Hiking Mount Gahinga
Hiking Mount Gahinga: Mount Gahinga is one of the mountains found in Mgahinga national park in the southwestern part of Uganda. Mount Gahinga is one of the seven Virunga volcanoes found on the border between Rwanda and Uganda. Mount Gahinga is a dormant/extinct volcano lying between Mount Muhabura and Mount Sabyinyo. Mount Gahinga a local word to mean a pile of stones is elevated at a height of 3,474, above sea level, and can be hiked in a single day.
Hiking Mount Gahinga
Hiking Mount Gahinga does start at 7:00 am at park offices and here hikers are briefed about the rules and regulations of hiking. Hikers are taken to the starting point where they meet porters who can be hired to carry on the luggage and it’s again from here that hikers are given walking sticks. The rangers with firearms lead the hike because they know where best to pass
Hiking Gahinga national park goes through different vegetation zone and rocks till you get to the summit. Hikers during the hike get an opportunity to see some of the park animals such as golden monkeys, elephants, antelopes, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, birds, and much more.
Hikers that are interested in climbing Mount Gahinga must be fit enough both physically and mentally. The hiking trails are long and getting to the summit takes like 4 hours and then descending takes 2 hours. While hiking one will be seeing different surrounding attractions among which include the other Virunga mountains.
At the summit of Mount Gahinga, hikers will be able to see a crater swamp surrounded by sub-alpine plants. The views are really amazing because hikers not only get to see other Virunga mountains but they also get to see mount Rwenzori. At the summit, hikers can see Mount Muhabura and Mount Sabyinyo closely.
Hikers at the summit can rest and have their packed lunch and they will be given enough time to take as many photos and videos as they can. After spending some time at the top of Mount Gahinga, hikers start on the journey back to the starting point. This takes about 2 hours and they come with opportunities of meeting different wildlife, vegetation, and lava rocks.
How much do I pay to hike Mount Gahinga?
Hiking Mount Gahinga requires a hiking permit and this can be got from Uganda Wildlife Authority or at Ntebeko Visitors Centre. A single hiking permit for Gahinga national park costs $80 for foreign non-residents, $70 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East African member states.
What to pack for Mount Gahinga hiking?
Are you wondering about What to pack for Mount Gahinga hiking; Hikers climbing Mount Gahinga national park need good light hiking clothes, waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, gardening gloves, a light backpack, a camera, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, sunscreen, energy-giving snacks, and enough drinking water to mention but a few.
The Best time to hike Mount Gahinga
Hikers can hike Mount Gahinga at any time of the year however certain months are better than the rest. The dry season months from June to September and December to February are the best to go hiking Mount Gahinga. During these months, there is little rainfall and plenty of sunshine which makes the hiking trails stay dry, vegetation is short and scattered with clear views of wildlife staying on the slopes and roads leading to the park are passable.
Hikers can still hike Mount Gahinga in Mgahinga national park during the rainy season because the activity is always open. During the rainy season, budget hikers benefit from discounted accommodation facilities and tour packages but it’s never the best season for hiking. The season has got plenty of rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, vegetation is very tall and at the top of the mountain, you won’t be able to see surrounding areas clearly because of fog.
Mount Gahinga is located in Mgahinga national park in southwestern Uganda and can be accessed by road transport or air transport. By road transport, it takes 9 to 10 hours to get to Mgahinga national park where Gahinga is located. Tourists from Kampala/Entebbe will have to drive through Masaka, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale, and Kisoro to the park.
Mount Gahinga can still be accessed using air transport with planes landing at Kisoro airstrip a few km from Mgahinga national park. Hikers who want to fly in should inform their tour operators in advance so that they book their flights. Aerolink Uganda and Bar Aviation Uganda have daily morning flights to Kisoro airstrip from Entebbe international airport and Kajjansi airstrip. The flights take 1 hour and 25 minutes and then driving to the park takes 1 to 2 hours.