Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home of beautiful, amazing mountain gorillas and golden monkeys but if you want to see them equally amazing journey and interact with them from their natural setting. Mgahinga national park is under bwindi Mgahinga conservation area and under virunga massive and so virunga massive is shared by the three countries the virunga national park in democratic republic of Congo, volcano national park in Rwanda and Mgahinga national park on the side of Uganda.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in kisoro district in southwestern Uganda in kigezi sub region. It was created in 1991 and it covers the total land area of 33.9sq km and also located in three active volcanoes namely mount Muhavura, mount Sabinyo and Mgahinga. The journey from Kampala the capital city of Uganda takes about 9-10 hours with en-route visits to amazing adventures and en-route delicious meals.
Mgahinga national park has one gorilla family ready for gorilla trekking and that Nyakangezi gorilla group with 9 members per now the group has 3 adult silverback and the dominant silver back and the group is fully habituated. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to over 76 mammal species, 180 species of birds and also to over 400 individuals of golden monkey and some habituated for golden monkey tracking. Mgahinga derives its name from Gahinga the local word meaning the piles of volcanic rocks (stones) cleared from farmlands.
Activities in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Gorilla trekking is the most activity famously known in mgahinga gorilla national park, and it’s done through the organized trails in the forest of mgahinga walking on foots because the park is mountainous. You receive early morning briefing from the ranger guides who takes you for the whole process of gorilla trekking. Mgahinga gorilla national park has one gorilla group called Nyakagezi family where you will be taken to learn the gorilla behaviors while standing in close contact and having chance to see the gentle silverback.
You’re only allowed to be with gorillas for only one hour once your allocated them and your encouraged to move with raincoats, gumboots, gloves and packed lunch with drinking water if possible.
Golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Golden monkey trekking is also another famous activity in mgahinga gorilla national park and the only place in Uganda where you can track golden monkeys and their endangered and endemic primate species in the Albertine rift valley. Over 50 – 75 species of golden monkeys are habituated in mgahinga gorilla national park with estimated number of 4000 individuals in virunga area. Your start your amazing golden monkeys with briefing from ranger guides and after starting your trek to meet with the interesting golden monkeys.
Birding in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga is one of the best birding destinations in Uganda with over 180 species of birds and provides beautiful bird viewing chances with different trails in the forest. The bamboo trail which starts from 2500m above sea level provides species like Rwenzori Turaco, red-faced woodland warbler banded prinia and many more. And the gorge trail between Gahinga and Sabinyo provides with species like cape robin chat, Rwenzori batis, blue headed sunbird and many more.
Batwa trail in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Batwa trail visit is also another activity in mgahinga national park, providing with excellent cultural experience about batwa. Batwa people lived in the forest of mgahinga generation back and they depended on hunting and food gathering in the forest. It is the rewarding experience while learning the lifestyle of batwa while demonstrated how they hunted and use of cultural items they used for hunting like spears, arrows and finally reward you with their cultural dances.
Nature walks in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
You will walk and hike to the Gisozi hill and experience the great views of mgahinga national park, Bwindi national park, lake Mutanda and kisoro town.
Mountain climbing in mgahinga national park s another great activity carried in three peaks of virunga volcanoes in Uganda mgahinga national park. The highest peak is mt Muhavura with 4127m and it can be hiked in one day providing with great of views of western arm rift valley and mount Rwenzori while mount Sabinyo is the second with 3669m it can also be hiked in one day and it takes the hikers to meet the border of Rwanda and Uganda and DR Congo on the summit of mount Sabinyo
How to get Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga can be accessed by using two n different means that is by road drive or by flying to kisoro airstrip. The drives take around 9 to 10 hours’ drive by road from Kampala capital city of Uganda covering 482km driving on tarmac road from kampala ,masaka , mbarara road and then to kabale kisoro while enjoying the adventure and amazing sceneries in kigezi along the way. But mgahinga can also be accessed by an organized internal flight from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip to kisoro airfield taking about 45minutes on flight. This may help you to avoid long hours’ drive by road that will delay you while on your short safari vacation to Uganda the pearl of Africa.
However, you should know that taking flight is much expensive than driving by road. but if you have time, you should prefer driving by road because you have chances of viewing and meeting more interesting adventures along the way and beautiful sceneries while also with flight you will reward you with the aerial view of kigezi hill and lake Bunyonyi 29 island called the Switzerland of Uganda