Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest but most scenic national park, located in Southwestern Uganda in Kisoro district. The park is part of the larger Virunga Conservation area that spreads over the three countries. Each of these countries protects its own portion of the Virungas, in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo respectively. The three parks together form the 434-sq. km. ‘Virunga Conservation Area’ or VCA. Mgahinga is 33.7 sq. km, just 8% of the Virunga Conversation Area. The entire Park is in Bufumbira County of Kisoro District.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park derives its name from the Kinyarwanda word “Gahinga” that means “Pile of volcanic lava stone heaps where cultivation is carried out”. To add on “Sabinyo” means “the old man’s teeth” and “Muhavura” means “Guide”. Mgahinga National park was established majorly to protect the mountain gorillas and in this same park also endangered Golden monkeys have made it their habitat. The Park covers the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645m).
Mgahinga National Park has about 39 mammals of these including the Mountain gorillas, buffaloes and elephants, also endangered golden monkeys. Others include; giant forest hogs, bushbucks, leopards, spotted hyenas, black fronted duikers among others. It also has around 79 bird species. While in the park there is only one group that is tracked which is the Nyakagezi gorilla group, years before this group of Gorillas could move from country to country until it has to make Mgahinga its home, now also permits for tracking gorillas in this park are now available in Uganda and you are advised to book in advance.
How to reach to Mgahinga National park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park located in southwestern part of Uganda 540km away from Kampala city and can be accessed by road and air transport means.
When using road transport you will be driven from Kamapala or Entebbe through Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro and then to the headquarters of the park
When using Air means of transport travelers will book scheduled or charter flights with Aero link Uganda to Kisoro airstrip and then connect to the park headquarters.
Accommodation Facilities at Mgahinga National Park
Kisoro town is 14km away from the parks’ gate and offers both luxurious and budget resting facilities
- Omubano Hotel
- Sky Blue
- Mgahinga Safari Lodge
- Virunga Hotel
- Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Budget facilities include;
- Rugigana Campsite
- Mount Gahinga Rest Camp
- Traveler’s Rest