Compare Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park And Mgahinga National Park
Although gorilla trekking in Uganda is known to Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park, getting to compare gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and brings out the advantages each park has over the others. It should be noted that in the entire world, gorilla trekking can only happen in three countries that is Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo.
Although other wild animals have be transferred to different destinations in the world, this has been unsuccessful with the mountain gorillas may be because of their nature and tight commitment to family groups. Even there feeding capacity may not be easy elsewhere since they are entirely vegetarian. Each day a mountain gorilla may feed on over 200 pounds of foliage to support there huge bodies through day and night.
Apart from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park, other places that provide an opportunity for gorilla trekking in Africa are Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda as well as Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Most Popular Gorilla Safaris
- 3 Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking
- 5 Day Gorilla and Chimp
- 8 Day Gorilla Tracking
- 2 Day Bwindi Gorilla Via Kigali
- 3 Day Uganda Gorilla Via Kigali
- 5 Day Chimp and Gorilla Habituation
- 3 Day Fly in Gorilla Habituation
- 3 Day Fly in Safari to Murchison Falls National Park
- 3 Day Bwindi Double trek via Kigali
- 5 Day Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
If you decide to gorilla trekking in Uganda, your other interests may give you a reason for choosing to do it from Bwindi Impenetrable National park or Mgahinga National Park. Each individual park has an advantage or disadvantage over another.
To get the total satisfied after gorilla trekking in Uganda, you need to convince yourself that you have made the right decision. Its for this reason that we are comparing gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park.
- Numbers Of Mountain Gorillas in Both Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park
- Number Of habituated Gorilla Families
- Primate and other wildlife Species in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park
- Accommodation Options In Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National Park
- Access to Other Uganda National Parks
- Day Mountaineering Services
- Batwa Cultural Experience
Numbers Of Mountain Gorillas in Both Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is UNESCO world heritage centre located in south western Uganda in the districts of Kisoro, Kanungu and Kabale. It is a home to over 400 individuals of the rare mountain gorillas. This number has put Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on world map as the only park having almost half of the total number of mountain gorillas in the whole world.
Mgahinga National Park on the other hand is located on the extreme south-western side of Uganda in the district of Kisoro. This National park is part of the three parks that are located in the Virunga ranges that separate or join three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Compared to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga has very few mountain gorilla families compared to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This has in turn put it on a disadvantage when it comes to gorilla trekking experience.
Number Of habituated Gorilla Families
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park so far has over 18 habituated gorilla families in total compared to only one habituated gorilla family in Mgahinga National park.
Please note that if you decide to trek in Mgahinga National park, then the family will be Nyakagezi which is mobile at times although lately it has been noted to have settled in Uganda for some time.
In case you decided to track gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National park there are four gorilla trekking area that is Buhoma area, Ruhijah area, Rushaga area and Nkuringo area. This partitioning of the Bwindi Impenetrable national park was because of its vast size which caused difficulty in terms of administration and monitoring. Each area has gorilla trekking families under its vicinity.
Some of them include: In the Buhoma area which is the northern sector families available for you are Mubare (the oldest and first family to be habituated in Bwindi) Habinyanja as well as Rushegura. The Ruhijah area, which is in the eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, accommodated Kyaguriro gorilla family, Oruzongo gorilla family, Bitukura gorilla family.
The southern area of Bwindi impenetrable National Park has two gorilla trekking sectors that is Nkuringo sector and Rushaga sector. Each has different families and its in the sothern are that gorilla habituation in uganda is done. Gorilla habituation is the process of getting wild gorillas used to presence of humans without altering there nature. Some of the families open for gorilla trekking in the southern area include Nkuringo family or Busingye family, Nshongi family, Kahungye family , Bweza family, Christmas family and others.
Primate and other wildlife Species in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable national Park is the only place amongst the four gorilla trekking parks where mountain gorillas co-exist with chimpanzees in the whole world. Although the chimpanzees have not been habituated to human presence, they live in the wild. If chanced, you may have the opportunity to spot some but this is on rare cases because they live in the deeper ends of the park and fear humans.
Having an open mind when trekking the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National park may give you chance to spot the wild chimpanzees and other primates instead of focusing on only on finding the mountain gorillas. This may be one of the reasons for you to base on and trek gorillas in Bwindi.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is a Uganda birding haven. The park has over 350 bird species with approximately 23 species of the 24 Albertine endemics of Uganda. Bwindi forest is one of the rich of Africa Birding destinations. You may get to spot birds like Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Rwenzori Batis, African Hill Babbler, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, African Green Broadbill to mention but a few.
Mgahinga National Park birding list is still growing because it has been one of the less attended parks in Uganda. So far, over 115 bird species have been documented to exist in this forested park. Some of which include Alpine chat, Kivu Ground thrush, Malachite Sunbird, Mountane Double-collared sunbird and others.
It is in Mgahinga National park in Uganda that mountain gorillas co-exist with golden monkeys. What a chance to trek golden monkeys and mountain gorillas in the same place.
Both Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be accessed by road or Air. You can access Mgahinga using daily domestic flights or charter services of fly Uganda or Aerolink scheduled flights to Kisoro Airstrip.
The flight is about an hour or more so from there you can then transfer by road to your accommodation facility. Kisoro Airstrip serves both Mgahinga and the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
On the other side the north and southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Buhoma and Ruhija respectively) can be accessed by air through Kihihi Airstrip followed by road transfers to respective lodges.
If driving from Kampala, you will pass through Mbarara, Kabale to Kisoro and then to Mgahinga National park. This is the same route used by those tracking in the southern side of Bwindi Impenetrable National park as well. Should you be trekking gorillas in the north and east of Bwindi, then you can branch off from Ntungamo then to Kagaba to Rukungiri, Kihihi and then to
Butogota and then Buhoma. For ruhija, you can pass through Kabale as well. If you do not mind, you can branch of from Mbarara and follow the kasese road. Continue with your journey by turning to the left before katunguru and follow the Ishasha road. This road will take you to Kihihi and then to Buhoma as above.
In all instances, you can use a private car or public means but the problem is that with public transport, there is a problem with time management. Catching a transfer vehicle to and from the bus parks may be challenging in case it is not arranged in advance. We therefore highly recommend that you avoid public transport means.
Trace losing your belongings while on public transport is possible yet tracing it may take unknown time or may never be seen. Such risks are some of reasons why public transport is not part of the options we recommend our clients to use on safari.
Accommodation Options In Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park provides several accommodation options in all sides of the forest. You will find budget, mid-range or up market lodges options and then you decide accordingly.
Some of the accommodations in Bwindi Impenetrable National park include Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany Springs, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Engage Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Bwindi View Bandas, Buhoma Lodge, Clouds Lodge to mention but a few.
Booking accommodations in Bwindi National park however requires you to know where your gorilla permit is booked. This is because of the vast size of the forest where driving from one area to attend briefing in another area requires you to take a long time.
Sometimes the roads are impassable because they are slippery or the logs have closed off the road. Such reasons are some of the hindrances of overnighting in another location of Bwindi Impenetrable National park yet trek gorilla in another. No one is allowed to join the gorilla trekker without briefing
Mgahinga National Park on the other hand has few options to choose from as the only up market lodge is the Gahinga Lodge only. Other options are located in Kisoro town.
Access to Other Uganda National Parks
Bwindi impenetrable National Park is closer to other national parks where you can combine and have a memorable experience. Queen Elizabeth National park is just 2 hours drive from the north of Bwindi Impenetrable National park ( Buhoma).
Tourists can connect these two national parks for game drives in search for the tree climbing lions in Ishasha or the popular boat cruise on Kazinga channel that has the highest concentration of hippos in the whole world.
For primate lovers, you can as well trek chimps in Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park. The gorge lies on the floor of the rift valley and eroded by Kyambura River that flows into Kazinga channel.
Further to Kibale National park a place that has been described as the best to trek habituated chimpanzees in the whole world. Kibale National Park is a tropical forested park which hosts over 1500 chimpanzees. The forest hosts more primates like black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, pottos,, olive baboons to mention but a few.
Birding in Kibale National Park is one suitable options to consider when selecting destinations for birding in Africa. The rain forest has over 335 bird species including Black-crowned waxbills, Green-backed Twin Spot, Grey-headed-olive back to mention but a few.
Batwa Cultural Experience
In you want to know the hidden secrets of the mountain gorillas, the Batwa are the right people to ask. They depended on forest support since time immemorial but lost this privilege when conservation of Mountain gorillas took presidency in 1991.
The Batwa pygmies can only demonstrate there previous life and Mgahinga National park is the best demonstration center. The Batwa Cultural and Garama cave walk is one of the most outstanding activity in Mgahinga National Park. It is guided by a Mutwa guide who takes you to have a moment in the Batwa forest, organise entertainers especially dancers and listen to there folk tales.
The Garama cave which is about 324meters below a plateau close to the northern edge of Mgahinga National Park was the Batwa retreat point after raiding the Bafumbira farmers. This cave was also a council chamber. Currently, this cave is the used for performances at the end of the Batwa trail.
Such detailed cultural performances are not in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Although the Buhoma community walk and Nkuringo Community walks are present. These are done by people from different tribes not the Batwa Pygmies per say. In Bwindi community walks, you may get to visit the traditional healers, black smith, beer brewer, rural homestead and others.
Day Mountaineering Services
Mgahinga National park amongst the two parks is the ideal choice in case you wish to test your fitness and view Uganda Rwanda and D.R.C from the same point. Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Gahinga and Mountain Sabyinyo can be hiked in a day upon arrangement. You need a ranger guide to escort you.
Bwindi Impenetrable National park although is part of the Virunga area doesn’t have standing mountains to hike on the area it occupies.