Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
With a surface area of only 33.9 km2, this is the smallest national park in the world. It is situated in South Western Uganda’s Kisoro region and borders both Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name of the park is derived from the term “Gahinga,” which refers to the typical little lava stones in the garden at the base of the mountain. Mountain gorillas are the area’s main draw, therefore Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was founded in 1930 and eventually turned into a full-fledged national park in 1991.
Savannah grasslands, montane and tropical forests, and other features set the park apart. The three most notable features of this region are the extinct volcanoes Mt. Gahinga, Sabinyo, and Muhavura, which place it at a high elevation of between 2000 and 4000 meters. Each of these offers views of the stone mounds, Bwindi forest, and Rwenzori Mountain. The park has rivers that wind their way down mountainsides, just like Ntebeko.
Wildlife in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The park’s thrills come from the Nyakagezi family of habituated gorillas, an endangered species like the golden monkeys. The park’s name, where gold meets silver, derives from this. Aside from monkeys, the parks are home to numerous other species, including elephants, bush pigs, buffaloes, jackals, and birds such the Grey-capped Warbler, Rwenzori Batis, and Rwenzori Turacco.
Things to do at the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
This is unquestionably the prettiest activity in the park. There are several habituated mountain gorilla populations in Mgahinga, including the Nyakagezi gorilla group. This group’s travel distance is shorter than that of other groups. Since the park is located at a high elevation of up to 4000m, mountain gorillas especially prefer to stay there between the months of June and August, when trekking is popular. Birds, primates, and other forest species can be seen by using the jungle search.
Golden monkey tracking:
This lovely subspecies of blue monkeys has a golden coat, although the mature weights are rather modest. The majority of their time is spent in trees, where these happy, energetic monkeys eat insects and bamboo. Visitors are granted an hour to snap pictures of the animals and watch their behavior, even though the animals are tracked for 30 to 3 hours.
Three volcanoes make up Mgahinga National Park. Standing concurrently in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they are Muhabura (4127 m), Gahinga (3474 m), and Sabinyo (3669 m). The Virunga mountain ranges, crater lakes, marshes, and more are seen from all of the volcanoes, which can all be reached in three days.
24 bird species that are unique to the Albertine Rift can only be found in the park, which is home to over 115 different bird species. In the caves, forests, lakes, and mountains of Mgahinga, they can be found. The best months for bird watching are April, May, and October through November. The Rwenzori Turaco, Olive Woodpecker, stunning Francolin, and Crowned Crane are among the birds that can be seen.
The indigenous Batwa people have lived in Mgahinga and its thickets for a very long time. In the neighboring woodlands, they carry out all of their daily routines, including living and eating. As a result, tourists can visit the Batwa homesteads while in Mgahinga to learn more about their way of life, including how they dress, what they eat, and how they dance. The way of life of the Batwa is unique.
Hiking and nature walks:
Hikers take part in this intriguing activity around the mountain boundaries, going through undeveloped vegetation, bamboo woods, and the Rugezi swamp, providing them the chance to witness beautiful vistas of adjacent agricultural areas, lakes like Lake Mutanda, and forest birds.
Mgahinga National Park is home to 79 different species of birds. In the gorge between Mount Sabinyo and Gahinga, in the bamboo forest, birding can be done. Additionally, this can be done in the montane forest, where it is simple to spot birds such the Rwenzori Turacco.
Accessibility – Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The park is 510 kilometers from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and may be reached either by plane or by car.
Driving time between Kampala and Mgahinga is 9 to 10 hours. An additional 76 kilometers—or roughly 8 hours—are required to go from Kisoro town to Kabale town (434 miles). This road may be paved, but it is rugged and steep. So it is highly recommended to use a 4WD. An alternative route is to go via the town of Kabale before rejoining the Kabale-Kisoro highway and passing through the gorgeous lake Bunyonyi. Ntebeko, the park’s main entrance, is approximately 14 kilometers away from Kisoro.
For flights that leave from the Entebbe International airport and arrive at the Kisoro airfield, reservations must be made in advance in order to access the park by air. Flying is easier, but driving is more time-consuming.
When to visit Mgahinga Gorilla National park.
The ideal time to visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a common question. Visitors are welcome at the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park all year round. Its nice climate makes practically any risky activity possible year-round. However, the least dangerous and muddy hiking seasons are from December to February and June to September, therefore exercising at these times will leave you feeling the happiest.
In order to avoid disappointment, tourists are advised to book their reservations for the activity at least five months in advance. This is because the dry season is also the busiest time of year for the demand for gorilla permits and housing facilities. It is not recommended to track during the rainy/wet season, which lasts from April to May and from October to November. This is because the trails are often slippery and muddy.
Where to stay in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The traveler’s preferences for accommodations are influenced by their requirements and available budget. The lodging options include luxury, midrange and budget. Among them include the Traveler’s Nest Hotel, Nkuringo Safari Lodge, Mount Mgahinga Rest Camp, and Mount Mgahinga Lodge, among others. You now have full control over the situation as you option for what suits you better.
If you are interested in finding out more information about the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, do not be afraid to contact the one and only Gorilla Expeditions. You may trust us.