Where Is Mgahinga National Park Located In Africa?
Where Is Mgahinga gorilla National Park Located In Africa? Mgahinga national park is one of the national parks where travelers can encounter mountain gorillas in the world for one hour. Mgahinga national park is located in east Africa in the country called Uganda. In Uganda, Mgahinga national park is located in the southwestern part of the country in the district of Kisoro. The national park is part of the Virunga conservation area together with the Virunga national park of DR Congo and Volcanoes national park of Rwanda and all these protect the mountain gorillas. The national park is the smallest in the country covering a total area of 33.7 sq. km. As small as Mgahinga national park is, it hosts 3 of the Virunga Mountain ranges and these are Sabyinyo, Muhabura, and Gahinga. Mgahinga national park is also the only place to trek and habituate the endangered golden monkeys in Uganda. The Park can be visited any day of the year and can be accessed by road transport as well as air transport. Apart from Mgahinga national park, the other national park to trek and habituate mountain gorillas in Uganda is the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park also located in southwestern Uganda.
Top things to do and see in Mgahinga national park
After understanding where Mgahinga gorilla National Park is located In Africa, you need to know the tourist safari activities done in the park.
Encountering mountain gorillas for 1 hour in Mgahinga national park
Mgahinga national park is the second national park for gorilla tourism. Gorilla tourism is an activity that involves a group of trekkers together with the rangers visiting a certain habituated gorilla family for a certain period of time in their natural habitat. There are 98% chances of meeting mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park but to take part in the trekking activity, you need to have a valid gorilla trekking permit that is issued out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kampala. The permit to allow you to encounter mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park goes for $700 foreign non-residents, $600 foreign residents, and shs250,000. Only 8 permits are available every day at Mgahinga national park the fact is that this park has only 1 Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family for trekking.
On the day of gorilla trekking, you are required to wake up early in the morning and move to the park headquarters for a briefing from the rangers. During the briefing session, you will be taught the rules and regulations of the trekking activity and what you are like to see during the trekking. After the briefing, a group not exceeding 8 is led by the ranger guides into the jungle to search for the Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family. During the search of this habituated mountain gorilla family, the trekkers get an opportunity to spot different park animals such as bush pigs, elephants, duikers, monkeys, different bird species, plant species, butterflies, and much more. On meeting the mountain gorilla family, 1 hour of gorilla trekking starts counting and the trekkers are allowed to take photos, ask anything about the mountain gorillas, and also watch them do daily activities such as hunting, breastfeeding, making nests, and much more.
Encounter golden monkeys for 1 hour in Mgahinga national park
Uganda is gifted with one of the hardly seen primates (the golden monkeys) in the world. These Golden Monkeys are spotted in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Besides Gorilla trekking, Golden monkey tracking is also one of the main activities in the park that make Mgahinga Gorilla national park an outstanding destination in Uganda. The park harbors two communities of golden monkeys that are open for trekking. In Mgahinga national park, golden monkey trekking permits cost $60 for both foreign and non-foreign residents, while East African citizens pay shs40,000. The golden monkey experience costs $100 for both foreign non-residents and foreign residents and for the case of East African citizens it’s shs100,000 per person per 4 hours.
On the day of trekking golden monkeys, the trekkers are expected to be at the briefing point early in the morning where they are to be taught about the dos and don’ts of the trekking activity. From here the trekkers are led by the rangers into the jungle to look for these beautiful primates and while searching them, they get opportunities of spotting other park animals like the bush pigs, monkeys, elephants, buffaloes, birds, and different tree species. Upon finding the golden monkeys, trekkers will be allowed to stay with them for only one hour while learning about their behaviors, taking photos, and watching them do daily activities such as hunting, breastfeeding, making nests among others. It is on record that in East Africa, these eye-catching primates can only be found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Volcano hiking in Mgahinga national park
Tourists to Mgahinga national Park that are interested in volcano hiking can do hiking activities in this park. The hiking activities in Mgahinga national park are done on mountains such as Gahinga (3,474m), Muhabura (4,127m), and Sabyinyo (3,669m). Hiking any of the mountains in Mgahinga national park starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where the hikers gather and get briefed about the rules and regulations of the hiking activity as well as the things, they are likely to see or find on their way to the summit. The journey to the top of any of these mountains gives hikers opportunities of seeing some wild animals such as buffaloes, giant forest hogs, chimpanzees, duikers, elephants, monkeys, birds, butterflies, and different vegetation types. At the summit of these Virunga mountains – Gahinga, of any of the mountains, hikers get the advantage of seeing other Virunga volcanoes, surrounding lakes, and the aerial views of some of the national parks.
Encounter Batwa in Mgahinga national park
Batwa cultural experience is one of the things you shouldn’t miss out on while in Mgahinga national park. The Batwa cultural experience in done in the communities of the Batwa people themselves and these used to live in this forest way back before the government evicted them out of the park to protect the remaining species of mountain gorillas. During the Batwa cultural walk, the Batwa people are the ones that lead the tourists around different trails of the park showing them how they used to live in the park, make fires using sticks, hunt animals using bows and arrows, gather fruits, collect honey and how they used local herbs to cure diseases. The Batwa cultural experience is done at a fee and the money collected out of these experiences is used to help the Batwa people improve on their standards of living. At the end of the Batwa experience, the travelers get entertained by the Batwa themselves through traditional dances and drama as well as storytelling. The Batwa have gift shows where you can buy some of the souvenirs and take them back home.
Encounter birds in Mgahinga national park
Mgahinga national park offers bird watching activities to those travelers that are interested in birding activities. The park is home to over 184 bird species of which 14 are endemic to the Albertine rift region. Birding in Mgahinga national park is mostly done at the gorge between Mountain Sabyinyo and Mountain Gahinga and also at the age of the forest. Some of the birds you can spot in Mgahinga national park include Yellow-crested Helmet Shrike, Kivu Ground Thrush, Dusky Turtle Dove, archer’s robin-chat, Red-throated Alethe, dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, moorland chat, olive woodpecker, ibis, Montane Masked Apalis, Rwenzori nightjar, moorland chat, alpine swift, black kite, Bronze sunbird, blue-headed coucal, Kivu ground thrush,
scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, Rwenzori batis, grey capped warbler, banded prinia, Rwenzori turaco, red-faced woodland warbler, Stripe-breasted Tit, blue-headed coucal, crowned hornbill, Collared Apalis, olive pigeon, black-headed waxbill and streaky seedeater, fire finch stonechat, olive pigeon, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, pin-tailed whydah, African olive pigeon, and white-necked raven to mention but a few.
Nature and forest walks in Mgahinga
Nature walks in Mgahinga national park are one of the ways to explore the forest on your pace. The nature walks in Mgahinga national park are don at a fee of $30 foreign non-residents, $15 foreign residents, and shs10,000 citizens of East Africa. The nature walks are led by the well-experienced guides who take the tourists around different trails of the park with opportunities of spotting different wild animals like the elephants, buffaloes, duikers, giant forest hogs, butterflies, birds, tree species, lakes (Mutanda and Chahafi) and different vegetation covers.
Where to stay in Mgahinga national park
Mgahinga national park has quite a number of accommodation facilities where travelers can stay on a safari in Mgahinga national park. The accommodation facilities in Mgahinga national park range from budget to mid-range to luxury options Lake Mulehe Lodge, Gahinga Lodge, Lake Chahafi Lodge, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Muhabura Climbers Rest Camp, Travellers Rest Hotel, Air-Land Hotel, Lake Chahafi Resort, Mondi Lodge Kisoro, Sabyinyo Guest House, Virunga Campsite and Backpackers, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Muhabura Motel, and Gorilla Hills Eco-Lodge to mention but a few.
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, birding, game drives, hiking, nature walks, and community tours among others. Booking can be done at any time of the year. Feel free to contact us if you need more information on where Mgahinga National Park is located In Africa.