Have you ever been in 3 countries at once? Mount Sabyinyo offers you that chance!
Mount Sabyinyo is an extinct volcanic mountain. Also part of the Virunga Massif; it stands at 3,654m high and its summit is where the borders of Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda intersect. It is located West of Uganda’s Lake Bunyonyi and Northeast of Rwanda’s Lake Kivu. This volcano also lies within the three National Parks; Virunga, Mgahinga Gorilla and Volcanoes.
The volcano’s slopes are home to Mountain Gorillas, its summit is distinctive and look likes worn teeth in a gum line and because of that the local people nicknamed it as old man’s teeth. Its name “Sabyinyo” originates from a Kinyarwanda word “Irinyo” which literally means a “tooth”. Mount Sabinyo is a great place for adventure especially for Mountain climbing and biking, while at its peak you get a “360 degree experience” as you enjoy spectacular views of the Virungas.
Hiking Mount Sabinyo
First and foremost, this volcano however amazing it is; its terrain is rugged especially the slopes which have a lot of craters that have sharp ridges which could be dangerous to the climbers. Therefore Mount Sabyinyo can only be hiked in Uganda where the trails have been at least worked on to ease hiking; handmade ladders have been created. In the other two countries the terrain is still rugged.
The hike can be started and completed in one day, approximately 8 hours can be used; about 4 hours to climb and 4 hours to descend. This depends on the weather, the pace on which hikers are using, therefore the physical fitness and health matter.
Hikers gather at the head office of the park and after briefing they set off from there for their unforgettable hiking experience, they set out with a skilled ranger guide and walking sticks which are provided freely. In case you have heavy luggage, ensure you hire a porter to help you carry it to and from the summit, remember there is a fee that you pay these porters.
As you hike you will pass through different vegetation zones such as the Bamboo which is at 2400m-2800m and in this zone you can be able to spot some Golden monkeys and sometimes other wildlife species like Gorillas, Elephants and Buffaloes of course which are rare along the trail in most cases.
Between 2800m and 3200m is a Hagenia Hypericum attractive forest, and as you reach the top from 3200m and above are few trees and a sub alpine vegetation zone. Birders are also privileged to see the popular Rwenzori Turaco which is an endemic bird to the Albertine region.
Upon arrival at the summit ensure you hike all the peaks, here you will have a remarkable time as you will enjoy scenic views at a point where you are in three countries at once!
What to carry
- Sturdy hiking shoes
- Rain coat/gear
- Gloves, for the cold weather especially at the summit
- Snacks and Food
- Drinking water
- A hat
- Long sleeved trouser and shirt
- Insect repellent
- A camera(fully charged)
- A hat
3 days Mount Sabinyo Hiking itinerary
Day 1: Breakfast and pick up by driver guide from Kampala and depart for an 8 hour drive to the Southwest of Uganda. Sleep over in Kisoro Town
Day 2: Enjoy an early breakfast and transfer to Mgahinga National Park which is approximately a 40minute drive from Kisoro town. Ensure by 7:30am you are there meet the rangers, and after briefing continue with the hike. Make sure you have drinking water and packed lunch with you. After the hike return to Kisoro for an overnight in the evening.
Day 3: Breakfast and embark on your journey back to Kampala.
All you have to gain is an amazing time hiking and a great time sin three countries at the same time, this is unforgettable!