Mgahinga National Park gave Gahinga volcano its name. Between Rwanda and Uganda’s border is where this extinct volcano can be found. The 3,474-meter-tall Mount Gahinga rises between Sabinyo and Muhavura. The term “Gahinga” is translated from the native Kinyarwanda/Rufumbira dialect as “a small mound of stones”. On top of Mount Gahinga is a marshy caldera that might be up to 180 meters wide.
The majority of the afro-montane vegetation that covers the entire mountain is made up of bamboo. Like Muhabura and Sabyinyo, the severely endangered mountain gorillas in the park find sanctuary in the bamboo forests of Mount Gahinga. Additional animal and bird species can be found in the habitat of Mount Gahinga.
The hike up Mount Gahinga is easy compared to climbing Mount Sabinyo or Muhabura though one needs to be emotionally and physically prepared to complete the hike. The duration of the workout varies depending on the hiker’s fortitude and physical fitness. To take part in the hike, a hiking permit must be obtained from the park administration. There is no need to make reservations in advance.
Hiking Gahinga volcano will begin with a briefing from the Rangers on what to expect, the mountain’s background, and its location in relation to the other Virunga volcanoes before starting the trek. Hikers will receive an explanation of the nature of the trek and the best way to prepare. After the briefing, everyone gets a free hiking stick, and those who prefer to utilize porters can do so by hiring them. There are sites for resting along the mountain where hikers can stop for a break, eat, relax, take pictures, and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
The first part of the ascent is through a thick bamboo grove at the mountain’s foot. This section is a bit easy because the terrain is level. Gorillas, golden monkeys, and other primates are also very likely to be seen here. Mountainside buffaloes roam and can be fatal to climbers. It’s one of the reasons armed Rangers are typically present with hikers.
After the bamboo trees, the mountain gets progressively steeper until one reaches the summit. By the time one reaches the peak, they will have passed a number of volcanic caves where bats live in addition to other volcanic characteristics on the mountain slopes. The summit of Mount Gahinga is different from those of Sabinyo and Muhabura in a number of ways. At the crest, there is a big shallow crater wetland with uncommon sub-alpine plants including Senecio, Lobelia prosper, and Alchemilla.
One will be rewarded with views of the Rwenzori Mountains and other far-off volcanoes in the Virunga ranges are stunning from the summit. Mount Muhabura and Sabinyo are both visible, which can tempt you to climb their summits as well in the coming days. Take as many pictures of your groups and the distant scenes as you can. Although it is easier to travel down than up, care must be taken, especially when using ladders, to prevent sliding or falling.
After your gorilla safari in Volcanoes National Park you can decide to hike up to Gahinga volcano to add it on your safari.
- 10 Days Kibale Forest Chimp Trek
- 15 Days Kibale Primates Safari
- 20 Days Unique Primates Of Kibale
- 8 Days Chimps & Red Tail Monkey
- 7 Days Kibale Birding In The Forest
- 25 Days Colobus Monkey Kibale
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