The Many Things to do and see in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda
Your Guide Gorilla Tracking, Golden Monkey Tracking, Volcano Climbing, Batwa Trail, Birding, Hiking, Caving in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda
The Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park: It is one of Uganda’s smallest parks (3.7km2). It is small, yet surprisingly there are many things to do and see, especially those who love the outdoors.
Suppose you are an outdoor adventure person. This Park is one that you do not want to miss. Gorilla, Golden Monkey Trekking, Hiking, Volcano Climbing, Birding, Cultural visits with the Batwa, and the First People of the forest.
It is a Park where the Gold meets the Silver. A reference to the Silverback Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys that you can both track here. The only Park in Uganda where you can do so.
Here you can climb three of the Virunga Volcanoes that are in Uganda. The Park is part of the Virunga Massif and home to Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhavura, and Mount Sabinyo. All three volcanoes are a one-day climb.
Besides Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys, Mgahinga Gorilla Park is home to 76 species of mammals, although they are hard to spot in the thick forest vegetation. They include the giant Forest Hogs, Bushpigs, Forest Buffaloes, Forest Elephants, Bushbucks, Golden Cats, side-striped Jackals, black-fronted Duikers, and African porcupines.
Mgahinga Gorilla Park in 2019 was declared the “3rd Must Photographed Location in the World.” That is because of the number of photo postings on Facebook. You can take great pictures from Lake Mutanda. A place where you can chill out after gorilla, golden monkey trekking, climbing, and hiking in the Park.
Things to do and see in Mgahinga Gorilla Park. The perfect place for gorilla and golden monkey trekkers, hikers, climbers, birders, primate lovers, and those who love to be off the beaten track and away from the crowds.
The Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park – Uganda
Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
The quickest way is to fly here on a 90-minute flight from Entebbe International Airline with AeroLink safari Airlines.
Mgahinga Gorilla Park is in Uganda, yet you can fly to Rwanda and Trek Gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Flying back to Entebbe, you can easily add Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest, wildlife in Queen Elizabeth Park, and the Rwenzori Mountains.
The Kigali International Airport is just 3-hours from Mgahinga Gorilla Park, which is the choice of many tourists. Kigali has become the Gateway for Central and Southwest Uganda. To begin in Kigali is an easier way to start your Safari in Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Southwest Uganda.
Keep in mind that there is a one-hour time difference between Uganda and Rwanda. Coming to Uganda, you lose one hour, and returning to Rwanda, you gain one hour.
When it comes to Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla Park is seldom mentioned to tourists and visitors. Most gorilla trekkers head for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Few are aware of Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Mgahinga Gorilla Park is not a primary Tourist Destination, and it is off of most Safari itineraries, making it an off-the-beaten-track tourist destination.
There are one hundred plus Gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla Park. You can track the Nyakagezi or Hirwa Gorilla Family.
The Hirwa Family migrated from Rwanda. It is not unusual for gorillas to move from one country to another, and the Nyakagezi Family regularly relocated to Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo.
Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla Means Trekking in the Virunga Volcanoes replicates trekking in Rwanda at a savings of $800. With Lodging, it can be a savings of well over 1,000 USD a person.
You can Trek Gorillas in both Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Forest on a four or five-day Safari. You also choose to do a gorilla trek in Mgahinga Gorilla Park and the Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The rare and endangered golden monkeys are only in Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo, and there are over 3,00 golden monkeys in Uganda.
Like Chimpanzees and gorillas, the golden monkeys are habituated, meaning that they will not shy away when humans approach – a process that can take up to two years. Golden Monkeys weigh 10 to 25 pounds and have a golden body, cheeks, and tails with black limbs, crowns, and tail end.
They are a sub-species of the blue monkey and are found in the bamboo forests of the Virunga Volcanoes. Mgahinga Gorilla Park presents a golden opportunity to track the golden monkeys of Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
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 Habituation Experience: More time with the Golden Monkeys
Birding – Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
The fantastic thing about this Park is that you can combine all kinds of activities, including climbing three majestic Virunga Volcanoes, locally called the Mufumbiro Mountains, which means the mountains that cook.
It takes a full day to climb Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhavura, and Mount Sabinyo. Mount Sabinyo, with its three peaks, is the most popular hike.
The Summit and back down again. You pass through five vegetation zones, and you might see Gorillas and Golden Monkeys along the Way.
The views along the are breathtaking, and especially from the Summit, you can see Southwest Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo will be below is in the Clouds.
A better level of fitness is required for you to complete the climb to the top of Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhavura (Muhabura), and Mount Sabinyo.
See the ancient forest through the eyes of its first people, the Batwa. They were evicted when the Park was created, and they became conservation refugees, away from their forest. They have lived outside the Park, only seeing tourists come into their ancient hunting and gathering territory.
This guided walk is both a nature walk and a cultural walk since you learn the ways of the Batwa People. 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, visiting their sacred Garama cave watching the dance at the end of the walk by the woman with a haunting son (the cave was a place where their King lived and where they hid in times of war.
The cave is 342 meters in length. It contained the King’s quarter, a kitchen, drinking water, gathering, and a meeting area. It was lit with burning grass to illuminate the cave and provide warmth.
The Batwa people themselves directly benefit from this activity since a large part of the fee for the walk goes now to them. A tip, use Ugandan Shillings would be most appreciated.
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 of the trails will not exceed 5 hours, most of them are half-day (up to 5hours long) hikes that are precisely right, and you have an afternoon of leisure for you.
The Park and the trails can be included in your Safari with us, but you have to let us know your wishes. Hiking requires a medium level of fitness, and you are always accompanied by a ranger while hiking.
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 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.
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.
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 get down to 10 degrees Celsius if you stay at the Mount Gahinga Lodge.
The months of January through March, late June through early October, and from mid-December to the end of the month are ideal for Gorilla Trekking, Climbing, and Hiking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
April, October, through early December is ideal for those that want a lower price at luxury Lodges such as Mount Gahinga Lodge.
Current Weather for Mgahinga Gorilla Park- Kisoro Area
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.
It is nice to have a relaxing evening after a full day of volcano hiking- try the Ugandan Drink of choice – Uganda Waragi with a Krest Bitter Lemon.
Add a Day to Relax and Chill Out on Scenic Lake Mutanda:
In 2019 the scenery of Mgahinga Gorilla Park’s Volcanoes, as seen from Lake Mutanda, became the “Third in the World Must Photograph Locations.” Many of our Clients spend a day or two at the Chameleon Hill Lodge, and it is Africa’s funkiest Lodge with bright colors and Fairy Tale Castle Theme.
Chameleon Hill Lodge is an upmarket Lodge with one of the best views. It is the perfect way to end your Gorilla Trekking Safari in Uganda. The Lodge is close to the border and just 2 1/2 hours from Kigali, Rwanda.
Lake Mutanda is a pristine Lake with emerald Isles framed by brooding Volcanoes. One of our clients exclaimed that it was the most beautiful lake he had ever seen.
You can enjoy a Sundowner Boat ride here, having Uganda’s drink of Choice, Uganda Waragi, with a Krest Bitter Lemon Soda. You can try your hand paddling a dugout canoe. Birding Walk and island discovery boat rides can be done here, like village walks and nature trails along Lake Mutanda.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – a small park with as much or more to do and see than larger ones – is certainly not to be missed when visiting Uganda – the Pearl of Africa. Contact us if you want to include any of the Top Things to Do and See in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in your Safari.