Mount Gahinga, is an extinct volcano in the Virunga ranges, it lies on the border between Rwanda and Uganda. More so, it lies between Sabyinyo and Muhabura . It is also known in the local Kinyarwanda/Rufumbira as “a small pile of stones”, it is the smallest of the three mountains. It was named after the local practice of tidying the volcanic debris that clutters local farmland into neat cairns, Its vegetation is considerably to be swampy caldera on its peak.
The caldera is estimated to be about 180 meters wide. Mount Gahinga, has an elevation of 3,474 meters as estimated and recorded. It is part of the 8 volcanic mountains of the Virunga ranges, being magnificent feature, it cuts across Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its vegetation is afro-montane and is dominated by bamboo woodlands in the region, making up the main vegetation.
These woodlands act as a habitat for the gigantic endangered mountain gorillas in the vicinity. There are also different species like birds, primates, golden monkeys (the most notable feature).While you are on trail walks, observe small piles of stones in the garden fields. The local natives call such a pile a ‘Gahinga’.
Mount Gahinga is quite bigger than the average ‘gahinga’ but sitting next to Mount Muhavura does make it look small. A hike, which takes you about, six hours round trip, goes through a good example of a pure Bamboo forest. The climb takes you first through bamboo forest on the base before you climb the slopes of the volcano.
The crater of Mt M’Gahinga is quite shallow and its floor is covered in swamps and moors where plants like Senecio, Alchemillia and Lobelia thrive. The environment on Mt M’Gahinga is quite different from the other volcanoes in the national park. More activities like birding, Mountain climbing, Gorilla trekking, Game drives, sight seeing and among others do take place here.
The dome caparted highland is an ideal destination for Uganda Mountaineering Safari, Birding Safari, Nature walks, as well as encountering with the Village communities around this Pleistocene feature dating back more than 1000 years not fully exploited, but rather still existing with a full authentic recipe to have a taste to on your Uganda Vacation.