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The smallest conservation area in Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is about 33.7 square kilometres in size and is part of the larger Virunga volcanic region. It was established as a game sanctuary in 1991 to protect mountain gorillas that had continued to roam the area since the 1930s, and one of the best places to find golden monkeys in Uganda is the densely forested area with a variety of tree species and a diverse ecosystem. Three of the largest volcanic summits in the Virunga volcanoes are found in the national park, which takes its name from Mount Gahinga, which is locally known as a pile of volcanic stones. Situated at an elevation of 2227 metres above sea level and 4127 metres above sea level, the national park is high in the mountains.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The Nyakagezi gorilla family, which is habituated to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, is a recognised mobile group that knows no boundaries; at the time of visit, it may easily drift into Rwanda or be in Uganda. The gorilla family, which consists of nine members, is the only habituated group. They are well-known for having moved to Rwanda or the Congo. Nonetheless, the family is among the easiest to follow because it favours a restricted diet and spends a lot of time relaxing and building nests. More members from Rwanda recently joined the community.

Mountain gorillas are one of the two subspecies of eastern gorillas and are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. The primates have DNA similar to that of humans and are typically led by a mature male silverback. They are a gentle species that are thought to be very intelligent and have the ability to use tools just like any other ape and communicate vocally. They are among the strongest primates and may weigh up to 180 pounds on average. They also don’t live in captivity and have a life expectancy of more than 40 years in the wild.

The critically endangered Golden Monkey is found in the park’s bamboo forested area, and the conservation area is an important area for them. These are stunning creatures with round cheeks and black and golden brown fur that set them apart from other primates. If you visit the park, make sure to see them; they are definitely not to be missed. The Batwa community, who were once exiled from the forest for conservation reasons, lived in harmony with other forest creatures in the surrounding territories.

Gorilla trekking is one of the most popular activities in the national park. It starts early in the morning with a briefing from park rangers, who will then lead you to the friendly primates. There are gorilla rules and regulations to follow while trekking, such as maintaining the 7-meter distance rule, prohibiting guests with contagious diseases from trekking, and requiring two or more hours for tracking, depending on how far the gorilla families have moved.

Similar to the gorillas, the golden monkeys are tracked through the park’s stunning bamboo forest. Uganda wildlife rangers lead the way through the jungle and are well-versed in its characteristics. Because three prominent mountains dominate the area, there is a chance to go mountain hiking within the national park. A team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority goes on all hikes with you.

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