Why not consider including a Virunga day trek to your walking safari prior to departing Kisoro for Buhoma or on completion of your Buhoma to Kisoro trek!
Trekking on the Virunga Volcanoes within the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is certainly one of the highlights of a visit to this remote corner of western Uganda. Trekking itineraries to this location will normally be part of a larger itinerary that probably includes the Bwind Impenetrable Forest National Park. All treks here are strenuous day hikes returning to the hotel, guest house or campsite after each days activity. All treks are led by a National Parks Ranger and one of our Nkuringo Walking Safaris guides.
Mt. Sabinyo rises to an altitude of 3600m and provides a truly fantastic day trek to the summit of what is the frontier of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For the observant hiker glimpses of wildlife can be seen to include the elusive Bushbuck and the Golden Monkey which is only to be found here on the Virunga in Uganda.
Sabinyo with itís five jagged peaks is the oldest of the volcanoes here. With two distinct vegetation zones Forest and Alpine it is an exhilarating one day trek with some very steep inclines aided by the assistance of eucalyptus ladders to reach the goal of Sabinyo peak. From the summit amazing views can be enjoyed of this volcanic chain of mountains into Rwanda that includes Mt. Karisimbi, Mt. Mikeno and the often snow covered Mt. Visoke.
Mt. Gahinga at 3400m is a perfectly formed volcano. On the lower reaches of the volcano the route passes through former cultivated land, reclaimed and reincorporated back into the National Park as late as 1986. A vast area of enormous bamboo forest creates an elaborate labyrinth of passages to wander through where the trail is picked up that leads to Gahinga summit. Many bird species can be observed here with sunbirds being the most obvious.
This trek is usually completed in six hours up and down so offers an excellent introduction to acclimatise to the altitude.
Mt. Muhavura and it's enormous conical shape looms high into the darkness. Good weather is critical to reach the peak of Muhavura, this the youngest in the chain of volcanoes and it's status is noted as being still dormant. The surrounding countryside shows evidence of volcanic activity everywhere with giant volcanic vents very obvious after the land has been cleared of vegetation for agriculture. Muhavura peak will drain the last bit of energy out of you as you fight for air in the rarefied atmosphere but you will be rewarded with stunning views through the cloud and mist as it rolls in and out. The crater lake is only a mere 20m in diameter and the area of the summit not much bigger than a golfing green. This is a 1200m ascent in 7 hours, very steep with few switch backs in the trail to give your legs the relief they are screaming for.
The descent will be rapid to the warmth of the tropical climate normally associated with equatorial regions and the lush vegetation of the lower slopes.