The told secrets of Ruwenzori Alpines

Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains

The told secrets of Ruwenzori Alpines

Rwenzori glacier provides water for hundreds of thousands of Ugandans. But as the glacier keeps melting, life and livelihoods are eroding.

Africa’s largest ice cap can be found in Mount Stanley in Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains. It’s no wonder the nineteenth century explorer Henry Morton described these mountains as containing a ‘perpetual mist, brooding under the eternal storm-clouds, surrounded by darkness and mystery.’ Rwenzori’s snow cap has however, been melting steadily over the last few decades. While full restoration is improbable, if not impossible, Rwenzori is still home to lush biodiversity that continues to make a lasting difference to the lives of Ugandans who live in proximity to the mountains.

Hood Lubowa, Africa’s Bio Voice for Uganda spent some time in the Rwenzori mountains and observed the ‘perpetual mist’ that Henry Morton Stanley witnessed one century earlier. He also experienced firsthand how local people interact with the Rwenzori Mountains.

The storied ravishingly magnificent “Mountains of the Moon” tower and skirt through the districts of Kasese, Kabarole, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo; and their rugged contours, from afar, stand in silhouettes against the sky and clouds, almost in complete dazzling mystique fashion. These sacred picturesque mountains, of the showery ambience, are a motely of nature’s marvels – flora and fauna. Some parts of the land are enshrouded in luxuriant vegetation like the bamboo forest, Afro-montane forest, ericaceous forest, and a cluster of others. The rocks, or some of them, are smothered in mosses and lichens and those naturally denuded of any vegetation are also common with a few pockets of Helichrysuml scrub lobelia, Dendrosenencio and runssoroensis. Underneath the eaves of some of these rocks, birds like the Alpine Swift often nest, and they croon and twitter on a nightly routine, as if calling out the Rwenzori pantheon.

Author

Hood Lubowa

Hood Lubowa

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