Mountain hiking enthusiasts, both seasoned climbers and newcomers to the world of mountain exploration, will find their hearts captivated by the scenic wonders of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This awe-inspiring national park, nestled within the Virunga Area, boasts three magnificent volcanoes, promising hiking experiences like no other. Located at the crossroads of Rwanda and Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers a unique blend of challenges and rewards.
Rising to an elevation of 3,645 meters above sea level, Mount Sabyinyo stands as a testament to the effects of time, its crown weathered like the wisdom of an old man. This extraordinary volcano presents intrepid hikers with three distinct peaks, each offering its own set of challenges. The journey begins with a climb along the eastern ridge of the mountain towards the first peak. To continue the adventure, trekkers must navigate along a ridge, flanked by dramatic plunges into the gorges of Rwanda and Uganda, a dual-country spectacle unlike any other.
The climax of the expedition involves scaling the steep ascent to the third peak, a terrain adorned with ladders and requiring adept scrambling. Expect to get your hands dirty as you conquer this final ascent. Your efforts will be rewarded with a panoramic view that spans across Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda simultaneously. This triple-country experience spans approximately eight hours for a round trip, covering a distance of 14 kilometers.
As you journey towards the National Park, you’ll encounter small stone piles scattered across the local fields. Known as ‘Gahinga’ to the native population, these stone stacks serve as markers along the way. Mount Gahinga, while dwarfed by its imposing neighbor, Mount Muhavura, rises to an impressive elevation of 3,474 meters above sea level.
A hike to the summit of Mount Gahinga, spanning about six hours for a round trip, guides adventurers through the heart of a pristine Bamboo forest. This volcano, once adorned with a Crater Lake atop its peak, has since been transformed by the passage of time into a lush swamp.
A commanding presence in the Kisoro town skyline, Mount Muhavura serves as a guiding beacon for the region. This distinctive cone-shaped mountain stands at an elevation of 4,127 meters and provides some of the most breathtaking vistas in the entire country. The ascent traverses rocky surfaces adorned with grasses and shrubs, a challenging yet rewarding journey.
At the pinnacle of Mount Muhavura, hikers are rewarded with sweeping views that encompass the Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and the majestic peaks of Rwenzori Mountain. The trek covers an estimated 12 kilometers and takes approximately eight hours for a round trip. To make the most of this incredible experience, it’s recommended to camp at the Muhavura base camp the night before your ascent, as this remote site lacks facilities and necessitates bringing your own tent, water, food, and sleeping gear.
To inquire about mountain hiking opportunities in Rwanda and Uganda, including obtaining the necessary permits, contact Trek Africa Expeditions. Their expertise and guidance will ensure your journey is safe, smooth, and unforgettable.