Situated in the south-western part of Uganda in Kisoro bordering Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is Mgahinga National park comprising of three extinct volcanoes and three extensive swamps. It was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas within the dense forests and also to be a habitat of the endangered golden monkeys as its name suggests. It is also rich with about 76 species of mammals which include giant forest hogs, bush pigs, forest buffalos, elephants, bushbucks, golden cats, south African porcupines and many more plus over 180 bird species. The name comes from “Gahinga” a local word to mean the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.
Activities In Mgahinga Park
This is the top most leading activity at the park which is done with a well-trained guide who explains the gorilla behaviors and best to track are the Nyakagezi gorilla group. The 2-4 hours trekking safari starts from Ntebeko entrance gate at around 8:00a.m in the morning. Though gorilla tourism in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is possible throughout the year, the best time for trekking is during the dry season when the thick forests can easily be penetrated and the paths are not so muddy.
Led by the Batwa guides on the also known as the Batwa trail, the visitors will learn about the Batwa people who are hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors depending on the forest for shelter, food and medicine. The visitors will also be invited to the sacred Ngarama cave which was once occupied by humans during the late iron age period and later became a refuge for the Batwa people after raiding the neighboring Bantu speaking tribes where the women perform a sorrowful song that echoes round the depths of the dark cave. The Batwa will also demonstrate their hunting techniques, point out the plants they use as their medicines, demonstrate how to make bamboo cups and many others.
Mgahinga national park is a home of a variety of birds that is to say over 180 species which include the Ibis, Stone chat, Wax bills, Black Kite, Rwenzori Turaco, Blue-headed coucal, Paradise fly-catcher, Double-collared sunbird, Fire finch, Yellow-vented Bulbil, Rwenzori Nightjar and many others. This amazing experience takes place in the beautiful sceneries of the park for example the gorge between the mountains of Mgahinga and Sabinyo and in the forest.
Nature walks & Hiking
Tourists can walk to the to the Congo border transcending different vegetation zones and see the Kisoro and Bunagana towns, lake Mutanda and the calderas on top of the Gisozi hill. Through the forest and the Rugezi swamp, tourists get a chance to see a variety of bird species and to also find the Rwenzori Turaco. Another excursion leads to the Garama cave, 4km from Ntebeko which was formally occupied by humans during the late iron age period and later used by the Batwa as a hiding place after raiding the neighboring Bantu-speaking tribe. This cave is rumored to cut through the mountain to Rwanda and this trip takes about 3 hours.
Taking a full day for each, all the three volcanoes can be summited that is to say mountain Sabinyo taking 8 hours, mountain Gahinga taking 6 hours to ascend and descend and mountain Muhavura taking about 8 hours. All the climbs are tiresome but the views of the Virunga volcanoes, lake Edward, the peaks of the Rwenzoris and Bwindi impenetrable forest from the peaks are worth the effort.
To inquire or book a gorilla trekking tour in Mgahinga gorilla park, simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us now on +256-700135510 to speak with the reservations team.