Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest national park in Uganda, 33.9 square kilometers, but very unique as it’s among the only four world’s mountain gorilla refuges. The Park lies in defunct Virunga Massif that comprises of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and DR Congo’s Virunga National Park. The entire Virunga Massif, which consists of the three aforementioned Parks, is known for inhabiting the largest population of mountain gorillas in the world, over 600 mountain gorillas. Mgahinga is situated in the southwest of Uganda, Kisoro district, within proximity to the remarkable Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – the other mountain gorilla refuge in the world (it has the largest population of mountain gorillas, as a national park – almost 500 gorillas).
Attractions in Mgahinga:
This tiny Park is really so special and blessed with several attractions that will leave you overwhelmed on your visit. As already said, mountain gorillas are the highlight of any visit in this Uganda’s southwestern Park but there are also very many other famous attractions such as; golden monkeys, the Virunga Volcanoes, and very many other stunning primate species. Currently the Park has more than 100 mountain gorillas and two habituated gorilla families, namely; Nyakagezi and Hirwa gorilla families. Mgahinga is situated about 8 hours’ drive southwest of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.
When to go for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga:
Gorilla enthusiasts can go for gorilla trekking expeditions in Mgahinga at any time of the year though the activity is at its peak during the dry or sunny season. There are two dry seasons in Mgahinga – June to August and then January to February. Honestly gorilla trekking is an ‘out of this world’ experience, so fantastic!! You will spend some hours in the natural habitats of these beautiful creatures and a close encounter with them creates unfading memories.
Advance booking is always called for when it comes to mountain gorilla trekking excursions reason being that these fascinating creatures are really few in number, in the world, yet on a very high demand each year. Therefore you are advised to book prior to your trip such that you are guaranteed of a mountain gorilla excursion. Gorilla permits in Uganda are only purchased from the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s headquarters, in Kamwokya, Kampala, but to avoid inconveniences you are advised to send money to your tour operator to purchase for you the permit in time.
Where to stay:
There are various accommodations in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to stay in, such as; Mgahinga Rest Camp, Mgahinga gorilla lodge, Travelers Rest House, Mgahinga Community Camp Ground, Virunga Hotel, and Kisoro tourist hotel, among others.
Mgahinga Packing List:
There are some necessary items that you should not forget to pack while going for a mountain gorilla expedition in Mgahinga among them are; a passport, Tourist Visa, a yellow fever vaccination, gorilla permit, water-proof walking/hiking boots, heavy clothes (especially during the rainy season), trousers, gloves, sun glasses, long sleeved clothes, enough drinking water, sun hat, water-proof bags, good HD cameras and reserve charged batteries, energy-giving snacks, insect repellents, travel diary, some tablets, among others.