Climbing the Virunga Volcanoes-The Mufumbiro Mountains that Cook
Tips-Advice-Information for Climbing the Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park
Climbing the Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park: You can Climb the Virunga Volcanoes or, as locals say, the Mufumbiro Mountains, the Mountains that cook in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
You can Hit the Trail and climb the peaks of one of the three Virunga Volcanoes in the Park on a day climb. You do not need special equipment.
Simply good hiking boots, reasonable fitness, and you are off on a most adventurous hike – climb such as you have never experienced through different vegetation, including the Afro-Montane zones.
You can choose to climb one or more of three volcanoes: Mount Sabinyo, Mount Muhavura, and Mount Gahinga in a day-hike-climb. Choose one of the Volcanoes or climb all three of the Mufumbiro Mountains. Each one is a day climb from 6-to 9-hours in length, and you do so with the assistance of well-trained and experienced Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. The services of a porter can be added.
What awaits the climber on the way up and the peaks are breathtaking scenic views and worth the effort. Rwanda, DR Congo, the Virungas, the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, Lake Edward, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are all before you like a picture postcard.
Not only the views but the climber is surrounded by Afromontane Alpine plants, such as giant Lobelia, Heather, and Ferns. It is like entering the world of legends and myths, especially as the Lobelia and Heather bloom. As you climb the volcanoes, you pass through various vegetation zones. It begins with the low woodland area, once inhabited until the Park was established.
You then enter the montane forest area and continue into the bamboo forest area w, which makes up a substantial portion of the Park, the Hagenia-Hypericum or Ericaceous zone moving on to the Bamboo zone. The Afro-Alpine zone is next to your ascent, and it is here that you will see the giant Senecio and Lobelia Species.
The best months of the year are January, February, March, late June, July, August, September, October, and the last two weeks of December.
Most Tourists to Uganda come to trek Gorillas, Chimpanzees and see the wildlife. Still, fewer choose to climb the Virunga Volcanoes and the Mufumbiro Mountains of Uganda in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
Climbing the Virunga Volcanoes in the Pearl of Africa – Uganda, there is nothing to compare it to. A vastly different experience for most, not to be missed. It might not be on your bucket list, but it should be.
Climbing the Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park
Look at the various Trails. Also, do not miss the vegetation zones you will pass through. While Hiking or Climbing is accompanied by armed Rangers who know the Park, keep your well-being in mind, and get you back safely. The Beauty of Hitting the Trails and Peaks in Mgahinga Gorilla Park is that most of the time, it is so without the crowds, unlike in Rwanda.
Climbing the Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Hitting the Trails climbing the Volcano Peaks Volcano Climbs in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
Climb Mount Sabinyo -Elevation-3645 meters:
Mount Sabinyo Volcano is locally referred to as “Old Man’s Big Teeth,” pointing out that the crown of the Volcano has eroded over time, like an old man’s teeth.
The Climb calls for a pre-dawn start to be able to return to base before sunset, at 6:45 PM. Do not forget a packed lunch from the lodge, and you will need bottled water to drink.
As you pass through the Bamboo zone, which is at the 2400 – 2800-meter elevation, you often spot the Golden Monkeys that live here. Gorillas can be spotted at times, as are the Forest Elephants and Buffaloes.
There are three peaks or summits on this mountain with stunning views of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. The last peak involves climbing up some ladders fastened onto cliffs at a 60-degree angle, and there are also steep steps in places to aid you on your Climb.
When you reach the third summit, you have the best 360-degree view of the Virunga Massif, Rwanda, DR Congo, and Uganda. It is a view from above the clouds that will remain with you for a long time.
At the top of the third summit, you can step into Rwanda and DR Congo without a visa. However, due to the rugged terrain of Mount Sabinyo, it can only be accessed from the Ugandan side in Mgahinga Gorilla Park. A hat is because Uganda has devised a safe but challenging trail with handmade ladders to assist climbers at the steepest sections of the Climb.
The Climb is not for the faint of heart; you must be in decent shape to make it to the third summit. Some give up the Climb at the first summit. His has been the most famous Climb with our clients, even though it is the most challenging Climb in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
At the third summit of Mt. Sabyinyo, you can place one foot in Rwanda, another in Uganda, and your hand in the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.). When the sky is clear, you can view the entire range, which encompasses one of the last strongholds of the highly endangered mountain gorilla.
Climbing Mount Sabinyo: Bring and wear the right stuff. Use a porter to carry your daypack. Rely on the Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger to guide you on this day. They know what is best for you and will keep you safe and secure on your Volcano Climb. Read our advice on what to wear and your fitness level below. Mount Sabinyo is a climb for the more experienced. Yet it is the most popular Volcano Climb in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
Climb Mount Gahinga – Elevation 3474-Meters:
Mount Gahinga is a neglected climb by those who choose to climb Mount Muhavura or Mount Sabinyo instead. Nevertheless, it remains an excellent choice where you can explore Crater Lake Swamp at the summit.
Those who choose to climb Mount Gahinga voice no regret but gush about the scenery they encountered on their Trek.
The name Gahinga: As you approach the Park, you will notice that there are piles of rocks all around the gardens of homes at the base of the hike – Gahinga means little stones, and villagers here have gathered and used them for centuries in building things such as walls or fences.
It is a 6 to 7-hour climb and immensely rewarding, with magnificent views on the way up and at the summit. You pass through the Bamboo Forest and different vegetation zones as you move toward the meeting. You will likely see the lovable Golden Monkeys, even Gorillas at times, as you pass through the Bamboo zone. Buffaloes and Elephants are here; you will often see their droppings, not them.
As you climb up, there are picture-taking moments wherever you turn. It would be best if you had the camera ready to take advantage of those photogenic moments.
The swamp at the summit was once a pristine crater lake, but it became a swamp over time. The swamp is surrounded by giant Lobelias that are even more stunning when they bloom. The swamp harbors wildlife such as Duikers and even Serval Cats. Ask your ranger if you could have a closer look and explore it, and they will oblige.
Climbing Mount Gahinga is a choice for those who are not perfectly fit but still want to climb a Volcano. That they can do, and Mount Gahinga is the right choice for them.
Mount Gahinga is a more accessible Volcano to climb than the other two. The total Trek is six hours in duration. e sure to read our advice on what to bring, wear, and fitness level below
Climb Mount Muhavura (Mout Muhabura) (4127meters elevation)
This Volcano is also referred to as “the Guide.” It is visible everywhere; it provides some of the most stunning panoramic views from the summit. You will see the Virunga Volcano Chain, Lake Edward, and Queen Elizabeth Park. Even the peaks of the famed Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon can be seen here.
Aside from the stunning views, there is a beautiful crater lake at the summit that you can explore. It is also a great place to rest before the descent.
Mount Muhavura is the steepest volcano climb, meaning you should be an experienced hiker. Like Mount Sabinyo, the ascent of Mount Muhavura is not for the faint of heart, and one needs to be in decent shape to climb this Volcano. W recommend that you trek gorillas before attempting a volcano climb.
The hike takes about seven to nine hours to complete, and it takes an early start.
Volcano Myths and Legends: We recommend not disturbing the giant snake that the legend says is here. The legend tells us that disturbing the snake will lead to an eruption, and Thankfully that story remains a legend.
In our opinion: Mount Muhavura can be climbed on the Rwandan and Ugandan sides of the border. It would be a novel thing if you could ascend the Volcano in one country and descent the mountain in the other. Presently that is not possible.
Swimming in a Volcano Crater Lake? It is not recommended unless you belong to the polar bear swim during winter club. E joy the scenery, the views from the crater lake, and focus on the Trek.
Mount Muhavura is a favorite Volcano Climb in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda. The elevation makes it the tallest Volcano, the scenic views from the summit and on the Climb, and the Crater Lake at the top. Add the occasional Mountain Gorilla Sightings, Golden Monkeys, Forest Elephants, and Buffaloes, and you have a perfect African Volcano Climb in the Virunga Volcanoes found in Uganda.
Volcano Climbing Tips and Advice:
Volcano Climbing in Mgahinga Gorilla Park-Know Before you go:
For the Best Volcano Climbing Experience, it is best to know before you. It is good to see what you will be getting into and whether you can handle or want to do it.
We suggest you do Volcano Climbing after trekking gorillas in either Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Typically, the Gorilla Trek will be easier than the Volcano Climb, and you will have sufficient energy left for the Volcano Climb.
Volcano Climbing-Know Before you Go!
Volcano Climbing Gear-Clothin:
Things to Pack and Bring for your Volcano Climb
Many items will be the same as Gorilla Trekking wear and gear. Common Sense, Practical things will do. You do not need to bring your hiking sticks from R.E.I, and you do not need extraordinary Volcano Climbing Wear. S0mething that you have and use will work fine.
- Waterproof, well-worn in, quality Hiking Boots With Ankle Support. Gumboots, Wellies, or Rubber Boots are popular with Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. G eat- but they give little ankle support and provide Protection up to the knees.
- Light Waterproof-Backpack-Daypack: This is where we strongly suggest using a porter. It is best to be unincumbered, and you climb up ladders on the sides of sheer cliffs going up Mount Sabinyo. The daypack should contain water or juice, a packed lunch, Sunscreen, and a short sleeve top that you might want to put on when the sun comes complete at noon. I sect Repellent, Camera Equipment, lenses, batteries in Ziploc Bags, or shower or bathing cap.
- Long-Trousers: Jeans are great, and we suggest you tuck your trousers into the thick socks you are wearing with boots. T protects you from nettles, thorns, and scratchy brushes.
- Long-Sleeved Shirt: This protects your arms. N excellent, the Rangers with you do not wear short sleeve shirts.
- Light Rain Jacket or Poncho: Put it in your daypack if it is not raining, and it might rain on the way up or down.
- Hat-protection from the Sun – Rain: Wide-Brim Hat is best for sun protection.
- Tough Gardening Gloves: Sound odd to you – practical protecting your hands by brushing nettles and thorns. Most importantly, they are handy when you pull yourself up on a brush, branch, or ladder on the sides of a volcano in Mgahinga Park.
- Altitude Sickness tablets: Sucmox or Acetazolamide should be swallowed a day or morning before the hike if necessary. T ey can easily be purchased from pharmacies in Kigali, Entebbe, Kampala, or Kisoro.
- Insect Repellent: There are no mosquitoes or Tsetse Flies at these altitudes, and flies and ants might annoy you. Be sure to put repellent into a Ziploc Bag to protect other things in case of leakage. Read more here:
- Camera and Binoculars: Protect your camera from the elements with a Ziploc Bag, shower, or bathing cap. Binoculars add weight, and most do not need them.
Things to have with you on the day of the Volcano Climb:
- 3-Liters of Water: You need to stay hydrated on the Volcano Climb-We provide Water for our Clients.
- Packed Lunch & Energy Snacks: Supplement the packed lunch with Energy Bars. Locally dried fruit, Nuts such as Peanuts, Sim-Sim – Sesame Seed, and Honey Cakes. P ease does not litter, p. Pack in – pack it out.
- Sani-Wipes: Come in very handy on the Climb.
- Local Walking Stick: A must steady you on your Climb up. They are often made from Bamboo.
- Service of a Porter: One of the best jobs for young men and women near Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Their services allow you to focus on the Climb and the scenery.
Read more about Hiking – Climbing Wear here:
Physical Fitness Level: How to Fit do I need to be for Volcano Climbs:
Your level of fitness plays an essential part in the Volcano Climb. W suggests that you prepare for the Gorilla Trek and the Volcano Climb in Uganda. Fitness more of a criterion is age. T e best way to prepare is to improve your fitness level at home before coming on Safari in Uganda.
Hike up some hills. If you do not have hills to climb, go to your local gym and get into shape. Uganda is different from other African Safari Destinations. Many activities like Volcano Climbing get you out of the vehicle and experience Africa on Foot.
Volcano Climbing requires a better than moderate level of fitness. Otherwise, one gives up before reaching the summit. Prepare by taking regular hikes. Read more about Climbing-Hiking Fitness:
Guidance and Security for your Volcano Climbs:
Highly Trained and Experienced Rangers:
You are with an Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers team weaponized to protect you from wild animals. They are knowledgeable, courteous, fluent in English, and will lead you safely up down the Volcano. ( No Animal attacks on tourists with a ranger have been recorded)
They do these climbs 365 days a year. They are in communication with park headquarters and can deal with any situation.
Volcano Hikes and Climbs in Mgahinga Gorilla Parks have been a safe and secure activity with no problems recorded or reported.
Follow the guidelines for the Climb during the orientation and during the Climb itself. The Rangers are experienced climbers and hikers, and in addition, they bring years of both training and experience onto your Volcano Climb.
Our Take -Volcano Climbs and Hikes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
Volcano Climbs and Hikes have become more prevalent in the last few years. Mgahinga Gorilla Park is an off-the-beaten-path paradise for hikers and climbers.
Besides Hiking and Climbing, there is Gorilla and Golden Monkey Trekking. You can stay here for several days in the area and take in Lake Mutanda and the southern region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where you continue hiking through an ancient forest.
Southwest Uganda is one of the best areas in all of Uganda for hiking and hitting the peaks of the Volcanoes. We can include any of the above hikes and climbs in your Safari in Uganda.
Mgahinga Gorilla Park is the perfect Park for Climbers and those that want to include Gorilla Trekking and the Batwa Cultural Trail. F el free to contact us about Safari, which thwhichncludes Volcano Climbing. Feel free to contact us about a Volcano climb Safari.