About Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park happens to be a small park that covers 38sq km, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park happens to be part of the larger ecosystem plus the Virunga conservation area that covers 434sq km, which includes two adjacent parks in Rwanda and DR.Congo. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits at an altitude between 2,227 m and 4,127 m. Mgahinga was gazetted to protect the rare mountain gorillas and the endangered golden monkeys. The three funnel shaped extinct volcanoes that lies along the border region of Uganda, Rwanda and DR.Congo in Mgahinga gorilla national park offers a great scenery that anyone would want to experience. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park forms part of the larger Virunga conservation area which happen to be adjacent parks in these countries.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is having a gently calming effect of majesty with cool temperatures outstanding to the mountainous nature of the park. Mgahinga National Park habitats part of the 300 mountain gorillas located in Virunga’s compact group of mountains. At Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, mountain gorillas happen to habitat the park with golden monkeys hence providing an extra view of great mammals as you track down gorillas hence enabling you to hike the dormant volcanoes to stand simultaneously on the border of Rwanda, Uganda and DR.Congo. Cultural heritage featuring folklore and traditional healing practices by the Batwa, cover the north slopes of the three northern Virunga volcanoes that is Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park derives it’s name from “Gahinga” a kinyarwanda word meaning a pile of volcanic lava stone heaps around which cultivation done. Muhavura means a guide and Sabinyo means the old man’s teeth. it is bordered by DR.Congo in the west, and by Rwanda on it’s south.
Sabinyo is deeply eroded with rough shap points protruding, deep gorges and ravines, Gahinga is occupied by a swamp filled crater that covers around 180m wide at its summit, while at the top of Sabinyo you happen to set a foot in all the three countries that make this conservation area. I.e. Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo at the same time. It’s sight of the volcanoes and gorges with the cool breeze of freshness is better than everything of the same type. As you move towards some of the steep mountain slopes, we happen to encounter caves formed by the steep mountain slopes, and these are formed by lava tubes, one of them being the famous Garama cave located near Ntebeko that happens to be the park headquarters.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Recorded Species
The vegetation is the one typical of afro-Montane areas, with a consistent bamboo forest. There are 76 mammal species recorded, including Buffaloes, Elephants, Bush bucks, Golden monkeys, Leopards. 115 bird species have been recorded, including Rwenzori turacco, Crowned Horn bill, Black kite and crowned crane. Mgahinga hosts a population of golden monkeys and a few families of mountains gorillas called Nyakagezi a trans-boundary species to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Tourist Activities
Each of the three volcanoes can be climbed with in a one day trip hike as recommended by the lonely planet, without special mountain equipment. Visits are organized to the Garama Cave, near the Park Head Quarter in Ntebeko, which is 432m. In length and was once inhabited by the pygmies population. The main attraction is Gorilla tracking to the only one habituated family of mountain gorillas which is not reliable due to it crossing to three countries that is (Uganda, Rwanda and Congo). A one day nature walk is available from the gate at Ntebeko (the Sabyinyo Gorge trail and Rugezi Swamp trail), especially for bird watching activities, visit to the Batwa cultural centre and the Golden monkey trekking is now famous.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park happens to be the second home for gorillas after Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. The tour guide enables you track down gorillas through out the park surrounded by wild forest and impressive bird life and golden monkey viewing, the trek explains gorilla’s behavior. Tracking excursions start from Ntebeko entrance gate at around 8 AM and it takes 2 hrs to 4 hrs. For a better Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda this article would be of great help.
Hiking all the three volcanoes and reach their summit in Mgahinga gorilla national park is possible, that is taking a full day for hiking each mountain. Great scenery of Rwanda, DR.Congo, the Virunga, the Rwenzori, Lake Edward and Bwindi impenetrable forest can be reached while at the peaks of different mountains.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers one of the best Birding Safaris in Uganda with it’s registered over 115 bird species hence taking most beautiful scenery in the gorge between Gahinga and Sabinyo, hike through the bamboo forest, and in the montane forest that habitats beautiful Rwenzori turaco.
Hiking and Nature walks
Hiking up to the foot hills of the Virunga volcanoes gives tourists one experiential story as they come across a lot of beautiful scenery since they reach most of the interesting areas with in the park to spot forests birds, the rugezi swamp, wild vegetation, bamboo forests and glorious views of agricultural villages and the surrounding lakes.
Encountering different communities around the park that have been occupied by pygmies(Batwa)for generations, Mgahinga’s forests are known to be homes for the indigenous Batwa hunters, fierce warriors and fruit gatherers who depended on the entire forests for survival. Now days some of them are tour guides who guide tourists through the forests as they describe, demonstrate and show how they used to survive will in the forests.
How to get to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be accessed by road or air transport. Kisoro Town at the foot of Mt.Muhavura is about 540km from Kampala and takes about 8 hours via Kabale on an excellent paved road surface. Public transport by bus is available on a daily basis. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located 13 km from Kisoro town and can be accessed by Public transport, Kisoro town can also be accessed by air. The town boasts of a bitumen runway Airfield at Nyakabande.
Mgahinga Gorilla National park Accommodation facilities
For clients who want to visit this park, accommodation can be organized from the basic Camp-site to the luxurious full board hotels, these include Travelers Rest, Sky Blue, Mount Gahinga Rest Camp, Virunga Hotel, Mgahinga Safari Lodge, Rugigana Campsite and Mubano Hotel.
For more information about Golden Monkey, Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Mgahinga National Park, kindly contact our office by email: [email protected] or phone call at: +256 776 660 918/ +256 751 646 578