Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari Tour

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris) is the smallest Uganda national park well known for mountain gorilla tracking, Golden monkey tracking tours and amazing safari experiences in Africa. Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park allows travelers to adventure, explore, and witness mountain gorillas in their natural habitat during your Uganda Safari.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, covers only 38 sq. km, located in the bigger Virunga Conservation Area, which is a jointly protected area with Congo and Rwanda. The park is home to three of the 8 volcanoes in the region including Mount Sabinyo (3.669 m.), Mount Gahinga (3.474 m.), and Mount Muhavura (4.127 m.). “Mgahinga” is named after Mount Gahinga plus the initial of Mount Muhavura. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also famous for its endangered golden monkeys, dubbed ”the place where silver meets gold” because of the existence of both gorillas and Golden Monkeys.

History of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park derives its name from a local word ”Gahinga” which means a pile of volcanic stone. This National Park was gazetted as a game sanctuary in 1930 by the British administration and later declared a national park in 1991. The area covered by the Park is about 38 sq km.

In Mgahinga’s past, there were several poachers lingering in the park causing insecurity and in 1989, a survey was made and several wire Traps were discovered and destroyed.

The park managed to maintain security till the m23 Congolese rebels took refuge in the park but were defeated in 2013 and since then the park has been stable till now.

Species to Adventure in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:

The vegetation is the one typical Afromontane area, with a consistent bamboo forest. There are 76 mammal species recorded, including buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, golden monkeys, and leopards. During your tour here, you will have opportunities to spot the diversity in the park including the famous mountain gorillas. Mgahinga hosts a population of golden monkeys and a few families of mountain gorillas.

For bird lovers, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a perfect destination to spot some of Uganda’s most unique bird species. 115 bird species have been recorded in the park, including Rwenzori turaco, crowned hornbill, black kite, and crowned crane among others.

  • Wildlife in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda

The park is a primate-dominated area therefore the tourists are guaranteed the sighting of several primates such as the Gorillas, golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and several other monkeys. However, the chances of seeing other animals such as Buffaloes, Elephants, bushbucks, and carnivals are close to none. Safaris to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are popular for gorilla trekking experiences, although there is a lot to adventure in the Park. This National Park is home to one large habituated gorilla family known as the Nyakagezi gorilla group or Family.

​The park is also a Birders paradise because the park has over 115 bird species with a variety of Albertine birds these include the white-necked raven, Black kite, Pin-tailed whydah, Double-collared Sunbird, Ibis, and so many more birds. This experience lasts all year but the best times to catch these birds are in April to mid-may and October to April.

  • Relief and vegetation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda

The relief is dominated by the Virunga mountains making it favorable for the mountain Gorillas. The vegetation in the park is majorly Afro-montane due to the cool climate. The vegetation types include Bamboo which takes up about 60% of the entire vegetation, Lobelia, Haegenis, and several other species.

The different vegetation types include Afromontane, Tree heathers, montane forest, Bamboo, Montane woodland, and former farmland. Lastly, the Virunga Ranges have eight volcanoes with three conical peaks found at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Mountain Gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park 

The Nyakagezi gorilla family is the only fully habituated group of gorillas in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. As it’s the only habituated gorilla family, it offers visitors a great opportunity to track rare mountain gorillas in the wild. The Nyakagezi family is composed of 9 members, which include 4 silverbacks, 2 infants, 2 adult females, and 1 juvenile. The dominant silverback in the family is Mark, who took over leadership from his father Bugingo. The other members of the family include Mathew and Mafia (silverbacks), Nyiramwiza and Nshuti (adult females), Nkanda (juvenile), Mutagamba, and Rukundo (infants). Bugingo, the oldest silverback, is believed to be more than 54 years old.

A rare but interesting fact about the Nyakagezi gorilla family is that Bugingo still lives in the family. Usually, when the dormant silverback is overthrown, he is banished and dies in isolation or seeks refuge from other gorilla groups. For example, in the Mubare group, after Kanyonyi took over leadership from Ruhondeza, the latter left the group and lived a solitary life until he died. Trekking the Nyakagezi gorilla family requires you to have purchased a gorilla trekking permit prior your safari to Uganda. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost upto $700 for international visitor. However, effective 1st July the new UWA tariff will be implemented and international tourist will pay $ 800 for a single gorilla permit per person.

Activities to do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Each of the three volcanoes can be climbed with a day trip hike, without a piece of special mountain equipment. Visits are organized to the Garama Cave, near the Park Head Quarter in Ntebeko, which is 432 m in length and was once inhabited by the pygmy population.

The key activity at Mgahinga National park is Gorilla trekking. In this activity, The Tourists will be able to track down the Nyakagezi gorilla group which frequently roams in the forests of Rwanda and Congo making them easy to track down.

This activity starts early in the morning and it is an exciting adventure because you are able to sit with the gorilla families and watch them go about with their daily activities.

The park also has Golden monkey tracking. The golden monkey species are a very rare species therefore tracking them is a very thrilling activity. These monkeys are known for their bright orange golden body and they live in the bamboo forests in groups of 3-30 individuals.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the ideal destination for Birders because they are able to trek to the Rugezi swamp, the bamboo forests or the Sabinyo Gorge for the most exciting bird-watching experience.

This activity takes 3 to 4 hours and provides spectacular sightings of the bronze Sunbird, Dusty Turtle dove, and a variety of other fascinating birds.

The park also offers hiking and nature walks through the rest of the deep Sabinyo Gorge, this is the perfect opportunity to see a few birds especially the Rwenzori Turaco. This allows hikers to sight the calderas on top of the Gisozi hill.

This park is next to various mountains such as Mt. Gahinga, Mt.Muhavura, and Mt.Sabinyo which will definitely be exciting for the Tourists that desire adventure in their lives.

Another activity is the cultural encounters with the Batwa people. While on this encounter, the Batwa will demonstrate hunting styles, collect honey, point out medicinal plants, and show how to make Bamboo cups. This activity is quite exciting and there are also traditional dances and folk songs.

Accommodation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda

The tourists comfort while at Mgahinga National park will be catered for at several lodges such as Mount Gahinga safari lodge, Countryside Guesthouse, Virunga guesthouse, Nkuringo safari lodge, Golden monkey guest house, Mutanda Eco community center, Birds Nest at the bunny resort, Buyonyi overland resort,  Virunga hotel and campsite, Kisoro Travelers and Kisoro Tourist Hotel.

You can take a road trip from Kampala to Mgahinga Gorilla national park using Kampala-Kabale-Kisoro road and it takes about 8 hours to get there. Alternatively, a flight from Entebbe International airport to Kisoro that takes about an hour to get there is also available.

In conclusion, Mgahinga National park is ideal for Primate lovers and a vacation away from the city to a quiet and serene place.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

mountain gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Popular Uganda Safaris Tours Tailored by Acacia Safaris Uganda

Mount elgon national park

This 3 Days Mount Elgon Hiking Tour takes you through Ssezibwa Falls for a cultural of Uganda, a chance to see Mabira forest, pass via Jinja to explore the source of the River Nile before heading to the eastern region of Uganda, Mountain Elgon Volcano is a 4321 meters high above sea level which makes it one of the highest mountain in Uganda. Read More Here

Mount elgon national park

The 3 Days Mount Elgon Hiking Safari takes you to Eastern Uganda where you will engage in a mountain hiking tour activity, a visit to Sipi falls and adventure at the source of the River Nile. The 3 Days Mount Elgon Hiking Safari starts and ends in Kampala city. Mountain Elgon is an amazing feature found in the East of Uganda. Read More Here

3 Days Mount Elgon Hiking Safari

On the 4 Days Mountain Elgon Uganda Trekking Tour, you will go for a Uganda Hiking tour to Mountain Elgon National Park where you hike to Sipi Falls. On this Uganda Safari, you will go for adventure safaris in the Park. Mount Elgon lies at the border of Uganda with Kenya. It is an extinct volcano with the largest surface area in the world. Read More Here

5 Days Uganda Wildlife Safaris Tour

The 3 Day Queen Elizabeth Wildlife Safari in Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Safari will take you to Queen Elizabeth National Park which has been designated a Biosphere Reserve for humanity under UNESCO auspice. It is located on the western arm of the Great Rift Valley, and boasts of a remarkable variety of ecosystems. Read More Here

Uganda Safari

4 Days Kidepo Valley Wildlife Safari in Uganda/ 4 Days Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda Safari. Kidepo Valley National Park is located on Uganda ‘s border with Sudan and Kenya in the extreme corner in the Northeast of the country. The park comprises rolling savannah grasslands and rugged spectacular mountain landscape. Read More Here

Mgahinga Golden Monkey Trekking Uganda

This 7 Days Primates Uganda safari gives you the opportunity to visit the most significant Uganda safari parks for primate viewing and tracking. Bwindi Impenetrable forest park and Kibale National Park are the well-known primates Safari destinations in Uganda. Read More Here

age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda

The 9 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari Tour will visit the three most important national parks in Uganda; Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable. You will also enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale. During the safari you will do the Gorilla tracking in Bwindi and the chimpanzee trek in Kyambura Gorge. Read More Here

Things to Consider Before Booking a Gorilla Safari to Uganda in 2024

The 12 Days Jungle Safari Uganda, gives you the opportunity to visit Murchison Falls, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi and Lake Mburo National Parks in Uganda. Furthermore, you can visit the Kasenda Crater Lake region and enjoy the scenery around Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale. Some of the activities include Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest. Read More Here

uganda gorilla safaris

The 14 Days Uganda Safari Eco-explorer, covers the Western Uganda safari circuit for big game viewing and primates tour. Book 14 Days Uganda Safari covering the Western Uganda safari all National National Parks in the circuit which include Queen elizabeth park, Murchison Falls, Kibale forest park, Bwindi impenetrable park, Mgahinga gorilla park. Read More Here

Popular Rwanda Safari Tours / Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris Tours

Top tours in Uganda

3 Days Volcanoes Park Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari ;On the 3 Days Volcanoes Park Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari, You will go to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda which is part of Virunga Conservation area and is located in the extreme northwest of the country, bordering Uganda and Congo. Read More…

Uganda Wildlife Safaris

6 Day Rwanda Wildlife safaris Tour; The 6 Day Rwanda Wildlife safari will give the two ultimate safari experiences i.e. game drives in Akagera national park and gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park. Akagera national park is the only Savannah park in Rwanda hosting a number of big mammals . Read More…

Tanzania Safari Attractions

10 Days Rwanda Wildlife and Cultural Safari; On 10 Days Rwanda Wildlife and Cultural Safari, you will tour the genocide memorials, visit the Nyungwe Forest with its vicissitude of primates and birds; enjoy Lake Kivu; and get two opportunities to spend time amongst the gorillas. Read More…

queen elizabeth national park

14 Days Gorilla Safari Rwanda Wildlife Safaris Tour in Kenya; The 14 Days Gorilla Safari Rwanda Wildlife Safaris Tour in Kenya focuses on the wildlife of Africa. It contains some of the continents best wildlife locations. The Masai Mara provides some of the best game viewing in Africa and is renowned for the Great Migration. In Rwanda, tracking chimpanzees Read More…

Uganda National Parks / Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari Destinations / Uganda Wildlife Safari Destinations

Murchison Falls Uganda

MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK; Murchison Falls Conservation Area is the largest protected area in Uganda, 5.025kms, including Murchison Falls National Park. Read More…

5 Days Uganda Wildlife Safaris Tour

QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK; This park lies on 2.056 sq. kms of land situated south of the Rwenzori Mountains, bordering Congo and including two lakes. Read More..

Things to Consider Before Booking a Gorilla Safari to Uganda in 2024

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK ; Bwindi Impenetrable national park, 331 kms, is located in South Western Uganda, on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley, at an altitude range from 1.160 m to 2.607m. Read More

2 Days Queen Elizabeth Uganda Wildlife Safari

KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK; Kidepo national park was not a national park as it was just another area inhabited by the Dodoth pastoralists who are famously known. Read More…

Why Uganda is referred to as the primate capital

KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK; Kibale National Park, 766 kms, forms a contiguous block with Queen Elizabeth National Park, at an altitude of 1.100-1.590m above sea level. Read More…

Lake Mburo Day Tours Uganda

LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK ; This park, 260 sq.kms, is located in Mbarara District, with an altitude range from of 1220m to 1828m above sea level. The park is named after the lake which lies in this territory. Read More…

Mount elgon national park

RWENZORI MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK; The park, 996 sq. kms, protects the slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains, which run for 120 km along the Congo border. It is a block. Read More…

uganda wildlife safaris

SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK; This park, 220 sq. kms, lies along the Congolese border following the Semliki river, within the Western arm of the Albertine Rift Valley, in the North of Rwenzori mountains. Read More…

Mount elgon national park

MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK; Mount Elgon is an extinct volcanic mountain with the largest surface area in the world (50km by 80km) and a caldera with a diameter. Read More…