highlights and main attractions of mgahinga gorilla national park

Despite being the smallest of Uganda’s National Parks, with a surface area of just 34 square kilometres, some would say Mgahinga and its landscapes are amongst the most scenic and enchanting. Protecting an imposing cluster of nine volcanoes that straddle the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda within the Virunga Conservation Area. 

This beautiful park sits in the south-western corner of the country and is home to three extinct volcanoes - Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo - whose forests and luscious slopes provide excellent opportunities for climbing, hiking and wildlife spotting.

where is mgahinga gorilla national park?

gorillas and other aCTIVITIES

The Nyakagezi Group of mountain gorillas in Mgahinga have previously been a major attraction to the area, but, due to having a large range and crossing the border between Uganda and Rwanda, permits are currently not bookable at Uganda Wildlife Authorities. It is still possible to track them, usually by buying permits the day before at the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Headquarters, but we do not recommend them for reliable viewings and on these occasions we try to facilitate tracking in Nkuringo (a 2-hour drive away) for our clients.

Whilst the location of the gorillas can be somewhat unpredictable, the area nonetheless enjoys a stunningly diverse range of biodiversity, including 76 mammal species such as the black and white Colobus, buffalo, elephant, leopard and serval. There are habituated golden monkeys in the park, available for you to track with one of our local expert guides as part of your itinerary. Bird-lovers will not be disappointed and, amongst the approximate 180 species, you may see crowned hornbill, Rwenzori turaco, black kite, fiscal shrike and augur buzzards.

Activities in the area include treks of the dramatic volcanoes. Muhavura’s peak also has a small crater lake and, with a location that is 4,127 metres above sea level, is the park’s highest point. The area around the summit itself is characterised by wort and dwarf heath vegetation, contrasting heavily with the dense rainforest of the lower slopes. Nature walks around here or a trip in a dug-out canoe on Lake Mutanda can be highly rewarding, as can simply relaxing at your lodge and enjoying spotting some of the 79 recorded bird species, flowers and trees in the lodge grounds. 

We recommend the Mt Ghinga Lodge, which is perfectly positioned within the foothills of the Virunga Mountains.

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