year 2006 marks the centenary anniversary of the climbing
of the Rwenzori by a scientific expedition headed by Luigi
di Savoia, the Duke of Abruzzi. The Embassy of the Republic
of Italy in Uganda organized a scientific conference and
other festivities to commemorate this event. The project
prepared 4 posters for the conference and celebrations,
and geology of the Rwenzori mountain range
- land cover of
the Rwenzori mountains and surroundings, derived from AFRICOVER
- glacier retreat
in the period 1906 to 2005
- various satellite
images of the Rwenzori mountains.
the SRTM data set draped over satellite imageries, the project
also prepared a brief fly-over video showing the topography
of the Rwenzori mountains and the rift valley.
The Rwenzori mountains lie along the border of Uganda and
the Democratic Republic of Congo, rising to a height of
about 5,100 m above sea level. This non-volcanic mountain
range was formed from a block that was tilted and thrust
up during the development of the Rift valley.
150 AD the Greek geographer Ptolemy described the Rwenzoris
as the “Mountains of the Moon” or “Lunae
Montes”. Based on findings at the Alexandria library,
combined with oral stories from equatorial Africa, he concluded
that these snow covered mountains at the equator were the
source of the Nile. The word Rwenzori means “the place
from where the rain comes”, which aptly describes
these mist-shrouded mountains that experience high rainfall
during most of the year.
the late 19th century, several expeditions attempt to scale
the Rwenzori peaks but all fail. Then in 1906, Luigi di
Savoia, Duke of Abruzzi, sets out with a large scientific
expedition. While reaching the tops is the key objective,
the team also plans to conduct extensive investigations
of the geophysical, meteorological, and magnetic characteristic
of the Rwenzori massif. The research is further complemented
with studies of the flora and fauna of the region and mountain
expedition is successful and between 10 June and 16 July
1906 seventeen peaks of the Rwenzoris are climbed. The remarkable
scientific results are presented in “Il Rwenzori:
Relazioni Scientifiche” published in 1909 by Hoepli
of Milan, which up to today remains an important source
of information on the mountains.
remarkable photographs by Vittorio Sella are yet another
lasting outcome of the 1906 expedition. These splendid black-and-white
images illustrate the official volume of the expedition
“Il Rwenzori: viaggio di esplorazione e prime ascensioni”.
Up to today, they still intrigue by their beauty and embedded