The remote Rwenzori mountains, on the Uganda/ DRC perimeter, offer treks through varied and stunning landscapes and a meet but challenging summit, with none of the crowds found at Kilimanjaro
Claudius Ptolemy, the Greco-Roman mathematician, astronomer and father of geography, called the Rwenzori range the Mountains of the Moon, and I think he got it about right. Starlight beamed down on the convex glaciers surrounding our camp near Uganda’s western border, causing them to glow like resting lunar crescents.
I should have been sleeping the night before my try on the Rwenzori’s loftiest peak, 5,109 -metre Mount Stanley’s summit, Africa’s third-highest mountain, but altitude headaches kept me awake. I believed back to a similar sleepless night at Kilimanjaro some years earlier. I recollected then feeling sure I would succeed, and when summit day came, I duly trudged along in a torchlight procession to the top, one of 50, 000 climbers who endeavor Kilimanjaro each year.
Yet this endeavour stirred self-doubt. Little-known and less frequently climbed, the 120 km-long Rwenzori range, on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo( DRC ), isn’t as high as Kilimanjaro but necessitates greater technical skills and an endurance I wondered if I possessed. The name Rwenzori entails “rainmaker” and the mountain can be notoriously muddy and tiring to climb, though this was the relatively dry season, from December to February.
Rwenzori national park, nine hours’ drive west of Kampala, offers crowd-free hiking and a sense of wilderness absent on Kilimanjaro. Official statistics is demonstrating that between January and October 2017, only 693 people trekked its higher reachings. During this eight-day trek with a friend, we satisfied only 10 other hikers- and not one tearful celebrity doing their bit for charity.
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