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Ruwenzori(ro͞o'wənzō`rē), mountain range, E central Africa, on the Uganda-Congo border, in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley between lakes Albert and Edward. This fault-block range is composed of ancient crystalline rock; Uganda's Kilembe copper mine is located in the range's eastern foothills. The snowcapped summits of the Ruwenzori include Mt. Margherita (16,798 ft/5,120 m) and Mt. Alexandra (16,750 ft/5,105 m). The peaks are invariably shrouded in mist, presenting an eerie aspect, and there are extensive glaciers and glacial lakes. The range may be the fabled "Mountains of the Moon," erroneously supposed by the ancients to be the source of the Nile.
(formerly Queen Elizabeth National Park), a national part in Uganda; located in the Western Province near Lakes Edward and George. Area, 220,000 hectares. The park was created in 1952 as a preserve for large animals of the tropical rain forest, savannas, and swamps. It is inhabited by elephants, buffalo, hippopotamuses (the number is regulated), several kinds of antelope, greater celandines, lions, leopards (rarely encountered), and chimpanzees. There are also many birds. A scientific center for studying the ecology of tropical fauna is located in the settlement of Mweya.
a mountain massif in East Africa, on the border of Zaïre and Uganda. The maximum elevation is 5,109 m at Margherita Peak. The Ruwenzoris consist of an arched hollow uplift composed of Precambrian crystalline rocks. On the lower slopes to an elevation of approximately 2,600 m there are piedmont and mountain tropical rain forests, partially replaced by secondary savannas. Along the timberline there are bamboo thickets. Subalpine vegetation, primarily tree heath, is found at elevations of 2,600 to 3,800 m. Above 3,800 m there are alpine meadows of ragwort and lobelia. Permanent snow and glaciers (with an area of about 5 sq km) cover the mountains above 4,600 or 4,800 m. Valley glaciers descend to an elevation of approximately 4,200 m. The Ruwenzoris were discovered in 1876 by H. M. Stanley.