What is Mgahinga National Park Famous for? Mgahinga National park is renowned as one of the top tourist destinations on Uganda Gorilla tours because the park lies high in the cloud at an altitude of between 2,227 meters and 4,127 meters. More so, it was established to protect the rare mountain gorillas that house its dense forest and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey and the world’s unique gentle giant ‘’mountain gorillas.
Generally, Mgahinga National Park is one of Uganda’s smallest national parks found in the southwestern region of the country that sits on a small piece of land of about 33.9 square kilometers however, it was created in 1991. More then, the park lies in the Virunga Mountains and it is composed of three inactive volcanoes namely; Mount Muhavura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo. Meanwhile, Mgahinga National Park is found at an altitude that ranges from 2,227 to 4,127 meters and is part of the Nile River watershed area. The park is approximately a 9 to 10 hours drive from Kampala the capital and another option, Mgahinga National Park can be reached through a domestic charter flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to fly you to the nearby Airstrip-Kisoro or Kihihi airstrip and then be driven to the park in a short period.
Mgahinga National Park experiences two weather climates wet rainy seasons starting from February to May and September to December. The average monthly rainfall varies from 250mm in October to 10mm in July. More about the park, it comprises a scenic landscape that is a bamboo forest, Albertine Rift montane forests, Ruwenzori – Virunga montane moorlands with tree heath, and an alpine zone at higher altitudes.
Eventually, Mgahinga National Park is a primate safari destination on Uganda’s tours, including the critically endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkey, however, the great mountain gorillas individuals are divided between one habituated and two unhabituated groups as well as the beautiful golden monkey which can be seen in the Albertine Rift Endemic whose range can be restricted to the Virungas. The park is also home to Albertine rift’s endemic birds such as red-throated alethe, stripe–breasted tit, blue-headed sunbirds, regal sunbird, strange weaver, montane nightjar, red-faced woodland warbler, Grauer’s swamp warbler, handsome spurfowl, red-throated alethe, dusky crimson-wing among others.
Here are some of the popular activities and attraction that rewards Mgahinga National Park to be a famous national park including; mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, volcano hiking, nature walks, birding, and visiting the Batwa people community. One visiting Mgahinga National Park covers a 9-hour drive from Kampala to reach the park or can be accessed by domestic flight from ‘’EBB’’ Entebbe International Airport which lands at Kisoro Airstrip.
Gorilla Trekking Experience
Gorilla trekking is an ultimate tourist attraction that has made Mgahinga Gorilla National Park famous as we see several tourists flocking to the park yearly to meet up with our unique mountain gorillas. An activity that involves walking in thick forest searching for them, but before you need to first have a short briefing about gorilla trekking which starts early in the morning at the park headquarters with served packed lunch boxes. After the briefing, your park ranger guide will group you in a group of eight people to your assigned gorilla group and Mgahinga national park has two habituated gorilla families. Then you will head out into the forest trails in search of gorillas, which can take about 30 to 6 hours depending on their movements in the bamboo forest. But once you locate them, you will be given one hour to spend with them while learning how they behave, feeding, playing, and hunting as you enjoy your lunch boxes and photo shooting in a beautiful natural environment.
Note; To always follow gorilla trekking rules such as;
The age limit for gorilla trekking must be 15 years of age and above.
Don’t leave your rubbish in the park
Don’t touch mountain gorillas are wild animals
Respect the time given to stay with mountain gorillas it’s only one hour and for the gorilla, habituation is four hours.
Stay in the group
What to carry with you on gorilla trekking safari –Uganda; Long sleeved shirt and trousers, hat, warm clothes, comfortable hiking shoes, hand gloves, poncho, rain jacket, sweater, water pack bag, enough drinking water, energy-giving snacks among others.
Golden Monkey Tracking
This is an exciting and stunning experience that can be done within four hours per session during which you are allowed to spend with them. The activity can be done on an interesting trail within the park with the escort of a park ranger guide, the tracking trails take you to where you can view the monkeys and have a great opportunity to sightsee them along the bamboo branches or you can follow them as they eat. We advise you to carry essential items like the camera to freeze your golden monkey adventure memories, binoculars, waterproof boots, gloves, a rain poncho, and a long-sleeved shirt among others.
The park is favorable for bird lovers since it harbors various notable Albertine rift endemics such as Cape Robin-chat, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Malachite sunbird, cape Robin, White –starred Robin, Brown woodland warbler, Kivu Ground Thrush and Cinnamon Bracken warbler, Olive pigeon and Black-headed waxbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, Stripped breasted tit many more.
Volcano Hiking –Mountain Climbing
This is also a park of thring activity that makes Mgahinga National Park famous, the park boosts with three volcanoes where you can experience hiking from. The moment you make it to the top you will be able to have a spectacular view of Rwanda’s beautiful hills and scenic landscape. You can hike to Mount Sabinyo one of the three stunning volcanoes. However, taking a hiking experience to Mount Sabinyo is the only way you can have a gateway to Rwanda and Congo while in Uganda. Its peak is geographically stunning when standing in Rwanda. The mountain Sabinyo summit stuns with amazing mushy vegetation which gives an unforgettable lifetime.
Visit the Batwa Community
You can go visit the Batwa community after gorilla trekking and be able to meet up with the original people who lived with mountain gorillas in peace and harmony before the area gets into the national park. You will meet up with these and be able to learn about their amazing lifestyle, visit the Garama cave as well as listen to their interesting stories thus having unforgettable life experiences.