Bird Watching In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

When is the best Time for Bird watching in Mgahinga gorilla National Park?

Bird Watching In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Mgahinga is one of the smallest national park in Uganda however; it is the best bird watching destination in Uganda and offers exceptional wildlife encounter and experiences. It was first established in 1991 and it lies on an area of 33.7 square kilometers in the south western parts of Uganda which is Kisoro district. It is at the borders with Virunga National Park of DRC, Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. Mgahinga Park is among the parks under Virunga Conservation Area. It is a home of 3 mountains and it forms the great Virunga Massif. These 3 mountains are Mountain Gahinga at 3475 meters, Mount Sabinyo at 3645 meters, Mount Muhavura at 4127 meters. People love batwa trail and gorilla trekking on this park. However this park is a destination for to enjoy fascinating bird watching.

Bird watchers are more interested to know that the park hosts over 180 bird species and Albertine rift endemics are available because of the band of various vegetation zones forming the habitats of birds. There are almost 14 of the 24 bird species which are endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains. Mgahinga also hosts 39 bird species of the afro-tropical highlands known as biome bird species which are found in Uganda.

There are also many chances of spotting colorful and rare bird species and more especially if your target is Eastern Congo forest birds and Albertine rift endemics

Visitors travelling for bird watching need to come with packed lunch and also a field guide book plus binoculars to use to spot the attractive species.

Keen birders can identify all the birds by their calls. You can use a local tour guide to take you through birding tour.  You can hire a guide to take you through the buffalo trail or a birding trail. There are 180birds estimated to be living in the park and the common species include Rwenzori night jar, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Turaco, regal sun bird, Stone chat and Red faced woodland warbler among other species.

You can also spot bird species like  African hill babblers, kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori Turaco, handsome Francolin, Regal sun bird,  montane Sooty babou, crowned hornbills, olive woodpecker, chubs Cisticola, western green tinker bird,  just a glimpse of species. Keen birders will spot more birds that are not written above.

Birding Trails in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The best viewing trail in Mgahinga include George trail and bamboo trail. George trail is between mountain Sabinyo and Mountain Gahinga and they allow you to watch beautiful Kivu-ground Thrush, regal sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bronze Sunbird, Olive Thrush,  Blue-headed Sunbird, Black-headed Waxbill, Rwenzori Batis, Dusky turtle Dove, Cape Robin-chat,  and Streaky Seedeater among others.

 The Bamboo trail is found montane forest which is at 2660-2700 meters above sea level and covering an area of 2500meters. It is famous for the Rwenzori Turaco. It is at the level ground of Uganda and DRC and you obviously encounter Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Banded Prinia, Chubb’s Cisticola, and. There are other bird species like Grey-Capped Warbler,    Back kite, Archer’s Robin-chat, Rwenzori nightjar,   Alpine chat, Pin-tailed whydah, Black kites, Double-collared sunbird, Blue-headed coucal, crowned hornbill,  Dusky Crimson wing, Fire Finch stonechat, White-necked raven, Speckled mouse bird, Olive woodpeckers, Waxbills, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Ibis, Rwenzori Turaco, Paradise Flycatcher,  Rwenzori batis, Kivu ground-thrush, olive pigeon, and Yellow-billed Kite among others.

Travellers who are planning to visit Mgahinga National park for purposes of bird watching should book in advance with Africa Adventure Vacations and do not forget to come with binoculars, wear long sleeved shirts, cameras,  rain jacket, long trousers,  and waterproof hiking boots.

When is the best Time for Bird watching in Mgahinga gorilla National Park?

Bird watching in Mgahinga is done all year. However, the best time is in wet season which happens in the months march and May plus September to November. This is the breeding season for bird species and you will have a chance to watch various bird species.  But the best months for watching birds are April and November respectively.

Remember Mgahinga is just 540 km away from Kampala the capital city of Uganda and can be reached by road and air transport means. For flight, eagle Air can organize a charter flight from Entebbe or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro and from there you are taken to the park. The drive is roughly 8-10 hours from Kampala to Mgahinga. The route passes through Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Kabale-Kisoro and to the park premises. But because of the bad roads to the park from Kisoro town, a 4WD vehicle is very important and recommended to take you through the muddy and slippery roads.

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