Hiking Mountain Sabyinyo in Mgahinga national park
Hiking Mountain Sabyinyo in Mgahinga national park: Mount Sabyinyo is one of the eight Virunga volcanoes shared by Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. Mountain Sabyinyo is the fifth highest Virunga volcano standing at an elevation of 3,674 meters. While at the peak of Mount Sabyinyo, one can be able to stand in three countries Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo.
Mount Sabyinyo is known to be one of the hardest mountains to climb but trying it will give you a memorable experience. At the summit of mount Sabyinyo, you get to have great views of all Virunga volcanoes but hikers need to know that it’s only from Uganda side where you can hike this mountain. To hike Mount Sabyinyo, you need to go through Mgahinga national park where this mountain is found.
Hiking Mountain Sabyinyo in Mgahinga national park
On the day of hiking, hikers are asked to wake up early in the morning and move gather for a briefing. At the briefing point, hikers are taught about the rules and regulations of the hiking activity. It’s from here that hikers who want porters do hire for one and then walking sticks are given to help hikers go through difficult terrain. The hiking team is led by armed ranger guides who know the best hiking trails to use and can protect hikers from any danger.
Hiking Mountain Sabyinyo is not easy at all because it is very steep with difficult trails. Even though Mount Sabyinyo is difficult to hike, those who hike it get the best experience that can’t be got from hiking other volcanoes. The mountain has gotten three peaks and each of these is found in a different country. This means that at the summit of Mount Sabyinyo, you have a chance to stand in three countries at the same time.
Mount Sabyinyo also has a lot of craters that you will meet while hiking. You will also meet different wild animals that love on the slopes of the mountain. These are animals found in Mgahinga national park and they include elephants, buffaloes, monkeys, different bird species, and if you are lucky you can come across mountain gorillas.
Hikers climb Mount Sabyinyo for about 4 hours and 3 hours are for descending the mountain. One needs packed lunch when hiking Mount Sabyinyo because you can make it to your lodge at lunchtime. Physical fitness is also required during Sabyinyo hiking because of the steep rocks.
What to pack for Mount Sabyinyo hiking?
To have the best hiking activity on Mount Sabyinyo, you need to pack the right essentials for mountain hiking. What to pack for hiking does include waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, long-sleeved shorts, long-sleeved shirts, a hat, a rain jacket, a sweater, sunscreen, insect repellents, a light backpack, drinking water bottle, energy giving snacks, a camera, and a pair of binoculars among others.
How much are Mount Sabyinyo hiking permits?
To hike Mount Sabyinyo, you need a hiking permit which is either purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority or Ntebeko Visitors Centre. A single hiking permit for Mgahinga gorilla park does cost $80 for foreign non-residents, $70 for foreign residents, and UGX50,000 citizens of East African member states.
The most appropriate time to hike Mount Sabyinyo
Mount Sabyinyo can be hiked 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 hike Mount Sabyinyo. This is because the months have little rainfall and plenty of sunshine which dries up the hiking trails so fast. The vegetation on the slopes of the mountain is short which gives clear views of wildlife and the roads leading to Mgahinga national park are passable.
Hikers can still climb mount Sabyinyo in the rainy season from March to May and October to November because hiking activities are open all throughout the year. The rainy season comes with muddy and slippery hiking trails which affects the speed of hikers, vegetation along the hiking trails is tall with unclear views of wildlife, and roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accessing mount sabinyo for hiking safaris
Hikers can get to Mount Sabyinyo by getting to Mgahinga national park. These two areas are located in southwestern Uganda and can be accessed using road transport or air transport in a day. Air transport is the quickest way to access Mount Sabyinyo and Mgahinga national park for flights take 1 hour and 25 minutes from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Kasese airstrip. The flights are organized by different airline companies among which include Bar Aviation Uganda and Aerolink Uganda.
By road transport, the journey is 9 to 10 hours but full of great views of different attractions along the way. The road trip journey to Mgahinga national park starts from Kampala/Entebbe and goes through Masaka, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale, and Kisoro to the park. From Kigali, one takes 4 to 5 hours to get to Mgahinga national park by crossing using Cyanika border.