Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park gorillas

Uganda’s smallest yet most scenic National Park is situated in the extreme South-Western corner of the country, forming part of a large conservation area that straddles political boundaries to include Parc des Volcano in Rwanda and Parc de Virungas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga range, lie within the boundaries of the Ugandan portion of this biologically rich area, and provide a striking backdrop to Mgahinga’s gorgeous scenery. Mountain gorillas form the main attraction of the Park, and are the reason for its existence, thought the habituated group frequently crosses the border to Rwanda.

The Park also protects golden and colobus monkeys, buffaloes, leopards, elephants, bushbucks and giant forest hogs. The Park’s varied medicinal plants and fascinating Ngarama Cave can be explored with a Batwa guide – this tribe of hunter-gatherers was the region’s original inhabitants, and their ancient knowledge of the forest remains unrivalled.

The park also has 76 identified mammal species, including mountain gorillas, endangered golden monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, elephants, bushbucks and buffalos. Your guide will know which areas are most frequented by each species of animal. Regarding the birdlife, over 115 bird species have been recorded here, including several endemic to the Albertine Rift. Rwenzori turacos, handsome francolins, olive woodpeckers and western green tinker birds are among the species you can hope to spot in the forested hillsides.

Activities

Mountain gorilla tracking

Mgahinga is one of the two national parks in Uganda to be a home to the few surviving mountain gorillas in the world and tracking these giants is regarded as the most interesting activity carried out at the park, all  information regarding tracking is acquired at the park headquarters.’

For your protection and that of mountain gorillas no one with signs of communicable disease like cough, flu, or any air born disease will be allowed to track

Some levels of physical fitness are also required as tracking is unpredictable and it involve passing through the bushy areas. Tracking can take between 1-8 hours and it’s advisable to come with strong pairs of shoes, rain jackets, long sleeved shirts and blouses. While possession of gorilla permits is an assurance of tracking, it’s not a guarantee for sighting, but the chance of sighting is 95% or more. The minimum age for sighting these endangered mountain gorillas is 15 years and minimum time for watching is strictly one hour.

Volcanoes climbing

This park also provides opportunity to those who are physically fit to do the hiking. Mount Gahinga, mount Sabinyo and mount Muhavura are the three mountains where climbing is taking place and can take between 5-6 hours. Porters are readily available to those who are willing to climb. Find your self at the top of the peak is regarded as unforgettable moment on earth

Accommodation

Lake Mutanda Chameleon Hill is located in between the famous Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and next to the Rwandan border

Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp is located by the entrance to Mgahinga National Park and is only 12 km from the south-western town of Kisoro.

Mount Gahinga Lodge is positioned in the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes on the border of Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC.

Traveller’s Rest Hotel lies under the towering volcanoes. It is close to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, close to Lake Mutanda and within reasonable reach of the southern portion of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

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