A couple of days ago, Amos Wekesa and Robert Kabushenga led a group of 12 other enthusiast Ugandans aloft the highest height in Uganda, the Margherita peak aloft the Stanley (Ngaliema) Ranges on Mountain Rwenzori in Kasese District.
For starters, Margherita stands at an elevation of 5,109 metres (16,762 feet), the highest in Uganda and third in the pyramid on the entire African continent after Mount Kenya (5199m) and Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania.
The climbers were led by 57 other volunteers as they braved the thick rocks, dense variety of vegetation (tropical rain forests, alpine meadows, giant groundsel, moss, heather and lobella) and freezing temperatures to hit their intended mission and target at hand.
Wekesa, Kabusenga and others championed the cause in just four days and followed in the rich history books of the earliest personalities who conquered Mt Stanley way back in 1906 by Italian Luigi Amedeo, J. Petigax, C. Ollier and J. Brocherel.
The Margherita peak stands tallest aloft from Alexandra (5091 ft), Albert (5087 ft), Savoia (4977 ft), Ellena (4968 ft), Elizabeth (4929 ft), Phillip (4920 ft), Moebius (4916 ft) and Great Tooth (4603 ft).
One bold mission at the apex of the gigantic mountains was to place the banner advertising the upcoming marathon “Mt Rwenzori Tusker Lite Marathon”.
This marathon (5KM, 21KM and 42 KM) will happen on Sunday, 3rd September 2022, as part of the catalogue of activities that constitute this year’s Rwenzori Theluji Festival.
The other activities will entail aTourism Expo and Greening Kasese (1st to 4th September), Kasese Carnival (2nd to 3rd September), Miss Tourism Rwenzori (Grand Finale on 3rd September), Rwenzori Trade Investment Convention & Expo (2nd – 4th September) and the Round Table discussion at KTIF Grounds (4th September).
The official launch of the Rwenzori Theluji festival was ironically held at Hotel Margherita, adjacent the par-73 Kilembe Mines golf facility that also overlooks the Rwenzori mountain ranges.
“Rwenzori Mountains have the potential of generating one billion shillings per year to the economy of Uganda” Wekesa told the media at the launch.
He cited the huge potentiality of these mountains to lure the numbers from across the entire world as the people visit Uganda, Kasese in particular for two missions; to win and climb the mountains.
Kabushenga, a former Vision Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) boldly describes the Rwenzori mountains as the “Garden of Eden for Uganda”.
“Rwenzori is the Garden of Eden for Uganda every single drop of water that irrigates Uganda comes from. The Rwenzori Theluji festival is here to promote tourism alongside cultural diversity. As part of the festival, we are organizing a Tusker Lite Mount Rwenzori marathon where we expect over 3000 runners including international runners.” Kabushenga remarked.
As the runners prepare for this upcoming marathon, the organizing team remains aggressive as they engage as many partners as possible in a bid to lure several runners on board.
Domestic and international tourism will surely boom across the divide.
The transport sector, accommodation (lodges and hotels), agriculture (food) and other service partners will surely join on board.
Perhaps, there is need to explore these gigantic mountains and preserve them for they are a source of livelihood to Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt.
For the record, Mountain Rwenzori is also part of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Let us all book 3rd September 2022 for the Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon.