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UWA suspends hiking to Margherita in Rwenzori National Park

King Oyo after he scaled the peak

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

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), a state agency responsible for wildlife conservation, announced the suspension in a statement issued on Tuesday. The suspension affects hiking to Margherita Peak, which stands at 5,109 meters above sea level.

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

UWA said that it is exploring the possibility of installing a permanent ladder at another location on the glacier to provide 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 added.

Tourists are encouraged to explore hiking other peaks within the Rwenzori Mountains, including Speke, Baker and Cheptegei Peak, which offer breathtaking views and unique experiences amid the stunning landscape of the park.

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

Hiking is one of the tourism activities enjoyed in Uganda, alongside park visits, chimpanzee and gorilla tracking, bird viewing 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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