If you are interested in the most thrilling hiking adventures while on safari in Africa, never miss to pay a visit to Mount Sabinyo. This stunning volcano stretches up to 3645 meters and provides the excellent mountain climbing adventures in Uganda. It is one of the magnificent volcanoes that make up part of the eight Great Virunga Massifs and it straddles at the borders between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Whereas the rest of the Virunga Mountains are found in one of the countries or they are shared between 2 countries, for Mount Sabinyo, it lies across all the 3 borders. It is actually more like the axis of the Virunga Mountain ranges and provides hikers and climbers the excellent views of the volcanoes.
In Uganda, this mountain is situated in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in southwestern side.
The word Sabinyo is locally known as old man’s teeth which denote the mountain’s distinct summit with peaks that appear more like an old man’s spaced teeth.
Given its rugged terrains along the mountain’s slopes that come with several craters with sharp ridges, Mount Sabinyo can only be hiked in Uganda and not any where else where hikers can follow its challenging trail which comes along with handmade ladders to help visitors at the deep steep areas.
Compared to the rest of Virunga Massifs apart from Karisimbi mountain which takes up to 2 days, Mount Sabinyo is only a one day hike and takes visitors about eight hours (4 hours for hiking to its summit and the other 4 hours for returning). However this depends on the visitors speed and weather pattern.
Hiking Mount Sabinyo
Climbing Mount Sabinyo involves navigating through the scenic vegetation ranging from bamboo at elevation 2400-2800m. This is an area where golden monkeys thrive.
The hiking adventure starts from the Mgahinga National Park headquarters with early morning briefing by one of the park officials. For this adventure, you will need a walking stick which will be given to you at a free cost and there are also porters to hire to assist you with your heavy luggage.
The hike takes you via distinct vegetation zones from the bamboo zone that lies between 2400 and 2800 meters and offers refuge to mainly the rare golden monkeys as well as buffaloes, elephants, mountain gorillas and many more.
Between 2800 and 3200 meters comes a stunning forest patch of hagenia hypericum, beyond 3200 meters there is a sub alpine zone which comes with fewer tree species. This area also refuges most of the Rwenzori Turacos making it the excellent birding area and it is popular for endemic Albertine rift bird species.
While at the summit, you can climb to each of the 3 summits where you will have opportunity to reach to meeting point of all the 3 countries and be thrilled by its spectacular views and this means that the mountain comes with 3 remarkable peaks.
For a hiking adventure, you will need energy giving snacks, bottle of water, waterproof hiking boots, rain jackets, hat, gardening gloves, long sleeved shirt or t-shirt.
What to carry on Sabyinyo volcano climbing?
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Sun glasses
- Insect repellents
- First aid kit
- Good and clear camera with additional batteries
- Rain gear especially rain jacket/poncho
- Enough energy giving snacks to keep you fit
- Bottle of drinking water
Other activities you can add onto your Mount Sabyinyo climbing include mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, bird watching, Batwa cultural experience and many more.
In conclusion, Mount Sabinyo offers one of the most challenging hiking adventures but it rewards climbers and hikers with life changing experiences. While on gorilla safari in Uganda, never miss to climb to summits of this stunning volcano given that there are different offers available from selected tour operators.