Rain Maker
At the heart of the African continent, close to the equator, the Rwenzori Mountains rise from the Great Rift Valley with peaks so high they’re covered in snow all year round. The name Rwenzori is derived from a local word meaning rain maker, and it is the abundance of rain combined with glacial melt that makes it possible for five distinctive overlapping vegetation zones to flourish on these slopes. Separated largely by altitude, these zones form slices of life that range from the tropical rainforests of the foothills to the lichen covered rocks of the upper reaches, with boggy forests of bamboo, moss-covered heather, and the striking shapes of giant groundsels and lobelia populating the zones in between.

At its core, this series is a celebration of the extraordinary ecosystems of the Rwenzori Mountains, but it also serves to highlight the threat posed by rampant climate change. Forty-three glaciers were recorded in this area when it was first surveyed in 1906, now less than half that number remain, and those that do are expected to disappear completely within a decade. Like a falling house of cards, the loss of the glaciers will in turn cause cascading effects, disrupting all the remarkable habitats below.