Volcanic hiking is one of the most adventurous activity for those interested in Mountain Climbing in Uganda. Uganda has a lot of places where you can do Participate in Rock hiking, Hiking hills and Mountain hiking. It is safe and enjoyable and all these places have a rich history to diversify your knowledge. Mgahinga Volcano climbing is one of the most beautiful hiking places in Uganda where you can climb Mountain Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo which are among the six Virunga mountain chain of Rwanda, D R Congo and Uganda famous for Mountain Hiking and Gorilla trekking.
Mountain Muhavura is found on the Rwanda – Uganda border in Mgahinga National Park. It is the highest of the gahinga ranges with 4174 Meters above sea level. It is a longer hike to the summit taking about 5 hours which makes it tough, and coming down takes roughly the same. It has a small crater lake at the summit which can easily circumnavigate to get access to views across the Virunga ranges. Encounter Africa safaris has several hiking packages to Mountain Muhavura detailed on www.gorilla-tracking-Uganda.com
This is situated on the common border of the three countries Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. It is 3645 meters above sea level, it is the most challenging of the three because of more rugged terrain with many craters, but the most fun and has the best views of the Virunga’s stretching across all the three countries. It has three peaks which look like three spaced teeth, hence the local name Sabinyo which translates “Old Man’s Teeth”. Hiking of Sabinyo requires you to only take one day to Participate
This is a much smaller mountain of the three and is found between Muhavura and Sabinyo, but closer to former. It is a dormant volcano of the Virunga Mountains, it is the shortest and easiest hike and you can only take about 6 hours to ascend and descend and stands at 3474 meters above sea level. It has a bigger swampy Crater Lake at the top which isn’t so easy to circumnavigate to gain better views. The name Gahinga originates from the local language meaning Pile of stones.
The hiking of all the three mountains starts early morning with a briefing at the Park headquarters about the guidelines to follow while on the Hike, this is done by the guides and park wardens to guide you on this experience. After the briefing, you are guided by the guides and Park rangers to the trails for a volcano climbing experience. You are issued walking sticks to help you where it gets steep and we always advise you to hire porters, to give you a hand on the climb and carry your bag backer and any other item for you to walk freely. The experience of these mountains is incredible while on your visit to Uganda.
Considering the hiker’s fitness and speed, the three mountains might be the easiest to hike in Uganda. Climbing Mountain Muhavura which has the highest elevation and the steepest volcanic ranges can take you about 6-7 hours to climb and about the same to descend back. The hike is enjoyable as you walk through the trails in the forest to reach the top if you are lucky you can see the forest elephants, birds and other wildlife.
The hike to the top Mountain Sabinyo can take you one day hike involving 4 hours to the summit and 4 hours back and this depends on the pace and weather conditions. You will see the rugged nature of the terrain along the Sabinyo slopes that has many craters with sharp ridges, Walking sticks are provided for free meanwhile the porters are available for hire. You will go through vegetation ranges from the bamboo zone between 2400 – 2800m. Sabinyo is the higher than Gahinga Mountain and the second to Muhavura Mountain.
Mountain Gahinga is considered the easiest Mountain to climb of the three mountains. It can only take you about 6 hours to climb to the summit and return to the starting point. For those who love climbing and are not very fit, have a slow pace are recommend this smallest volcano. The climb takes you first through bamboo vegetation on the base before you start a steep climb of the slopes of the volcano. The crater on top of mountain Gahinga is shallow and covered with swamps and moors where plants like Alchemilla, Senecio and Lobelia thrive. The environment at the top can be Misty and cold and with beautiful views. The hike up Mt Gahinga will typically take a half-day depending on the strength of the climbers and the time spent at the summit
Depending on your budget, we are able to tailor you a package to have an incredible hiking experience to Mgahinga National Park. We do offer all-inclusive packages having transport, accommodation, entrance fees, hiking fees and all services for your hiking safaris to any the mountains. The hiking fees for Mountain Muhabura, Sabinyo and Gahinga is USD 80 per person Foreign Non-residents, USD70 for Foreign Residents and Uganda shillings 50,000 for East African citizens. You will also be required to pay Park entrance fees for Mgahinga national park of USD40 for foreign non-residents, USD30 for foreign residents and Uganda shillings 20,000 per day. The mountain climbing and park entrance fees are charged per day per person and payment is done to Uganda wildlife Authority which is the managing body.
The booking process is very easy as hiking takes place throughout the year, Contact us about your planned hiking trip and we tailor a package that suits your budget, time and interest. Once you confirm you’re booking with us, we shall send you an invoice for payment so that we secure all the services for your trip in advance. We shall Payment for hiking and entrance fees at the park headquarters for you to be allowed to go on the hike of either Muhavura, Gahinga or Sabinyo. You can as well opt to book hiking for all the volcanoes and you hike each mountain per day.
Yes, there is political insecurity history in the past years in the region through this was handled by both countries. The safety of all visitors is our priority as a country, even though these mountains can be assessed from Rwanda and Congo. There is integrated security to ensure the tourism activities happening all these mountains is safe. Mountain Muhabura, Sabinyo and Gahinga are very safe for hiking, two armed rangers are always allocated to you on the hike with guides to ensure your experience is safe.
Mountain Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo are found in southwestern Uganda in Kisoro district, the mountains are located within the famous Mgahinga National Park. The park is Uganda’s smallest national park which is boarded by Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda, Mgahinga National Park harbours the endangered mountain gorilla and the Golden Monkeys. The Mountain are close to each other and shared with Rwanda, at the top of the mountains, you can be able to view the beautiful scenery of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park where the mountain are found can easily be accessed from Kigali in Rwanda just four-hour drive from to the Park, through the Chanika border between Uganda and Rwanda. The drive from Kigali can start from the Airport /hotel with a city tour of Kigali and then cross into Kisoro district in Uganda for Lunch and overnight. You can as well access Mgahinga National park from Entebbe/Kampala, where you will drive approximately 9-10 hours’ drive on Kampala-Mbarara- Kisoro highway to the park. There is a lot to see on the way namely; Plantations, Equator line, terraced hills, rivers, lakes, Swamps and the beautiful hospitable people of Uganda. The road trips can be enjoyable with stops at different intervals by your driver-guide for photography and Lunch break
There is also and the option of flying from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip and the flight is about 2 hours into Kisoro Airstrip. The park headquarters is only about 30-minute drive from the Airstrip. There are scheduled flights departing every day with Aerolink Uganda and other flight companies, charter flights are also available. We can tailor your trip and you do volcano climbing in Mgahinga national for an amazing experience.
Since the mountains are within Mgahinga National Park, the park has a number of accommodation choices where you can stay while on your visit. Most of the lodges are found in the outskirts of the park with a clear view of the forest and the mountain ranges. The Lodges range from Budget to Luxury and these include; Gahinga Lodge which is a luxury hotel, Lake Chahafi Lodge, Lake Muhele Lodge which can serve as for both Midrange and Budget. There is also an option of staying in hotels in Kisoro town, the town is just 30 minutes’ drive to the Park headquarters. Some the travellers opt to stay in Lodges/Camps in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as it is about 1-hour drive to Mgahinga National Park.
Encounter Africa safaris offers amazing Mountain hiking experiences in Uganda and the East African region as a whole. We have conducted several Mountain climbing safaris to Mountain Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo. Contact us for our discounted packages and also tailor-made trips. Our magic in organizing authentic experience stems from the fact that we have overtime assembled a team mixed with young and energetic staff guided by well experienced mature managers and directors who are Ugandans and passionate about what they do. Encounter Africa Safaris is highly rated and reviewed on trip Advisor and safari bookings to help you learn on the experiences of the other travellers who have travelled with us specifically for Mountain hiking.
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