Mount Sabyinyo is an extinct volcano shared between volcanoes national park, Virunga national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park found at the boarder of Uganda and Rwanda. The mountain stands on an elevation of 3,669 meters above sea level. The summit of the volcano marks an intersection of boarders between Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.
Mount Sabyinyo derives its word from a local Kinyarwanda word “Irinyo” translated to mean “tooth” the mountain was called so because of its serrated summits that resemble worn teeth in a gum line looking like old man’s teeth.
Mount Sabyinyo is also said to be the oldest of the Virunga massif volcanoes
Hiking mount Sabyinyo
Mount Sabyinyo offers a 360 degrees experience and it’s the axis of the Virunga range volcanoes however, mount Sabyinyo cannot be climbed from democratic republic of Congo and Rwanda due to its rugged nature with many craters and sharp ridges along its terrain.
The Ugandan side can be climbed though at some point you have to use handmade ladders to assist at very steep sections. The good news is that the hike to mount Sabyinyo can be done in one day taking 8 hours that is 4 hours to the summit and 4 hours descending.
The hike starts from the park offices after the briefing and walking sticks are provided, potters can also be hired at this point at an affordable price to help you with your luggage. From 2400-2800 you go through bamboo zone, between 2800-3200 is made up of Hagenia Hypericum forest and over 3200 is composed of alpine zone that has few trees.
The hike to the top exposes you to various primates and if you’re lucky enough you will spot golden monkeys, mountain gorillas, Ruwenzori turacco, buffalos, bush bucks and so much more. While at the top you can hike to all the three summits and have stunning views of all the three countries at one point.
Golden monkey trekking
The slopes of mount Sabyinyo are home to about 3000-4000 golden monkeys, these unique species of monkeys is characterized by a bright orange gold body contrasting with its limbs tail end and crown. The trekking does not take more than 3 hours and the number of people is not limited compared to mountain gorillas. Golden monkeys are uniquely beautiful and known for their playful character and also like flash lights while their photos are being taken, after finding monkeys, tourists are given an hour of observation and to take photos.
Mount Mgahinga slopes are also home to the endangered mountain gorillas with one habituated gorilla family opened for tourists to trek. The trekking starts place early morning and only a group of 8 healthy people without infectious diseases are allowed to visit the family.
What to bring
When planning to hike mount Sabyinyo, ensure you carry good hiking boots, rain coats, jackets, warm clothes, garden gloves, plenty of drinking water, lunch and energy snacks, hat, and sun glasses among the rest.
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