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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in South Western corner of Uganda, bordering Rwanda and Congo, about 540 km from Kampala and an addition of 14 km from Kisoro town. This park is vital in Uganda’s tourism industry because it is one of the only two parks in Uganda that are home to the endangered Mountain gorillas offering the opportunity for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda. Mgahinga Gorilla National park is also famous golden monkey trekking tours and Volcano climbing adventure safaris in Uganda.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The Park covers the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Sabyinyo (3,645 m). Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), and Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), The Park is about 14 km south of Kisoro and is bordered to the south by the Republic of Rwanda and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The Virunga, in the Parc National des Volcans and Parc National des Virunga respectively. The three parks together form the 434-sq. km. ‘Virunga Conservation Area’ or VCA. Mgahinga is 33.7 sq. km, just 8% of the VCA. Mgahinga National Park was gazetted in 1991 and is a part of the great Virunga Conservation Area

Things to do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is the major tourist activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The habituated gorilla group in this park is called the Nyakagezi. However, due to their constant movement at time crossing to Rwanda it is advisable to check the current location of the gorillas first.

Tracking Gorillas in Mgahinga National Park is an adventurous activity that can take the whole day. The guide leads you through the jungle for what is referred to as Gorilla Trekking Tour in search for the endangered mountain gorillas, explaining aspects of their ecology and behavior along the way. While walking, please feel free to ask guides to slow down if they are going too fast and if you need to take rest before getting the next point that may be assumed the gorillas are. Feel free to stop and look at birds or flowers, the guide will ensure that you aren’t left behind.

Bird Watching

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is gifted with plentiful species of bird fauna; over 80 bird species have been so far recorded within the park, including several species from East Congo Montane region. Examples of bird species include Black kite, Augur Buzzards, Crowned Crane, Rwenzori Turacos, Fiscal shrike, crowned hornbill, Bird watching safaris are carried out along the edge of the park very possible and can be arranged on request, the guides are readily available to take you out for birding from 5-6 p.m. If you book by 10am. That morning. A stroll along the Buffalo wall towards Congo takes you through a wetland where Ibis are, Grey-Capped Warbler, Whydah, Speckled Mouse bird, and Fire Finch are found, Stone chart, Waxbills and Yellow-Vented Bulbul are always seen around the campground. Ask your guide where the best spots are. Always be observant, take your time and go at your own pace.

Visiting The Batwa

The communities within Kisoro District are heavily populated with the Bafumbira who lead a simple life-style mainly as cultivators. These are the major ethnic group. The Batwa (Pygmies) who once lived in caves and fed on wildlife is the minority group. When Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was established, the Batwa, a group of indigenous people, were suddenly evicted from the forest and forced to abandon their low-impact, nomadic lifestyle. Now landless, they work for local farmers.  The only time they are permitted to re-enter their cherished forest is as tour guides on the Batwa Trail.  A visit to the Batwa trail permits visitors to discover the magic of the indigenous people old home while partaking in nature walks and learning about the group’s cultural heritage.

Volcano Climbing

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park avails three extinct volcanoes for tourists interested in mountain climbing.

Cave Exploration

Here you get to one of the caves where once the crafty Batwa (once warriors) lived and fought their neighbors. Your guide will show you how the Batwa lived and fought out of the cave. The cave is 342m in length and 14m deep, and is now inhabited only by bats. The cave is just 3 km from the park headquarters and it takes about 2-3 hours.

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