UWA suspends hiking to Margherita Peak in Rwenzori

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UWA suspends hiking to Margherita Peak in Rwenzori
The Margherita Peak of the Rwenzori mountains is the highest point in Uganda and third highest in Africa

The precautionary measure is taken after a comprehensive assessment conducted in response to reports of a crevasse formation in the Margherita glacier.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has temporarily suspended hiking activities to Margherita Peak in Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

The Authority said the suspension of hiking activities is a precautionary measure taken after a comprehensive assessment conducted in response to reports of a crevasse formation in the Margherita glacier.

A crevasse is a crack in the surface of a glacier caused by extensive stress within the ice.

Some glacial crevasses - such as at Mount Everest - can be 50m deep, which can cause fatal injuries in a fall.

“To make hiking safer, we're exploring the installation of a permanent ladder at a strategic location on the right side of the Margherita glacier,” UWA said in the May 14 statement.

Hiking in the Rwenzoris is one of the major tourist activities in the country

UWA noted that the alternative route will provide a safer passage for hikers to Margherita Peak, enhancing the overall hiking experience.

"During this interim period, visitors are encouraged to explore other picturesque peaks within Rwenzori Mountains National Park," the statement added.

Mount Speke, Mount Baker, and Cheptegei Peak on the Stanley Range are notable alternatives, offering breathtaking views and unique experiences amidst the stunning landscape of the park.

Mt Stanley's Margherita Peak, at 5,109m above sea level, is the highest point in Uganda and the third-highest point in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.

The Margherita Peak is adorned with glacial terrain, rich biodiversity, cultural significance, and challenging climbing routes, making it an iconic destination for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

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