and peaks to try, and a lot of them are equipped with mountain huts (although it is best to travel with a guide).

Crater Lake, Rwenzori Mountains, UgandaPhoto: Babak Fakhamzadeh

“Of the three glaciated mountain areas in Africa, the most exotic and extensive are the Rwenzori, known as the Mountains of the Moon,” says Andrew Wielochowski, director of trekking and mountaineering specialists EWP.

“This World Heritage Site, set between the misty Congo jungles and the Lake Victoria plains, is home to many indigenous species of plant and bird making it a naturalist’s paradise par excellence.

“The steep-sided valleys and dense vegetation prevent easy access to the numerous lakes and summits, however several routes are available with huts and well-trained guides making a fully porter-supported trek here a unique experience.

“The more ambitious may also enjoy tackling some of the summits and a visit to the Stanley Plateau – Africa’s largest glaciated area.” See www.ewpnet.com for more information about hiking the Rwenzori Mountains.

the Rwenzori Mountains, UgandaPhoto: Jørn Eriksson

The park’s wildlife varies with elevation, but you could be spotting forest elephants, chimpanzee, hyrax, black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, duiker, and the Rwenzori turaco. There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing wildlife in its natural habitat, especially in a location as remote and breathtaking as the Rwenzori mountains.