Standing at a height of 4,127 meters above sea level, Mount. Muhabura also known as “Muhavura” is an inactive volcano and its last eruption is dated back to sometime in the Holocene. Part of the Virunga Mountain ranges, it is located at the Uganda Rwanda Border with part of the mountain in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the other part in Uganda lying within Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. It has the 3rd highest peak among the eight mountains that make up the Virunga ranges, with Mount. Karisimbi and Mt. Mikeno holding first and second position respectively.

The name Muhabura means “The guide” in the native language of the locals (Kinyarwanda), this is due to the fact that it was used as a guide by distant travelers. It is cone shaped and known for being the steepest within the volcanoes area. The volcanic ash found at the slopes has supported the growth of thickets and shrubs, River Kabiranyuma is a key feature found here as it separates mount Muhabura from Mount Gahinga since they are connected.

There are lots of rare bird species accompanying the existence of mammals like buffaloes, elephants, Mountain gorillas and these are mostly found on the Ugandan side. The peak contains a small crater lake. Interestingly, this mountain can be sighted from most parts of Uganda and Rwanda due to its slope.

Hiking Mount. Muhabura

Being the steepest mountain within the Virunga Mountain ranges makes it the most difficult to hike. And only one day is provided for this hike to be carried out. Hiking can be arranged on both the Ugandan and Rwandan side. From Uganda, you are met by guides from the Uganda wildlife Authority who lead you to Ntebeko Visitors Center and while in Rwanda, you report to Kinigi Visitors center where you make payments for the permits.

At both centers, you are given a group of rangers who guide you or your team through the hike. Since the hike is strictly for one day, once it gets to sunset and you haven’t reaches the summit, you are advised to descend. Briefing is always done before the hike and during this moment, a bit of information and history is said about the mountain and hikers are checked to see whether they are fully equipped for the hike and have the necessary requirements such as the right boots, clothing, drinking water and something to eat basically.

Climbing usually commences at 7am and is estimated to take about 7 hours maximum for both ascending and descending the mountain. You are driven to the starting point if you didn’t come along with your own transportation. During the hike you will be able to have stopovers where you get to rest and have lunch. There are two stopovers with one at 3,117 meters while the other is at 3860 meters, those who can’t go any further can always end at the first stop and those with stamina can continue and reach the summit, though it gets colder as one goes up. This tiresome hike is rewarded by experiencing another world at the top of the summit that has a  breathtaking view and a crater lake safe for swimming in though its usually discouraged because of the water is always very cold

Due to the steepness of the mountain, it is highly demanded for its thrilling experience. Seasonal hikers are most interested in always taking part of this hike. Non seasonal hikers may need a lot of preparation before embarking on this journey. It also has porters who help in carrying the visitors’ language and they are not expensive.

The costs are at about $75 per person, this excludes transport, accommodation or even hiring porters. You can acquire these permits on the same day, so no need for booking in advance, this applies to both countries.

Hiking can be done alongside gorilla trekking; you can also visit or go for a walk at Lake Mutanda while in Uganda. You can also visit the known Batwa people who are known for living within these ranges.