Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park
Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park is the main tourist activity in the park and travelers only have to purchase a permit to be part of the tour. Mgahinga National Park in south western Uganda is part of the 8 Virunga Volcanoes that make up the Virunga massif. The park is made up of three inactive volcanoes that are mount Muhavura 4,127 m, mount Sabyinyo 3,645 m and mount Gahinga 3,474 m. It is also a watershed area for the Nile River and the park is one of the four parks that are natural habitats for the endangered mountain gorillas. The park covers an area of 33.9 sq kilometers and has 1 habituated gorilla family available for trekking.
Mgahinga National Park is unique because of its thick rain forest that has a wide range of tree species and bush vegetation. This makes Mgahinga National Park the absolute habitat for the endangered mountain gorillas no wonder recently the Hirwa family from Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park migrated to Mgahinga and records show in past years mountain gorillas from DRC have also moved to the park.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park is one amazing adventure and less demanding compared to Bwindi National Park mountain gorilla trekking. The mountain gorillas living in Mgahinga National Park are currently quite a few in number so they are easy to find, you don’t have to spend the whole day trekking the forest to find them
If your trekking experience starts from Uganda’s capital, you will need to add two extra days on top of the trekking day on your itinerary to cover the travel time. But if your trekking experience starts from Kigali you will just add one extra day to cover the travel time.
For your gorilla trekking experience in Mgahinga National Park, you will need a mountain gorilla trekking permit that you have to acquire 3 months in advance from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The gorilla trekking permits for mountain gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park cost 600 USD currently, however, starting in July 2020 the permits will cost 700 USD.
On the day of your trekking, you will start your day early at 7:30 am at the briefing centre where you will be briefed about the trek, the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking and the different things that concern your trekking experience.
At 8 am you will enter the forest for your trekking experience, the trekking may take about 2 to 3 hours and then you will spend one hour with the gorillas and after one hour you will exit the forest.
On your trekking experience, all the rules and regulations of mountain gorilla trekking apply and you are required to observe them for you to have a fulfilling experience and to ensure the conservation of the gorillas.
Conservation of the gorillas is the most important thing so if at any point during your trek the rangers see the gorillas endangered, they can make a decision to end the trekking experience for the safety of the gorillas.
On your gorilla trekking experience in Mgahinga National Park, you will meet the exciting and playful Nyakagezi gorilla family that is named after a place in Mgahinga that means the place has a lot of food for gorillas. The gorilla family is found in this Nyakagezi area and it comprises three silver backs with two black backs, two adult females and two young ones.
The lead silverback of the family is Mark and assisted by Mafia. The other members of the family include Ndungutse, Bugingo, Rukundo, Nshuti a female, Nshuti a baby and Fred.
For your trekking experience, you will need to have the right trekking attire that includes but not limited to hiking boots preferably waterproof, long sleeve clothing, etc.
On top of your gorilla trekking experience, you can also have golden monkey trekking in the park; which gives you an opportunity to see the unique and endangered golden monkeys. You can acquire the golden monkey trekking permits at the park offices.
You can also take part in the batwa trail experience that will give an opportunity to appreciate the unique batwa people that live near Mgahinga National Park.
You can also take park in a nature walk to see the diverse flora in the area and also the numerous bird speeches that nest in the forest.
For your accommodation in Mgahinga National Park you will have a variety to choose from that include: – mount Gahinga safari lodge, amajambere iwacu camp and many more.