Hiking Mount Sabinyo

Mount Sabinyo in Uganda

Mount Sabinyo is one of the extinct volcanoes found within the Virunga ranges. It is approximately 12,037 feet high with rugged craters and slopes on the mountain sides which have created many ridges. Mount Sabinyo is only separated from Mount Muhabura by a crater lake with a diameter of about 20 meters. Sabinyo is local word which mean “Old man`s tooth” and the name mount Sabinyo came as a result of the unique jagged summits of this mountain which look like worn out teeth unlike the more leveled summits of other Virunga mountains which are neighbouring mount Sabinyo such as Mount Muhabura, Mount Nyiragong, Mount Gahinga, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke, Mount Nyamuragira and Mount Mikeno. The summit of Mount Sabinyo is a boarder for three respective countries namely; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The slopes of mount Sabinyo inhabit the world`s critically endangered mountain gorillas and other wildlife such as elephants, many forest antelopes and buffaloes. Mount Sabinyo offers the most Challenging hike among other mountains along the Virunga ranges, because of the many ridges caused by the rugged slopes and craters on the sides of the mountain.

At the moment, hiking Mount Sabinyo is only possible starting from the Ugandan side because there are no routes that have been created among the sharp ridges on the sides of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. However, the government of Rwanda is planning to curve a way through so that the adventure hike to Mount Sabinyo can also start from Rwanda.

  • Best visited in dry season
  • Uganda, East Africa
  • Wildlife to see
  • Can rain any time
  • Good fitness level required
Bwindi Mghinga

Hiking Mount Sabinyo

Mount Sabinyo in Uganda is located in Mgahinga National Park. Climbing Mount Sabinyo is one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding hiking experiences in East Africa. It involves negotiating way through the sharp ridges and crater lakes especially before reaching the last peak. The Uganda wildlife Authority made hiking a bit simpler and possible by constructing handmade ladders which help you to reach the peak.

Hiking Mount Sabinyo on your Uganda safari holiday, you are required to register with the Mgahinga National park office and sign in the visitors` book. The Mount Sabinyo hike begins early in the morning with a briefing at the starting point.

The visitors will be escorted by the guide and the rangers who will lead you to the summit while they feed you with the knowledge that you may need to know about mountain climbing in Uganda, the history of Mt Sabinyo and what to carry along. the activity begins early enough because by 3pm, you are expected to have reached at the summit because Mount Sabinyo hike is a one day activity and this advised that by 3pm visitors should be planning to descend so that to catch up with time.

If it clocks 3pm before reaching to the summit, visitors are then advised to return to the base because it would be too late to complete the activity on time. For those tourists who may have heavy equipment to carry, like cameras, porters are available for hire, and a walking stick is given for free- please take it as gold!

Do not worry of the large mammals that graze on the slopes of the mountain for example elephants because during the hiking, you will be escorted by a few locals, guides and rangers who know how to scare away those animals and make sure you are safe.

The Mount Sabinyo hike begins with a walk on the flat areas through several swamps and the gently ascending with very thick vegetation consisting of mainly bamboo trees which are also a favourite habitat for the famous golden monkeys. Around this area covered with bamboo, you may also encounter mountain gorillas, elephants and buffaloes in the forest up to the end of the first zone which is about 2390 to 2800 meters.

The second zone is full of sub alpine type of vegetation with less trees and this zone is a famous habitat for the Rwenzori Turaco which is only found within the Albertine Rift Valley. By the end of this zone, you will already be able to see the summit of Mount Sabinyo ahead.

The most remarkable and memorable experience about climbing mount Sabinyo is that by the end of the hike, you will have successfully stepped in 3 countries (Uganda Rwanda and D.R Congo) at the same time if you have to reach the summit. While ate the summit of Mount Sabinyo, you will experience one of the beautiful views of the lifetime which include the sights of the Rwenzori mountain ranges and Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda, Lake Kivu in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo plus the breath-taking views of over six mountain ranges of the Virunga region among other countless features.

While at the peak, you can see some patches of human settlements especially in the side of Rwanda which is densely populated. The side of Congo looks relatively deserted.

It is easier to descend but also very challenging because you have to deal with the slippery ladders especially when the weather has been bad that day.

Please plan your tour to Uganda with us and ask to include a visit to the summit of mount Sabinyo. We shall do it for you!

hiking mount sabinyo uganda 00
hiking mount sabinyo in uganda

Hiking Mount Sabinyo

Mount Sabinyo in Uganda is located in Mgahinga National Park. Climbing Mount Sabinyo is one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding hiking experiences in East Africa. It involves negotiating way through the sharp ridges and crater lakes especially before reaching the last peak. The Uganda wildlife Authority made hiking a bit simpler and possible by constructing handmade ladders which help you to reach the peak.

Hiking Mount Sabinyo on your Uganda safari holiday, you are required to register with the Mgahinga National park office and sign in the visitors` book. The Mount Sabinyo hike begins early in the morning with a briefing at the starting point.

The visitors will be escorted by the guide and the rangers who will lead you to the summit while they feed you with the knowledge that you may need to know about mountain climbing in Uganda, the history of Mt Sabinyo and what to carry along. the activity begins early enough because by 3pm, you are expected to have reached at the summit because Mount Sabinyo hike is a one day activity and this advised that by 3pm visitors should be planning to descend so that to catch up with time.

If it clocks 3pm before reaching to the summit, visitors are then advised to return to the base because it would be too late to complete the activity on time. For those tourists who may have heavy equipment to carry, like cameras, porters are available for hire, and a walking stick is given for free- please take it as gold!

Do not worry of the large mammals that graze on the slopes of the mountain for example elephants because during the hiking, you will be escorted by a few locals, guides and rangers who know how to scare away those animals and make sure you are safe.

The Mount Sabinyo hike begins with a walk on the flat areas through several swamps and the gently ascending with very thick vegetation consisting of mainly bamboo trees which are also a favourite habitat for the famous golden monkeys. Around this area covered with bamboo, you may also encounter mountain gorillas, elephants and buffaloes in the forest up to the end of the first zone which is about 2390 to 2800 meters.

The second zone is full of sub alpine type of vegetation with less trees and this zone is a famous habitat for the Rwenzori Turaco which is only found within the Albertine Rift Valley. By the end of this zone, you will already be able to see the summit of Mount Sabinyo ahead.

The most remarkable and memorable experience about climbing mount Sabinyo is that by the end of the hike, you will have successfully stepped in 3 countries (Uganda Rwanda and D.R Congo) at the same time if you have to reach the summit. While ate the summit of Mount Sabinyo, you will experience one of the beautiful views of the lifetime which include the sights of the Rwenzori mountain ranges and Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda, Lake Kivu in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo plus the breath-taking views of over six mountain ranges of the Virunga region among other countless features.

While at the peak, you can see some patches of human settlements especially in the side of Rwanda which is densely populated. The side of Congo looks relatively deserted.

It is easier to descend but also very challenging because you have to deal with the slippery ladders especially when the weather has been bad that day.

Please plan your tour to Uganda with us and ask to include a visit to the summit of mount Sabinyo. We shall do it for you!

How to get to mount Sabinyo
hiking mount sabinyo uganda

How To Get There

Mount Sabinyo is located in Mgahinga National Park of Uganda and this park about 9hours drive from Kampala to Mgahinga national park through Kisoro town which is 14km from the park. There are also public busses from the main bus park in Kampala going to Kisoro town. From Kisoro, even a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) can be hired and take you direct to the park gate.

Mount Gahinga National park can also be accessed by people from Rwanda and the drive from Kigali to Mgahinga National Park is much shorter than driving from Kampala.

If you find the journey is too long for a drive, there are scheduled chartered flights from Entebbe International flights in Uganda and Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip.

From Kisoro airstrip, it is a shorter drive to reach your booked accommodation in Mgahinga National park where you will connect the following morning as per your safari itinerary in Uganda. It is important that you plan your tour to Uganda with a tour operator to help you in booking accommodation, transport (both air and ground) and tourism activities in Uganda.

Best time to go

It is much better for those who want to do a holiday in Uganda for mountain climbing to come during the dry, because this is when the hiking ladders especially at Mount Sabinyo are not very dangerous and also it is when the clouds are very clear hence allowing an astonishing scenery for a remarkable experience on your Uganda safari.

What to expect in Sanyo volcanoe
climbing mount sabinyo in Uganda

What to Expect

Climbing to the summit of Mount Sabinyo takes about 4hours and it is the same time required for one to descend from the peak and while you negotiate your way on these slippery ladders to and from the peak, there are high chances of spotting beautiful species of birds especially the Rwenzori Turaco. Mount Sabinyo has three peaks and it is at these three peaks that you have an opportunity to stand in 3 countries for just a short time! There are extensive ladders that were put in place to help you navigate through the difficult areas of the mountain.

The summit of Mount Sabinyo is very cold and this is why we recommend that you travel with a warm jacket and also getting altitude sickness is as well possible when you climb Mount Sabinyo. It therefore a real mountaineering experience on your safari in Uganda.

The ladders that support you to climb mount Sabinyo are wooden and they are nailed into the rocks. Climbing these ladders on very steep sections is scary especially if you are first time hikers and still have fear for heights. The only thing that encourages you is focusing on reaching the support and to keep you going, you should avoid looking down or back frequently.

Please come with protections for your electrical gadgets like phones because it rains heavily in some months of the year and also, there are certain months of the year when the views are the summit are not clear because of the mist (clouds).

Packing list
where to stay in sabinyo

Mount Sabinyo Packing List

Clothing

Hikers to the summit of mount Sabinyo need to dress light, warm stockings, light rain coat and hand gloves. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers will help you from crawling insects. Hiking boots that are sturdy with above average traction and grip shouls also be on your packing list.

First Aid Kit and Toiletries

A portable first aid kit will help you in cases of pain in joints and minor scratches. And a toilet paper should also be carried to help in case of emergencies but remember to visit the toilet before you begin the hike.

Other things

Other things to carry for climbing mount Sabinyo include; packed lunch or snack, at least two litres of drinking water, a good camera to take great photos of the mountain and binoculars to spot the distant volcanoes and beautiful views. Porters are available for hire and they can help to carry your luggage.

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