Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park at a Glance!

Plan, Discover and Explore the Hidden Treasures of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park prides itself to be the smallest of all national parks in Uganda sitting on an area square meter of just 33.7km2 in the southwestern corner of Uganda bordering Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda in the south and to the west by the Virunga National Park of Congo. As its name suggests, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey plus several other mammals.

Mgahinga’s most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo, and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. When you reach the park you can get a great overview of the area by walking up the viewpoint, just 15 minutes from Ntebeko Gate. The volcanoes’ slopes of the park contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.

Oret Tours is a Ugandan tour based operators that prides itself to offer professional affordable tour packages to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park covering a wide range of activities in this park.

Top Tourist Activities in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga 

Apart from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga gorilla national park is yet another destination where the endangered mountain gorillas live and this often attracts people from different countries to come on Uganda Gorilla trekking safari. There is no doubt that Mgahinga Gorilla national park is one of the leading tourist sites in Uganda since it harbors these rare primates. Within the park, you can visit the Nyakagezi Gorilla Group, the only gorilla family in this park. The reason why Mgahinga Gorilla National park is a preferred gorilla trekking destination is that within the park the gorillas are easily seen unlike other gorilla parks in Africa. The park is well gifted with a thick rain forest with a wide variety of tree species which the gorillas feed on and this makes them easy to see since they are even in one gorilla group and the park is well the smallest of all game parks in Uganda.

Golden Monkey Tracking in Mgahinga 

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers the chance to track the golden monkeys which are known to be bamboo-associated primates and they can easily be found in the Mgahinga highlands playing on the bamboo trees. Endemic to the Albertine Rift, the golden monkey is characterized as a bright orange-gold body, cheeks and tail, contrasting with its black limbs, crown and tail end. A golden monkey permit in Uganda costs $50 per person for foreign non-residents, $40 per person for foreign residents and Shs 20,000 for East African Residents. This cost includes the park entry fee, the guide fee and the one hour you spend with the golden monkeys.

Volcano Climbing in Mgahinga 

All three volcanoes in this park can be summited, taking a full day each. Views from the peaks are well worth the effort – taking in Rwanda, DR Congo, the Virungas, the Rwenzoris, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Lake Edward.

It takes around six hours to ascend and descend Mt. Gahinga (3,474m), topped by a swamp-filled crater and giant lobelia. Lucky climbers may spot golden monkeys on their way through the bamboo forest.
Mt. Muhavura is the highest peak at 4,127m, and this 12km round trip takes around eight hours. Once at the top, hikers are rewarded on a clear day with views of the Virunga Volcanoes, Lake Edward, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the peaks of the Rwenzoris.

Birding in Mgahinga 

Mgahinga is blessed with a unique bird fauna; 79 bird species have thus far been recorded within the park, including several species endemic to the East Congo Montane region. The best birding in Mgahinga also takes in some of its most beautiful scenery – in the gorge between Mts Gahinga and Sabinyo, through the bamboo forest, and in the montane forest, where the beautiful Rwenzori Turaco may be observed.

The Batwa Trail Experience

For generations, Mgahinga’s dense forests were home to the indigenous Batwa – hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food, and medicine. Now they lead visitors through the forests and introduce them to their old home – and the techniques they used to survive in it. The Batwa Trail leads from the base of Muhuvura Cave. The walk is a living museum where you can learn about the Batwa People, a pygmoid tribe that used to live in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Hikes and Nature Walks in the Mist Highlands of Mgahinga

Hiking around the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes gives visitors the chance to spot forest birds, the Rugezi Swamp, wild vegetation, bamboo forests and glorious views of the surrounding lakes and agricultural villages. A hike through the forest to the deep Sabinyo Gorge – a massive gash in the flank of Mount Sabinyo – provides good birding opportunities and the chance to find the Rwenzori Turaco. This walk takes four hours and passes through the Rugezi Swamp which is fantastic for bird watchers.

Accommodation in Mgahinga 

There are a number of choices to cater to the upmarket as well as the budget tourist accommodation. You can choose to visit the different hotels and lodges websites or preview their accommodation details on booking.com. The good news is that when you book a tour with Oret Tours, you have a guarantee to stay in one of the selected best lodges while encountering a trip to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.

 

Considering a chance to explore Mgahinga Gorilla National Park? You should start planning your next trip today! Contact Us for a perfect trip planner calendar and schedule

Highlights Summary

Size: 33.7km2, Which makes it Uganda’s smallest National Park.

The park takes its name from “Gahinga” – the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.

The British administration declared the area a game sanctuary in 1930; it was gazetted as a National Park in 1991.

Mgahinga has one habituated trans-boundary gorilla group.

The Batwa were self-sufficient – and visitors can see how during a fascinating tour with a Batwa guide to learn the secrets of the forest.

The Park in Pictures

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