Mghahinga Gorilla National park lies in the southern part of Uganda, bordering Rwanda and Congo.
This is the smallest gazette area of Uganda’s National parks, with only 33.7km2. With an altitude between 2,227m and 4,127m Mghahinga sits high in the clouds. It got its name from the local name, “GAHINGA” which means the pile of volcanic stones which was cleared for farmland from the bottom of volcanoes. This park was created to protect the endangered Mountain Gorillas and the rare Golden Monkeys.
Mghahinga is the only park in Uganda where GOLD meets SILVER for this we mean where Golden monkeys meets Silverbacks. Besides being very important for wildlife, this park also plays a vital role in containing cultural significance in particular for the Batwa pygmy group of people.
The star attractions of Mghahinga is the Mountain Gorillas but the park also bosses with beautiful scenic views of the spectacular three extinct volcanoes, which is part of the Virunga mountain ranges which is in Rwanda Uganda and Congo. And it was gazeted as a protected area in 1991.
ACTIVITIES IN MGHAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
Mghahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the few destinations where you can find the endangered Mountain Gorillas; therefore this park attracts travelers from different places of the Globe to come on a Uganda Safari. Without doubt Mghahinga is one of the best tourist attractions of Uganda since it protects these primitive rare animals.
GORRILA TREKKING IN THE PARK
Gorilla trekking is one of the main activities when on a Uganda Safari and Mghahinga is one of the few places where you can have this one in lifetime experience in the world.
Gorillas of Mghahinga are easily seen in their natural habitat which makes it too easy compared to other parks.
When you visit Mghahinga, the evidence you feel at the moment is the welcoming atmosphere and the adventure joy filled with natural beauty. Gorilla trekking is done on a daily basis inside the park,you track the rare mountain Gorillas with a well trained and experienced English speaking guide who describes the behaviors of these primates so that you enjoy this one in a life time experience.
Gorilla trekking normally starts from the main entrance at NTEBEKO around 8:00am in the morning taking 2-4 hours, you are allowed to spend an hour with these gentle giants.
WHEN TO VISIT MGHAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
The best time to visit Mghahinga for Gorilla trekking is during dry seasons when you can easily access this park, when the thick forests are easy to penetrate and when the muddy routs are dry to pass in. these seasons are mid-December to end of February and June to October but it is also to track Mountain Gorillas throughout the year.
MOUNTAIN/VOLCANOE HIKING IN MGHAHINGA NATIOANAL PARK
Mghahinga is made up of three extinct Volcanoes of Mt.Muhavura Mt.Gahinga and Mt.Sabinyo.
All of these Volcanoes in the park can be submitted, taking a full day each when hiking. The views from all the peaks are worth the energy providing beautiful sceneries of Rwanda, Congo, Virungas, the Ruwenzori’s, Lake Edward and Bwindi impenetrable forest.
With effort you can submit all the three volcanoes inside the park. Mt. muhavura at 4,127m is the highest peak and it can take around 8-9 hours with 12km round trip. On the top of this beautiful volcano the rewards you with a great view of the Crater Lake, and the vast views of Lake Edward and Bwindi impenetrable forests.
Mt.Sabinyo at 3,669m, with 14km round,sabinyo can take about 7-8hours following a steep ridge to the peak.
Mt.Gahinga is the lowest peak of the three volcanoes of the Mghahinga conservation area, with 3,474m, it can take about 6-7hours wind and rewind the might Gahinga Mountain.
BIRDING IN MGHAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
When birding inside the park, you are also rewarded with some of the amazing sceneries between the gorge of Mt.Gahinga and Sabinyo.
Birding can be done through the bamboo forests and the montane forests. Mghahinga boasts with some of the rare bird species of the albertine rift valley and one can sight the rare Rwenzori Turaco, on 3-4 hours trail inside the gorge.
Some other spectacular species are: the Dusky turtle Dove,Cape robin chat,Kivu-ground thrush,Brown-crowned Tchagra,Bronze sunbird,Regal sunbird,Blue headed sunbird, Streaky seed eater,Black-headed waxbill and many more.
CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS IN MGHAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
Mghahinga’s dense forests have been home to the nasty Batwa-group of people for generations before it was gazetted in 1991. These fierce warriors used this forest as their home for many years.
For now they lead travelers through the thick forest and introduce them to their ancient home, to show them some of the techniques they used to inhabit into it.
THE BATWA TRAIL
The Batwa were evicted from this place by the time when the National park was established from their nomadic ways of life styling.
The only time they gave them to re-visit the park is as guides on the Batwa trail, from which tourists can enjoy and discover the amazing life style of the Batwa’s old habitat while on nature walks.
GETTING TO MGHAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
It is about 513km from the Capital of Uganda to Mghahinga around 8-9 hours’ drive. This park can also be accessed by air, you can board a plane from Entebbe international airport to Kisoro air strip. And this is the quickest mean of transport to reach there in time. It depends on the itinerary with your Tour Operator.
ACCOMODATION IN MGHAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
There various accommodation places in Mghahinga which is suitable for relaxing and overnight. Some of the accommodations can be found in the town of Kisoro,Ntebeko and Lake Mutanda which includes:
Mountain Gahinga Safari Lodge,River Mucha Hotel,Kisoro travelers rest house etc. so plan your Gorilla trekking safari with WWW.EXPLOREGORILLASAFARIS.COM