The hike up Mgahinga's three mountains is awe-inspiring as you go through a successsion of contrasting vegetation that cover their slopes. From bottom to up, there is a regenerating farmland, followed by denser montane woodland, bamboo forest, Hagenia-Hypercium forest and lastly a windswept moorland that boasts of giant lobellias and groundsel.
Duration of hike
Depending on your level of fitness, it will take you 8-13 hours to hike to and from the summit of each mountain. There is a rescue team always on standby to rescue you in case you get knocked out by altitude sickness.
Mountain Muhavura (4,127meters above sea level)
The summit of this cone-shaped mountain has the highest crater lake in Virunga region. It is spacious, crystal clear and occupies a vaccum that was left after in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.
Due to the border that bissects it, Uganda is in its Northern hemisphere and Rwanda in the Southern. This offers you the thrill of swimming from one country to the other, something which can be done in less than two minutes. After the swim, dare yourself to go up highest point of the rim that sorrounds the lake. You will have a magnificient view six mountain ranges at the border of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. These are Karisimbi, Visoke, Mikeno, Mgahinga and Sabinyo. Their astonishing sight is enough to make your fear ebb away in case you have a phobia for heights.
On setting foot in Muhavura, you will enter a different zone of tranquility and majesty away from the pressures of day to day life.
There are lots of areas in the forest zone where you can wander at a leisurely pace while looking and marvelling at the huge old trees. They tower majestically above the ground, they're all have subtle fragrances/scents too.
If you have any questions, the guides are easy to chat away to. They will help you spot lots of species that carmouflage with the sorrounding.
Mountain Sabinyo (3,669meters above sea level)
It is quite common to stumble across golden monkeys without tracking them--while on your way up this mountain.
The deep gorge in its flank is a favourite habitat for the Rwenzoi Turaco. Not so far from it is a point where the border of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo intersect. You can take advantage of this and put your right leg in one country, the left in the other and your hands in the third country.
It is possible to have a self guided walk here as the trails are well marked, but having a map is useful. However, if you wish to get the full experience, you won't regret hiring a ranger guide. No only do they know where to get animals as seasons come and go, they know a variety of trails that match your level of fitness. To be exact, trails where views in every direction are stunning. The highlight is the picturesque farmland outside the park, lake Mutanda and a dramatic triple peak backdrop.
The slippery stretches in the windswept moorland zone have steps and ladders for easy accessibility. As typical of volcanic mountains, the hike up Sabinyo is an up and down experience due to the prescence of overlapping ranges. To enjoy the most out of this activity, please go with friends. To be exact, friends who are full of positive energy as opposed to pessimistic ones. It helps a lot.
Considering water is life, we shall pack for you sufficient bottled water to keep you from becoming dehydrated.
The guides at the park are patient and professional. They will allow you to take your own pace as opposed tp rushing you.
Mountain Mgahinga (3,474meters above sea level)
The walk up this mountain is to die for with awe-inspiring views across the rift valley--and the meandering rivers snaking at their foot. Its trails are well laid out and important trees labelled.
It's rather an easy hike up, except for the end, which is fairly steep. Nonetheless, it's manageable as there are lots of ladders to get you through. If observant enough, you will see a selection of small wildlife running around the undergrowth, inclusive of the rock hyrax.
The ranger guides who will be delegated to accompany you are lovely and give everyone lots of reassurance in the safety. Throughout, they will make you feel comfortable and most importantly, they will inspire you with a positive mindset.