Top things to do in Mgahinga gorilla national park in 2022/ 2023 ; Mgahinga gorilla national park is the smallest protected area located in southwestern part of Uganda in Kisoro district bordering with Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Congo. Mgahinga gorilla national park is famously known for harboring the endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, animals like forest elephants, bushbucks, giant forest hogs, bush pigs and different bird species. The national park also harbors three Virunga volcanoes namely Mount Gahinga, mount Muhabura and Mount Sabinyo. Mgahinga gorilla national park offers various safari activities that visitors can engage in during the safari including,
Top things to do in Mgahinga gorilla national park in 2022/2023
Gorilla trekking is one of the top activities in Mgahinga gorilla national park and it involves visitors moving into the tropical rainforest in search of the habituated gorilla families. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park starts very early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will start trekking in the jungle with an experienced park guide which takes about 30 minutes to 6 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food.
During trekking you will be able to view other primate species, different bird species, plant and tree species among others and once the mountain gorillas are found, you will be allowed to spend one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn about their behaviors, habits, watch them carry out their daily activities like feeding, breastfeeding, grooming young ones, take photos and record videos to show people back home after the safari.
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking is the second best done activity in Mgahinga gorilla national park that attracts tourists. Just like gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking starts early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing, you will start trekking in the forest following trails on left over bamboo shoots and leaves in search of the golden monkeys. During trekking, you will be able to view different wildlife species and once the golden monkeys are found, you will be able to spend one hour with them in their natural environment where you will get a chance to watch them feed, play, jump up in tree branches, take photos and record the beautiful moments.
Batwa trail experience
Batwa trail experience is an interesting activity in Mgahinga gorilla national park where you will be able to interact with the Batwa or pygmies who used to live in Mgahinga forest before it was gazetted into a national park. During the Batwa trail experience in Mgahinga gorilla national park, you will visit the forest where they used to live, learn about their hunting and gathering skills, learn how to prepare their traditional dishes, build their huts, how to make fire, listen to their ancient stories, visit the Garamba cave which used to act as the kings palace and food store/ granary, enjoy their traditional entertainments from Batwa men and women among others.
Volcano climbing is an adventurous activity in the park that visitors can engage in during the safari. Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of three dormant volcanoes including Mount Muhabura which is 4,127 meters above the sea level and takes about 8 to 10 hours to the summit, Mount Gahinga which is 3,474 meters and takes about 6 to 8 hours to the summit and Mount Sabinyo which is 3,669 meters and takes about 8 to 10 hours to the summit.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of over 115 recorded bird species including Albertine rift endemics, forest birds and migratory birds which makes it a birders paradise. Bird watching in Mgahinga gorilla national park can be done early in the morning with an experienced bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species including Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bronze Sunbird, Streaky Seedeater, Black-headed Waxbill, Kivu-ground thrush, Dusky Turtle Dove, Olive Thrush, Cape Robin Chat, Rwenzori Batis, Banded Prinias, Chubb’s Cisticola, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Dusky Crimsonwing, Blue-headed Coucal, Archer’s Robin-chat, Alpine Swift, African Olive Pigeon, Moorland Chat among others.
Best time to visit Mgahinga gorilla national park
Mgahinga gorilla national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February because during this period, there is less or little rainfall in the national park therefore access roads and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable which make trekking easy compared to the rainy season when the trails are muddy and slippery which make trekking difficult.
How to get to Mgahinga gorilla national park
Mgahinga gorilla national park is located in southwestern part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro and then to the park headquarters which takes about 9 to 10 hours’ drive, Top things to do in Mgahinga gorilla national park in 2022/ 2023
Mgahinga gorilla national park can also be accessed by air transport means where you will book charter or scheduled domestic flights from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip and then connect to the park headquarters by road.
You can as well access Mgahinga gorilla national park from Kigali Rwanda where you will fly to Kigali international airport and then connect to Mgahinga gorilla national park via Cyanika border which takes about 3 to 4 hours’ drive.
Where to stay in Mgahinga gorilla national park
Mgahinga gorilla national park has a number of accommodation facilities ranging from budget, midrange and luxury where you can stay during your safari including Mount Gahinga Lodge, Travelers Rest Hotel, Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge, Mucha Hotel Kisoro, Mount Ggahinga Rest Camp, Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp, Mutanda Lake Resort, Kisoro Tourist Hotel among others.