“This mountain is not a joke and so most people who come here expect to challenge it."
TRAVEL | TOURISM
Some 50 people climbed Mt. Muhabura on Saturday in a bid to promote domestic tourism.
The campaign dubbed "Tutembe Muhabura" was championed by Kigezi Cultural and Tourism Digital promoters.
According to Scovia Kyariisima, the executive director of the organization, this trip was one way of promoting domestic tourism through active exercising.
"Hiking a mountain is not a simple exercise despite its adventurous ability. When one completes it he or she feels a champion and is always available to try it again or inspire others for a challenge thus promoting this tourism product," said Kyarisiima.
Kenneth Biryabarema Jogo, the Rubanda district chairperson who was the chief hiker recommended Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to boost its sensitisation about hiking so as to prepare participants well for the challenge.
"This mountain is not a joke and so most people who come here expect to challenge it. They start with a lot of energy and along the way they are challenged. This is the reason why we need more sensitization on this exercise," said Biryabarema.
Biryabarema further asked UWA to put up garbage collection centres on the mountain so as to avoid poor garbage disposal from tourists and to avail them convenience in hiking.
"Along the way people need to dispose of things like empty water bottles, glucose cans etc but they are not allowed to do it so it is good for UWA to avail garbage collection centres at least on every resting point," said Biryabarema.
Jackline Umutoni one of the participants described the hiking as a tiresome adventure that requires determination.
"I was discouraged by some of my colleagues to give up the hike but I never considered that option because I seriously needed to make it to the top. With a focused and patient attitude, I was able to conquer Muhabura," said Umutoni.
Fr. Ignatius Arineitwe of St.Peters Catholic Parish,Kisoro another participant in the hike said that his victory was inspired by God.
"I saw this challenge as not only a physical adventure but also a Godly inspired exercise. I do not say that I made it on my own because I prayed to God to help me in this exercise and with him I was able to complete successfully," said Arineitwe.
Christopher Masaba, the warden in charge for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park hailed the team for embarking on this cause that is promoting local tourism.
"It would be valueless for us to own these resources and we do not feel their importance, such group initiatives are good for our tourism sector development," said Masaba.
Mount Muhabura is an extinct volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and Uganda.
At 4,127 metres (13,540 ft) Muhabura is the third highest of the eight major mountains of the mountain range, which is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift.
Muhabura is partly in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda and partly in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda.
The name Muhabura means 'The Guide' in the local language, Kinyarwanda.