Birding in Rwenzori mountain national park

Birding in Rwenzori mountain national park

Birding in Rwenzori mountain national park: The high Rwenzori Mountains’ rare, distinctive bird species that call these unfavorable environment home makes the montane forests the best places to go birdwatching. These mountain ranges are located in Western Uganda at the boundary between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the eastern side of the Albertine Rift Valley. Bundibugyo, Kabarole, and Kasese are the three districts where this wonderful Park is located. The third-highest mountain peak in Africa, Margherita peak is found inside the 998 square kilometer (385 mile) Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Because of its exceptional beauty and biological richness, it was made as a national park in 1991, then a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, and finally a Ramsite Site in 2008. This park is distinguished by several plant zones at various altitudes, each of which is home to rare bird species.

About 250 bird species call the Rwenzori Mountains home, including 17 endemics to the Rwenzori Mountains and 19 Albertine Rift endemic bird species such the Long-tailed Turaco and Chested Bee-eater. This makes the area a birdwatcher’s dream. The majority of these bird species can be seen while taking nature hikes in the montane forest zones (between 1800 and over 2500 meters). Some of the more frequent species include the Rwenzori Olive Thrush,  African Lammergeyer, Lanner Falcon, Rwenzori brown woodland warbler, White-tailed crested flycatcher, golden-winged sunbirdslender-billed starling, Black ducks, Slender-billed Chestnut winged Starling, Dusky flycatcher, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Scarlet-tufted Malachite, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Johnston’s Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Rwenzori Double-collared sunbird ,  Rwenzori hill babbler, Red throated Alethe, Mountain Buzzard, Bamboo warbler, Collared Apalis, Rwenzori Puffback flycatcher, Western lemon dove, Regal sunbird and Stripe-breasted tit

Blue-headed sunbirds, Rwenzori Nightjar, the long-eared owl, Verreaux’s eagles, , Black rough wing swallow, Black-billed Turaco, Strange weaver, , Long-tailed Cuckoo, Rwenzori Turaco, Olive wood-peckers, white-starred robin, White-necked raven, Mountain Illadopsis, Olive-breasted Mountain Greenbul, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Handsome Francolins, Mountain yellow flycatcher Rwenzori streaky seed-eater, Green white eye, Rufous Sparrow hawk, Toro olive Greenbul, Archers’ robin-chat, Kivu grosbeak seed-eater, Golden-winged Sunbird Alpine Swift, Olive Pigeon, bearded vultures, Mountain Chat, Rwenzori white-starred Bush Robin, Red-faced woodland warbler, Cinnamon scrub warbler, East African Grey Cuckoo Shrike, and the Lagden’s bush shrike are some of the bird species on the mountain.

Birds of Prey including Black Eagles, Bearded Vultures, Swifts, and other bird species like Long-eared Owls and Rwenzori Turacos are frequently seen on the upper slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains.

What to wear.

Binoculars and cameras are essential tools for having a wonderful birding excursion in the Rwenzori Mountains. Due to the intense cold on the mountain’s highest slopes, you should also bring long sleeved shirts, sweaters, waterproof light hiking boots, and bring a walking stick to assist you on your hike. The greatest time to see birds in Rwenzori Mountains National Park is during the rainy season since you get the possibility to witness migrating bird species, and who wouldn’t want to do that? This is similar to most national parks in Uganda.

Other activities in Mountain Rwenzori

Cultural Tours

Birding in Rwenzori mountain national park

You will have a wonderful cultural experience if you visit the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. They provide regular community engagement with locals, giving you a fantastic opportunity to get to know the folks in their areas on a more personal level. On the safari in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, in particular, visits to the Bakonzo communities are made as part of the experience.

Visit the Rwenzori Mountains National Park’s cultural safari and stroll alongside the Bakonzo villagers through their villages at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges. These are the top approaches to experience the many cultures of the Bakonzo whilst on a safari in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

Ruboni Community Camp

You will track this crystal-clear creek, named Ruboni, which in the native Lukonzo language meaning “clear water,” as you pass by peasants hauling wood and produce. Discover the tranquil Bakonzo agricultural community of Ruboni, which is located in the Rwenzoris foothills and is home to about 2,000 people. Join the villagers on a stroll as they show their everyday tasks, such as caring to their crops and animals and cooking their meals using the finest ingredients. You may meet a blacksmith, a traditional healer, basket weavers, and storytellers during the community tour. You can also take part in a dynamic dance performance accompanied by energetic drumming.

Your guide will point out several colorful local birds along the walk, like the Rwenzori Turaco, small sunbirds, and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters. Additionally, there are vervet monkeys, squirrels, and chameleons. Watch for Baker and Portal Peaks to emerge from the trees. The snow-covered Margherita Peak may also be seen on clear days, which is a really breathtaking picture.

Rwenzori Turaco View Camp

The Rwenzori Mountains, which are rugged and covered in snow, are seen from the little settlement of Mihunga. Without power or running water, the Bakonzo tribe has resided here for almost 300 years, and this group has modified its way of life to fit the temperature and steep, verdant foothills of the Rwenzori.

Turaco View, a local tourism organization in Mihunga, gives tourists a tour of the village’s culture. This contains a display by a traditional healer whose herbal mixtures are said to be effective treatments for a variety of diseases. A visit to the local school, a craft show, and an energetic dance performance are also included. Another option for visitors is to take a guided walk through the nearby forests. They could be fortunate enough to see colorful turacos in the forested canopy. Other species like as bee-eaters, sunbirds, and lively black-and-white colobus monkeys may be spotted thanks to the knowledgeable guides.

Bulemba and Ihandiro Cultural Trail

Explore the sacred valley and other locations with significant cultural importance to the Bakonzo tribe on this intriguing six to seven-hour journey. You will be introduced to the local blacksmith, who will explain the spiritual importance of the traditional Bakonzo stool, as well as the traditional healer, who will explain his muhima abilities. Along the way, demonstrations of fire-making and basket-weaving techniques are also provided.

The next part of the walk crosses the Kamusonge River, which is reputed to provide pleasant water that may relieve thirst quickly. Before beginning the last hour-long hike to the museum, which is tented in the traditional Konzo style, there is a respite at a hut where you can take in the stunning mountain views and get some relief from the tropical sun. Tools used in the Rwenzururu conflict, traditional clothing, and other objects significant to Rwenzori history and culture are on exhibit.

Hiking

Margherita Peak

Though it may be thrilling and gratifying, a trek into the Rwenzoris should be adequately prepared for. Being prepared is the key to a fun visit! Even seasoned hikers find the terrain atop the peak to be difficult. A total of six nights or seven days are required for the core hiking circuit, which reaches a height of 4,267 meters above sea level. You will spend the nights while hiking at various, well-maintained huts, and porters will assist you with your necessary luggage. The Central Circuit and Kilembe Trail both have beginning locations close to Kasese Town, whilst the Kazingo (Nature Walk Trailhead) is close to Fort Portal Town.

If you’re not interested in hiking the full path, you may spend three days in the lower slopes of the mountain, which will take you through gorgeous scenery and birding locations. Bring along a sleeping bag, warm clothes, a raincoat, waterproof over pants, plastic bags for damp clothing, and lots of food.

Hikers should be aware of the signs, causes, and remedies for hypothermia and other types of altitude sickness. Whoever gets altitude sickness over 2500 m, regardless of age, physical condition, or prior mountain trekking experience, can get it. The best course of action is a descent to a lower height. Bring the following essentials: a sleeping bag and warm clothes.