Mgahinga National Park / Uganda/ Mgahinga Gorilla Tracking,
Mgahinga National Park is the smallest in Uganda with an area of
about 33.7 km.
Mgahinga National Park is famous because of its population of
endangered Mountain gorillas. The park is located to the South west
of Uganda in Kisoro district.
Mgahinga National Park
is part of the 434 Km Sq.
Virunga Conservation area.
It adjoins Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park to the South and DR
Congo’s Virunga National Parks to the West. Mgahinga National Park
experiences two rainy seasons. The long rains between February - May
and the short rains between
September- December of each
Dry month are January, June, July and August.
ACCESS TO MGAHINGA
540 km from Kampala.
Drive via Kabale takes 8 Hrs. You can use public means to Kisoro and
hike upto the park headquarters. .
You can fly from Entebbe to on Mondays and Fridays. Cotact Eagle
Mgahinga National Park, the local people are Bafumbira who are
mainly cultivators and the Batwa (Pygmies) a hunter gatherer
Afro-montane vegetation with
cool climate. Bamboo accounts for 60 % of the vegetation.
Others include Lobelia and Haegenia spp.
include mountain gorilla, buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, and the
endangered golden monkeys.
profuse and include, Ruwenzori turaco, Fiscal shrike, Crowned
hornbill, Black kite, Augur Buzzards, Crowned Crane.
Tracking in Mgahinga National Park
There is only
one group of gorillas habituated for tourists in Mgahinga-The
Nyakagezi Group. It
comprises of 9 members; 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles
and infants. Tracking
can take three to eight hours. However it is always advisable to
enquire of the groups where about since it strays into Rwanda
Mgahinga, one can easily engage in Vocano climbing. The volcanoes to
be climbed are:
Hiking time 8 Hours return 14 Kms.
offers one three peaks to climb.
However the best is peak three which offers breathtaking
sceneries in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. To be specific the peak
offers you an opportunity to be in the three countries at the same
Time 6 hrs Return
MT. MUHAVURA (4127m) ‘The Guide’
Distance 12 Kms Time 8 Hrs round trip.
Being among the highest of the
peaks, it acts as a guide.
Hiking to the top offers the best views in the country. Once at the
top hikers are rewarded with the view of other virunga volcanoes,
Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi and the peaks
of Rwenzori Mountain.
The hike requires at least two
The first day you will camp at the base of the volcano and
the next day you hike to the peak. You have to bring your own gear.
activities in Mgahinga
GORILLA TRACKING REQUIREMENTS
Please bring the following for tracking gorillas.
Hiking boots- ankle level
boots are ok but make sure it is something handy.
A warm cardigan
Thick trousers and a long
sleeved top are ideal for tracking.
Video- filming is allowed
in the parks though not outside the park
Water proof container for
A pair of binoculars if
you are a keen bird watcher.
If you prefer wearing a
hat, a baseball cap is recommended.
Encounter with the gorillas
When you encounter the gorillas always remember to be
Do not look at them
straight in the face rather give a sideways glance.
Do not stand over them-crouch instead, stay in a tight
Speak in whispers
Do not use flash photography
Gorillas are wild
Most visitors might be tempted to think that the
gorillas are tame. On
the contrary, our gorillas are wild and they should not be provoked
in any way. The ORTPN does not take any responsibility for any injury
sustained by wild animals in their habitats, hence
Keep your flight distance about 7 metres from them and
bear in mind that gorillas have freedom of way
Do not feed the gorillas
Do not entice them to get into contact with you in any
Do not eat in the vicinity of the gorillas
Do not litter the park
Always burry your faecal
Health of the Gorillas
There are currently
approximately 700 mountain gorillas in the wild.
Thus these animals are classified as endangered species. To avoid transmitting human diseases to them,
Avoid tracking if you
suffer from contagious disease.
In case you develop a sever case of flu, your money will be
fully refunded if you make this known in advance. However if you attempt to
track and fail for whatever reason, or if the guides discover that you cannot
track due to disease, you do not qualify for any refund.
Do not sneeze towards them
Do not spit in the
forest or defecate carelessly.
If you need to the guides will help you with a matchet to dig
a hole to bury your waste.
Do not track if under age- Only 15 years and above can
Hiking, trekking and Tracking gorillas- the facts
How hard should
one prepare for gorilla tracking in Rwanda?
The facts below will help you to answer this question.
Tracking takes place at altitudes of 3000 metres-this
means that moderate/ average physical fitness is what is
necessary and not athletic fitness.
Tracking gorillas is conducted by patient, qualified
and knowledgeable ranger guides with wide experience in
natural history with particular attention to gorilla
Trekking hiking and tracking is conducted at a
moderate pace with plenty of stops for resting, fielding
questions further briefs etc.
Competitive hiking is discouraged as the aim of the
guides, porters and rangers is for all the group members to
make it to the gorillas and back to the base.
Believe it or not, the slowest hiker/ trekker will
determine the pace of the trek.