Hiking Mountain Muhabura

Hiking Mountain Muhabura : One of the most thrilling adventures in Uganda is mountain climbing and most people love to carry out the activity in all aspects and different locations of Uganda when they find the chances to, mountain muhabura is one of the most hiked mountain in Uganda and the most challenging one of all. “Muhavura” is a dead volcano found on the border between Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. In other words, one part of the volcano is found in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park and another in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. The Mountain stands at 4,127 meters above sea level and has the 3rd highest peak among the Virunga Ranges of mountains. Mount Karisimbi is the tallest followed by Mikeno.

However, Muhabura is the steepest of all the eight Volcanoes found within the Virunga ranges. Mount Muhabura is very close to Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga. Muhabura means “the guide” in the local language.

This name was coined probably because it was used as a guide by distant travelers. While hiking the mountain that is when you will get to know how challenging it is and how healthy your status is and this is because, Mount Muhabura is the most difficult mountain to hike among the 8 volcanoes in the Virunga Ranges.

It may not be the tallest but it is very steep and yet one is required to complete the hike in one day. Mount Muhabura is very challenging. Even the most seasoned hikers will not find it a walkover. To succeed in reaching all the way up to the summit, it is important to know your personal limits. Go according to your pace.

Do not rush or use a lot of energy in the beginning. Drink plenty of water. Should you feel any pain or feel like giving up, stop and admire the beautiful scenery down for a few seconds to remind yourself of what you will behold once you reach the very top. To reach the summit and descend on time, one needs to be mentally prepared and maybe a little stubborn. Hiking Mount Muhabura is arranged from both the Uganda and Rwanda side. If you are climbing mount Muhabura from the Uganda side, you will be met by the resident Guides from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and led to the Ntebeko visitors Centre.

Climbing Mount Muhabura starts at around 7 am and takes between 5 to 7 hours to complete. Before heading off to the head trail, the Rangers will organize a briefing for all hikers. This briefing covers all important aspects of the hike and includes the history and formation of the mountain. The Rangers will advise hikers on how to prepare mentally for the activity and deal with any injuries or symptoms of altitude illness. During the briefing, the Rangers and Guides will also check to see if all hikers have the necessary gear hiking boots, walking sticks, packed lunch, the right clothing, packed lunch, drinking water and a walking stick. All supplies and equipment have to be sorted out before proceeding to the head trail.

Mount Muhavura is characterized by a cone-like shape with volcanic ash and other related materials on the slopes and at the foot. The Volcanic ash supports the group of shrubs and thickets on the sides of the mountains. The Kabiranyuma river/swamp is another prominent feature that separates Mount Muhabura from Mount Gahinga. Mountain Muhabura offers opportunities to spot rare species of birds and mammals like buffaloes, elephants and Mountain gorillas – especially from the Uganda side. The buffaloes can be dangerous to hikers because they are naturally aggressive but armed rangers are always on hand to scare them away just in case. You might be interested in the page about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Those who make it all the way up to the top after such a challenging hike are rewarded with breathtaking scenery, the beautiful countryside, lakes and the other volcanoes within the Virunga ranges like Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Karisimbi, Bisoke and Nyiragongo. The summit gives you that feeling of being completely away from the real world. There are opportunities to spot primates, birds and even large forest mammals like buffaloes and Elephants. Then there is a crater lake at the summit with beautiful clear waters. Hikers can swim in the lake but most are discouraged because it is usually very cold. From the Rwanda side one can spot the beautiful twin lakes Ruhundo and Burera while Lake Bunyonyi can be seen from the Uganda side. Unfortunately cloud cover and mist may limit one’s view of the distant volcanoes during some months of the year.

Climbing Mount Muhabura is best done alongside gorilla trekking in Mgahinga or the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Apart from gorilla trekking, one can also visit the Beautiful Lake Mutanda in Uganda for a walk, track golden monkeys in Uganda or Rwanda or visit the Batwa pygmies in Uganda. In Rwanda, the best place to go for a cultural visit is at the Iby’iwacu cultural village.

How to reach Mount Muhabura

Mount Muhabura can easily be reached by car from both Uganda and Rwanda. From Kampala city in Uganda, one will need to drive for 8 hours to Kisoro through Kabale (510 Kilometers). Once you rich Kisoro, a taxi or local motorcycle can take you to the headquarters of Mgahinga National Park. If you are using public means or a motorcycle taxi (boda boda), please ensure that you keep the phone number and names of the divers/riders so that you can call them to pick you once you are done with climbing the mountain. There are few vehicles and motorcycles plying the route between Mgahinga National Park offices and Kisoro town especially in the evening hours. Those who drive themselves should be very keen on direction. Be on the lookout for sign posts showing the direction to the park you pass nearby trading centers or small towns. Ensure that the car you hire has GPS installed.

Packing list for climbing Mount Muhabura

To have the best possible experience, hikers need to move with light snacks, drinking water, a walking stick, hiking boots, warm stockings, hand gloves, rain jackets, insect repellents and sunscreen. Good hiking shoes are very important for a Mount Muhabura hike especially during the wet season. Apart from the above items, don’t forget to travel with a good camera, binoculars and full batteries. You will need the binoculars to have clearer views of the distant volcanoes and other landmarks. A good camera helps capture good photos to show your friends and family.

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