MOUNTAINS IN UGANDA | MOUNTAINS OF UGANDA
Does Uganda have mountains? There are several mountains in Uganda that offer, wildlife viewing and mountain climbing in Uganda, hiking opportunities to travelers on adventure safaris in Uganda. Mountains of Uganda include:-
Kigezi region in the western branch of the Great East Africa Rift Valley/Albertine Rift is the most mountainous region of Uganda. The terraced fields on the highlands of Kigezi region are what give the area of Uganda a distinctive appearance. Kigezi is often referred to as the Switzerland of Africa.
In the highest parts of the Kigezi highlands at the edge of the western rift valley is situated Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to almost half (459) of the world’s population (1063) of mountain gorillas.
The Virunga massifs in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are situated just a few kilometers south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on Uganda’s border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They also host mountain gorillas and are great destination for gorilla trekking in Uganda, mountain climbing and hiking.
Uganda’s Virunga volcanoes are in fact an extension of a chain of 8 volcanoes of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda. The name “Virunga” is an English version of the Kinyarwanda word ibirunga, which means “volcanoes”. Most of them are dormant except Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamulagira in DRC.
Below are the Virunga Mountains in Uganda, in Mgahinga National Park.
Mount Gahinga (3,474 meters)
Mount Sabinyo (3,674 meters)
Mount Muhabura (4,127 meters)
The Rwenzori Mountains also referred to as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ is a block mountain. It is situated north of Kigezi on Uganda’s border of the Democratic Republic of Congo within Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great destination for mountain climbing safaris in Africa.
In 150 AD, Claudius Ptolemy, the Greco-Roman mathematician, astronomer, and father of geography, identified the Rwenzori Mountains as the source of the Nile calling them “Mountains of the Moon” because it appeared unearthly to have snow-covered peaks on the steamy equator.
The Rwenzori range covers an area 120 kilometers long by 65 kilometers wide. The mountain range comprises of 6 massifs separated by deep gorges.
Margherita peak on the Rwenzori range’s Margherita peak on Mount Stanley at 5109 meters above sea level is the 3rd highest point in Africa, after Uhuru Peak at 5,895 meters on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Batian peak at 5,199 meters on Mount Kenya in Kenya.
Other mountain peaks on Rwenzori Mountains include;
Mount Speke at 4,890 metres
Mount Baker at 4,843 metres
Mount Emin at 4,798 metres
Mount Gessi at 4,715 metres and
Mount Luigi di Savoia at 4,627 metres
Mount Elgon or Masaba is an extinct shield volcano in eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya. Elgon is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa, believed to have erupted about 24 million years and last erupted 10 million years ago.
It is the second-highest mountain in Uganda and the 8th highest mountain of Africa at 4,321m (14,177 ft) above the sea level. In Uganda, the Moutain comprises of 4 major peaks namely;
Wagagai, the highest peak at 4,321 meters
Sudek peak at 4,302 metres on the Uganda/Kenya
Mubiyi peak at 4,211 metres and
Masaba peak at 4,161 metres
Other notable features on Mount Elgon include;
- The caldera− Mount has one of the world’s largest intact caldera on its top covering more than 40km².
- Mt Elgon also has the largest base of any extinct volcano in the world.
- Mount Elgon is also park of Uganda’s Mount Elgon National Park, a great destination for mountain hiking and climbing safaris in Uganda.
Other major mountains in Uganda include;
Mount Moroto (3084 meters)
Mount Kadam (3068 meters)
Mount Morungole (2,750 meters), all located on the northeastern border.