Rwenzori Mountains, Africa | John Seach


The Rwenzori mountains are located in east Africa on the borders between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountains are not volcanic in origin.

The highest peaks are Mount Stanley (5,109m), Mount Speke (4,890m), Mount Baker (4,843m), Mount Emin (4,798m), Mount Gessi (4,715m) and Mount Luigi di Savoia (4,627m). Margherita Peak is the highest point on Mt Stanley, and third highest peak in Africa.

The Rwenzori mountains contain permanent snow and glaciers. They are known as the Alps of Africa due to the numerous 5000 m peaks.

The Rwenzori Range is oval in shape and covers an area 100 km long and 40 km wide over an elevation of 1500 m. The mountains are regularly covered in rain and mist, even in the dry season. Climbing to the summit of the three main peaks requires crampons, rope and ice axe.

Glaciers in Rwenzori Mountains.
There has been a uniform loss of glaciers in the mountains from 2.01 ± 0.56 km sq in 1987 to 0.96 ± 0.34 km sq in 2003. With an increase in air temperature of 0.5 deg C every 10 years, the glaciers may disappear by 2030.

Threats to the ecosystem include logging, poaching, harvesting, mining, and global warming.

Highest Summits of Rwenzori Mountains
1) Mount Stanley (5,109m), 0.390707 N, 29.868307 E (DRC)
2) Mount Speke (4,890m), 0.437217N, 29.899549 E (DRC)
3) Mount Baker (4,843m), 0.363748 N, 29.877834 E (Uganda)
4) Mount Emin (4,798m), 0.437217 N, 29.899464 E (DRC)
5) Mount Gessi (4,715m), 0.426961 N, 29.918261 E (Uganda)
6) Mount Luigi di Savoia (4,627m), 0.330446 N, 29.887834 E (Uganda)

Further reading
Jacobs, Liesbet, et al. "Landslide characteristics and spatial distribution in the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda." Journal of African Earth Sciences 134 (2017): 917-930.

Bauer, F. U., et al. "The Rwenzori Mountains of western Uganda–Aspects on the evolution of their remarkable morphology within the Albertine Rift." Journal of African Earth Sciences 73 (2012): 44-56.

Eggermont, Hilde, Kay Van Damme, and James M. Russell. "Rwenzori mountains (mountains of the moon): headwaters of the white Nile." The Nile. Springer, Dordrecht, 2009. 243-261.