Tourism

UWA Halts Margherita Peak Hiking in Rwenzori National Park

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  • Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA | Uganda has temporarily ceased hiking activities to the highest peak of Mountain Rwenzori, which is shared with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, due to the emergence of a crevasse in the glaciers.
  • UWA mentioned that it is considering the option of installing a permanent ladder at another location on the glacier to ensure a safe passage to the peak.

Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA | Uganda has temporarily ceased hiking activities to the highest peak of Mountain Rwenzori, which is shared with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, due to the emergence of a crevasse in the glaciers.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), tasked with wildlife conservation, announced the suspension in a statement released on Tuesday. The suspension affects hiking to Margherita Peak, towering at 5,109 meters above sea level.

“The decision comes as a precautionary measure following a comprehensive assessment conducted by our team in response to reports of a crevasse formation in the Margherita glacier,” stated the agency. A crevasse denotes a deep crack in glaciers.

UWA mentioned that it is considering the option of installing a permanent ladder at another location on the glacier to ensure a safe passage to the peak.

“UWA prioritizes the safety and well-being of our clients. We are committed to ensuring that all clients safely enjoy their visit to Rwenzori Mountains National Park,” the agency affirmed.

Tourists are encouraged to explore hiking other peaks within the Rwenzori Mountains, such as Speke, Baker, and Cheptegei Peak, which offer breathtaking views and unique experiences amidst the park’s stunning landscape.

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Although UWA did not specify the cause of the crevasse, environmentalists have cautioned that the mountain’s glaciers are melting due to climate change.

Hiking is one of the tourism activities favored in Uganda, alongside park visits, chimpanzee and gorilla tracking, bird watching, and kayaking.

According to statistics from the Uganda Tourism Board, the number of tourists visiting Rwenzori Mountain increased from 2,724 in 2014 to 6,043 in 2019. ■

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