Mount Baker (1)
A number of nearby summits, including Edward Peak, which is the highest point in the Rwenzori Mountain Range, jut out from Mount Baker. PHOTO/WIKIPEDIA

In the Rwenzori Mountains National Park lies Mount Baker, one of Uganda’s most prominent mountains.

Mount Baker, one of Uganda’s most prominent mountains, is located in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Near the Ugandan border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), it is 2.8 kilometres. At 4,844 metres (15,892 feet), the mountain, which the locals call “Kiyanja,” is Africa’s sixth-highest peak. 

Mount Speke and Mount Stanley create a triangle with the upper Bujuku Valley encircled by the trio. 

Mount Stanley, the closest mountain, is located 1.40 miles away to the west, at a distance of 2.26 kilometres. Within ‘The Mountains of the Moon,’ the mountains can be found. For block mountains in Uganda, Rwenzori is the only one.

Among Uganda’s natural treasures, the Rwenzori Mountains and their foothills serve as a welcome mat for visitors who are looking for adventure.

Six peaks make up the Rwenzori massif, which is known as the Rwenzori mountains because of its snow-capped peaks.

  • The first is at 5.109 m (16794 ft.) Mount Stanley (Also, this is the highest mountain in Uganda.)
  • Second, Mount Speke (4890 m).
  • There’s also Mount Baker (14,843-foot peak).
  • Four. Mount Emin, stands at an elevation of 4797 feet.
  • Mountains Gessi (4715 ft.) is the fifth peak.
  • Mount Luigi da Savoia (ft.).

Some of the Rwenzori summits have incredible snow and ice formations.

History of Mount Baker

The highest point in the Rwenzori Mountain Range, Edward Peak, juts out from the edge of Mount Baker, as do many other nearby summits. 

During a climb in January 1906, Austrian mountaineer Rubert Grauer and two British missionaries reached the summit of Mount Baker for the first time. 

The same rock-strewn point was also visited by an English excursion mission in February and April, including A. B. Woosnam, Alexander F. R. Wollaston, and M. Carruthers. ‘An expedition led by the Duke of Abruzzi finally reached Mount Baker’s highest point in June 1906. 

In addition to the Rwenzori’s five highest peaks, this group trekked to the summit of all of them.

During Franz Stuhlmann’s journey to the Ruwenzori in June 1891, he saw the peak and gave it the names Ngemwimbi or Semper, depending on the source. 

The peak was renamed by Abruzzi in honour of Samuel Baker, a British explorer who discovered Lake Albert in the northeastern Rwenzori Mountains in 1864 and became the first European to visit it. “Great mountainous masses somewhere in the distance, south of Lake Albert,” Baker had also recorded.

Peaks of the Rwenzori Treks

Mount Baker in Uganda (1)
Mount Baker sits along the edge of the Rwenzori Mountain Range, jutting out in front of Edward Peak, as do many other nearby peaks. FILE PHOTO

The Rwenzori Ranges, unlike all of East and Central Africa’s other big mountains, were not generated by volcanic activity, but rather by an upward thrust during the development of the Western Rift Valley, in which they now sit. 

As far back as 1906, all of the Rwenzori’s six highest peaks were covered in snow and glaciers. In 2001, all but Stanley (5,109 m), Speke (4,890 m), and Baker (4,843 m) had snow and glaciers, but that is fast drying up. 

All of the tallest mountains’ snow is expected to melt away in less than 20 years! Global warming-induced temperature increases and the removal of trees and wetlands from landscapes are two of the most likely culprits.

A large number of bogs and marshes can be found in the mountains’ upper reaches. These were once lakes, but over time they became clogged with sediment. 

They form a big sponge from which mountains rise, and the moist air keeps them that way thanks to these marshes. 

Almost every day, the peaks are blanketed in this moisture-laden air by an all-covering mist. 

The mountains are much more stunning when shrouded in these mists, which make the climb more difficult. There are times when peaks are briefly illuminated from above the clouds, but this light rapidly fades.

Climbing the Rwenzoris in Stages

If you hire a local guide, you can hike the Rwenzori’s on your own! You can choose which Rwenzori Expedition peaks to climb based on the length of your journey.

Climbing and descending the Rwenzori Mountains’ highest peak from the Ugandan side takes between seven and nine days. 

Some people wonder, is there snow in Uganda? Yes indeed. To reach the Rwenzori Mountains’ snow-capped peaks, visitors must pass through five various plant zones and bamboo forests. 

Above 3000 m, you will typically have symptoms of altitude sickness, for which the only solution is to descend immediately to lower altitudes.

From Mihunga’s park gate, a shorter two- to three-day foot trail leads to Lake Mahoma is close by after spending the night at the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services camp – Nyabitaba hut.

Best way to get to the Rwenzori Mountains?

Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains (1)
The primary attraction of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park is mountain climbing, similar to Mount Elgon National Park in Mbale. PHOTO/BrilliantUganda

Nyakalengija, the trailhead for the Rwenzori Mountains, can be found off the Fort Portal – Kampala Road, 22 kilometres from Kasese. At Nyakalengija are park offices from where you’ll pay some small park fees. 

The Central Circuit Trail and the Kilembe Route are excellent options for anyone looking to simply enjoy the area without attempting any summits. To finish the Central Circuit Trail, you’ll need roughly eight days.

To visit the Rwenzori Mountains, you’ll need a tour guide. Policy dictates that all-mountain tours must be accompanied by an experienced mountain crew consisting of a local guide, porters and cook.

Accommodation in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Among the mountain’s campsites, Rwenzori Mountaineering Services has huts. 

Mihunga Safari Lodge is located on the crest of a mountain near the park’s entrance, and there are several surrounding lodges providing convenient out-of-park lodging.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explained the Rwenzori mountains, about the six of Africa’s 10 tallest peaks ( Mount Baker) and where they may be found, and they are also the least hiked because of their difficulty. 

The journey of the Rwenzori Mountains is like going through a storybook; the scenery, colours, and wildlife are always shifting.

If you are looking for a complete Uganda travel experience, we also recommend checking out our guide to Kidepo Valley National ParkKibale National ParkLake Mburo National Park and Semuliki National Park.