By our reporter

Ravichandran Tharumalingam, who from 19th January spent eight days climbing the Mountain Rwenzori has praised the challenge as the best he has ever experienced.

“I have climbed many mountains, been to Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro, but none compares to what confronts you when you climb the Mt. Rwenzori Mountains,” he said while addressing the press on Wednesday in Kampala.

Fondly known as Ravi, the climber was on his first trip to Uganda at the invitation of the Uganda High Commission in Malaysia and hosted by the Ministry of Tourism.

Mr Ravichandran Tharumalingam

Photo credit: Tourism Uganda

Ravi‘s nod for the Rwenzori is no mean approval. The Malaysian climber is one of a few humans who have climbed the world’s height peak of Mount Everest, a feat he achieved on May 15, 2006.

His badge of honour for his mountaineering feat is the eight fingers he lost after a rope cut through his frozen hands during a climb.

He praised Uganda for conserving the Rwenzori environment, which he found very unique unlike any other he has seen in all the mountains he has climbed worldwide.

Ambassador Dorothy Hyuha, Uganda’s envoy to Malaysia, says the mission worked together with a Malaysian organization to identify a high profile individual to promote Uganda as a tourist destination which will help boost the country’s economy.

Ravi further added that he will definitely share his Rwenzori experience with other mountain climbers so that they come and get the extraordinary experience themselves.

According Stephen Asiimwe, the Executive Director of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the promotion by prominent climbers like Ravi is timely and in sync with the work they are doing at UTB.

Mr Stephen Asiimwe, the Executive Director of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB)

Photo credit: Tourism Uganda

“We have just completed a comprehensive marketing strategy to promote the whole Rwenzori region as prime mountaineering and cultural tourism destination” he said.

Tourism has emerged as Uganda’s top export, raking in over $1.3 billion in 2016 and employing over 450,000 people.

The country’s profile is also growing and more favourable for travelers around the world.

Ravi’s challenge was supported by both private and public sector institutions, among them the Rwenzori Trekking Services, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Uganda High Commission in Malaysia, Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Uganda Tourism Board.