Rwenzori Mountains

« Back to Glossary Index

**Geology of Rwenzori Mountains:**
– Formed about 3 million years ago
– Result of uplifted block of crystalline rocks
– Highest non-volcanic, non-orogenic mountains in the world
– Uplift divided paleolake Obweruka, creating African Great Lakes
– Range consists of 6 massifs separated by deep gorges

**Human History of Rwenzori Mountains:**
– Linked with legendary Mountains of the Moon
– Modern European explorers observed the range in the late 19th century
– Duke of Abruzzi led an expedition to the Ruwenzori in 1906
– First traverse of the six massifs done in 1975 by Polish climbers
– Mountains have been sanctuaries to rebel groups during conflicts

**Natural History of Rwenzori Mountains – Flora:**
– Known for diverse vegetation
– Supports unique species and varieties of plants
– Five overlapping vegetation zones in the Ruwenzori
– Adaptations developed by afro-alpine plants to survive
– Ongoing concern about impact of climate change on glaciers

**Natural History of Rwenzori Mountains – Other Aspects:**
– Rivers fed by mountain streams form source of the Nile
– Supports own species of giant groundsel and giant lobelia
– Most of the range is now a World Heritage Site
– Vegetation zones range from tropical rainforest to snow
– Glaciers on the range have been retreating due to climate change

**Additional References and External Links:**
– Book: ‘Natural Wonders of the World’ edited by Richard L. Scheffel and Susan J. Wernet (1980)
Research on climate change and aquatic ecosystems in the Rwenzori Mountains by Makerere University and University College London (2007)
– Journal article on early human presence in Uganda’s Rifts, Rivers, and Rains by E. J. Wayland (1934)
– Studies on Afroalpine vegetation in the Rwenzori Mountains by S. Schutyser (2007)
– Study on rebels and insurgencies in Uganda by Christopher R. Day (2011)
– Professional Paper on glaciers of the Middle East and Africa edited by Richard S. Williams Jr. (1991)
– Guide to the Ruwenzori by H.A. Osmaston and D. Pasteur (1972)
– Documentation on equatorial glaciers recession by S. Hastenrath (2008)
– Book on tropical glaciers by G. Kaser and H.A. Osmaston (2002)
– Wikimedia Commons media related to Ruwenzori Range
– Text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article on Ruwenzori on Wikisource
– World Wildlife Fund’s Ruwenzoris profile
– University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries’ 1937 aerial photographs of Rwenzori Mountains
– ‘The New Students Reference Work’ entry on Ruwenzori edited by Chandler B. Beach (1914)

Rwenzori Mountains (Wikipedia)

The Ruwenzori, also spelled Rwenzori and Rwenjura, or Rwenzururu (Swahili: Milima ya Ruwenzori) are a range of mountains in eastern equatorial Africa, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The highest peak of the Ruwenzori reaches 5,109 metres (16,762 ft), and the range's upper regions are permanently snow-capped and glaciated. Rivers fed by mountain streams form one of the sources of the Nile. Because of this, European explorers linked the Ruwenzori with the legendary Mountains of the Moon, claimed by the Greek scholar Ptolemy as the source of the Nile. Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo and Rwenzori Mountains National Park in southwestern Uganda are located within the range.

Highest point
PeakMount Stanley
Elevation5,109 m (16,762 ft)
Coordinates00°23′09″N 29°52′18″E / 0.38583°N 29.87167°E / 0.38583; 29.87167
Length120 km (75 mi)
Ruwenzori is located in Uganda
CountryUganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo
« Back to Glossary Index