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Vegetation Zones

There are 5 different vegetation zones found in the Rwenzori mountains. These are grassland (1000-2000m), montane forest (2000-3000m), bamboo/mimulopsis zone (2500-3500m), Heather/Rapanea zone (3000-4000m) and the afro-alpine moorland zone (4000-4500m).

At higher altitudes, some plants reach an unusually large size, such as lobelia and groundsels. The vegetation in the Rwenzori mountains is unique to equatorial alpine Africa and the only other places where they might be also found are at Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya.

The lush bamboo forest exists above the rain-forest characterized by tall bamboo. And above bamboo forest, heather zone exists at 3000 to 3800m, alpine zone is available at 3500m and significant floral species include groundsel, giant lobelia and these occupy a larger area. At 4400m, there is nival zone mostly featuring the permanent snow & glaciers.


Rwenzori Mountain is naturally endowed with rich & diverse floral species. It features African savanna, tropical rainforest, bamboo, heath, alpine meadows and snow making it a home to diverse ecological zones. At the base slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, the savanna grassland dominates and this is an area that is rich with diverse wildlife/faunal species. Beyond the savanna zone, there is a rain-forest at 1676 & 2286m.

There are several animal species worth spotting while on Uganda safari in Rwenzori Mountains. They include 70 mammal species that range around the lower slopes, elephants, bush bucks, duikers, hyrax, primates such as red tailed, l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, Angola colobus monkeys; reptiles like three-horned chameleon.

There are not so many larger animals found in the mountains, due to heavy hunting during the 1970s-1980s. In the forest zone are still elephants and buffaloes – but they are rarely seen. Animals that are more often seen are chimpanzees, blue monkeys, Rwenzori Colobus monkey, duiker, forest hog hyrax and leopard. The leopard is seen as high as 4000m.

The important birds of Rwenzori Mountains total up to 217 species and they include several endangered & Albertine rift species. They can easily be sighted around the forests including among others the Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turacos, blue sunbirds, Archer’s robin chat, mountain buzzards, crimson wings, slender billed starling, cinnamon chested bee-eater, barred long tailed cuckoo, handsome francolins, stripe breast tit, golden winged sunbird, montane sooty boubou, black & swift eagles.