Mountaineering trips are the most adventurous holidays found allover the world but the level of hardship that it entails is much appreciated after the reach of the peak. This was the live experience rwenzori trekkers face when climbing Rwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda.
The difficulty and enjoyment of hiking depends on where you plan to take your feet. But no matter where you go, there are things that never change: the safety measures you have to observe and the standard rules you have to monitor. While on your Rwenzori trip there are some things you should and shouldn’t do.
Do not bring valuables
There is no shopping mall out in the Rwenzori Mountains. And definitely, there is no need to flaunt any jewelry to the trees and plants out there. Never bring your wallet, jewelries, and other valuable items on a hiking trip because when they get lost, you might have to spend more time faced-down looking for your lost items than seeing the beautiful views Rwenzori has to offer and enjoying the trip.
Do not pack more than you should have
Carrying a heavy bag on the hike is tiring enough so make sure that you do not carry too many things when you go hiking to these great mountains. Pack clothes enough to last for the whole trip. Bring only the things that you know you are going to use. All the excess items should be left at home or in your hotel room. For the hike, you have to travel as light as you can.
Plan your hiking trip
Being safe while on any tour starts with a right plan. Schedule your hiking trip months before your anticipated date so that you have adequate time to prepare. Identify a hiking site that is right for your skill. If it is your first time, read informative articles about hiking in the Rwenzori and the things you need during the trip. Take time go over the safety precautions posted by your hiking site. If you plan to spend overnight in the mountains, make sure that you have everything you need to survive the trip. Plan your itineraries carefully. As for the Rwenzori trek, you will always be in the company of guides who are there to help you in case of any uncertainties.
Know the weather forecast
Either you plan to go for a day hiking trip or you want to spend your nights outdoor, it is very, very important to watch the news and listen the weather forecast of the location of your hiking trip. Rwenzori trek is an all year round activity but the best time to trek is in the drier seasons. Called “the rain maker” by the locals, Rain may still be expected during these months but not as much as during the wet seasons. This will give you a good head start on what to type of weather condition to expect and provide you with the right information as to what equipment to bring.
Do wear proper clothing
You must wear the right clothes depending on the season. During summer, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, closed-toe shoes with hard soles, and a hat are appropriate. No sandals, shorts or capri pants. During cold weather, wear jacket, sweaters, wool shirt, thermal-style underwear, and layered clothing will keep you protected from the chill.
Do anticipate the rain
Weather changes unpredictably in the Rwenzori, rain can be expected any time. Most of the time, you will never know if it is going to rain or not. So, be prepared! Bring waterproof clothes and windproof gear on your trip.
Bring proper equipment
Make sure you have the right equipment before you start the trek in the mountains. For those going to Margarita, make sure you crampons, ice axe, harness, ropes and helmet. Utility tools should be the number one equipment on your list of “what to bring”. Also, do not forget flashlight and batteries even if you don’t intend to spend the night outdoor. A portable gas stove is recommended if you plan to cook your food.
Do enjoy your hiking trip
Bring a set of binoculars, a camera or a video camera to capture you moments during the hiking trip.
Safety on Hikes
While on any hiking safari in Uganda, always make sure that you are safe. Ensuring that you are safe during your trip is an essential consideration and you should always work with a tour operator who can guarantee safe hikes. Always communicate with the operator about your fitness levels, challenges and healthy issues. If you feel, you cannot make it to the peak, be free to advise the guides since life is precious!