Mgahinga gorilla national park is one of the smallest national parks situated in the southwestern part of the country, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Borders Volcanoes national park of Rwanda and Virunga national park of DR Congo.
Mgahinga gorilla national park occupies approximately a total area of 33.7 square kilometers. Mgahinga Gorilla national park is best known for protecting Uganda’s endangered mountain Gorillas and other primate species such as golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys’, and many bird species among others. Mgahinga gorilla national park harbors three Virunga chained volcanoes such as Mt Muhavura, Mt Gahinga, and Mt Sabinyo.
Top Activities in Mgahinga gorilla national park
Gorilla trekking experience
Gorilla trekking is the key activity that attracts huge numbers of tourists to Mgahinga gorilla national park, Gorilla tracking involves trekking on foot deep into the tropical forest while searching for the mountain gorillas, and once mountain Gorillas are found travelers can only spend an hour with the gorilla family in their natural environment.
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park starts with an early morning briefing at the park headquarters. Gorilla trekking experience in Mgahinga Gorilla national park may last from 30 minutes to 6 hours depending on the location of these giant apes because they tend to locomote from one place to another searching for food. During gorilla trekking, travelers can be able to see other primates like golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, bird species, and butterfly species among others and once mountain gorillas are seen, travelers are only allowed to stay with the mountain gorillas for an hour in the jungle which gives travelers a chance of monitoring and learns more about their behaviors, travelers are allowed to take photos and record their wonderful moments with the gorillas for their lifetime memory.
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking is another amazing tourist activity in Mgahinga gorilla national park that is attracting many tourists. Golden monkey trekking also involves tourists moving on foot into the forest looking for golden monkeys and once Golden monkeys are found, travelers can only spend an hour with the golden monkey family allocated to them in their natural environment, Golden monkey trekking experience last from between 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on the location of these golden monkeys because they also move from place to place searching for food. During your golden monkey trekking, travelers are always rewarded with spotting other primates like mountain gorillas, bird species, plant species, and tree species among others.
Mgahinga gorilla national park harbors over 180 bird species recorded including the Albertine rift endemics, Migratory birds, and forest birds. Mgahinga Gorilla national park bird watching is mostly done around Mt Sabinyo and Mt Gahinga, travelers are accompanied by a professional experienced birding guide who can identify different bird species easily, Mgahinga Gorilla national park includes handsome francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, olive woodpecker, black-headed waxbill, dusky turtle dove, streaky seedeater, Rwenzori night jar, blue-headed sunbird, bronze sunbird, cape robin chat, African hill babblers, fire finch stonechat, Kivu ground thrush, red-faced woodland warbler, western green tinkerbird, bronze sunbird, pin tailed whydah, yellow-billed kite, yellow vented bulbul, paradise flycatcher, alpine chat, black kite, and olive pigeon among others.
Mgahinga gorilla national park protects three of the Virunga chained mountains that are mount Gahinga standing at 3,474 meters above the ground hiking to the peak may take approximately 6 hours to and from, Mt Sabinyo stands at 3,669 meters above the ground, and hiking to its peak takes like 8 hours round trip and Mt Muhavura stands at 4,127 meters above the ground and hiking to its peak may take between 9-10 hours round trip. Mgahinga gorilla national park mountain climbing experience makes travelers pass via different vegetation zones, view many wildlife species, enjoy Rwenzori mountains peak views, a crater-filled swamp with giant lobelia, Virunga Volcanoes, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park among others
Batwa trail experience
Batwa cultural experience is another exciting tourist activity in Mgahinga gorilla national park where travelers get a chance to interact with Uganda’s pygmies who used to survive in the forest with animals before the forest was designated as a national park. During the Batwa cultural trail experience, travelers learn more about the Batwa such as how they used to survive in the forest before resettlement, participate in demonstrations about Batwa’s past like hunting skills, pointing out medicine plants, and wild fruits gathering skills among others how they used to make bamboo cups, point out medicinal plants, take a visit to the Ngarama cave where the Batwa kings palace used to be, enjoy amazing entertainments from Batwa women and men among others.
Best time to explore Mgahinga gorilla national park
Mgahinga gorilla national park can be visited throughout the year but is best visited in the dry months lasting from June to September and from December to February. in the dry months, there is less or low rainfall in Mgahinga Gorilla national park so mountain gorilla trekking trails are dry and passable which makes gorilla trekking so easy for most travelers.
Mgahinga gorilla national park can also be explored in the rainy months which last from March to May and from October to November because it’s the best time for bird watching where travelers can enjoy uncounted bird species including the migratory bird species.
How to approach Mgahinga gorilla national park
Mgahinga gorilla national park can be approached by both road transportation whereby travelers can be driven from Entebbe or Kampala via Masaka- Mbarara road, and Kabale- Kisoro road. Road transportation to the park headquarters takes about 9 to 10 hours.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park can also be reached via Kigali Rwanda whereby travelers are driven from Kigali straight to Mgahinga gorilla national park by road then cross the Katuna border to Kabale then connect to Kisoro or Cyanika border in Kisoro.
Mgahinga gorilla national park can also be approached by air transportation where travelers can be able to book scheduled or domestic flights that are operated by Aero link Uganda, Aero link-chartered flights start from either Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield straight to Kisoro airstrip and then get to you booked lodge by road.
For unforgettable experiences and breathtaking memories, travelers are free to combine their activities in Mgahinga gorilla national park with Queen Elizabeth national park where you can participate in activities such as unlimited game drives, boat cruises, guided nature walks, lions tracking, chimpanzee trekking in Kyambure gorge and, night game drives among others.