Climbing Mount Muhabura

Climbing Mount Muhabura

Climbing Mount Muhabura is a thrilling adventure hike that can take a full day. This physical feature is the second highest peak in the Volcanoes National Park and the last on the extreme east of the Virunga range  between the border of Rwanda and Uganda. Muhabura also spelled as Muhavura is partly in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and partly in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.

When you hike to the top of the volcano, you will enjoy fantastic views over other five volcanoes as well as Rwanda’s Twin Lakes. Muhabura summit has crater lake with surrounding drier vegetation and the giant heather visible on the slopes of the volcano. The trek is physically demanding as the slopes are sharply steep.

Hiking Muhabura

The hike begins at 07:00 am from the park headquarters in Kinigi from where climbers are driven to the foothills of mountain. Muhabura Trekking Permits may be acquired on the day of the adventure or booked in advance. Porters can be hired on the ground to help during the ascend.

Prospective climbers may book for the permits through a tour operator even though its not very necessary. The mountain may be hiked from either Uganda or Rwanda unlike Mount Sabinyo whose trekking is one done on the side of Uganda. Muhabura trekking that requires physical fitness commonly takes between 5-7 hours depending on the speed of hiking.

Hiking begins in the morning by tourists checking to confirm they have right climbing gears and supplies like packed lunch/snacks, drinking water, long trousers, hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts plus a walking stick to support you while on the slopes. Visitors gather at the Park headquarters at Kinigi to get a pre-climbing briefing. The same programme is followed by hikers on the side of Uganda, they also converge by 7:00 am for briefing at Ntebeko Visitor Center. The briefing includes explanation of the geo-formation as well as the background of the Mountain and hiking guidelines. The guides also tell you what to expect during trekking, tips on handling injuries and the expectations during the ascend to higher heights above sea level.

When the briefing is done, climbers are transferred at the base of the Volcano to the trail head. The climb is done in the company of armed soldiers and tour guides. Armed men are for protecting tourists from any attacks by wild animals such buffaloes and elephants which are scared away by air-shooting.

The hike has two stops, each with a hut before making it to the top. The first stop is done at an elevation of 3116 meters or 10223 feet since the second one at a height of 3855 meters or 12648 feet. The highest point of the climb is at an elevation of 4,127 meters or 13,450 feet. To reach  the summit, you will be one of the successful climbers since some end at the first hut and others at second one. The peak is known for coldness and the misty outlook but due to the hike, one may swim in the Crater Lake.

Cost of Trekking Mount Muhabura

The cost of climbing Mount Muhabura is USD 75 per visitor on the side of Uganda. The said amount includes hiking and guiding fees but excludes the porters’ fee. Finally ascending from the mountain is a unique adventure activity usually undertaken by visitors to  Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Park for gorilla tracking tours. Contact us so that we organise for you a climbing excursion of Muhabura.

Accessing Mount Muhabura

In Uganda mount Muhabura is reachable from the capital city by traveling from Kampala through Kabale to Kisoro. While visitors from Kigali in Rwanda can go through Volcanoes National Park. Its a matter of flying into Kigali international airport and then transfer by road to Volcanoes national park in the north of the country.

Questions on Mountain Muhabura

Mount Muhabura, also called Mount Muhavura, is an inactive volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and Uganda.
What is the highest peak of Mount Muhabura?
The Mountain stands at an elevation of 4,127 meters and has the 3rd highest peak among the Virunga Ranges of mountains. Mount Karisimbi is the tallest followed by Mikeno Volcnoe of Congo. Though, Muhabura is the steepest of all the eight Volcanoes found within the Virunga mountains and climbing it makes it more enjoyable.
When did mountain Muhavura last erupt?
It is on record that the volcano has erupted more than 40 times with the most recent volcanic eruptions happening in 2010 and 2011.
Muhavura is stratovolcano with a small crater that has been active in the recent years but the age of its latest eruption is not known.

Other Mountains in the Virunga Ranges

The Virunga Mountains are a sequence of volcanoes in East Africa, along the northern border of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mountain range is a branch of the Albertine Rift Mountains, which border the western branch of the East African Rift. The Virunga mountain range comprises of eight major volcanoes. Most of them are dormant, except Mount Nyiragongo 3,462 metres (11,358 feet) and Mount Nyamuragira 3,063 metres (10,049 feet), both found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Latest eruptions occurred in 2006, 2010 and May 2021. Other mountain include Mountain Karisimbi, Mount Sabinyo, Mount Bisoke, Mikeno Volcano and Gahinga Volcano. The Virunga mountains are also habitat to the remaining endangered primate species of mountain gorillas. The Virunga mountain stretch on an 80 kilometers long area between Lake Kivu in Rwanda and Lake Edward in Uganda.