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.
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 year.
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. . which
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
And Wild Life
has 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.
is profuse and include, Ruwenzori turaco, Fiscal shrike, Crowned
hornbill, Black kite, Augur Buzzards, Crowned Crane.
Gorilla Tracking in
Mgahinga National Park
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
in Mgahinga, one can easily engage in Vocano climbing. The volcanoes
to be climbed are:
Hiking time 8 Hours return 14 Kms.
volcano 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
6 hrs Return
MUHAVURA (4127m) ‘The Guide’
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
The hike requires at least two days.
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.
Other activities in
GORILLA TRACKING REQUIREMENTS
Please bring the following for tracking gorillas.
boots- ankle level boots are ok but make sure it is something handy.
trousers and a long sleeved top are ideal for tracking.
filming is allowed in the parks though not outside the park
proof container for their cameras
pair of binoculars if you are a keen bird watcher.
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
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 way.
Do not eat in the vicinity of the gorillas
Do not litter the park
Always burry your faecal
Health of the Gorillas
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
trekking and Tracking gorillas- the facts
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
Tracking gorillas is conducted by patient, qualified and
knowledgeable ranger guides with wide experience in natural history
with particular attention to gorilla behaviour
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.