Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the southwestern Uganda on the border with Congo and Rwanda. Covering an area of about 33.7 sq. kilometers, the park is a habitat for man’s closest cousins, the mountain gorillas which roam about the whole forest in search for food.
This park is one of the few places in the world where the endangered mountain gorillas live and it attracts people from different countries to come on Uganda Gorilla Safari. There is no doubt that Mgahinga Gorilla national park is one of the leading tourism sites in Uganda since it harbors these rare primates.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the second habitat of the mountain gorillas in Uganda after Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park though only one habituated gorilla family, the Nyakagezi group can be found in the park compared to the 12 gorilla families at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Away from mountain gorillas, the park has other tourist attractions such as the, golden monkey trekking, Sabyinyo Volcano hike and Batwa trail although gorilla tracking is the main tourist activity in the park. The Batwa is an indigenous tribal group found near the park who always entertain tourists with their cultural dance, games and stories.
Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga NP.
Normally, Gorilla trekking Safari starts from Ntebeko Entrance gate t around 8:00amin the morning daily taking 2-4 hours. A visitor is expected to budget for his/her time well while with a gorilla family since the maximum time allowed to spend with them is one hour.
If you plan to come here specifically for gorillas, the first step is to check they’re on this side of the border. When the gorillas are living on Ugandan soil, eight people can visit per day. The cost is US$600, including the entrance fee, a ranger-guide and armed guards. Due to the higher altitude, gorillas here have a fuzzier, more luxuriant coat compared to their cousins in Bwindi.
When to track Gorillas at Mgahinga Gorilla national park.
The best time to visit the place for tracking is during the two dry seasons when the park is easily accessed. It is during this time that the thick forests can be penetrated easily and when the paths are not as muddy as it is in the rainy season. The two dry Seasons best for Gorilla Safari are; mid-December to end of February and June to October. However, gorilla tracking tourism is possible throughout the year.
How to Get to Mgahinga gorilla National Park
It is located within the Bufumbira County in Kisoro district, about 15 kilometers (9.3 mi), by road, south of the town of Kisoro and approximately 55 kilometers (34 mi) by road West of Kabale which is the largest town in the sub-region. From the capital Kampala (510km away), the most commonly used route passes through Kabale and Kisoro. The journey from Kampala to Kibale covers 434km for about 8 hours on a good tarmac road. You will then take a further 76km to Kisoro on a mountainous tarmac road. The main entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is at Ntebeko 14km from Kisoro.
Tourists can also access the park from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. From the main trailhead of Bwindi at Buhoma, Mgahinga is almost four hours’ drive away.
Mgahinga can also be reached by air from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro airfield. There are daily flights to this destination.
Generally, visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is worthy to be under your consideration because reaching the park will quench your curiosity for mountain gorilla tracking, golden monkey trekking and an unforgettable encounter with the Batwa trail. You shouldn’t also miss out on Sabinyo mountain hike. All these spectacular experiences will leave you with great memories about your Uganda safari.
Accommodation in Mgahinga National park.
While at Mgahinga Gorilla national park, one should not worry about accommodation because there are various lodges suitable for relaxation and overnight. These are found in Ntebeko, Kisoro and Lake Mutanda. In Ntebeko, the accommodations are; Volcanoes mount Gahinga Safari lodge and Amajambere Iwacu camp. The lodges in Mutanda include; Lake Mutanda Chameleon Hill Lodge. In Kisoro, the lodges where a visitor can stay are; Kisoro Traveler’s Rest Hotel and Mucha Hotel