What to do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park?

Mgahinga is one of the national parks featuring beautiful attractions and activities that will leave not the same.

Which Part of Africa is Mgahinga National Park?

Which part of Africa is Mgahinga National Park? The park is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda in the district of Kisoro in east Africa.  Mgahinga national park is part of the volcanic mountain bock of Congo. Uganda and Rwanda and this block are known for their endangered mountain gorillas. The park is one of the smallest in all the ten national parks in Uganda but is so diversify with biodiversity species and it borders Virunga national park in Congo, Bwindi Forest national park in Uganda, and Volcanoes national park situated in Rwanda. Mgahinga gorilla national park features 3 volcanic mountains which include, Sabinyo, Gahinga, and Muhavura which are part of the 6 volcanoes that Make the Virunga Mountains. Mgahinga National Park is home to endangered mountain gorillas and the unique golden monkeys. These primates shrive in the tropical rain forests that comprise low land forests, mountain bamboo, montane rain forests, and evergreen equatorial rain forests. The park is one of the few national parks that is known for its tourism development and tourist activities especially the gorilla tourism activities. In Uganda, it is the second national park where gorilla tourism is carried out and the smallest national park. Visitors heading to Uganda for gorilla tourism safaris should not miss visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National park for gorilla trekking safaris. Like any other parks, the Uganda wildlife authority is responsible for the management of Mgahinga national park

What to do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park?

Uganda has got a lot of tourist attractions that are enjoyable and interesting to see bundled into the various national parks that the country has. Mgahinga gorilla national park is one of the national parks featuring beautiful attractions and activities that will leave not the same. Please spare time and visit Mgahinga national park for the following and activities and attractions.

Gorilla trekking 

Gorilla tracking involves visitors moving on foot in the forests in search of the habituated gorilla family. This activity starts in the morning at the park headquarters with a briefing and then after briefing journey to the forest starts while following the well-established trails with the help and guidance of the ranger guides, researchers, and trackers and once you find the gorilla family that you are searching, then you will spend one hour seeing it while standing in a distance of 7 meters away from the gorillas family. After you will return to the headquarters for the certificate to show that you successfully engaged in the gorilla trekking in Mgahinga. Endangered Mountain gorillas share 99% of DNA with Humans and therefore this lot means a lot to these gorillas and therefore you should not miss going to Mgahinga and watch them. It is important to note that you will be required to book and obtain a gorilla trekking permit before you engage in gorilla tracking. We book for you the gorilla trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority basing on your preferred dates.  Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has only one habituated gorilla family known as Nyakagezi that is available for gorilla trekking. This means that only 8 visitors per day are granted the gorilla permits to trek this group on daily basis.

A gorilla trekking permit cost united states dollars 700 for  Foreign Non-Residents, then United states dollars for 600 for Foreign Residents, and Uganda shillings 250,000 for East African citizens. That very day of the gorilla trekking, you will have to drive to the headquarters and be oriented on the rules and instructions for gorilla trekking that you will follow while in the forest. Immediately the strenuous journey via the Mgahinga forest with green vegetation starts and after seeing the gorillas, you will forget all the hurdles that you have passed through to see the gorillas and the moment of joy the starts. See the gorillas learn their feeding habits, breeding, and their family living behaviors. Remember that you are limited to one hour of viewing these magnificent endangered species.

Golden monkey trekking 

Golden monkeys are one of the rare monkey species in the world but Uganda is gifted with these unique monkey species and can only be found in Mgahinga Gorilla National park. Because of the availability of the golden monkeys in Mgahinga National Park, golden monkey tracking is the major activity that is conducted in the park, and therefore this activity is the key for the visitors to Mgahinga Park. Golden monkey tracking makes Mgahinga one of the unique activities the fact that the rare species have only remained in this park. There are 2 communities of golden monkeys that are habituated and are available for tracking. The golden monkey trekking permit costs United States dollars 100 and the activity starts at 7:00 in the morning with a briefing and after you proceed to the forest to see gorillas. Upon seeing those visitors will be allowed only one hour to see and view the golden monkeys. It is only in Mgahinga and volcanoes national park where golden monkeys are found.

Volcano Mountain hiking 

Volcanic hiking offers the best adventurous activity to people interesting in hiking safari in Uganda. You can spare time to go to Mgahinga National park for hiking safaris. Volcano climbing in Mgahinga is the best adventure that you have ever heard of. You can decide to hike Sabinyo, Gahinga, and Muhavura mountains.  The mountain is part of the six volcanic mountains in the democratic republic of Congo. Mountain Sabinyo is good for climbing as it stands at 3669 meters and you will spend about 8hours climbing this steep-sided slop up to its peak/summit. Mountain Gahinga is the smallest at 3474meters and within 6 hours you will have reached the peak of this mountain. That is a round trip including ascending and descending. You can also climb mountain Muhavura with its highest peak at 4,127meters, ascending and descending, here you will move for a long trip of twelve kilometers and this takes around 8 hours, once you manage to hike up to the top of these Volcanoes, you will be able to have clear views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Virunga Volcanoes and Lake Edward.

Batwa Cultural experience 

Culture experience is one of the activities sold alongside gorilla trekking safaris. It is important to note that Mghinga Gorilla national park before gazetted into a national park was occupied by the indigenous communities of the Batwa pygmies who were later relocated to the areas surrounding the park. This was done to ensure that the gorillas and other primates are well conserved. Interacting with Batwa provides worth interesting activity as they narrate to you their traditional ways of life the fact that they were hunters, and food gathers and they used the forest mainly as the center of treatment where they could get herbs to treat themselves. The Batwa cultural trail will lead to the forest as the local Mutwa person demonstrated to you how best they hunted and gathered the fruits and performing rituals.  Batwa have been mobilized into community groups and they are now appreciative of their culture and they are being supported by part of the park gate collection fees to support them in their community livelihood projects. The local community of the Batwa around Mgahinga Gorilla National Park makes a lot of crafts where you can bypass by and buy souvenirs and where possible you can visit community schools and give a hand by donating scholastic materials at your wish.

Bird watching 

Bird-watching safari is one of the interesting activities that most visitors have done even when they are on the gorilla trekking and golden monkey tracking expedition in Mgahinga national park. there are different bird species that you can sport while in Mgahinga for bird watching and these include Brown-crowned Tchagra, Dusky Turtle Dove, Rwenzori Batis, the Chubb’s Cisticola, Olive Thrush, Regal Sunbird, Cape Robin-chat, Blue-headed Sunbird, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Black-headed Waxbill, the Chubb’s Cisticola, Streaky Seedeater, Kivu-ground Thrush, Banded Prinia, Dusky Turtle Dove, among others. Birding in Mgahinga National park takes place between Sabinyo Mountain and Gahinga Mountain and visitors can take about 4 hours on the birding trail with the help of a UWA ranger guide. Our company also has got knowledgeable safari guides with birding experience.

Nature walks 

Uganda Wildlife Authority established trails in the forest specifically for guided nature walks safaris. Nature walks in Bwindi start any time of the day depending on your preferred time. Visitors for nature walks will get a chance to see forests, swamps, and lakes such as Lake Mutanda, Lake Chahafi different tracks are there in the park for you to discover and establish.

How to access Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be accessed from Entebbe international airport or Kigali international airport in Uganda. Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park via Kigali international airport is so easiest and shortest route as it will take you about 4 to 5 hours to reach the park through Katuna or Cyanika borders between Uganda and Rwanda. Our professional drivers will pick you from Kigali international airport or at the hotel where you slept and traverse with you through the city of Kigali and then start the cross country journey and have your lunch in Kisoro for lunch and a night and then wakeup for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. However, visitors can use 8 to 9 hours to arrive from Entebbe international airport to Mgahinga gorilla National Park with good interesting stopovers. You can as well opt to fly from Entebbe international airport/Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip which is about two hours Aerolink Uganda limited operated flights in addition to other chartered flights such as that land at Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip and then use an airport transfer to your hotel.

Where to stay in Mgahinga National Park?

There are different accommodating facilities around Mgahinga National Park and it upon you to choose the best accommodation where you would like to stay depending on your budget. The best option will enable you to stay at an accommodation facility that overlooks the Virunga mountain ranges. The accommodation facilities in Mgahinga range from budget up to luxury accommodation facilities. In Mgahinga National park, visitors can stay at Lake Mulele Safari Lodge, Gahinga lodge, and Lake Chahafi resort.  Some visitors can decide to stay at various lodges and hotels in Kisoro and some can even stay at Bwindi lodges especially at Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, gorilla forest camp, Trekkers tavern lodge, Bakiga lodge among others. You need to make you’re booking as early enough to ensure you get a better accommodation facility to stay at during your stay in Mgahinga gorilla National Park.

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