Mgahinga National Park
At an altitude ranging from 2,227m and 4,127m, Mghahinga is a visual masterpiece soaring high in the clouds. It has three summits that will catch your eye and carry you into endless vastness of the sky. These overlook a dense canopy of a bamboo forest that shelters the rare mountain gorillas and the endemic golden monkeys, among a sea of other species. This conference of summits disappears behind clouds and stays there for hours, only to reappear in a dramatic fashion depending on the weather.
No wonder, photo safaris are among the most sought after activities at this park. Note, it is Uganda’s smallest park, measuring mere 33 square kilometers. In-spite of that, the park also boasts of a historical trail that features the widely intriguing way of life of the Batwa, a tribe that inhabits the forests and boasts of a lifestyle woven around forest life.
Besides the interesting Batwa people, you will be treated to as the especially rich sites of the kigarama caves. What a spacious underground hideout with about six compartments that used to accommodate their kingdom. It has a strong scent of ancient human presence, which can only be experienced and not explained. Imagine this; though served by only one door, it is airy and well ventilated.
Looking at its peaks from a far, you are bound to think they offer the same hiking experiences, seeing as as they are all cone shaped. Make no mistake, they don’t! And no, there can never be a better way to find out than through taking a hike them all. As matter of fact, if you are looking to shade some weight the adventurous way, Muhavura is a perfect “gym”.
Due to its steep gradient, it offers a hike that is sweaty, though climbing it is an assured way of feeling the alluring freshness of the mountain. At its top is a crater lake with a scenic beauty that revitalizes the inner most being. What’s more? This mountain has a presence partly in Rwanda and partly in Uganda, making for a border between the two countries.
On the other hand though, Mountain Sabinyo is hard to miss, if you are looking to take a gentle hike to relax the mind and stretch the muscles. It takes the average hiker five hours to climb it and 2-3 to descend it. Ever wondered what it is like to be in three countries at the same time? If the answer is Yes, Sabinyo is more than happy to make your dream come true.
At its summit is a vantage point where the borders of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda unite in harmony. You can have one leg in Rwanda, the other in Congo, your hands in Uganda, and your heart in no man’s land.
After visiting Mghahinga with my photographer late last year, we both became convinced that there is perhaps no other Mountain in East Africa as picturesque and absolutely breath-taking. This Mountain is full of charm at every vegetation zone. Its top is windy which makes walking around extra fun as the breeze flirts with your nose and gently caresses your skin.