Is Mgahinga National Park safe for gorilla trekking?
Mgahinga National Park is located Kisoro district south western Uganda, East Africa. Mgahinga gorilla national park is among the Virunga volcanic mountain chain of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda famous for Mountain gorilla safaris. The park is Uganda’s smallest national park which is boarded by Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda. Mgahinga gorilla national park has the three volcanoes namely Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo and Mountain Muhabura all of which are part of the six Virunga Mountains. Mgahinga National Park harbors the endangered mountain gorilla and the Golden Monkeys. The park is a tropical rain forest comprised of lowland equatorial evergreen forest, tropical seasonal forest, montane rain forests and mountain Bamboo.
Mgahinga National Park is among the ten National Parks in Uganda for tourism and the second national park for specially gorilla tourism. This park is such a beauty that you should not miss out while visiting Uganda. It is under the management of Uganda wildlife Authority, a government body in charge of all the conservation areas in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park
Gorilla trekking activity is one of the life time experiences and it means visiting the gorillas in their natural habitat in the forest, the trek in Mgahinga National Park starts from the Park Headquaters at 7:00am with briefing on the dos and don’ts while moving in the forest and with the gorillas. After briefing, the park guides, rangers, and trackers lead you to the forest to find the gorillas. You are allowed one hour of viewing the gorillas when found and later you return to the starting point to receive a certificate for the successful gorilla trekking in Uganda.
The gorillas are amazing to watch as they have 95% of the human DNA. Only eight visitors allowed to see the habituated gorilla family per day according to Uganda wildlife Authority policy as a way of conservation and protection of the endangered mountain gorillas. To be allowed to do gorilla trekking, you must be aged 15 years and above as per the policy and minors are not allowed to trek since they may not easy be controlled in the forest and may easily transmit diseases to the gorillas. Mgahinga National Park is safe for gorilla trekking, policies and guidelines are in place for trekking and conservation, and safety of trekkers is highly considered as the Forest is protected by the Uganda wildlife Authority and UPDF.
How many gorilla Habituated families are in Mgahinga National park for gorilla trekking?
Mgahinga National park has only one habituated gorilla family for gorilla trekking named Nyakagezi gorilla group. The Nyakagezi gorilla family is composed of 9 members; 4 silver backs, 2 infants, 2 Adults females and 1 juvenile. The dominant silverback is Mark who took over leadership from his father Bugingo. The other members include Mathew and Mafia (silverbacks), Nyiramwiza and Nshuti (adult females), Nkanda (juvenile), Mutagamba and Rukundo (Infant). Bugingo the oldest silverback is believed to be more than 54 years. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park gives you 99% chance of seeing the gorillas in their natural Habitat.
What is the price of the gorilla trekking permit for Mgahinga National Park?
Mgahinga National park has 8 gorilla trekking permits per day, the price of the gorilla trekking permits is cheap compared to Rwanda Gorilla trekking permits and this is makes Uganda good for gorilla trekking as permits are affordable. The gorilla trekking permit costs USD700 per person for Non-Foreign Residents, USD600 for Foreign Residents and Shs.250, 000 for East African Citizens. The gorilla trekking permit allows only one hour of viewing of the gorillas.
The gorilla trekking permits normally sell out so very quickly during the high season (January, February, July, August, September, and December every year. Contact Encounter Africa safaris about your planned trek and desired dates, we shall check availability of permits online system for Uganda Wildlife Authority and if permits are available, we shall send you an invoice to make payment for the permits as they are top priority and if they are not available, you will choose other dates that have availability of permits. Once we receive payment, we shall book and secure your permits and send you copy of the receipt with booking ID to confirm your trek. The process of acquiring the gorilla permits for Mgahinga National Park is easy as permits are secured from Uganda wildlife Authority.
What is the best time for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park?
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park takes Place throughout the Year. The best time to trek gorillas is during the drier months of January, February, June, July, August and early September, these months experience less rainfall though the climate changes every day. Any time of the year, you can visit the gorillas. Sometimes, the rainy season is considered better to see the gorillas as there is a lot of food growing because of rain and gorillas can clearly be spotted. Gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly and all those interested in trekking gorillas during this time should book their gorilla permits in advance.
How to access Mgahinga National Park for Gorilla trekking
Mgahinga gorilla National Park can easily be accessed from Kigali in Rwanda just four hour drive to the Park, through the Chanika boarder between Uganda and Rwanda. The drive from Kigali can start from the Airport /hotel with a city tour of Kigali and then cross into Kisoro district in Uganda for Lunch and overnight. You can also access Mgahinga National park from Entebbe/Kampala, where you will drive approximately 9-10 hours’ drive on Kampala-Mbarara- Kisoro highway to the park. There is also an option of flying from Entebbe international Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip and the flight is about 2 hours into Kisoro Airstrip. There are scheduled flights departing every day with Aerolink Uganda and other flight companies, charter flights are also available. We can tailor your trip and you visit other parks with also a visit to Mgahinga national park for gorilla trekking for an amazing experience.
Where to stay in Mgahinga National Park?
Mgahinga National Park has a number of accommodation choices where you can stay while on your visit. Most of the lodges are found in the out skirts of the forest with a clear view of the forest and the mountain ranges. The Lodges range from Budget to Luxury and these include; Gahinga Lodge which is a luxury hotel, Lake Chahafi Lodge, Lake Muhele Lodge which can serve as for both Midrange and Budget. There is also an option of staying in hotels in Kisoro town, the town is just 30 minutes’ drive to the Park headquarters. Some the travelers opt to stay in Lodges/Camps in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as it is about 1 hour drive to Mgahinga National Park.
Why book with Encounter Africa safaris to Mgahinga National Park for Gorilla trekking?
Encounter Africa safaris offers amazing experiences in Mgahinga National Park, the rest of Uganda, and the East African region as a whole. Contact us on www.gorilla-tracking-uganda,com for our discounted packages and also tailor-made trips. Our magic in organizing authentic experience stems from the fact that we have overtime assembled a team mixed with young and energetic staff guided by well-experienced mature managers and directors who are Ugandans and passionate about what they do. Encounter Africa Safaris is highly rated and reviewed on trip Advisor and safari bookings to help you learn about the experiences of the other travelers who have traveled with us.