Safety of tourists visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Safety of tourists visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park- Mgahinga is Uganda’s smallest national park located in the south western part of the country on the borders with volcanoes national park of Rwanda and Virunga national park of DR Congo. Mgahinga national park is a home to endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, 184 bird species and over 76 mammals. The park is a home to 1 habituated mountain gorilla family which used to move to volcanoes national park but now settled in Uganda and is open for gorilla trekking at any time of the year. Maghinga national park is a home to 3 Virunga volcanoes namely Mountain Mubahura, Mountain Sabyinyo and Mountain Gahinga.
Gorilla trekking safaris in Mgahinga national park
Gorilla trekking is the most done activity in Mgahinga national park in south western Uganda. Trekking mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park is done by only 8 people and all these start with a briefing at the park headquarters where they get briefed about the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking after which the trekkers are led into the jungle to search for these gentle apes. The trekking of mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park gives tourists an opportunity to see some of the park animals such as elephants, duikers, giant forest hogs, buffaloes, different bird species and bamboo zones. Trekking mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park takes 2-7 hours but on locating mountain gorillas, the trekkers are given a maximum of 1 hour to be around mountain gorillas as they learn about their habits, watch them do daily activities and take photos.
What’s the number of habituated mountain gorilla families in Mgahinga national park?
There is only one habituated mountain gorilla family in Mgahinga and this is called Nyakagezi gorilla family. Nyakagezi gorilla family is made up of 10 members; 5 silver backs, 2 adult females, 2 infants, 1 juvenile. The members of Nyakagezi gorilla family are Nshuti, Mutugamba, Nyiramwiza, Nshuti, Bugingo, Rukundo, and Ndugutse. Mgahinga national park is believed to have the highest number of silverbacks in all mountain gorilla parks in the world. With only 1 habituated mountain gorilla family, there are 99% chances of seeing mountain gorillas in Mhaginga national park.
How much does a gorilla trekking permit cost in Mgahinga national park?
Just like any other gorilla park in Uganda, Mgahinga gorilla national park permits cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 foreign residents while citizens of East Africa pay shs250,000. Mgahinga national park has only 8 gorilla trekking permits since it has only 1 gorilla family. If you are intending to trek mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park, you are advised to book your trekking permits in advance so as to avoid inconveniences.
The gorilla trekking permits can be bought from Uganda wild life authority or you can get them through a trusted tour operator. A single gorilla trekking permit is used by one person and its valid for a single day. Use a tour operator saves time but you need to use a local tour operator who won’t be a scammer. To know the best tour operator, check if they are members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators or if they are registered with Uganda Tourism Board.
What is the best time to trek mountain gorillas in Mgahinga?
Mgahinga gorilla park can be visited at any time of the year but the best time to visit the park is the dry season that normally happens in June to September and December to February. During these months, there is little or no rainfall with the trekking trails less muddy and not slippery, the roads leading to the park are passable and the vegetation is thin for clear view of animals and photography.
Mgahinga national park can also be visited in the rainy season of December to February and June to September but during this time there is plenty of rainfall with the vegetation in the park very thick giving un clear views of animals and bad photography, the trekking trails slippery and wet, and the roads leading to the park impassable. The rain season is good for budget travelers because there are discounts on accommodation facilities and some of the park activities.
Where to stay in Mgahinga national park?
There are a lot of accommodation facilities in and outside Mgahinga national park where travelers can have comfortable nights. The accommodation facilities in these areas range from luxury to mid-range to budget options and they include Travellers Rest Hotel, Lake Mulehe Lodge, Lake Chahafi Lodge, Muhabura Motel, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gahinga Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Muhabura Climbers Rest Camp, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Air Land Hotel, Lake Chahafi Resort, Mondi Lodge Kisoro, Sabyinyo Guest House, Virunga Campsite and Backpackers, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, and Gorilla Hills Eco-Lodge among others.
Getting to Mgahinga national park
Mgahinga national park can be accessed by either road transport or by air transport.
By road transport: Mgahinga national park can be accessed from Kampala/Entebbe via Masaka-Mbarara-Kabale-Kisoro road taking about 9-10 hours with beautiful views of the country side, equator, hills, mountains, and smiling people.
Travelers from Kigali city can access Mgahinga national park by broad transport via Cyanika border in Kisoro. The distance is short taking about 4-5 hours with beautiful views of the countryside.
By air transport: Travelers to Mgahinga national park can access the park by taking a chartered flight from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip. The flights take only 2 hours and from the airstrip a safari driver guide can drive you to the park or lodge. Travelers who want to use air transport must inform their tour operator so that they book for you in advance
What to do with Africa Adventure Vacations?
Africa adventure vacations is a tour company based in Uganda licensed by Uganda Tourism Board and a member of Association of Uganda Tour Operators. Booking with Africa adventure vacations provides you safety and confidence during your safari courtesy of well-trained safari driver guides who are well conversant with all routes and tourism destinations in Africa. You can book with us any of the activities you want to do in Africa such as mountain gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla habituation, birding, game drives, hiking, nature walks and community tours among others. Booking can be done at any time of the year.