Why Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park over other gorilla destinations in the region is solely up to the traveller to choose. Gorilla trekking is an activity that involves travellers hiking deep into the forest covers of the dense rainforests that inhabit the mountain gorillas in search of these very giant and yet gentle apes that were labelled critically endangered not so long ago. Mountain gorillas are an endangered species that are found in only three countries in Africa. It is these three countries that have the rainforests that house the mountain gorillas and they include Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda, and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Apart from Bwindi which hosts over half the total world population of the mountain gorillas, the rest of the gorilla parks mentioned above make part of the Virunga Conservation Area– which hosts the remaining gorilla population.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the extreme south-western part of Uganda and is bordered by Rwanda and the Congo. The park is the smallest in the country with a total size of only 33.7 square kilometres, with abundant plant and animal life, birds and butterflies that are great attractions to tourists. Mgahinga is a little gem that is tucked away in the corner of Uganda that is awaiting exploration and discovery. Travellers who visit the park solely go there to see the endangered mountain gorillas. With about 80 gorilla individuals recorded in this small park, one habituated gorilla family is available for gorilla trekking in the park known as the Nyakagezi gorilla family/group. The Nyakagezi gorilla family is one unique gorilla family that has three silverbacks, 2 adult females, 2 black backs and 3 juveniles and infants. This gorilla family is unique in the sense that it has both the reigning and over-thrown silverbacks living together harmoniously. As 2019 was almost ending, the Hirwa gorilla family from Rwanda migrated to Mgahinga and thus gave a rise to the gorilla families in the park and also to the number of gorilla permits available per day from just 8 to 16 gorilla permits.
Whereas many travellers to Uganda prefer to trek gorillas from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is however one of the best places to trek the great apes from, and below are some of the reasons why you should choose to do gorilla trekking in Mgahinga;
- The Nyakagezi gorilla family is an easy-to-track gorilla family given the fact that it stays in the lower ranges of the park and thus prefers feeding, relaxing, staying and bonding in these sort of areas. Trekking it is easy and doesn’t require much time and strength given the terrain, thereby making Mgahinga the best option for travellers who do not wish to strain so much.
- The Nyakagezi gorilla family is one fun and very social gorilla family that travellers who have had an opportunity to encounter it marvel at it. With more than one silverback in the family and an overthrown dominant male still living harmoniously with the rest of the family, travellers get to see and experience their gentility and social behaviour. The juveniles and infants in this family are very curious and fun to be around. Be sure to have fun when you do encounter these gorilla individuals of the Nyakagezi gorilla family.
- It is in Mgahinga that gold (golden monkeys) meets silver (silverbacks) and travellers who are keen on primates would have a great opportunity to meet both if they visited Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, thus one of the reasons why you should choose to do gorilla trekking in Mgahinga.
- Another reason why you should choose to do gorilla trekking in mgahinga is the fact that the park is tranquil and gives a perfect relaxation environment to travellers who would use some peace and quiet. Unlike Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that attracts swarms of tourists per day and thus crowd the park, Mgahinga attracts fewer tourists per day since there are fewer gorilla permits available here. This gives travellers who choose Mgahinga an opportunity to not only relax but also get to explore this little gem peacefully.
- There are accommodation facilities in and around the park that fit every travellers’ budget and preference, one shouldn’t worry about lodging when considering reasons why you should choose to do gorilla trekking in Mgahinga. Booking in advance is however required to secure your lodging option.
- Also, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is closer from Kigali-4 hours drive than from Kampala-8-10 hours and since it is that gorilla permits in Rwanda are way expensive-$1,500 per gorilla permit, travelers could arrive in Kigali and trek in Mgahinga where gorilla permits cost only $700 each. This has travelers not only have a less drive time to the park but also a cut on the gorilla permit price.
Whereas gorilla trekking can be done in the park all throughout the year, the best time could be during the dry season when the roads to the park are accessible and the paths in the park more passable and less muddy. The dry season runs in the months of June-August and December-February, and are the peak or high season months as well. This, therefore, necessitates travelers to book way in advance to secure their permits and also book their preferred accommodation facilities. Irrespective of the season though, the rains in these kinds of rainforests fall at any time, travellers are advised to carry essential gorilla trekking gear to have a successful gorilla trekking experience.
With the above guide on why you should choose to do gorilla trekking in Mgahinga, you should be in a position to choose where to do your gorilla trekking in Uganda safari. Get in touch with us for a comprehensive gorilla trekking in Mgahinga and gorilla trekking in Uganda safari package that is fit just for you. You can also get in touch with trusted tour operators who are in position to help you out with planning a perfect gorilla safari in Africa package and get to encounter the mighty gentle giants in their habit.