Summiting Rwenzoris Temporarily Suspended

0
4

Rwenzori Mountains National Park has temporarily suspended all mountaineering activities related to summiting the Rwenzoris. In a press release issued on 14th May 2024; Uganda Wildlife Authority stated that their technical team had noticed a crevasse formation in the Margherita Peak glacier and as a precautionary response, all hikes to Margherita Peak have been suspended until further notice.

It should be noted that Margherita Peak is Uganda’s highest point standing at 5109 meters above sea level. It usually takes seven to eight days to summit the Rwenzoris.

However for purposes of clarity; Uganda wildlife Authority categorically stated summiting the other peaks of Mount Stanley is still open. It is only summiting the Margherita peak that has been suspended. Other still open hikes include; Mount Speke, Mount Baker, and Cheptegei Peak.

Tourists who had reserved trips to Margherita Peak are advised to either postpone their trips or readjust their trip plans to fit the current developments.

Quick Facts About Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the least visited national parks in Uganda. Besides its stunning beauty, the park often makes headlines because of river Nyamwamba busting its banks almost annually.

Park Location

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is located in southwestern Uganda, near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The park extends to the border of Semuliki National Park. It encompasses four Ugandan districts; Kasese, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and Kabarole

Park Size 

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is seated on a Land expanse of 995 square kilometers. It is the fifth biggest national park in Uganda after Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Mount Elgon National Park.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the three UNESCO heritage sites in Uganda.

Mountain Rwenzori Ranges

The park is home to the Rwenzori mountain range, which includes several peaks exceeding 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) in elevation. The highest peak, Margherita Peak, stands at 5,109 meters (16,763 feet) and is the third-highest mountain in Africa.

Glacial Features

Rwenzori Mountains National Park boasts Africa’s third-largest ice cap, with glaciers and snowfields adorning the higher slopes of the mountains. These glacial features contribute to the park’s distinct alpine climate and hydrology.

Vegetation Zones

Rwenzori Mountains National Park features diverse vegetation zones, ranging from tropical rainforests at lower elevations to alpine meadows and Afro-alpine moorland at higher altitudes. The park’s varied ecosystems support a wide array of flora and fauna.

Trekking and Mountaineering

The park offers opportunities for trekking and mountaineering, with several trails leading through its scenic landscapes. Popular routes include the Rwenzori Central Circuit Trail and the challenging ascent to Margherita Peak.

Cultural Heritage

In addition to its natural wonders, Rwenzori Mountains National Park is culturally significant, with the indigenous Bakonjo people residing in the foothills of the mountains. Visitors can learn about the traditional lifestyles, beliefs, and cultural practices of the local communities.

Visitor Facilities

The park offers basic visitor facilities, including campsites, lodges, and ranger stations. Visitors are encouraged to engage in responsible tourism practices and support conservation efforts in Rwenzori Mountains National Park.