Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the Southwestern part of Uganda, known for Gorilla tracking and golden monkey tracking, as the strongest pillars that rise out of the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The Park is located on the northern slopes of mountain Virunga in Congo, Volcanoes in Rwanda and Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Gahinga and Mountain Sabinyo in Uganda. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park lies at 33.7 km2, consisting partly of forested slopes of three extinct volcanoes.
The Park offers a great view of the area by walking up the viewpoint, just 15 minutes from Ntebeko Gate which is approximately 10 km south of Kisoro district, bordered by the Republic of Rwanda, south and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west, hosting about 39 mammals of these including the Mountain gorillas, buffaloes and elephants, also endangered golden monkeys. Others include; giant forest hogs, bushbucks, leopards, spotted hyenas, and black-fronted duikers among others.
Other species found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The National Park harbours around 79 bird species with one gorilla family, habituated for gorilla tracking ” Nyakagezi gorilla family “. The family has been moving from country to country until finally made Mgahinga Gorilla National Park it’s home, now also permits for tracking gorillas are available in Uganda booked from Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA).
The harboured unique bird life species within the park and the entire Virunga conservation area are over 250 in total which includes; White-necked Raven, Black kite, Pin-tailed Whydah, Double-collared Sunbird, Speckled mousebird, Paradise, Fire Finch, Stonechat, Grey Capped Warbler, Waxbills, Yellow-Vented Bulbul and so more.
Activities that can be done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Gorilla tracking experience
The Nyakagezi gorilla family group is the only tracked group. Gorilla tracking starts in the morning whereby the trackers start from Ntebeko. It’s about 2 hours, 4 hours or a day depending on the Mountain gorillas’ movement and location. An incredible experience, as you trek through the forests, you will hear the sound of different birds, monkeys, and other wild animals, a memorable and rewarding experience.
Birding in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The park has around 79 bird species and the birding experience can be done in the bamboo forest, the gorge between Mts. Sabinyo and Gahinga or montane forest where you can easily spot the Rwenzori Turaco and more bird species.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Done around the edges of the Mountains ( Virunga Volcanoes ), hiking is most importantly done around Wild vegetation and the Rugezi swamp giving you a clear and beautiful scenic view of agricultural areas, and surrounding lakes like Lake Mutanda and forest bird species.
Volcano Mountain climbing
Hiking the 3 volcanoes (Mt. Muhavura, Mt. Gahinga, and Mt. Sabinyo) here at Mgahinga national park you can climb each to the summit in one day, this offers you a perfect experience and it needs one to be physically it.
Golden monkey tracking
Mgahinga National Park is a habitat for the endangered golden monkeys, these are amazing to watch within the trees, and one should not miss out on this activity while on a safari in Mgahinga and is a most memorable experience.
Batwa Cultural Encounters and experience
Mgahinga has long been a home for the Batwa people, whereby they stay, hunt, feed, and do all their other activities. visiting Mgahinga offers you to experience Batwa cultural life and their homesteads, and acquire knowledge of how they live, dress, eat, and dance among others, it’s a culture like no other.
How to get there
Mgahinga National Park is 510 km away from Kampala, the capital of Uganda and you can get there by Road or Air. On-road, it is approximately a 9-10 hours drive from Kampala to Mgahinga, that is around 8 hours to Kabale town covering 434 km add up more 76 km to Kisoro town, with a well-tarmacked route and a bit of mountainous steep. One can also opt to use the route from Kabale town passing near the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi and joining again Kabale-Kisoro tarmac. From Kisoro to the park it’s around 14 km to Ntebeko the main park entrance. Also can be accessed by air whereby you can make earlier bookings on flights that move from Entebbe International airport to Kisoro airfield, using flights saves more time and is less tiresome.