Mgahinga National Park

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Sitting at an altitude of 2,227 to 4127m, Mgahinga National Park was gazetted to protect the rare mountain gorillas and golden monkeys that inhabit its dense forests that surround its three conical features- Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo, part of the spectacular Virunga ranges and is part of the much larger Virunga Area that lie along the border region of Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda.

 

As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivalled.

 

Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.

 

Access to Mgahinga National Park

To access Mgahinga from Entebbe by road takes about 11hours and 1hr by air. From Kigali, Rwanda travellers can access Mgahinga via Cyanika border and the drive takes approximately 3hrs.

 

Attractions in Mgahinga National Park

Gorilla Tracking

Although it is the smallest of Uganda’s it is home to the Nyakagyezi gorilla that consists of five silverbacks and 3 blackbacks and 1 juvenile gorilla. Though not in large numbers, tracking the Nyakagyezi family is more easier compared to Bwindi and Volcanoes National Park.

 

Golden Monkey Tracking

Golden Monkeys are beautiful creatures who live in large groups and are quite playful. One you find them, you will take an hour with them and walk back to your starting point. Volcanoes slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.

 

Batwa Heritage experience

Batwa are considered to be some of the tribes in Uganda with a culture that is still intact. Way before Mount Mgahinga was a conserved as national park, the Batwa people were inhabitants of this land. They were later evicted in 1991 when the park was gazetted and re-settled out of the current park boundaries.

This Batwa trail will take you to their settlements, give you an opportunity to seat and listen to their tales of how they survived in the forest, watch their performances as they demonstrate hunting times, fire lighting without modern day technology.

 

Birding

The Virunga massif offers some of the world’s best destinations. Uganda has over 1076 bird species. The best birding spots in Mgahinga lie between Mount Gahinga and Sabyinyo. The beautiful Rwenzori Turaco may be observed on guided walks between the bamboo and montane forest. Additional bird spots are found at the bamboo belt.

 

Hike the Volcanoes

The Virunga Massif combines ranges of volcanic mountains of Mt. Sabinyo, Mt. Muhavura and Mt. Gahinga that cover three countries; Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC. While the hike to any one of these dormant volcanoes is agreeably challenging, the view at the top will leave any traveller amazed. The most popular climb is on that takes you along gorges upto the the peak of Mt. Sabinyo where you are standing in all three countries at once!

 

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