MGAHINGA GORILLA NP – WHERE GOLD MEETS SILVER
Uganda’s second home for Gorillas, Mgahinga the smallest covering 33.7km2. The park lies on the northern slopes of Mts. Muhabura, Mgahinga and Sabyinyo, the three volcanoes that create an unforgettable regional backdrop. Though gorilla tracking is the park’s most popular activity, Mgahinga merits a visit simply to appreciate the scenery.
Mgahinga’s Virungas are home to more than half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorilla. 380 individuals roam the slopes of the volcanoes while the remaining 340 live nearby in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. However, the gorillas in Mgahinga sometimes cross to Rwanda due to its position a stride the borders of Volcanoes NP) and DR Congo (Virunga NP).
Mgahinga’s Tourist Attractions
Mgahinga’s most popular resident is the mountain gorilla. Mgahinga is endowed with over 39 species of mammal and 79 species of birdlife. The mammals include Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Bush pig but these are rarely seen. Less famous but equally rare and deserving of protection is the golden monkey which is found only in the Virungas and in one other forest in Rwanda. Notable bird species include the Rwenzori Turaco, crowned hornbill, black kite and crowned crane.
The Batwa Community
Mgahinga National Park is surrounded by the Batwa local community that has a unique cultural experience to share with visitors travelling to Kisoro. The Batwa are hunters and not forgetting the Bafumbira who are primarily farmers
Tourist Activities in Mgahinga
Mgahinga’s most exciting and memorable activity is tracking the mountain gorilla in thick jungle. The park has one habituated gorilla group (Nyakagyezi) which is visited by tourists. This consists of 11 members; 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 4 juveniles and 2 infants. This group is mobile and sometimes crosses into Rwanda and DRC,
The peak Mgahinga has three volcanic peaks, Muhabura (4127m), Sabyinyo (3669m) and Mgahinga (3474m). These can all be climbed. Though no specialist equipment is required, a reasonable level of fitness is necessary if you intend to enjoy the experience.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers a large number of accommodation options ranging from the High end lodging to basic Camp-site to the luxurious full board hotels they include Gahinga Lodge, Traveler’s Rest, Mt. Gahinga Rest Camp, Virunga Hotel, Kisoro Tourist’s Hotel, Golden Monkey Guest house among others.
Mgahinga is located in Kisoro about 540 km from Kampala. It is approximately 8 to 9hrs hours drive via Kabale
Flights to Kisoro daily are available with Aerolink Uganda giving you a comfortable and quicker way of exploring Mgahinga
Best time to Visit