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The Rwenzori Mountains lie just north of the equator and extend for 110km by 50km. The Uganda DRC Congo border strikes along the ridges and cuts across the centre of Margherita Peak which stands at 5,109 metres. In the past several peaks sported large glaciers but most have receeded or completely disappeared in the last 10 years.
Rainfall in the Rwenzori Mountains is fairly even throughout the year with November usually recording the highest rainfall at an average of 50mm or 20 inches with the average annual rainfall of 2,500mm (three metres of rain) It is this constant rainfall that creates the beautiful lush landscape and incedible wetlands with constant flowing rivers. The mountains are often shrouded in mist creating high humitity giving to lush carpets of moss and lichens.
The different vegetation zones of the Rwenzori Mountains lends itself to a wide diversity of vegetation, birds, animals, frogs, butterflys and the like.
1,000 - 2,100 metres is generally inhabited by human settlement where coffee, cassava, beans, millet and potatoes are grown. However due to the steep terrain the soils have been eroded badly and infertility is severely affecting local incomes.
2,100 - 2,400 metres is the montane forest of mixed broad leafed and podocarpus montane forest. Trees rarely exceed 30 metres and the forest canopy is broken allowing a dense underbrush to grow. It is this thich brush that is home to rare birds like the Rwenzori Batis & Rwenzori apalis. Elephant which were once proflic are not rarely seen. Chimpanzee Rwenzori colobus and blue monkeys may be seem as you walk the tracks. It is now very rae to see a leopard and they are said to be extinct in most of the park.
2,400 - 3,000 metres has bamboo growing on the steep slopes while giant heathers grow in the open areas along the ridge tops. In the valleys one can see many giant lobelias and mimulopis.
3,000 - 3,800 metres the soil on the ridge tops is generally poor and covered with giant heathers and braken ferns with areas of lush green moss and lichens. Old man's beards hang from the trees setting a unique landscape backed by the towers peaks.
3,800 - 4,500 metres is the alpine zone with white flowering everlastings growing amongst the thick tussock grasses. Large areas of giant groundsel and the distinctive lobelia which have been described as 'Africas botanical big game'
Above 4,500 metres is generally barren rock with patches of moss in protected areas.