Volcano hiking/ Climbing is for those interested in Mountaineering and is physically capable to climb to any meters of their choice. Mgahinga national park offers the simplest but wonderful hiking experiences. With 3 dormant volcanoes within its heart, it is a center for short hiking adventures done in one day. Much as most people know the park for mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and Batwa experience, a Uganda safari to Mgahinga gorilla national park is much more than primates. A hike to the summit of any Volcano in Mgahinga national park gives you a lifetime experience.
Suggested Volcano Hiking Safaris
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the Virunga Mountains in Southwestern Uganda and encompasses three inactive volcanoes, namely Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo. In altitude, the national park ranges from 2,227 to 4,127 m (7,306 to 13,540 ft) and is part of the Nile River watershed area. It is contiguous with Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and the southern sector of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hiking the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga National Park can be fun and really rewarding because there are lots of attractions you will meet during your hike. Mgahinga Gorilla Park is the smallest park in Uganda, but it is filled with activities ranging from Gorilla Trekking, Golden Monkey tracking, Batwa experience, birding to Volcano Climbing.
There are three Volcanoes where you can do Hiking/ Climbing in Mgahinga National Park as detailed below.
Gahinga Mountain Volcano
Mountain Gahinga is 3,474meters above sea level. It is the smallest of the 3 volcanoes in Mgahinga National Park, the hike takes about six hours to both ascend and descend depending on your movement speed, when you reach the top of the summit you will find the crater filled with swamp and giant lobelia. The Gahinga Trail starts in recently reclaimed farmland and winds up to the edge of a virgin forest. The hike was steep in places but not uncomfortably so and while it didn’t rain it get damp as the fog rolled in and out over the mountain. The scenery is both breathtaking and intriguing as Hike the Mgahinga volcano in Mgahinga National Park.
Mountain Sabinyo is another volcano to hike in Mgahinga National Park, it is 3,669m and to get to the summit requires eight hours since the distance from the base to the top is about 14 km long round trip, you will have to follow the route along the steep ridge up until you get to the peak. You will meet the mountain stream which meanders through that very dense forest covered by mainly the African-Montane kind of vegetation all the way to the gorge. On a very clear day, you will have a clear view of those ragged peaks of Sabinyo which usually takes about 8 hours which offers you a scenic view of such primates like the Golden Monkeys, small antelopes like Duikers, and many other mammals with different unique bird species like Rwenzori Turaco.
Mountain Muhavura is the highest out of the three Volcanoes in Mgahinga National Park, it stands at 4127 meters above the sea level. Mount Muhabura can be seen from a far distance and that’s why it was called a guide. Hiking to the summit of Muhabura takes roughly 10 hours via different vegetation zones on Mgahinga gorilla national park. It is undeniably strenuous but the excitement you get after reaching the summit is worth the effort. Muhabura volcano summit offers you exceptional views of other Virunga Volcanoes, Rwenzori mountain ranges, Queen Elizabeth National park, and Lake Edward.
Volcano Hiking/ Climbing in Mgahinga National Park
Mountaineering is a very interesting activity to do in Mgahinga National Park, You will choose the Volcano to hike and that is what will be booked for you depending on your budget, time to spend and physical fitness, the activity starts early morning at the Park headquarters with a briefing, you will be given walking sticks and later you will start the hike into the forest with guides and armed rangers as they lead you through the trails. You will want to have sturdy hiking boots and tuck your trousers into your socks to avoid safari ants. A raincoat is advisable if traveling during the rainy seasons and a bottle of water is necessary. Bring a packed lunch no matter the day hike you choose and of course a phone and camera to capture the moments. The guides will also get an idea of what interests you, or your group (birds, wildlife, insects and plant life abound!) so they can tailor the hike.
Hiking in Mgahinga National Park is cheap compared to Hiking in Rwenzori and Mountain Elgon National Park, you will be required to pay Park entrance fees/ cost of USD40 Per person for Non- foreign residents and Hiking fees/ cost of USD80 per person. The cost is the same for whatever volcano you choose to climb. Hiking fees and entrance fees/ cost is discounted for foreign residents and East African Citizens. Contact us to book your volcano hiking spot in Mgahinga national park and share more relevant information with you.
Hiking Volcano in Mgahinga National Park can be done all year round, however, the suitable time to hike Volcano Mountains is during the dry season June, July, August, September, December, January, and February which have fewer rains. The trails can relatively drier and less slippery to climb or hike hence making it easier to climb Volcano Mountain. Hiking in Mgahinga National Park Happens throughout the year, you only need to carry a rain jacket, hiking shoes, and Lunch to have a great time.
Mgahinga National Park has several options for accommodation to stay in while on your volcano hiking safari. The types are budget, midrange, and luxury depending on your budget, some of the accommodations found near the park include, Mgahinga Community Camp Ground has self-contained Bandas at the Ntebeko visitor center, Virunga Hotel, Mgahinga gorilla lodge, Mgahinga Rest camp, and Travelers Rest House. You can as well stay in Kisoro town for more budget options. Contact safari vacations and travel services to book a hotel/lodge of your choice that is affordable and safe for your stay.
By road, one can access Mgahinga National Park from Entebbe/ Kampala via the Kabale-Kisoro road, this journey takes about 9-10 hours, it is enjoyable as there is a lot to see on the way, you will stop at the Equator for photography, Lunch and other spots for landscape viewing.
Mgahinga can be reached from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. From Bwindi’s southern gorilla tracking trailheads at Nkuringo and Rushaga which is about 2 hours’ drive and almost four hours’ drive from the main trailhead at Buhoma and Ruhija.
You can as well take a road trip from Kigali in Rwanda, it is approximately a 4-5 hours drive to Mgahinga National Park through the Cyanika Uganda- Rwanda border.
By air, you can fly from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro Airstrip which is near the park with fly Uganda and Aero link run scheduled domestic flights to most parks. This is the quickest mode of access and it takes about 2 hours depending on routing. Contact us to book your flights and transportation to Mgahinga National Park for your volcano hiking safari.
Safari vacations and travel services is a travel company based in Kabale Town in southwestern Uganda. We specialize in magical experiences and holidays to Uganda, Rwanda, and DR.congo. We are members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and are registered by UTB (Uganda Tourism Board). We have a good working relationship with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) making it easy to book your volcano hiking in Mgahinga National Park. Please contact to visit Mgahinga National park, the rest of Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. We will tailor your hiking safari to best meet your expectations and budget/ cost for your Volcano hiking safari.