Uganda Hiking Excursion in Mountain Muhabura: Mount Muhabura, also known as Mount Muhavura, is one of the magnificent inactive volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Uganda and Rwanda. It’s one of the highest volcanoes among the three of the eight Virunga mountains in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and sits at an elevation of 4,127 meters (13,540 feet). Muhabura is the third highest of the eight major mountains of the mountain range and is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Muhabura occupies both Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda itself. The name Muhabura is driven by a local Kinyarwanda word meaning “the guide,” which probably derives from the historical use of the mountain to aid navigation.

Uganda Hiking Excursion in Mountain Muhabura

Hiking through Mount Muhabura offers a great chance to discover the Virunga Mountain ranges. Hiking this astonishing mountain takes a full day to complete the 4,127-meter elevation, and there are challenging slopes to check on your fitness level. This is the third-tallest peak among the eight Virunga Mountain ranges. Mikeno volcano is the second tallest, and the highest of all is Karisimbi volcano at 4507m.

Mount Muhabura lies on the eastern side of the Virunga Mountain ranges, and its borders are shared by Uganda and Rwanda. It can take you a day to hike, with about 6 to 8 hours to reach the summit and descend back from the peak of Mount Muhabura. While at the peak, you will be rewarded with an excellent view of the Twin Lakes, such as Lake Burera and Ruhondo, and other Virunga Volcanoes in Rwanda. There is also a Crater Lake lying right next to the peak, and as you come down, you will enjoy the view of different vegetation types.

Hiking Mount Muhavura Volcano, as with any volcano hike, begins early in the morning at 7:00 a.m. with a briefing at the Ntebeko offices at Mgahinga National Park. During a Uganda hiking excursion on Mountain Muhabura, travelers will encounter a large number of animals, such as hyenas, golden monkeys, mountain gorillas, duikers, monkeys, and several bird species. At the top of Mountain Muhabura, you will have an opportunity to have astonishing views of the breathtaking scenery, magnificent surroundings, and Virunga volcanoes like Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Bisoke, Nyiragongo, and Karisimbi, as well as sights of different lakes, including Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda and Burera and Ruhondo in Rwanda, among others.

Other activities to combine with Mountain Muhabura hiking excursions

Golden monkey trekking

Just like mountain gorillas, golden monkeys can also be found in only the Virunga ranges in the world, and Mgahinga National Park boasts the highest concentration of these amazing, outstanding monkeys, well known for their love of cameras and playful characters. Golden monkey trekking starts every day at 8:00 a.m. The permit for the golden monkeys cost $100.

Gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking would be another option to combine with the hiking excursion at Muhabura Mountain. This is the main activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. There is only one habituated gorilla family in Mgahinga, but it has arguably the most silverbacks for a group in Uganda. While tracking the gorillas, one can also spot other smaller primates like Colobus and golden monkeys. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga starts at 8:00 a.m. with a briefing at the park offices in Netbook. A maximum of eight people can be allowed to trek with a gorilla group in a day, and visitors only have one hour to observe them closely. Gorilla permits now cost $800 in Uganda.

Uganda Hiking Excursion in Mountain Muhabura
Gorilla trekking


An estimated bird population of about 200 bird species lives in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and the majority of these are Albertine rift and forest birds. They include grey-crowned cranes, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori double-collar sunbirds, Kivu ground thrush, double-toothed barbet, grey-capped warblers, yellow-vented bulbul, speckled mousebird, fire finch, stone chat, White-tailed blue flycatchers, dusky turtle dove, montane double-collar sunbird, Blagden’s bush shrike, Alpine chat, black kite, handsome francolins, crowned hornbill, Chubb’s cisticola, yellow-throated longclaw, yellow-crowned canary, scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, grassland pipit, cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, and more.

Nature walks

The nature walks in Mgahinga National Park are arranged to allow visitors to get up close to nature. The walks are arranged to see the bamboo forests, birds, swamps like Rugezi, surrounding villages, and lakes like Mutanda. During these walks, expect to encounter forest creatures, wild vegetation, and the local communities living at the edge of the forest. The scenery in Mgahinga can be breathtaking, especially a few weeks after the main rains have stopped.

Batwa trail

Tourists can get a true experience of the traditional Batwa people, believed to have lived in the forest for over 500,000 years until they were pushed away. The Batwa Trail was put in place in order to restore the dignity and hope of the ancient Batwa people. You can contribute to people’s livelihoods by engaging in this activity. You can learn about the history of the Batwa people, get entertained with local traditional dances, and perhaps buy some handmade crafts to take back home for remembrance.

What should you pack for your Muhabura Mountain hike?

The essentials to consider on your hiking adventure in Volcanoes National Park, particularly at Mount Muhabura, include a long-sleeved shirt, trousers, a pair of warm socks, a camera, a daypack, a pair of gaiters, insect repellents, sunscreens, a rain jacket, a sweater, bottled water and enough snacks, gardening gloves, and waterproof hiking shoes, among others.

Hiking fees for Muhabura Mountain

Any hiker interested in completing the hike up to the peak of Mount Muhabura is recommended to have a valid permit. Mount Muhabura hiking permits cost 70 US dollars per person per day, exclusive of transportation, accommodations, and porter fees, among others.

The best time to go for the Mount Muhabura hike

Mountain Muhabura hiking tours are open throughout the year, but the best time is during the dry season. There are two phases of a dry month or season, such as the long and short seasons. The long, dry season begins in June or July. August and September. A short, dry month to consider undertaking the Mount Muhabura hike includes December, January, and February. During this season, we experience very low rainfall, and the trails are kept drier, making it easier to navigate via the forest and steep slopes as you head to the summits of Mahubura volcano (4,127 meters).

How to Get to Muhabura Mountain in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mount Muhabura can be accessed both by air transport means and by road transport means. Hikers on a hiking safari in Uganda take about 8–9 hours to drive from Kampala via Masaka, Barara, and Kisoro. Even from Kigali, it is possible to cross to Kisoro via the Chanika border and hike to the top of Muhabura Mountain.

By air transport,

There is also the option of taking a chartered or scheduled flight starting from Entebbe Airport to Kisoro Airport. From Kisoro airport, you can be picked up and dropped off at your safari lodges in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Where to stay on a Uganda hiking excursion in Mount Muhabura

There are a wide range of accommodation facilities designed to cater to all tourists while on a Uganda hiking tour in Mount Muhabura—Mgahinga National Park. These accommodation facilities include Muhabura Montel, Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp, Mount Gahinga Lodge, Traveler’s Rest Hotel Kisoro, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, and Mutanda Lake Resort, among others.

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