Mgahinga National park is a scenic national park located in fur south Western Uganda. Mgahinga National park lies on 33km of volcanic land. The topography of the park is mainly mountainous with three distinctive mountains Muhavura, Mountain Mgahinga and mountain Sabyinyo. This mountain trio forms an incredible backdrop for the park. Hiking any of these peaks gives you chance to look into Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo from the same point.

The main activity of Mgahinga National Park is gorilla trekking. Other activities include golden monkey trekking, Uganda Birding, Mountaineering, Batwa trail and Garama Cave visits and others. This park has untamed nature creating lovely greenery.

Activities to do in Mgahinga National Park Africa Uganda

Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National park

Gorilla trekking is the main activity in the park that gets you to spend an hours with the gentle giants of the forest. Nyakagezi gorilla trekking family is the only gorilla family in the park habituated for tourism purposes. This family at times crosses to Rwanda so these gorilla permits are booked based on availability of the gorillas.

Each day the ranger guides brief tourists from Ntebeko Visitor center where the headquarters of the park are found. The ranger guide leads you into the forest to search for mountain gorillas.

Others primates enjoy the park goodies too like black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, pottos monkeys, L’Hoest, bush Baby, olive baboons and others

Gorilla trekking has rules like volunteer to stay behind if having an infectious disease, no feeding the gorillas, keep a distance of about 8 meters apart from the mountain gorillas. When you locate the mountain gorillas only one hours is allowed to stay with them so that they can later feed with less disturbance.

A gorilla trekking permit is necessary to confirm any gorilla safari so ensure you acquire one in advance. They sell-out in the peak season that is June to September and December.


Golden Monkeys Trekking in Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga National park hosts the golden monkeys that are only known to be living in the Virunga area. They are worth conserving because of there limited numbers. These monkeys are the life of the party in the forest because of there cheeky and teasing nature.

Although they have been habituated for human presence, they never stay docile. In nature, they are always on the move so get ready to keep on your toes.

There body mass is larger than other monkeys and covered with golden brown fur on the lower back.

This trek may last about 5 hours before getting back to relax at your lodge.

Hiking the Mgahinga Mountains

Mgahinga national Park is backed by huge 3 mountain peaks Mountain Muhavura meaning the guide, Sabyinyo Mountain locally meaning old Man’s Teeth and Mountain Gahinga meaning small pile of stones. Each mountain can be individually hiked in a day but no special hiking equipment is needed.

Hiking Mountain Muhavura in Mgahinga National Park

This classic volcanic mountain is topped by a lovely crater. Hiking it takes about 5 hours through 1700m to over 4100 meters. You go through alpine vegetation and lovely panoramas. Taking the Muhavura trial gives you the shortest ascent route to get a view of dramatic plants.

When climbing Muhavura Mountains you get to see alpine vegetation coupled with incredible views of Virunga Mountains, Rift Valley, Lake Edward and at times Rwenzori Mountains.

Completing the entire round trip may last about 8 hours especially if you take an early start.

Climbing Mountain Sabyinyo in Mgahinga National Park

The Sabyinyo mountains have 3 peaks that is peak 1 can be seen shortly as you move up, ;peak Two close to the ridge overlooking the deep gorge on either sides and Peak 3 you go through soggy challenge.

For one to see the most outstanding pivot of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo, climbing Mountain Sabinyo is the best choice. This hike lasts about 8 hours to and fro.

Batwa Trail And Garama Cave in Mgahinga National Park

After eviction from Mgahinga National park in the 1990s, the Batwa were left land lees till they found land in the close by villages. They still hold onto there culture and the Garama Cave has a lot of there history.

Before eviction, the Garama Cave which is 342 meters long acted as there safety point after they raided the gardens of the Bafumbira who are farmers.  It was there council chamber too. The cave is located beneath a plateau close to northern edge of the park about 3kn from the park headquarters in Ntebeko.

Lately, the Batwa use it for showcasing there cultural performance to visitors and proceed use to support there community. The Batwa are responsible for this trail and a Mutwa guide takes you through this walk.

Bird Watching in Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga National park is situated in the Albertine graben where different birds including Albertine endemics spend the day. Most of the birds may be found on lent Gorge trail that is half way the Mountain Sabyinyo

Birding in Mgahinga national park gives you chance to see birds like   White-tailed Blue Fly-catcher, Malachite Sunbird, Montane Double-collared sunbird, Alpine Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush

Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin and so many others.


How To get To Mgahinga National park

By road a drive from Kampala main capital takes about 8 hours excluding stops for about 540 km. The winding murram roads that lead to the park are also bumpy providing the Africa Massage

Daily domestic flights leave Kajjansi Air strip or Entebbe airport to Kisoro Air strip so you can also opt for this fly-in gorilla trekking safari. Charter flight services can be arranged upon request but must be in advance.

Which accommodations to book for Mgahinga National park safari

A number of accommodation facilities are available for anyone visiting Mgahinga National park but you can also overnight in Kisoro town.

Some accommodations include Volcanoes Camp, Travelers’ Rest hotel, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Virunga Hotel, A community campsite but you can bring your own tents.

Best Gorilla Trekking Time in Mgahinga National Park

The drier months of the years that is June to September and December to January when less rains area received. The trails are drier with shorter under growth that you go through.

During severe wet seasons, the plants growth is high with boggy ground because of little sunrays that penetrate the thick forest cover.

What To Pack For Safari In Mgahinga National Park

Pack some warm attire because throughout the day the Mgahinga area is cold you need to keep warm

Tracking boots that will protect you from sliding when you hike the slopes to locate the mountain gorillas.

A flashless camera with a spare fully charged battery that will last you the entire gorilla trekking trip

Energy snacks to eat when tired in the jungle

A pair of binoculars to get a clearer view.

Garden gloves to protect your palms from biting nettles

Hard cash to change into local currency that you can use to purchase souvenirs, pay porters and others personal transactions.

A wide brimmed hat to cover your hair from getting wet from dripping leaves surface.

What Gorilla Trekking Rules To follow In Mgahinga National Park

Mountain gorillas need protection against dwindling numbers that happened before 1990s. Each rule is set to protect the mountain gorillas from catching human infections.

Anyone with a communicable disease like Covid-19 is requested to volunteer and stay behind. Such infections may be transmitted to the gorillas and lead to there massive death.

When with the gorillas try not to surround them. This causes them to feel ambushed.

Stay in a distance of about 8 meters from the gorillas so as to reduce on the chances of catching any infections.

Flash photography is prohibited during gorilla trekking because this scares the mountain gorillas and send them into hiding.

Avoid eating while in the presence of mountain gorillas because this may prompt them to grab what you are eating and yet they are wild animals that need to look for there own food.

Try no to spit on the vegetation as this is food to the mountain gorillas.

Dumping in the forest alters the nature of the forest so try not to leave any wraps or plastic bags

Any one below 15 years of age is not allowed to do gorilla trekking because of the nature of topography of Mgahinga National park which is generally volcanic. The way to see the gorillas is lengthy which may not be bearable to the children this age.

In case you wish to ease yourself, ding a deep hole about 30 meters deep and burry all fical materials beyond recognition. The mountain gorillas are so curious in that they may want to exhume what has been covered. This is unhygienic too.

In case you need to sneeze or cough, do it away from the mountain gorillas to avoid passing germs to the mountain gorillas.

Loud voices or moving any suddenly while with the mountain gorillas these are suspicious attempts to according to the mountain gorillas. They may go onto deeper ends of the forest or charge by beating there chests.