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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in Virunga Mountains South-west Region of Uganda. It is under the protection of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Virunga Mountains consists of three inactive volcanoes which include Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was established to protect the rare mountain gorillas and the endangered golden monkey that inhabits its dense forests. It sits high in the clouds at an altitude of between 2,227-4,127 m.

It is best known for its wide variety of wildlife and the cultural significance it holds for the indigenous Batwa pygmies who are the forest “first people”. They are hunters and gatherers and their current and ancient knowledge of this park is unprecedented.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park attractions

Why is this park popular? Here are Mgahinga Gorilla National Park facts.

  • It has a wide variety of wildlife
  • Mountain gorillas-home to Nyakagezi gorilla group which is nomadic and is known to cross the border into Rwanda and Congo
  • Golden Monkeys-home to the endangered golden monkeys with 42-60 habituated in Mgahinga
  • Abundant birdlife-over 184 species of birds on record
  • Virunga Volcanoes-a chain of 8 volcanoes which dot the borders of Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda, of which three of the canonical peaks are in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  • Muhavura-which is the highest of the peaks and has a crystal clear crater lake and offers stunning views far into Uganda, Rwanda and along the length of the Virunga chain
  • Sabinyo– is a jugged summit which is bisected by deep gorges and ravines
  • Mount Gahinga-which is the smallest of the Virunga volcanoes and has a swamp-filled crater about 180 m wide
  • Great Caves-formed by lava tubes e.g. the Garama which is sacred to the Batwa community
  • Ntebeko Visitors’ Centre-which is the starting point for nature walks, volcanoes hiking, gorilla and golden tracking
  • Lake Bunyonyi-which is outside the park but very scenic and is dotted with at least 20 small islands encircled by steep terraced hills.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Animal/Wildlife

The major primates here are the rare mountain gorillas (Nyakagezi group) and the golden monkeys

The park has over 76 species of mammals and include; the Bush pig, Giant forest hog, Forest buffalo, Bushbucks, Elephant, Golden cat, Jackal, Duiker, and Porcupine.

Abundant birdlife is also found here which include; the Rwenzori night jar, Sunbird, paradise fly-catcher, Coucal, Rwenzori batis, Turaco, Black kite, Warbler, Wax Bill, Bulbul, Raven, Firefinch, Ibis, Whydah, Stone chat, and Speckled mousebird.

Things to do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

  • Bird watching-in the bamboo forest, montane forest and in the gorge
  • Game viewing
  • Hiking and nature walks-around the foot of the volcanoes
  • Gorilla tracking-the rare mountain gorillas
  • Mountain climbing-all the three mountains within the park can be summited
  • Cultural visits-to the indigenous Batwa pygmies who are hunters and gatherers

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Climate & Weather

Temperature: During the day, temperature is around 15°C and drops to around 10°C at night.

Rainfall: Wettest months are March-April and September-November and in these months, the park is covered in mist and the damp.

Driest months are December-February and May-August.

Best time to Visit

The dry seasons offer opportunity to navigate through the park but it is important to note that the rainy seasons offer better views than the dry seasons.

What to Carry/Wear on Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Safari

  • Insect repellent especially the Mosquito
  • Also picnic items, drinking water, camera, and guide book
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to avoid the scotching sun
  • Waterproof bags
  • Walking & Hiking boots, wet and warm weather clothing
  • Packed food
  • A friend(s)
  • Flashlight-few places have electricity 24 hrs.

How to get there

By Road-you can get to this Mgahinga Gorilla National Park from Kampala via Kabale and Kisoro; a distance of 510 km

By Air-using daily flights to Kisoro Airfield from Entebbe/Kampala

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Entrance Fees/Charges

Entry Fees is as follows:

East African Citizens (UGX): Adult 20,000 Child 5,000
Foreign East African Residents (USD): Adult 30 Child 10                
Non-residents (USD): Adult 40 Child 20

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Contacts

You can reach Uganda Wildlife Authority through

Telephone: +256312355000 / +256414355000

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Accommodation

Hotels and Lodges near Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include:-

Ntebeko Hotels and Lodges

  • Amajambere Iwacu Camp
  • Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Safari Lodge

Bunyonyi Hotels and Lodges

  • Birdnest at Bunyonyi Resort
  • Bunyonyi Overland Resort

Kisoro Hotels and Lodges

  • Kisoro Tourist Hotel
  • Kisoro Travelers’ Rest Hotel
  • Countryside Guesthouse Kisoro
  • Mountain Gorilla Safari Hotel

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