what to see and do in Mgahinga

Guide to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

A complete guide to Mgahinga Gorilla National park, tourist activities, attractions, when to visit, golden monkey trekking, location, accommodation, where to sleep, vegetation cover and packing list for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Pak with African Apes Holidays. Located in Kisoro district southwestern Uganda, Mgahinga gorilla national park is Uganda’s smallest National park (34 square kilometers) covering Uganda’s part of the Virunga conservation area/Virunga Massif. Mgahinga forest was established into a national park in 1991 to provide habitat for the endangered golden monkeys and mountain gorillas and to diversify tourism products in the Pearl of Africa. The word Mgahinga is named after the “Gahinga” in Kifumbira, which means a pile of stones. Mgahinga National park is bordered by Volcanoes National park in Rwanda and Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Vegetation cover in Mgahinga comprises of bamboo forest, montane moorlands, tree heath, Ferns, Swamps and rift montane forest found on different zones. A 2 Days Mgahinga park tout from Kigali Rwanda helps you explore this small park in the shortest time possible.

Tourist activities/what to do in Mgahinga Gorilla National park
Well, travelers to Mgahinga gorilla National park have an endless list of tourist activities rewarding them with memorable experiences. The top things to see and do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include:

Mountain gorilla trekking

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Nyakagyezi Gorilla Family

Sheltering Nyakagyezi Gorilla family, Mgahinga gorilla national park is one of the few places to go for gorilla trekking in Africa. 8 gorilla permits are available in Mgahinga every day giving chance to eight people to trek and see these endangered gorillas. In late 2029, Mgahinga was also blessed to receive a visitor Hirwa gorilla family which migrated from Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Apparently, Mgahinga Park home to 2 habituated gorilla families each visited by eight people a day. Like in Bwindi Forest, a gorilla permit to trek gorillas in Mgahinga costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for East Africa residents. Gorilla permit booking can be done directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or through Magical Africa Safaris, your ultimate gorilla safari company. Booking is recommended at least 6 months in advance o ensure timely planning.

Volcano climbing
Being home to three extinct Virunga volcanoes, Mgahinga Gorilla National park is your best place for Volcano climbing. Hike to the summit of Mt Gahinga at 3,474m, Mt Sabyinyo at 3,669m and Mount Muhabura at 4,127m above sea level. The experience of hiking each volcano is different and unique worth doing. The slopes of these volcanoes shelter golden monkeys, monkeys and baboons which you stand high chances of meeting. Physical fitness is key and essential to ensure an enjoyable and successful volcano climbing experience. The summit of each Volcano gives you spectacular views of Virunga volcanoes, Mgahinga National Park and local communities.

Golden Monkey Trekking

Mgahinag Gorilla National Park

Golden monkeys in Mgahinga

A high number of travelers to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park choose to do golden monkey trekking above any other thing. Trekking to see golden monkeys ranks second to gorilla trekking in tourist activities done in Mgahinga Gorilla National park. Interestingly, a permit to trek golden monkeys is quite cheap costing $100 each making it affordable for even budget travelers. Mgahinga Forest is the only destination to see golden monkeys and over 500 golden monkeys are believed to be living in Mgahinga. The other population of golden monkeys lives in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda.  African Apes Holidays  helps you book and reserve golden monkey safaris to Mgahinga Gorilla National park.

Bird watching
Sheltering over 250 bird species, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is your best birding spot in Uganda. Some of the birds in Mgahinga Gorilla National park are Fire Finch Stonechat, White-necked Raven, Pin-tailed whydah, Grey capped warbler, Paradise Flycatcher, Ibis, Dusky crimson wing, Waxbills, Archer’s robin chat, Blue-headed coucal, Ruwenzori nightjar, Ruwenzori Batis, Double-collared sunbird and Olive pigeon among others. The best time for bird watching in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is in April, May, and October. This is the best time to see migratory birds, which fly from Europe to seek refuge in Mgahinga. However, bird watching is an all-year-round activity. Our experienced guide helps you spot different birds in Mgahinga Forest.


Batwa Cultural Trail

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Batwa Pygimies in Mgahinga Forest

Do you want to learn and experience the traditional forest life of Batwa pygmies; Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the place to go. Batwa pygmies guide you into Mgahinga forest to demonstrate their initial forest life. Examples of Batwa activities done in Mgahinga forest include hunting, picking medicinal herbs, collecting honey, and visiting Ngarama cave where Batwa would offer sacrifices and perform their rituals. Also, traditional songs, dances and stories are performed making your whole experience memorable.

Nature/Forest walks
Walk on foot through Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and you will discover the hidden treasures of this forest. Nature walks in Mgahinga is the best way to enjoy the quite cool natural forest while enjoying the sweet sounds of birds singing up in the trees. A nature walk is also the best time to spot and search for experimental plants especially the medicinal. You may also meet some animals mainly the colubsu monkeys.

Best time to visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Dry months of June, July, August, September, December, and January are the best time to visit Mgahinga gorilla national park. During this time, rains are less which makes it easy to trek through n search for gorillas and golden monkeys. Also, photography is very good in the dry season. The forest receives two rainy seasons in the months of March, April, May and October. This is the best time for bird watching to see the migratory birds.

Packing list to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Wondering on what to pack for your gorilla safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park? No worries, Magical Africa Safaris brings you a full packing list for Uganda safaris to Mgahinga. Among the things you must carry include:
• Hiking boots/shoes
• Gardening gloves
• Insect repellants
• Energy giving snacks
• Bottled drinking water
• Hats
• Sunglasses
• Long-sleeved shirts
• Long pants
• Rain jackets
• Sweaters & Scarfs

Where to Sleep/Accommodation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Where to Sleep in Mgahinga

Mount Gahinga Lodge

Check the list of lodges/hotels and accommodation facilities in Mgahinga Gorilla National park with Magical Africa Safaris. The top lodges in Mgahinga include Gahinga Lodge, Travelers Rest Camp, Mt Gahinga Rest Camp, Mgahinga Safari Lodge, Muhabura Motel, Rugigana Campsite, Amajambere Iwacu community Camp, and 3 Way gorilla resort among others. These lodges serve you with excellent food and sleeping services at affordable rates.

Conclusively, therefore, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers it all to meet, satisfy and exceed your travel expectation on your Uganda safari to southwestern Uganda. Contact Magical Africa Safaris today, book a gorilla safari to Mgahinga Forest, trek golden monkeys and hike the Virunga volcanoes for a remarkable experience.

Posted by African Apes

African Apes Holidays offers you exceptional apes safaris to trek mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, colubus monkeys and other wildlife experiences in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and East Africa