Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda Where Gold meets Silver: Park at Glance
Mgahinga Gorilla Nation Park is found in Kisoro district, southwestern Uganda about 8-10 hours’ drive from Entebbe or Kampala and 4 hours’ drive from Kigali-Rwanda. Unlike other national parks in Uganda, this park is by far the only place where gold meets silver.
The park covers an area of about 34sq.kms and forms part of the Virunga Conservation Area which also covers parts of Volcanoes National Park in Northwestern Rwanda and Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It consists of 3 Virunga Mountain ranges; Gahinga (3474m), Sabyinyo (3645m) and Muhabura (4127m). It is the smallest of all the 10 national parks in Uganda-the pearl of Africa and stands between altitude 227 and 4127meters.
Its establishment in 1991 was mainly to offer refuge to mountain gorillas and several of its iconic attractions. Currently, this protected area is home to 76 mammal species including a section of mountain gorillas that make up part of the 1004 individuals that today remain on earth.
Other wildlife species that live in this park include golden monkeys, spotted hyenas, black fronted duikers, elephants, buffaloes, giant fronted hogs, bushbuck and over 115 bird species.
Top Safari Activities to do in Mgahinga National Park
In Uganda, Mgahinga National Park second after Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where treks to mountain gorillas are conducted. You can start your gorilla trek at Ntebeko with morning briefing on guidelines on gorilla trekking.
Nyakagezi is the only group that has been habituated and readily set for tourism purposes at Mgahinga National Park. You can secure your permit at $600 however from 1st July, 2020 the price will change to $700.
Volcano hiking/climbing is one thrilling adventure experience you need not miss to take part in Mgahinga National Park. Volcano hikes at this park are best done at Muhabura which is at an elevation of 4127 meters, Sabyinyo and Gahinga.
Golden monkey tracking
If you don’t see mountain gorillas at Mgahinga National Park at least do not miss to strike your imagination with the golden monkeys. Golden monkey permits cost $50 per person and golden monkey habituation, you can obtain a permit at $100.
Bird watching – Birding Safaris
About 115 bird species are all confined within Mgahinga National Park Uganda, making it one of the ideal birding sites in Uganda. A bird watching tour in this park rewards birders with incredible sights at birds such as the whydah, Ruwenzori nightjar, Ruwenzori turaco, black kit, white necked raven, paradise flycatcher, double collared sunbird, ibis, dusky crimson wing, Kivu ground thrush, yellow vented bulbuls, waxbills.
A guided nature walk at Mgahinga National Park takes you to different habitat with a chance to explore the lush vegetation, bamboo forest, Rugezi swamp, the farmlands, Lake Mutanda as well as bird species.
Batwa cultural experience is a thrilling experience you need not miss at Mgahinga National Park. This gets you a chance to learn unique cultures, traditions and also enjoy the amazing dances and music performances from Batwa pygmies-the renowned forest dwellers.
Accommodation choices in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The nearby accommodation choices at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo safari lodge on the shores of Lake Mutanda just close to Mgahinga National Park; Traveler’s Nest Hotel, Mount Mgahinga Rest Camp, Mount Mgahinga Lodge.
When to visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The dry and wet season are two significant seasons you need to put into consideration when planning a safari holiday in Mgahinga National Park. The wet season usually starts from March to May and from October and this is characterized by heavy rainfall but it is ideal for bird watching.
And if you wish to trek mountain gorillas, golden monkeys or hiking then dry season is the best for you and it begins from June to September and from December to February.
How to get to Mgahinga National Park Uganda
Mgahinga National Park is in southwestern Uganda about 8-10 hours and your journey may start from Kampala or Entebbe or shorten your journey to 4 hours’ drive starting from Kigali. Drive through Kampala-Kabale route then connect to Ntebeko park gate.
Or fly from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airfield and then you land into Kisoro airstrip where you can easily connect by car to Mgahinga National Park.