Muhabura Hike Stats:

  • Distance: 10 km (round trip)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,924 meters
  • Moving Time: 6 hours
  • Technical Difficulty: Moderate
  • Required Level of Fitness: Good

What to Bring:

  • Hiking shoes
  • A sweater to keep you warm at the top
  • Rain jacket
  • Packed lunch
  • 1.5L of water

Nestled in the northern province of Rwanda, right on the Uganda border, Mount Muhabura, aptly named “The Guide” in Kinyarwanda, stands as an impressive extinct volcano within Volcano National Park. It  is the second-highest mountain in Rwanda, at 4,127 meters above sea level.

While not technically demanding, conquering Muhabura does require a solid fitness level. It is a tougher climb than Mount Bisoke and might even be harder than climbing the highest mountain: Karisimbi, due to its steeper slopes.  I decided to take on the challenge from the Rwandan side, though you can also embark on the journey from the Ugandan side.

As for all activities in Vulcano national park (Dian Fossey trail, Gorilla Trekking,..), the starting point is Kinigi visitor center at 7.00 am for a briefing. I was there quite on low season, and the weather was not great in the morning, so I actually was the only one doing the hike.

After the briefing, it is about a 45-minute drive (by means of your own transportation) towards a small village at the foot of the mountain. It is common and recommended to let you assist by a β€˜porter’, who helps you carrying the bag and provides you with a walking stick for support.

A short walk through rural terrain leads you to the edge of the rainforest, where friendly rangers join the entourage.

The first part of the hike, you really walk in rainforest, in which you are greeted lush vegetation and the sounds of birds and wildlife, but as you further ascend, the landscape changes, giving way to rocky terrain and alpine vegetation. At first, it was very clouded, so I had very limited vision.

Thankfully, the mist gradually lifted as I ascended more, revealing breathtaking views. It is really impressive.

When I finally reached the top, I was very surprised. As mentioned, I had been hiking all the time alone with my porter (as the rangers kept quite some distance), but when I almost reached the top, I saw a lot of people at the top itself.  Apparently, there was a Ugandan school that climb from the Uganda side. So from almost being alone, I was all suddenly part of an extensive photoshoot with a lot of people! 😊

The highlight of the Muhabura hike is indeed reaching this summit, where hikers are greeted by a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. The summit offers stunning views of the Virunga Massif, the twin lakes in Rwanda and lake Mutanda in Uganda.

After having enjoyed the views of the crater, and the surrounding, and having a small lunch, I started the descend, which was – according to me – harder then climbing because of the impact on the knees, so I could recommend taking your time for that.

For those planning to take on the Muhabura hike, it is essential to be well-prepared. Proper hiking gear, including sturdy footwear, some warm clothing for the top + proper rain jacket, and plenty of water, is a must.

In conclusion, the Muhabura hike in Rwanda is a challenging yet unforgettable adventure that offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and majesty of this remarkable country.

Really, what a amazing day.

For those planning to conquer Muhabura, email us at info@responsibleafrica.com

Categories: Blog posts

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