Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Mgahinga peaks
Virunga Volcanoes are a chain of eight volcanoes that dot the borders of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Most of these Virunga volcanoes are dormant, except Mount Nyiragongo 3,462 meters (11,358 ft.) and Mount Nyamuragira 3,063 meters (10,049 ft.), both in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Recent eruptions occurred in 2006 and in January 2010. Mount Karisimbi is the highest volcano at 4,507 meters (14,787 ft.). The oldest mountain is Mount Sabyinyo, which rises 3,634 meters (11,923 ft.) above sea level. Three of the conical peaks are in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park i.e. Muhavura (4,127m) which is the highest of the peaks in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The name means guide, and the Batwa used to look for its high peak to help orient them in the forest.
Muhavura volcano also called Volcan Muhabura is an extinct volcano at the easternmost end of the Virunga Volcano Mountains in east-central Africa. It lies northeast of Lake Kivu on the border between Uganda and Rwanda. It is more than 13,500 ft. high, and its crater contains a lake. The Virunga volcanoes form part of the Virunga National Park that rises to 4127 m at the NE end of the Virunga Volcano Range. It is a relatively youthful stratovolcano with a small 40-m-wide lake in its summit crater.
The 3474-m-high Gahinga (Mgahinga) volcano is joined to Muhavura on the west by a broad saddle. The two virunga volcanoes have produced basanitic-to-trachyandesitic lavas. A small parasitic crater has been recently active, but the age of the latest eruption of Muhavura is not known. It has a crystal clear crater lake about 36m wide at its summit. The top commands panoramic views far into Uganda, Rwanda and along the length of the Virunga chain. Mount Gahinga (3,474m) is the smallest of the Virunga volcanoes. It is named after the local practice of tidying the volcanic debris that clutters local farmland into neat cairns – or Gahinga. Its swamp-filled crater is around 180m wide.
Sabinyo also called Volcan Sabinyo, or Volcan Sabyinyo, an extinct volcano (11,500 feet [3,505 m]) in the Virunga volcanoes Mountain of east-central Africa. It lies northeast of Lake Kivu and south-southeast of Rutshuru, Congo (Kinshasa). Its summit marks the junction of the Congo (Kinshasa)–Rwanda–Uganda borders. It forms part of the Virunga National Park, which is the home of the mountain gorilla. Sabinyo which also means old man’s teeth is a reference to its jagged summit which is dissected by deep gorges and ravines. The countries that share the Virungas – Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo – meet on the highest of Sabinyo’s stumpy peaks.
This volcano offers 3 challenging peaks to climb. A climb up the mountain takes one up a ridge along the eastern side of the climbing peak 1. If you are to continue, the climbing peak 11 involves walking as a ridge with breathtaking drops into gorges of Rwanda and Uganda. Finally, the hike up to the peak 11 is steep with several ladders and mush scrambling. You are guaranteed to get your hands dirty en-route to peak 111. Once on top, you will be in Rwanda, DRC, and Uganda at the same time. The journey takes about 8hrs round to cover the 14km stretch.
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The Mgahinga peaks: The mgahinga peaks are part of the Virunga volcanic mountain complex which is composed of a series of 8 peaks found in the three countries of Rwanda, D.R. Congo and Uganda. The parent Virunga mountain is an active volcano but the Mgahinga ranges are now extinct volcanoes because they already erupted and now have craters on top of them and are covered by vegetation on their slopes. This park consists of the three peaks of Mgahinga ranges
MT Sabinyo: With an altitude of 3669m, mt Sabinyo lies north east of lake Kivu and west of lake Bunyonyi. At the peak of mount Sabinyo, is the intersection of all the boarder lines of three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo hence giving a visa free entrance to all countries in one place without much fuss. the name “Sabinyo” means an “old man’s teeth” and just like the meaning of its name, mt. Sabinyo has had its top reduced to resemble the gum and teeth structure of an old man when observed from a far as a result of constant erosion and weathering processes. Mount Sabinyo is located using the geographical co-ordinates of 01o24’S 29o36’E
Mt Gahinga: Towering to the sky with an altitude of 3474m, mt Gahinga is the smallest of the three mgahinga ranges with a caldera on top spanning to a width of about 180m, long time ago, mount Gahinga had a crater lake on its summit but this has been reduced a swamp now. this peak was named after the piles of volcanic rocks that piled up downslope in the local people’s gardens. Mount Gahinga can be found at the geographical co-ordinates of 01o23’14” S 29o38’37” E
Mt Muhavura: At an altitude of 4127m, mt. Muhavura is the third highest of the 8 peaks of the Virunga ranges complex and highest of the Mgahinga ranges in Uganda. its name means “The guide” as it can be spotted from anywhere in Kisoro as long as there is clear visibility. mount muhavura can be located at the geographical co-ordinates of 01o23’00” S 29o40’00” E
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