Attractions in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The following are the attractions in Mgahinga that one should not miss out on his or her trip in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Attractions in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga gorilla national park has a lot of attractions you can see than any other parks for example the golden monkey, mountain gorillas, flora and fauna, Virunga volcanoes, Ntebeko visitor’s center, local people and among others. The following are the attractions in Mgahinga that one should not miss out on his or her trip in Mgahinga gorilla national park as below.

Mountain Gorillas in Mgahinga

Mountain gorillas are among the major attractions in Mgahinga gorilla national Park for trekking experiences. There are 9 free standing active and extinct volcanoes running through the borders of Congo and Rwanda. These gorillas take temporary residence in the park for some months hence they frequently come in and go at any time.

Mountain gorillas live in hills, mountains and forests and the elevations are around at 8,000 to 13,000ft above the sea level. Mountain gorillas have thicker fur which is more than that of apes like bonobos, chimpanzee and baboons and among others. This thick fur is good for their survival in their habitats where you find temperatures dropping below freezing thus the fur provides warmth for mountain gorillas. Because of human intervention, mountain gorillas choose to move to mountains for longer periods and this forces them to accept the dangerous and deadly conditions and endure them.

Virunga Volcanoes

Mt. Sabyinyo (366m) – ‘Old man’s teeth’

Mt. Sabyinyo has 3 peaks that are challenging to climb. When climbing up the Mt Sabyinyo, you come across the ridge in the eastern side as you climb up to the peak. When you are climbing to the peak 11, you will walk towards a ridge that breath-takes dropping into gorges of Uganda and Rwanda and you will really enjoy the experience.

Hiking up towards the peak 111 is steep with mush scrambling and several ladders. Your hands will become dirty as you climb to peak 111!  When you reach the top, you will have reached DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. The journey runs for 8 hours and 14km stretch and it is such a triple experience.

Mt. Gahinga (3474m)                                                                                                       

As you’re on your way to the park, try to watch the small piles of stones in the garden fields. Gahinga is a name local people call such piles.

Mt. Gahinga is bigger than the average gahinga but is sited close to Mt Muhavura which makes it look smaller. A hike will last for 6 hours round trip and you will go through a pure bamboo forest. Gahinga also had a crater lake on top and with time, the Crater Lake changed into a lush swamp. The distance of the swamp is 8km.

Mt. Muhavura (4127m) – ‘The Guide’

Mt. Muhavura is sighted from Kisoro and the volcanoes act as a guide. The mountain is cone shaped and this helps it to provide best views in the country. When climbing, you will pass through a rocky surface which is covered by small shrubs and grasses. When you reach the top of the park, you will view Virunga volcanoes, peaks of Rwenzori Mountain, Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Hiking lasts for 8 hours and the round trip covers 12km. you can camp at Muhavura base camp at night. The site is not facilitated well and therefore you need water, tent, sleeping gear and food.

Golden Monkey.

Mgahinga gorilla National Park has an activity known as golden monkey tracking as a unique activity. The common ones are blue monkey alongside the bamboo associated taxa primate which is talked about as endangered by the world conservation union. Golden monkey comprises of black limbs, crown and tail end, bright orange-gold body and cheek.  These are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Golden Monkeys were found in Gishwati Forest Reserve which is found in Rwanda and as time went on, genocide of 1994 in Rwanda destroyed them but later after the genocide some are assumed they returned to Rwanda and are spotted in the south of Nyungwe Forest National Park. 300-4000 golden monkey population have a home in Mgahinga gorilla National Park.

Golden monkeys are endemic in the Albertine Rift and endangered species in Mgahinga national Park. Remember golden monkeys share a home with mountain gorillas, buffaloes, elephants, reptiles, birds and many other mammals. As it was in the past, it is still present, seeing monkeys is owing because they are small in size. Golden monkeys don’t leave their evidence of their presence behind because they don’t make nests and they are always quiet when predators like the eagle are around. When they are not used to you, they will run away from you and when they get used to you, you will enjoy their life styles.

Weather is the greatest problem with golden monkey trekking. You will track the golden monkeys when sloping during the windy period and they will sometime keep silent in the mid canopy because they prefer hearing their predators from distant yet when trees are blowing, you might not hear well. Monkeys don’t move but they always shelter thus enabling visitors to have a close look at them.

Local people.

Kisoro district is composed by 331 people and is made up of 2 ethnic groups i.e. Bafumbira and Batwa. Bafumbira are predominately farmers and Batwa are hunter gatherers in the forest. The Batwa are one of the main attractions of Mgahinga gorilla national park due to their rich history and culture.

Ntebeko Visitor Centre.

Ntebeko Visitor Centre is where activities of the park are organized from and a great viewing point of the park is seen here. The surrounding areas are 800m high.  The centre is free thus you don’t need guides.

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