The Many Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda
The awesome activities that you can do at Mgahinga Gorilla Park
The Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers a nature lover’s dream experience – from encountering mountain gorillas up close to admiring stunning volcanic scenery and spotting fascinating wildlife. The Park’s lesser-visited status means more authenticity and intimacy, while cultural activities provide rewarding human connections. A visit to Mgahinga is sure to create treasured memories for life.
Nestled between the towering volcanic peaks of Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Sabinyo, Mgahinga’s Gorilla Park’s dense forests and bamboo zones are home to over a dozen groups of endangered mountain gorillas. With one, the Myakezi Group, you can trek.
You can track the gentle giants on foot, observing their social interactions, feeding behaviors, and family bonds from just a few meters away. Few experiences are more awe-inspiring and humbling than this rare encounter with our closest living relatives.
The volcanic landscape is jaw-dropping, with steep ridges, rolling hills, and crater lakes. Views from hiking trails reveal an untouched wilderness stretching to the horizons of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rich birdcalls fill the air, golden monkeys frolic in the high bamboo, and elephants leave towering feed marks on trees. Even seldom-seen predators like leopards and hyenas can be spotted at dawn and dusk.
Mgahinga’s cultural offerings provide meaningful interactions with this region’s warm and welcoming people. Traditional dance and drum performances show the spirit and joy of Virunga culture, while homestays immerse you in local life. Proceeds from your visit directly support community projects and gorilla conservation efforts.
In every Way, from primate and wildlife sightings and natural wonders to cultural experiences and conservation impact, a trip to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park promises to create lasting memories and a true sense of connection to Africa’s wild heritage and people. I hope this description has inspired you to visit this special place.
If you’re planning to include Mgahinga Gorilla Park in your Safari in Uganda, get ready for an incredible adventurous nature experience that can consist of Gorilla and Golden Monkey Trekking, Volcano day climbs, Hiking, Nature walks, birding, and time with the first People of the Forest, the Batwa.
Things to do and see in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of Uganda’s most adventurous, stunningly beautiful, and unique national parks, located in the country’s southwestern corner on the border with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As you can see below, many exhilarating activities can be done in the Park,
1. Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the best places in the world to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
The Nyakagezi Gorilla Family is one habituated gorilla group in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
. The trek to see the Nyakezi Family can take 3-4 hours, depending on the location of the gorilla family. The tour can be challenging, as it involves hiking through dense vegetation and steep terrain. Read more about Gorilla Trekking in Mgah8inga Gorilla Park.
Gorilla Trekking is one of The Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda
2. Golden Monkey Trekking:
Here are some highlights of golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to one of the largest populations of golden monkeys in Uganda. They are endemic to the Virunga volcanic chain.
•Golden monkeys are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. The best times to see them are early morning on your trek. Golden monkeys mainly eat leaves, fruits, and flowers.
The Golden monkeys have a distinct golden-orange color, especially the adult males. They have long non-prehensile tails and move acrobatically through the trees.
Next to the tracking of the mountain gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla Park is the tracking of the Golden Monkeys. Seeing these beautiful primates bantering about is a sight to behold and most enjoyable for the visitors to the Park.
• Golden monkey trekking is a unique and memorable experience in Mgahinga, especially for those who do not have the budget for a gorilla permit. It offers a taste of the primate wonders of the Virunga volcanoes region.
Golden Monkey Trekking -The Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda
The varied habitats of Uganda’s smallest Park make it home to various birds, with 179-184 species recorded. The list includes the Ibis, Pin-tailed Whydah, Speckled Mousebird, Stone Chat, Grey-capped Warbler, Wax Bills, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Firefinch, White-naped Raven, Black Kite, Rwenzori Turaco, Blue-headed Coucal, Paradise Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Double-collared Sunbird, Rwenzori Nightjar.
Of the Albertine Rift’s endemic birds, the following was recorded in the Park. The handsome francolin, dusky crimson-wing, red-throated Alethe, Kivu Ground Thrush, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, collared Apalis, mountain masked Apalis, Archer’s ground Robin, stripe-breasted tit, blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Montane Nightjar, red-faced woodland Warbler, and Grauer’s swamp Warbler.
.Birding – one of the top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda.
4. Volcano Climbing
Volcano climbing in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located locally in the Virunga chain, called the Mug, an ancient chain of volcanoes along the Uganda-Rwanda border. The Park contains parts of three volcanoes – Mgahinga, Muhabura, and Sabinyo.
Climbing the volcanoes in Mgahinga offers spectacular views of the lush forests, rolling hills, and remote villages of southwest Uganda. On a clear day, you can see Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
• Mount Gahinga (3,474 m) is the highest and most challenging volcano to climb in the Park. It requires a multi-day trek and involves steep sections and scramble climbing.
• Mount MMuhabura, also called Mount Muhavura (4,12,7 m), is a challenging but popular volcano hike. It’s about a 10-12 hour return hike from the park gates. The summit rewards hikers with stunning views of the Rift Valley lakes.
• Mount Sabinyo (3,645 m) is the most accessible volcano to climb. It can be done as a long day hike or overnight trek. The trail has the most vegetation and wildlife sightings compared to the other volcanoes.
Physical fitness, proper gear, and water are essential for volcano climbing in Mgahinga. A local guide is highly recommended to navigate the trails to the volcanic summits safely.
Beyond the fantastic views, volcano hikes offer a chance to learn about the geology, ecology, and cultural history of the region’s volcanoes. Sections of the trails pass through dense Afromontane Forest.
Volcano Climbing -The Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda
5. Batwa Cultural Forest Trail:
See the ancient Forest through the eyes of its first people, the Batwa. They were evicted when the Park was created and became conservation refugees away from their Forest. They have lived outside the Park, only seeing tourists enter their ancient hunting and gathering territory.
This guided walk is natural and cultural since you learn the Batwa people’s ways. Learn how they hunted, gathered honey herbs for medicine, made clothing, ate berries from the Forest, etc. It is undoubtedly a must-do at Mgahinga Gorilla Park – a Cultural activity not to be missed.
Besides meeting the Batwa people as your guide, visit their sacred Garama cave and watch the dance at the end of the walk by the woman with a haunting son (the cave was where their King lived and where they hid in times of war.
The cave is 342 meters in length. The King’s quarter contained a kitchen, drinking water, a gathering, and a meeting area. It was lit with burning grass to illuminate the cave and provide warmth.
The Batwa people directly benefit from this activity since a large part of the fee for the walk now goes to them. A tip, Using Ugandan Shillings would be most appreciated. Read more about the Batwa Trail here.
Batwa Cultural Trail – one of the Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda
6. Hitting the Hiking Trails in Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
You can spend several days here just hiking the trails that are here. We suggest a moderate level of fitness for the foothill hike found here.
Most trails will not exceed 5 hours, most are half-day (up to 5 hours long) hikes that are precisely right, and you have an afternoon of leisure.
The Park and the trails can be included in your Safari with us, but you must let us know your wishes. Hiking requires a medium fitness level, and a ranger always accompanies you.
Mgahinga Gorilla Park is off the beaten tourist path for most, and on many of the hikes, it is just you and your guides, another reason for you to hit the trails in this Park. You will never know what you will encounter around the next trail twist.
We suggest that you wear the right stuff while hiking. The gorilla trekking wear would be just suitable for you.
Hiking Trails – one of the Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda.
Is Mgahinga Gorilla Park Safe to Visit?
Mgahinga Gorilla Park is safe and secure for visitors who want to trek Gorillas or Golden Monkeys, climb a Volcano, or hit one of the Trails in the Park.
There is no activity in Mgahinga Gorilla Park without an armed Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers escort. Behind the scenes, the Ugandan Army patrols the Park. Add local Police and the Uganda Tourism Police force to that equation, and you have a park that protects you.
The UWA Rangers are highly trained professionals that are security-minded yet friendly, most informative, and fluent in English. Uganda is the Best English-Speaking Country in Africa.
Uganda has gorillas, but not guerrillas. There has been no incident for over twenty years. There has been no security issue for any tourists visiting the Park. Read more about park security here.
Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
Fly to Mgahinga Gorilla Park from Entebbe:
Daily scheduled flights with AeroLink from Entebbe International Airport take place. It is a 90-minute flight to Kisoro Airport, where your driver-guide meets you and takes you to Mgahinga Gorilla Park. The drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park is 45 minutes.
This has become one of the more popular ways to visit the Park. Flying there allows you more time at Park. The added plus is that you stop at Kasese Airport on the return flight. You can visit Kibale Forest for Chimpanzee Trekking and Queen Elizabeth Park for wildlife.
Drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park from Kigali-Rwanda:
Take a three-hour scenic drive from Kigali, Rwanda. Kigali Airport is the closest International Airport to Mgahinga Gorilla Park. It is an intelligent way to get to Mgahinga Gorilla Park compared to the nine-hour drive from Entebbe or Kampala.
Drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park from Entebbe or Kampala:
Since it is a 9-hour drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park, we suggest you include a visit here that provides for other parks. This Way, you will have shorter drive times.
Best Time of the Year to Visit Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
You can visit the Park on Safari with us at any time. Though you are in tropical Africa, the weather is ideal for Gorilla or Golden Monkey Trekking, Volcano Climbs, Hikes, and the Batwa Trail.
The average temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius, and nighttime temperatures reach 10 degrees Celsius if you stay at the Mount Gahinga Lodge.
January through March, late June through early October, and mid-December to the end of the month are ideal for Gorilla Trekking, Climbing, and Hiking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
April, October, and early December are ideal for those who want a lower price at luxury Lodges such as Mount Gahinga Lodge.
Current Weather for Mgahinga Gorilla Park- Kisoro Area
Mgahinga Gorilla Safaris that we offer:
We offer various that include Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Some focus on activities in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, such as Gorilla, Golden Monkey Trekking, Volcano Day Climbs, Hiking, and Birding. You can easily do a 5-Day Safari within Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
Best and most Convenient Lodge to stay at:
Mount Gahinga Lodge is our recommended choice for Lodging while at Mgahinga Lodge. The Lodge, though a luxury one, wins easily. You pay more, but you also get a lot more.
Luxurious cottage with fireplaces. A complimentary massage during your stay. Complimentary Drinks include Beer, House-Wine, Sodas, and non-premium liquor such as Uganda Waragi.
Activities such as Caldera Walk, a Batwa Heritage Walk, and a Visit to the Gahinga Batwa Village are included in the price and are guided by Lodge Staff.
Great places to stay while visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are those lodges that overlook scenic Lake Mutanda, such as Chameleon Hill Lodge and Mutanda Lake Resort. Both Lodges are moderately priced lodges with a view. Other Mount Gahinga Lodges.