Transfer from Kisoro to Mgahinga Gorilla NP. Estimated journey time: 45 mins
[today you can choose from one of the three hikes below]
Option 1: Day hike on Mount Muhavura, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
You’ll rise early for today's hike up Mount Muhavura which translates as ‘the guide’. The trek typically takes 9 hours to ascend to the peak at 4127m and return back down the volcano. It’s a challenging trek, so you’ll need to be quite fit to reach your destination! If you don’t reach the summit by 2pm then you’ll be required to turn around and start the descent to allow your return before dusk. Mount Muhavura is likely the toughest climb but, weather permitting, it will reward you with panoramic vistas of the Uganda’s Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains far in the distance! Along the way you’ll find a sharp distinction in three types of vegetation: first you’ll meet cultivated forest, second into wild moss-covered trees, and finally a variety of old world low shrub that can only be created by black the volcanic rock. On reaching the summit you’ll enjoy a very well deserved picnic lunch beside a small yet beautifully preserved black and glassy crater-lake, 39m in diameter. Get your cameras poised for that gap in the clouds! You’ll then descend slowly and carefully to reach the base of the volcano at around dusk.
Estimated excursion time: 9 hours
Option 2: Day hike on Mount Sabinyo, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Today you will hike to the summit of Mount Sabinyo, which means ‘old mans teeth’ due to the jagged peaks topping the volcano at 3669m. The hike typically takes around 8 hours to complete the 14km route to the peak and back. You begin your hike by trekking through grasslands and the bamboo zone. Then enter the rainforest covering the volcanoes slopes where climb becomes steeper trek through cloudy forests to catch your first peek at the summit opening up ahead of you. You will then to climb steep ladders from which you see the stark change in vegetation as you hike over moss, under old man’s beard and beside giant lobelia before reaching the summit. The summit of Mount Sabinyo marks the intersection of the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. So get your camera’s ready for that shot of yourself straddling three countries, on the top of an extinct volcano, it’s more than worth the effort! After a rest at the top of the volcano you will make the steep descent down the slopes to complete your hike before dusk.
Estimated excursion time: 8 hours
Option 3: Day hike on Mount Gahinga, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Hike to the summit of Mount Gahinga, which name translates as ‘the small pile of stones’. This name comes from the small piles of rock piled up when clearing the surrounding farmland from volcano debris, which you’ll pass on your hike. Mount Gahinga is classed as a dormant volcano and is one of the eight volcanoes that make up the Virunga Massif mountain chain. The hike to the summit and back typically takes around 6 hours to complete the 15km trail, with some time spent at the lush green summit at 3474m. The first part of the hike passes through the bamboo zone before you start a steeper climb on the slopes of the volcano. You should reach the summit, with the clouds sweeping around you in time for a well-deserved picnic lunch. You will rest besides the luminous lush green swamps and moors where plants such as alchemilla, senecio and lobelia thrive at the summit. Amongst the many lava tubes you’ll find on Mount Gahinga is the Garama Cave which your guides can take you to and explain the cultural significance amongst the Batwa people. You will then complete your hike down the volcano and exit the park.
Estimated excursion time: 6 hours
Transfer from Mgahinga Gorilla NP to Kisoro. Estimated journey time: 45 mins