Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Bordering Rwanda and the Democratic Rupublic of Congo, the beautiful Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the far south western part of Uganda. The park lies on the northern slopes of Mts. Muhabura, Mgahinga and Sabyinyo, three volcanoes that create an unforgettable regional backdrop. These peaks are three of the six Virunga volcanoes that mark the southern limit of the Albertine Rift Valley and are divided between Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. The Virungas are home to more than half of the world's population of the endangered mountain gorilla. 380 individuals roam the slopes of the volcanoes while the remaining 340 live nearby in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Fortunately for the gorillas, Mgahinga's small area is supplemented by those of two larger, adjoining parks in Rwanda (Volcanoes NP) and DR Congo (Virunga NP).

Though mountain gorillas form the major attraction to the park, the park also harbors other wildlife which includes 76 mammalian species such as golden monkeys a localized and distinctive race of the Blue Monkeys, Black and White colobus monkey, leopard, forest elephant, and giant forest hogs as well as a number of bird species. The park is also the most scenic park in Uganda, it offers panoramic views that stretch northwards to Bwindi and a southern skyline dominated by the steep volcanic cones of the Virungas, surely one of the most memorable and stirring sights in East Africa.

The park is surrounded by different local communities like the Pygmy Batwa African tribe which tribe in the past lived by hunting and gathering fruits from Bwindi Impenetrable forest. These people were relocated after the park was established to protect the Mountain Gorillas. They now entertain visitors and also sell their handmade crafts as souvenirs.

Mountain Gorilla tracking

Gorilla tracking is the major tourist activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. There is one habituated gorilla family in the park and it consists of 9 members, 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants.

MIRACLE TIP: The Gorilla family is moving between DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, which makes it sometimes impossible to track them. If it is your only Gorilla Tracking then we advise Bwindi Inpenetrable Forest.

Mount Sabinyo Hiking

Hiking is another adventurous activity that is carried out within this park. Volcano climbing is quite an interesting and challenging activity. From Mgahinga national park tourists have a chance to transcend to Mt. Sabinyo (3645m above sea level), Mt Gahinga (3474 km) and Mt. Muhavura (4127 m). Seeing the 'Old man's teeth' on the top of Mt Sabinyo is another awesome adventure. Like an old man, the crown of Mt. Sabyinyo's has been eroded.

Garama Cave Exporation

Another interesting feature of the park is the Garama cave. This is one of the historical caves where once the crafty Batwa lived and fought their neighbors. These pygmy related Africans lived a warrior lifestyle and they used to fight with the neighboring Bantu tribes. The Garama cave which measures 342m in length and 14m deep is now inhabited by only bats. A trip to visit the Batwa local communities can also be arranged for tourists interested in learning and experiencing the lifestyles, traditions and norms of these pygmy forgotten Africans.

Mgahinga Birding

The Park has got a number of unique bird species. The park recorded about 79 bird species so far some of which are endemic to the East Congo Montane region. Common bird species in the park include Ibis, Whydah, Speckled Mouse birds, and Fire Finch Stonechat, Grey Capped Warbler, Waxbills, and Yellow-Vented Bulbul. Virunga Conservation Area as a whole, has over 295 species in the Virungas which are endemic to the Albertine Rift Afromontane region representing 59% of the total known endemic species. For interested bird watchers, the local birding guides are available to guide you through the birding tour.

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