MOUNT GAHINGA HIKE

August 26, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

Location of Mount Gahinga.

This is a dormant volcano located in the South of Uganda at the Uganda and Rwanda border. The mountain elevates up to 3474 meters above sea level and it is known as one of the mountains in the albertine rift valley ranges. Mount Gahinga happens to be the smallest of the Virunga ranges found between Sabinyo and the Muhabura. Gahinga is a Rufumbira word meaning “a small pile of stones”.

 The mountain is about 9 hours’ drive from the city center of Kampala with a distance of approximately 510 kilometers. It can be accessed by both air and road transport. By road transport one can use the Kampala – Masaka-Mbarara- Bwindi Route. And by air transport one can board a helicopter from Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip.

Attractions of the mountain.

Vegetation. The mountain has a very nice vegetation cover that has savannah grasslands on the lower steeps and bamboo as you approach the higher steeps of the mountain which gives a very nice scenery.

Wildlife. The mountain is also home to a number of wild animals that acts as attractions to tourists for example the mountain gorillas which inhabit the area from here up to Bwindi, golden monkeys, chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, snakes, wild rats and so many others both big and small.

Virunga volcanoes. These extinct volcanoes can be accessed through this mountain and when one is at the mountain, they get the view of these beautiful volcanoes. This attracts tourists with various interests in research and photography.

Garama caves. These caves have a history of their own and are also a home to some of the wild animals in the area. They also provide beautiful scenery that cannot be missed when it comes to attracting tourists.

What activities are possible in the areas around Mount Gahinga?

Various activities can be done in this area which include;

Nature walks. This can be both guided and non-guided according to the capacities of the tourists and preferences. This helps one appreciate nature and what it has to offer and being done in such an area is quite more rewarding.

Hiking. Since the area is mountainous, hiking activities are also available which provides a health challenge and benefits to the tourists that go for the activity.

Mountain climbing. This is yet another activity the tourists get involved in when they go to the mountain. This is done by tying ropes and climbing attires across their bodies and going up to the mountain which is quite a very good adventure. It is done both by local and international tourists.

Golden monkey tracking. This rare species of monkeys happens to be in the lower slopes of the mountain in the forests around and tourists get a chance to track, see them and find them in their natural habitats. Such experiences attract tourists from all corners of the world. This also comes along with gorilla trucking since some of the gorillas migrate up to these ends from the areas of Bwindi impenetrable forests and in other East African countries especially from Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. This tracking is accompanied by the rangers and guides who also provide additional information about monkeys and gorillas.

Birding in Gahinga. It is important to note that the mountain is a home to various species of birds which go up to over 300 and for the bird lovers this is a very nice site to view rare bird species such as cranes, marabou stocks, African fish eagles, turacos, bee-eaters and so forth.

Batwa trail. This trail helps the tourists to access the indigenous inhabitants of the area and also provides yet another exciting experience to tourists since these people dedicate their lives to share information about the forest and also entertain the guests. 

When is the best time to visit the mountain?

Dry seasons are the best times to visit the mountain and these are in the times of June to September and also December to February in the dry seasons. Dry seasons are the best because the mountain is not slippery and therefore it can be hiked with no much hardships.

How much does one need to access the mountain?

Mountaineers should not worry about the amount to pay to get a chance to participate in the above activities since hiking is just $80 for the foreign nonresidents, $70 for the foreign residents and Uganda shillings 50,000 for the East African citizens. 

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