Mount Sabinyo volcano Hike Uganda, climbing mt. sabyinyo in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and 3 day tour

Mount Sabinyo

Mount Sabinyo, 3645m, (wrongly spelled “sabyinyo”) offers one of the best mountain hiking and climbing experiences in Uganda. A dormant volcano, Mt Sabinyo is one of the numerous rolling volcanoes that make up the magnificent Virunga mountain range that spans along the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. While the other volcanoes either lie in one of the countries or are shared between two countries, Mt. Sabinyo lies at the meeting point of the all the three borders. It is more like the axis of the Virunga range and offers the best views across the Virungas, you could call it a 360 degree experience!

In Uganda, Mt Sabinyo is located within Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the southwestern corner of the country.

“Sabinyo” is a local term which means “old man’s teeth” in reference to the mt. Sabinyo’s distinct summit with peaks which look like an old man’s spaced teeth.

Hiking Mount Sabinyo

Due to the extremely rugged nature of the terrain along the Sabinyo’s slopes that has many craters with sharp ridges, the mountain cannot be trekked in the other two countries except in Uganda where they have managed to work out a safe though challenging trail that includes improvising handmade ladders to assist climbers at very steep sections. Like all the other Virunga volcanoes except the highest, Karisimbi that requires 2 days, Mt. Sabinyo is a one day hike and the round trek is 8 hours, 4 hours to the summit and 4 hours back, however depending on the pace, weather, etc…

Hiking activity sets off from the park office after meeting with and briefing by the ranger guide. Walking sticks are provided for free meanwhile the porters are available for hire.

You go through vegetation ranges from the bamboo zone between 2400 – 2800m, this is also habitat for the Golden Monkeys which you are chanced at seeing. Other big wildlife in the park includes Buffaloes, Elephants and Gorillas but are rarely seen on the trail. Between 2800 – 3200m is a beautiful forest patch of Hagenia Hypericum, over 3200 is that Sub-alpine zone that has fewer trees. This is also territory of the famous Rwenzori Turaco, a stunning bird which is also endemic to the Albertine rift region.

At the summit you hike to each of the three summits and get the chance to be at the meeting point of all the countries, and enjoy the best views of all!

3 Day Sabinyo hiking tour itinerary

Day 1 – Pick up from the hotel in Kampala and set off on an 8 hour long journey to southwestern Uganda. Overnight in Kisoro town

Day 2 – Have early breakfast and travel to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, a 40 minutes drive from Kisoro. Meet the rangers and start the hike at 7.30am. Carry packed lunch and at least 2 litres of drinking water. Return to the evening and transfer back to Kisoro for the overnight.

Day 3 – After breakfast, check out and return to Kampala.

What you need to carry for the Sabinyo Hike

  • Rain gear, i.e. rain coat
  • Hiking shoes
  • Stocking hat for warmth
  • Garden gloves for cold weather at the top
  • Long-sleeved shirt and trouser to protect from itchy plants e.g. stinging nettles
  • Lunch and snacks
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