Mount Muhabura, also known as Mount Muhavura, is an extinct volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and Uganda. At 4,127 m, Muhabura is the third highest of the eight major mountains of the mountain range, which is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Muhabura lies partly in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda and partly in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda.
The name Muhabura means “The Guide” in the local language, Kinyarwanda, which probably derives from a historical use of the mountain to aid navigation. It can be seen from many parts of Uganda and Rwanda because of its slope.
Getting there is pretty simple. Take a car or bus and head toward Kisoro south west. Your destination is the town of Kisoro, which is about an hour and a half outside of Kabale town. If you’re going by bus once you arrive in Kisoro just ask any motor-taxi to take you to Mgahinga national park headquarters. They’re quite accustomed to trekkers coming out for a day hike. It’s quite important that you get the motor driver’s name and phone number so you can call him to come and pick you up when you’re finished, unless you want to make the long walk back to Kisoro to catch the bus, which your legs are unlikely to enjoy after hours of traversing steep terrain.
If you’re traveling by car from Kisoro town make sure you’re paying attention to the small village towns you pass as it’s one of those small towns that you could easily drive right through without realizing it. Turn left on what is pretty much the only wide dirt road after travelers’ inn hotel that intersects the main road. Just look for the sign that directs you to the road to Mgahinga national park and take it. Continue down this road for about 40 minutes. It will begin to narrow, but don’t worry, you’re on the right path. Eventually you will come to the head office. Here is where you should park your car. From the top of the volcano one can enjoy fantastic views over the other five volcanoes and the “twin lakes”. There is a crater lake near the summit and the vegetation is usually drier than in other areas of the Volcanoes National Park.
Climbing Mount Muhabura Hike
At the top of the volcano one can enjoy fantastic views over the other five volcanoes and the “twin lakes”. There is a crater lake near the summit and the vegetation is usually drier than in other areas of the Volcanoes National Park, with giant heather thriving on the volcano’s slopes.
The climb can be physically demanding and the slopes are very steep. The name Muhabura means sentinel in Kinyarwanda (the local dialect) and its typically shaped silhouette can be seen from many parts of the country.
The hike will typically take a full day. The trek starts at 7:00am from the park headquarters in Kinigi, from where visitors will have to drive / be driven to the base of the volcano. Permits can be purchased on the day of the climb, no advance booking is necessary and porters can also be hired for the trek. For park fees and rates for the hike please contact our head office.