The Hirwa Gorilla Family moves from Rwanda to Mgahinga Gorilla Park-Uganda

Posted by on October 28, 2019

The Hirwa Gorilla Family Migrates from Rwanda to Uganda

You can now Trek the Hirwa Gorilla Family in Mgahinga Gorilla Park – $600 Permit instead of $1,500


 The twenty members of the Hirwa Gorilla Family have migrated to Mgahinga Gorilla Park during October 2019. Whether they will take up permanent residence is not known by anyone on either side of the border. Ironically Rwandans are not allowed to cross the border into Uganda since February. The Hirwa Gorilla Family, like migrants, whether humans or animals look for greener pastures. 

Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda are quite similar. Both parks are part of the Virunga Massif. Mount Sabinyo, Mount Muhavura, and Mount Gahinga all straddle the Ugandan-Rwandan Border. 

The Hirwa Gorilla Family was in search of an abundance of leaves and fruit. Mgahinga Gorilla has plenty of Gorilla Food and less than a hundred gorillas in the park. Humans follow the money or go to where money can be made. Gorillas follow the food trail, and that is the most likely reason that they migrated to Mgahinga Gorilla Park.


Have other Gorilla Families migrated to another country?

Mountain Gorillas, unlike humans, do not recognize borders. The Nyakagezi Gorilla Family that can be tracked in Mgahinga Gorilla Park used to get the wanderlust spirit when Bugingo was the lead Silverback. 

The Nyakagezi Gorilla Family often crossed into Rwanda and was visited by Tourists there. Since Bugingo’s son took over the leadership of the family, assisted by his brother Mafia they have remained in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Gorillas like the Hirwa Gorilla Family will follow the food supply or move away from bothersome neighboring Gorilla Families or even Silverback Loners that might cause problems for a family.

The Hirwa Gorilla Family is not the first migrant Gorilla Family. The Nyakagezi Family did that years ago.


 How long will the Hirwa Gorilla Family remain in Mgahinga Gorilla Park?

No one knows that. As long as the Hirwa Gorilla Group is in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, they will have tracked there. Rangers will monitor Their daily movement. They will get a visit from the Gorilla Doctors in the wild to look at their state of health.

There is the annual Wildebeest Migration between Tanzania and Kenya. There has been a great Gorilla Trekker Migration to Uganda fueled by the price of permits in Uganda. Now on a small scale, we are seeing a Gorilla Family Migration.

They could settle on the Ugandan side of the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, or spend a few weeks on holiday in the park. At present, they are treated as guests and not as permanent residents by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. 


The Hirwa Gorilla Family:

In Kinyarwanda, it means “the Lucky One.” The Group has been popular with visitors to Volcanoes National Park. The reason has been the size of the Group. 20 Gorilla Gamily member came to Mgahinga Gorilla Park led by the Silverback Munyinga. The Group most often was found on Mount Sabyinyo in Volcanoes, The backside, of that Volcano, is in Uganda. Though tourists cannot climb Mount Sabyinyo on the Rwandan side, you can do so on the Ugandan Side, where it is called Mount Sabinyo.

Gorillas do not have any problem making their way either to Uganda nor Ugandan Gorillas to Rwanda, as the Nyakagezi Group did for years.

Gorilla Permits for the Hirwa Family were $1,500 in Rwanda. While they are in Uganda, the permit price will be $600. Half of that, $300 will go to Rwanda because of a movement of Gorillas cross-border agreement.

Permits will be sold on a day to day basis since no one knows the length of their stay in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.


Mgahinga Gorilla Park – an ideal off-the-beaten Tourist Path Park

 Most Gorilla Trekkers head to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest since it is the Gorilla Sanctuary with the most Mount Gorilla Permits at an affordable price. Fewer trekkers head for Mgahinga Gorilla Park unless it is suggested to them by a gorilla tour operator such as ourselves.

The Nyakagezi Gorilla Family, with now Five Silverbacks, has been the Star Gorilla attraction. Five Silverbacks is highly unusual since Silverbacks usually do not get along that well.

Mgahinga Gorilla Park is Gorilla Trekking without the crowds. Gorilla Trekking here is similar to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The added plus found in Mgahinga Gorilla Park is Volcano Climbing, Golden Monkey Trekking, Hiking, and Cultural Encounters with the Batwa People on the Batwa Cultural Trail, where you see the rainforest through the eyes of its first inhabitants.


How do I go about Tracking the Hirwa Gorilla Family in Mgahinga Gorilla Park?

 The easiest way for most is to fly into Southwest Uganda’s regional airport, which is not Entebbe, Uganda, but Kigali, Rwanda. From there, it is a three-hour scenic journey to Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

The other option is to fly into Entebbe, Uganda, and fly to Kisoro, which is close to Mgahinga Gorilla Park. You can also Trek Gorillas both in Mgahinga Gorilla Park and then in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. A seven to eight-day Safari will begin in Kigali, take in Gorilla Trekking, the Wildlife of Queen Elizabeth, and Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest. The Safari ends in Entebbe, Uganda, and you eliminate nine-hour drive-times from Entebbe, Uganda.

The lodge that is closest to Mgahinga Gorilla Park is the luxury Mount Gahinga Lodge. There you stay in the shadow of the brooding Volcanoes. For midrange lodging, we recommend using Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge.


Is Mgahinga Safe for Gorilla Trekkers?

 Mgahinga Gorilla Park is a safe and secure Ugandan National Park. There are no Guerrillas in the park, only Gorillas. Uganda is the only Mountain Gorilla Destination that is Guerrilla-FreeGorilla Trekking has been a safe and secure activity in Rwanda and Uganda.

Your Well-Being is on everyone’s mind. You do not enter Mgahinga Gorilla Park without a ranger escort guide. Strict security guidelines are in place for Gorilla Trekkers.

The safest place to be in Uganda is on a Gorilla, Chimpanzee Wildlife Safari.

We, as a Gorilla Tour Operator, take safety and security further in that, we have our stringent guidelines for the well-being of our Clients.

Mgahinga Gorilla Park might be a safer destination than places in your own country.


We know Mgahinga Gorilla Park:

Mgahinga Gorilla Park now is the home to the visiting Hirwa Gorilla Family from Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. For how long the family will remain in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla Park, no one knows. No one knew that the Hirwa Gorilla Family was coming to visit the Park.

If you would like to visit the Hirwa Gorilla Family or the resident Nyakagezi Gorilla Family, let us know. We will make all the arrangements needed, including lodging and gorilla permits.

On a different note, we hope that the Border issue between Rwanda and Uganda will be resolved soon. We are thankful that tourists have no problems crossing the border in either direction.

We are not politicians, but we do know that the border issue is not suitable for Rwanda and Uganda’s image when it comes to tourism. May the visiting Gorillas remind the presidents of both Rwanda and Uganda to solve the issues at hand in a mutually beneficial manner.