The legendary, mist-covered Rwenzori Mountains were named a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1994 because of both their beauty and biodiversity. It’s the tallest mountain range in Africa and several of the peaks are permanently covered by ice and glaciers. The range, which isn’t volcanic, stretches for about 110km by 50km wide and is a haven for an extraordinary number of rare plants and animals, and new examples of both are still being discovered.
Rwenzori Mountains are presumed to be the Mountains of the Moon, described in AD 350 by Ptolemy, who proclaimed them to be the source of the Nile River. The three highest peaks in the range are Margherita (5109m), Alexandria (5083m) and Albert (5087m), all on Mt Stanley, the third-highest mountain in Africa. Two mammals are endemic to the range, the Rwenzori climbing mouse and the Rwenzori red duiker, as are 19 of the 241 known bird species. There’s thick tropical rainforest on the lower slopes transitioning to the bizarre afro-alpine moorland on higher reaches.