Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a national park located in southwestern Uganda. The park covers an area of approximately 33.7 square kilometers and is part of the larger Virunga Conservation Area, which also includes national parks in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The park is known for its diverse wildlife and is home to several endangered species, including the mountain gorilla, the golden monkey, and the African elephant.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also known for its volcanic features, including the extinct volcanoes of Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Muhabura.

The park is located in the Virunga Mountains, a chain of volcanic mountains that extends through Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park’s volcanic features, as well as its diverse wildlife, make it a popular destination for tourists and conservationists alike.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Top Activities to Do/see In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Gorilla Trekking

During the gorilla trekking tour, visitors hike through the park’s dense forests, guided by experienced rangers who help locate the gorillas. The trek can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the location of the gorillas. Once the gorillas are located, visitors can spend up to one hour observing and taking photos of the gorillas from a safe distance.

It’s important to note that gorilla trekking permits are limited and must be booked in advance. Visitors are also required to follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of the gorillas, such as maintaining a safe distance and avoiding direct eye contact. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is an unforgettable experience and a must-do for anyone visiting Uganda.

Hiking and Nature Walks

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is an excellent destination for hiking enthusiasts. The park offers several hiking trails that vary in difficulty, from short walks to multi-day hikes. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Mount Sabinyo hike, which takes visitors through the park’s diverse ecosystems and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The hike is challenging but rewarding, as visitors can see several wildlife species, including gorillas, as well as enjoy the breathtaking views of the Virunga Mountains.

In addition to hiking, visitors can also take nature walks in the park. The nature walks are guided and allow visitors to explore the park’s diverse vegetation and wildlife, including golden monkeys, forest elephants, and several bird species. The Batwa Trail is a popular nature walk that takes visitors through the Batwa community and offers a glimpse into their traditional way of life, including their hunting and gathering practices.

Golden Monkey Tracking

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the few places in the world where visitors can see the endangered golden monkey. The golden monkey tracking tour takes visitors on a trek through the park’s forests to observe these rare primates as they play, feed, and interact with each other. The tour is led by experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the monkeys’ behavior and biology, and who can provide insights into the conservation efforts being made to protect these unique creatures.

The golden monkey tracking tour offers visitors a unique opportunity to observe a primate species that is found only in the Virunga Mountains. Visitors can witness the monkeys’ playful behavior, including acrobatic jumps from tree to tree, and interactions with each other. The tour also offers visitors the chance to learn about the golden monkeys’ importance to the local ecosystem and the ongoing conservation efforts to protect their habitat.

Batwa Cultural Experience

During the Batwa Cultural Experience, visitors can immerse themselves in the daily life of the Batwa people and learn about their ancient customs and beliefs. Visitors can witness traditional performances of music, dance, and storytelling, and take part in hands-on activities such as grinding millet and making traditional crafts. The Batwa Cultural Experience not only provides visitors with a unique cultural experience but also supports the local Batwa community by providing employment opportunities and promoting sustainable tourism.

In addition, the Batwa Trail is a guided hike led by Batwa guides, who share their knowledge of the forest and their traditional way of life. During the hike, visitors can learn about the Batwa’s hunting and gathering techniques, medicinal plants, and their close relationship with the forest. The Batwa Trail is not only an educational experience but also provides visitors with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the forest ecosystem and the importance of conservation.

Batwa Cultural Experience

Volcano Climbing

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers visitors an opportunity to experience volcano climbing in a unique and challenging way. The park has several hiking trails that lead visitors to the summits of Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabinyo, which are among the most challenging hikes in Uganda. The hikes offer visitors stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the Virunga Mountains and the Rift Valley. Along the way, visitors can also observe various wildlife, including primates, birds, and reptiles, and learn about the park’s unique flora and fauna.

The Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabinyo hikes require a certain level of physical fitness and stamina, as they involve steep inclines and rugged terrain. Visitors are advised to wear appropriate hiking gear and bring plenty of water and snacks for the hike. The hikes are led by experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the park’s geography, history, and wildlife, and can offer insights into the park’s unique features.