Hiking Mount Muhabura in Uganda
Mount Muhabura also known as “Muhavura” is located in Mgahinga gorilla national park in Kisoro District bordering Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo Mount Muhabura stands at 4,127 meters above sea level while is close to Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga.
In the Local language, Kisoro Muhabua means “the guide” simply because this mountain can be seen from far away so local people traveling from different areas used to use it as a guide by seeing it from distance. When hiking Mountain Muhabura in Uganda, expect to see some of the animals like Mountain gorillas, buffaloes, elephants, and many different birds among many other things to see on your hike to Mt Muhabura in Kisoro district.
Mt Muhabura is one of the most beautiful mountains to hike in Uganda yet the most difficult mountain to hike among the 3 mountains in Mgahinga gorilla national park because it is very steep and one has to hike it to the summit and back in one day so this means you have to reach the summit and descend on time and the hiking time to the summit and back depends on one’s fitness leave and how mentally are prepared.
Mount Muhabura can be hiked from either side of Rwanda or Uganda, when you hike Mt Muhabura from the Uganda side in Kisoro hiking starts from the Ntebeko Visitors Centre, the hike is led by the resident park ranger guides from the Uganda Wildlife Authority, and for those who wish to hike Mt Muhabura from the Rwanda side, you start from o the Kinigi visitors center and park headquarters of Volcanoes national park.
Hiking Mount Muhabura in either of the Countries starts at 7:30 am with a briefing from the park ranger and it takes about 6 to 8 hours to the top and back, on the briefing before you start the hike, park rangers/guides will give you recommendations/advise on how to prepare mentally for this hike.
Here are some of the things you need to bring for hiking mount Muhabura in Uganda or Rwanda, among the things you need to bring includes good hiking boots, insect repellents, hand gloves, rain jackets, sunscreen, warm stockings, light snacks, drinking water, a walking stick, a good camera, and binoculars.
The cost of hiking Mount Muhabura is $75 per person, take note that the cost of climbing Mt Muhabura doesn’t include meals and accommodation, hiring porters, and transportation to Muhabura and back, $75 is for only hiking permit and park entrance fees on Uganda side, if you want to hike Mt Muhabura from Rwanda you pay the same price.
When climbing Muhabura on the Uganda side, you will have a few stopovers before reaching the summit, the first stopover is at 3,117 meters above sea level and the second one at 3,860 meters above sea level but you can have more stopovers depending on your fitness level and spend.
As I said in order to enjoy this hike you must be well prepared both mentally and physically because most people do not make it past the first stopover at first (hut), some people when they reach here just rest, eat their packed lunch, and choose to go back saying that enough is enough as they return back to the starting point.
Most people don’t make it to the top (Summit), and few continue to endure the difficult hike to reach the second hut (stopover), they usually make it to the summit because there is no turning back because the summit is close and near.
The few who make it all the way up to the summit, they welcomed by the breathtaking scenery of Uganda, Uganda, and some parts of DR-Congo, reaching the top of the summit gives you that amazing feeling of being completely away from the real world.
During this hike, there is a chance of meeting some primates which includes mountain gorillas and different species of monkeys, other large forest mammals like buffaloes and Elephants, and many different bird species. You will also enjoy a crater lake at the Muhabura summit which is beautiful with clear waters, hikers are not allowed to swim in the crater lake because it is usually very cold about 0 degrees.
Mount Muhabura can be easily accessed by both air and road via Kisoro, for example by car from Kampala city or Entebbe airport, it is about a 9 to 10 hours drive to Kisoro and once you reach Kisoro town, it is about 30 minutes drive to the headquarters of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is the starting point of Mt Muhabura.
You can as well fly to Kigali international airport and close to Uganda via the Kyaniika border in Kisoro to access Mount Muhabura by road from Kigali city to Kisoro town take about 4 hour’s drive which means that accessing Mt Muhabura via Kigali is the nearest compared to the driving time between Kigali and Kampala/Entebbe.
But one can as well fly using a domestic daily flight which flies from Entebbe to Nyakabende airstrip in Kisoro, the flights from Entebbe to Kisoro take only about 45 minutes to 1 hour which saves a lot of driving hours.
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