Virunga Conservation Area

Mount Sabyinyo

Mount Sabyinyo, also known as Sabino straddles across the border of Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda. The word Sabyinyo is got from a local word to mean “Iryinyo” to mean “tooth” this is because the summit of this mountain looks like worn out teeth in a gum line.

Mount Sabyinyo

Mount Sabyinyo boasts with panoramic views of three countries at its summit; however, the mountain can only be climbed from the Ugandan side at Mgahinga national park because the side of Rwanda and Congo is very steep with sharp ridges.

Mount Sabyinyo stands on an elevation of 3,645 meters above sea level, its also the oldest of the eight Virunga volcanoes streamlined across the Albertine rift which is part of the great East African rift valley characterized by Hagenia Hypericum, bamboo forests and subalpine zone.

Other Activities to do

Golden Monkey Trekking. When hiking mount Sabyinyo, tourists can also encounter golden monkey trekking, the cost of trekking golden monkeys is $50 per person and the number o people trekking is not limited like gorilla trekking, golden monkey habituation costs only $100 per person. Tracking these unique creatures can take only 3 hours and the activity starts at the park’s headquarters at 7:30 am. The estimated number of golden monkeys is said to be around 3000-4000 in Mgahinga national park in Uganda.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking. Gorilla trekking is one of the famous tourist’s activities done in Africa, this can only be done in Mgahinga and Bwindi national park in Uganda, Virunga national park in Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. After or before hiking mount Sabyinyo tourists can trek the only habituated gorilla family in Mgahinga national park known as Nyakagezi gorilla family which consists of 9 members, 4 silverbacks, 2adults, 2 infants and 1 juvenile. Though the family is always on the move rangers first go-ahead to find out their exact location before tourists can trek. Tourists are given one hour to observe mountain gorillas after finding them.

Bird Watching. Mgahinga national park is home to over 115 species of birds, this can be spotted while hiking to the top of mount Sabyinyo some of the common birds to be seen are; Whydah, speckled mousebirds, grey capped warbler, firefinch stonechat, Kivu ground thrush, olive pigeon, white naked raven, Ruwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori night jar, black kite, double collared sunbird, paradise flycatcher, blue-headed coucal and Archers robin chat to mention a few.

Visit Garama Caves. The enchanting Garama caves are found just 3 kilometers from Ntebeko 340 meters along plateau in the northern part of the park. The cave used to be a sacred place of the Batwa people who used it as a council chamber.

Batwa Trail. The Batwa people also known as the people of the forest are ancient people who are believed to have lived in this rainforests for over 500,000 years. They inhabited the forests of Mgahinga and Bwindi national park before they were gazetted as national parks, they depended on the forests for food, shelter, and medicine they have a lot of ancient stories about the forest as well as very unique culture. The walk through the trail is guided by a Batwa man and also includes a prayer being made before the starting off the journey.

Mount Sabyinyo can be climbed within one day with 4hours of Hiking to the summit and 4hours descending and time can also depend on the speed and fitness of a group.

Mount Sabyinyo can be accessed by road from Kampala within 9 hours drive, the shortest way is to fly into Rwanda and then travel by car to Mgahinga national park in Uganda. Tourists will also be required to carry heavy clothing, raincoats, socks, garden gloves, insect repellents and sunscreens among the rest.

Mount Sabyinyo has got three peaks, hiking starts after a briefing from Mgahinga national park office; potters are also available and can be hired at $15-$25 dollars per person to help tourists carry their luggage.

The best time for hiking mount Sabyinyo is in the dry season of December to February and June to September, though the mountain can be climbed during the rainy season the rocks are slippery, muddy and the weather is not favorable.

Tourists visiting mount Sabyinyo can sleep in hotels such as Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mgahinga Safari Lodge, Mubano Hotel, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, and tourists can also go camping.

The cost of hiking Mount Sabyinyo is $80 per person and this includes ranger guide fee excluding fee paid to porters.

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