Hiking mount Muhavura in Uganda
Hiking Mount Muhavura in Uganda is one of the adrenaline thrilled activities that any traveler visiting the country can take part in. Uganda is a well-known tropical destination amongst travelers who are huge fans of nature. There is so much to do and see in this relatively small East African country, from trekking mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys to view savannah wildlife like the African bush elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, buffaloes, rhinos and so many more.
Mount Muhavura, also known as Muhabura, is one of the extinct volcanic mountains located within the Virunga ranges. This mountain is shared by Uganda and the Republic of Rwanda. It stands at an altitude of 4,127 meters above sea level, which is about 13,540 feet. The mountain is strategically located within Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the Southwestern region of Uganda.
Hikes on Mount Muhavura are conducted by well trained and experienced guides from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The mountain derives its name from a Kinyarwanda word to mean ‘The Guide.’ Visitors can view the mountain from various parts of both Uganda and Rwanda, with the best place being Kisoro district which is located in the southwestern part of Uganda.
Hiking Mount Muhavura in Uganda is not so challenging an activity, as compared to hiking other mountains in the country like Mount Rwenzori and Mount Elgon. Visitors can choose to hike the mountain from Uganda or Rwanda. Whichever country you choose, you are bound to have the most exciting experience of your lifetime.
Hiking Mount Muhavura in Uganda takes about eight hours, covering a 12 kilometer round trip to the mountain’s summit and back down its base. Once at the top of the mountain, hikers are rewarded with beautiful views of the Virunga mountain ranges on a clear day. Other stunning views that hikers are likely to sight while on the mountain include; Lake Edward, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the summits of the Rwenzoris.
During the hiking, hikers have an opportunity of encountering different primate species at the base of the mountain and along the slopes. Some of the primates encountered include, golden Monkeys, mountain gorillas, blue monkeys, baboons, and Vervet monkeys, like black and white Colobus monkeys. There are also some mammals which include, elephants, antelopes, hyenas, warthogs, buffaloes, and several bird species which include, bronze sunbirds, dusky turtle dove, olive woodpeckers, double collared sunbirds , Rwenzori batis, the speckled mouse bird, olive pigeons, paradise fly catchers, olive thrush, regal sunbirds and many more all found in the bamboo along the mountain slopes.
Hikes on Mount Muhavura start at exactly 7:00am every morning. Hikers are expected to converge at the park’s headquarters or visitor center in Ntebeko. Hikers are first briefed by the head ranger at the national park and later park rangers/ guides are allocated to each group of hikers.
Requirements needed for hiking Mount Muhabura.
Physical fitness: For any hiking activity, it requires that a hiker be fit both physically and mentally since it requires really longer trails and a lot of energy to reach to the top.
Hiking permit: Currently a permit to hike mount Gahinga goes for $75 per person and it is important to book it in advance plier to the hike.
Good hiking attire: This attire include light hiking shoes easy to climb up, both light and warm attire. The light clothes helps in climbing due to heat over the horizon while the warm sweater is appropriate as you might need it while at the top of the mountain since the higher you go, the cooler it becomes. So appropriate attire will enable the hiker to fit in any weather condition. Do not forget to pack a cap, sun glasses and sun screen to protect the body from direct heat.
Hiking stick: these are always provided at the head office on the hiking day. But some hiker can decide to pack their own hiking sticks.
A porter: it is always crucial to hire a porter at the office before starting the hike. Porters are very important not only for carrying the back pack but also to offer a pull or a push where need be and trust me you will thank God for their presence.
Hikers are also advised to pack enough mineral water to keep hydrated through your hiking activity. Also, do not forget to pack some snacks for the hike, as well as lunch.
Other Activities to do besides hiking Mount Muhavura in Uganda.
Besides hiking Mount Muhavura in Mgahinga national park in Uganda, visitors can take part in other activities that are offered by the park such as; gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, the Batwa trail experience, guided nature walks, caving, and bird watching among others.
Accommodation facilities in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Hikers have several accommodation facilities within close vicinity with mount Mgahinga where they can sleep the day before hiking and after hiking to relax from the day stress. These accommodations range from budget, midrange and luxury facilities. Some of these accommodations include Murehe safari lodge , Gahinga lodge, travelers rest hotel, golden monkey guest house, Amajambere Iwacu community camp, Bambou Gorilla lodge, Mountain gorilla nest lodge, and Kisoro tourist hotel to mention but a few.
How to Get to Mount Muhavura in Uganda.
Hiking Mount Muhavura in Uganda will require one to travel to Mgahinga national park. The national park is located in Kisoro district in southwestern Uganda, and will take one about 8 hours of driving from Kampala city to the park. Alternatively, visitors can fly to Entebbe International airport and then drive to Kisoro which takes about 9-11 hours’ drive depending on the stop overs along the way. However, hikers can opt for a shorter distance by landing into Kigali Rwanda and then cross the border into Kisoro district Uganda which is a 2-3 hours’ drive depending on the stopovers.
The park can also be accessed by visitors travelling from Queen Elizabeth national park which is about 3-4 hours’ drive and from Lake Mburo national park which takes about 5-6 hours’ drive.
Well! To sum it all up, hiking Mount Muhavura in Uganda is such a thrilling and adventurous activity that offers hikers breath-taking views from the mountain peak/summit; it is totally worth every penny that you will spend.