What to do and see in Mgahinga national park from Kigali
What to do and see in Mgahinga national park from Kigali? Tourists from Kigali of Rwanda have a lot of things to do and see while on a safari in Mgahinga national park. Mgahinga national park is located in the western part of Uganda and those from Kigali can get to the park in just 4-5 hours using the Cyanika border in Kisoro. The park is home to 2 endangered species of primates and these are the mountain gorillas and then the golden monkeys that are found nowhere else but in this park.
Those tourists that are in Kigali city and would want to visit Mgahinga national park for activities like mountain gorilla trekking or golden monkey trekking will have to first secure themselves permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority because without these permits you can’t be part of the trekking activities. Some of the activities you can do in Mgahinga national park at any time of the year include mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, Batwa cultural visit, and birding. Therefore, below is a detailed information of things to do and see in Mgahinga national park from Kigali;
Mountain gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park from Kigali
Mountain gorilla trekking is the first thing that tourists from Kigali need to do when they start planning on visiting Mgahinga national park. the activity requires one to have a valid gorilla trekking permit which is got from a trusted local tour operator and Uganda Wildlife Authority. Tourists from Kigali will have to first get a permit which is bought at a fee of $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 foreign residents, and shs250,000 east African citizens
On the day of trekking the tourists will be required to gather at the briefing point where they will be taught about the dos and don’ts of the gorilla trekking activity and from here the rangers will lead the trekkers into the jungle to look for the Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family and during the search, they get opportunities of seeing different park animals, birds, and vegetation but when they meet the mountain gorilla family, they are given 1 hour to be around it while making it used to human presence, watch them do daily activities and take photos.
Golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga national park from Kigali
Golden monkey trekking is another activity that can be done by tourists from Kigali. The golden monkey trekking is one of its kind and it’s done only in Mgahinga national park in Uganda. The golden monkey trekking activity is done by all people that are above the age of 12 and they must be possessing a golden monkey trekking permit. The golden monkey trekking permit is got from Uganda Wildlife Authority at a fee of $60 for both foreign non-residents and foreign residents while East African citizens do pay shs40,000.
Tourists from Kigali need to know that golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga national park starts with a briefing very early in the morning and it’s from here that the trekkers are taught about the dos and don’ts of the golden monkey trekking activity. After this exercise, the trekkers are led by the rangers into the jungle to search for the rare golden monkeys and once they have found them, they are given 1 hour to be around them while learning about their habits, watch them do daily activities, and take photos.
Batwa cultural visit in Mgahinga national park from Kigali
Tourists from Kigali can visit Mgahinga national park and take part in the Batwa cultural visit. The Batwa are a group of people who found their home around the national parks in southwestern Uganda after the government evicted them out of the park to protect the remaining species of mountain gorillas that were surviving in the forest. The Batwa there and then decided to settle around areas of Mgahinga national park so tourists from Kigali can visit them while on a safari in Mgahinga.
A tour to the Batwa is led by the local people themselves who take travelers around the forest showing how they used to survive in the forest, kill animals using bows and arrows, gather fruits, collect honey and use plants as local medicine. After this, the tourists move to their local communities where they get an opportunity to see their way of living, get entertained by the traditional dancers through dance and drama and at the end of the day you can decide to support the women by buying some of their crafts.
Bird watching in Mgahinga national park from Kigali
Birding in Mgahinga national park is one of the activities that people from Kigali can take part in while on a safari in the park. Mgahinga national park is home to over 205 bird species of which some are endemic to the Albertine region like Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-crested Helmet Shrike, Kivu Ground Thrush, Collared Apalis, Montane Masked Apalis, and Stripe-breasted Tit.
Other notable bird species in Mgahinga national park include Kivu ground thrush, dusky Crimsonwing, ibis, grey capped warbler, Rwenzori turaco, moorland chat, olive woodpecker, scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, Rwenzori batis, red-faced woodland warbler, blue-headed coucal, crowned hornbill, Rwenzori nightjar, moorland chat, olive pigeon, fire finch stonechat, olive pigeon, African olive pigeon, blue-headed coucal, pin-tailed whydah, archer’s robin-chat, alpine swift, black kite, and white-necked raven among others.
Where to stay on a safari in Mgahinga national park from Kigali?
There are lots of accommodation facilities built in and around Mgahinga national park where travelers from Kigali can stay. These accommodation facilities range from budget to mid-range to luxury options such as Mount Gahinga Safari Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Amajambere I’wacu Camp, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Lake Chahafi Resort, Mountain Gahinga Rest Camp, Nkuringo Safari Lodge, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Ikoro Hotel, Traveler’s Nest Hotel, and Mountain Gahinga Lodge.
What is the best time to visit Mgahinga national park from Kigali?
Tourists in Kigali can visit Mgahinga national park at any time of the year however some months are better than the rest and these are the drier months. The drier months in Mgahinga national park occur in June to September and December to February and during this time there is little or no rainfall, the trekking trails in the park are dry, the vegetation is thin hence brighter views of the park animals, and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists from Kigali can also visit Mgahinga national park in the rainy season to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities but they need to remember that during this season which occurs from October to November and March to May, there is a lot of rainfall in the park which makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation thin and the roads leading to the park impassable. Travelers from Kigali that would want to visit Mgahinga national park and trek mountain gorillas in the dry season are advised to book their gorilla trekking permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences.
What to do with Africa Adventure Vacations?
Africa adventure vacations is a tour company based in Uganda licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board and a member of the 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 in Bwindi, Chimpanzee trekking and habituation, birding, golden monkey trekking, game drives, hiking, nature walks, and community tours among others. Booking things to do and see in Mgahinga national park from Kigali can be done at any time of the year.