How to plan a Mgahinga gorilla and golden monkey safari from Kigali
How to plan a Mgahinga gorilla and golden monkey safari from Kigali Rwanda. Securing the Mgahinga National Park gorilla and golden monkey trekking permits is top priority as you plan this primate safari. From Kigali in Rwanda, you get into Uganda via the Cyanika and Gatuna border, then to Mgahinga National Park. In case you must possess a visa before entry into both Uganda and Rwanda, purchasing the East African visa is the best decision. Both Uganda and Rwanda are in the East African community, and the East African visa allows you entry into two East African countries.
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Mgahinga National Park currently has one gorilla trekking family called Nyakagezi. This gorilla family had a history of wandering into Rwanda so its gorilla permits were sold according to availability. At the moment, the Nyakagezi gorilla family is fully living in Uganda and gorilla permits can be pre-booked
Identify the category of accommodation you are to use on gorilla safari and reserve it upon confirming your gorilla permit. Mgahinga National Park has limited accommodation options because it is one of the less visited Uganda National Parks.
Mgahinga National Park is home to the golden monkeys and these live in communities but you need to secure a golden monkey permit for the trek or golden monkey habituation experience. Both the gorilla permits and Golden Monkey trekking permits require booking because the demand for them is overwhelmingly high, yet supply is limited to a maximum of 8 per day.
How To Plan Mgahinga gorilla and golden monkey safari
Book Gorilla and Golden Monkey Permits
Select the dates you hope to be on gorilla and golden monkey safari in Mgahinga National Park. Remember that gorilla trekking is one day, and Golden Monkey Safari also has its day. You must know the number of people you hope to do this primate safari with as you avoid going back and forth with checking availability.
When enquire from us about your gorilla and golden monkey safari stating all the necessary details about your safari details. Our tours consultant checks availability of the gorilla and golden monkey safari permits from the list of Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Upon confirming these primate permits, we advise clients to secure theirs as soon as possible because they sell out fast.
Later, some personal details are required to be added to the gorilla and golden monkey permit cards. Your full name as presented on the passport, nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date, and others.
Reserve accommodation for this gorilla and golden monkey safari
Although Mgahinga National Park has limited choices of accommodations to use during this primate safari. These accommodations are graded according to luxury, mid-range and budget facilities.
Just like the scarce gorilla permits, accommodations to use on gorilla and golden monkey safari in Mgahinga National Park booked in advance. Chances to having a variety of options are slimmer during the high tourism season.
Mgahinga accommodations: Gahinga Lodge, Volcanoes Camp, Traveller’s Inn, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Mgahinga gorilla Triangle, Majambere Iwachu, Community Camp.
Secure transport to use during gorilla and golden monkey safari
Booking the means of transportation to use during the gorilla and golden monkey safari from Kigali to Mgahinga National Park is very important. You may travel by road or by air, depending on your budget and transport preferences.
To get into Uganda from Rwanda, the Gantuna and Cyanika borders are the entry points. The drive time from Kigali to Mgahinga National Park is about 5 to 6 hours, driving on winding roads but very scenic. You pass via Kabale to Kisoro, then Mgahinga National Park.
You can fly from Kigali Airport to Entebbe Airport to connect with the daily domestic flight in Uganda to Kisoro airstrip. You need a transfer vehicle to your lodge. Charter flight services are available too. In case you wish to use on-ground transport from Entebbe or Kampala city, that option is applicable especially if you have enroute stopovers.
Identify additional activities to combine with gorilla and golden monkey safari in Uganda through Kigali.
When in Uganda, you have a variety of activities you can add to your gorilla and golden monkey safari itinerary. While on this Uganda safari, you may combine gorilla and golden monkey safaris with chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park, game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, a Launch trip in Murchison Falls National Park, birding in Uganda, mountaineering, and others.
Adding these Uganda safari activities to this primate adventure in advance saves you from moving back and forth with making preparations. Even when costing this gorilla and golden monkey safari, you get the budget to help you make payments upfront.
How much is a gorilla and golden monkey safari in Mgahinga National Park from Kigali?
We package our safaris according to luxury, mid-range and budget arrangements. The universal cost in all these categories is the cost of gorilla and golden monkey permits. At the moment, the gorilla permit costs $800, while the golden monkey permit costs $60 per person per trek. If you opt for golden monkey habituation experience, the permit costs $100 per person per trek.
When costing for gorilla and golden monkey safari, some of the below are considered:
The number of days on safari, additional activities to combine with gorilla and golden monkey safari, number of people on safari, time of booking this primate safari and others.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, our priorities are customer satisfaction and helping you make great memories of your encounter with some of the world’s endangered primates.
When can I Book Gorilla And Golden Monkey safari in Mgahinga National Park from Kigali?
Any time is gorilla and golden monkey safari day; however, the most preferred is the dry season. The dry season is normally June, July, August, September, December and January. In this period, the precipitation in the forest is normally lower, giving mountain gorillas a chance to wander freely in the wilderness.c
The trails are passable, and rivers flow within the normal course. The forest has other active occupants like black and white colobus, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, and others. These may be easier to spot during the dry season and a wide range of birds, including Albertine endemics.
You need to book the gorilla and golden monkey permits in advance at least 6 months to a year upfront to avoid last-minute inconveniences when permit availability is no more. Last minute gorilla or golden monkey permits are hard to find in the peak season.
Low season gorilla and golden monkey permits may be available at the last minute but a guarantee all the time. You need to book because demand for these permits changes anytime, no matter the season.
How Long is gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking safari?
The duration of gorilla and golden monkey adventures is hard to determine. The mountain gorillas and golden monkeys are free animals without restrictions on where to go. This makes it challenging to determine the time of this primate safari. Some tourists have found the mountain gorillas in two hours while others have spent more time, and so are the golden monkeys. During the search to locate the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. Having an open mind saves you from getting tired and bored.
Have some patience before finding the mountain gorillas or golden monkeys so as not to loose the morale and zeal that prompted you to go on gorilla and golden monkey safari.
Upon finding the mountain gorillas or the golden monkeys during the trekking safari, only one hour is allowed with them. If you engage in a golden monkey habituation experience in Mgahinga National Park, four hours are permitted with these semi-habituated primates. This is because they are conserved to be in front of these humans for just that time so as to allow them time to go on with the running of their day to day activities.
Note that the presence of humans disrupts a number of these primates’ daily activities, yet, for example, they have to feed a good amount of foliage that can support their huge bodies day and night.
Is Gorilla and Golden Monkey Safari difficult?
True golden monkey and gorilla safaris are strenuous because of the nature of the topography where these primates spend their day. The area is generally hilly with highlands and on whose slopes and deep valley mountain gorillas or golden monkeys spend part of their time. Mgahinga National Park has three of the 6 Virunga volcanoes that make up its topography that is mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo and mountain Muhavura.
Sometimes, you may be required to hike to get where they are. The trails sometimes get soggy and slippery from the rains that fall without warning, creating a messy path. When you tripe, you may wish to hold a tighter grip but may land your palms on stinging nettles.
Having some level of fitness supports you to get to where the mountain gorillas may be lounging or feeding. Hiring a porter to help you carry your gorilla and golden monkey gear saves you from being dragged behind as you search for the mountain gorillas. The porter gives you a push when tired.
Can I Do gorilla Trekking and Golden Monkey safari on the same day in Mgahinga National Park?
Gorilla trekking is a one-day activity, and it is hard to determine the state you will be in after the gorilla trek. This is why you cannot arrange gorilla trekking and golden monkey safari on the same day. Your return time from gorilla trekking is still being determined because the area has so many highlands. You may be tired by the end of the gorilla trek in Mgahinga National Park, and then you may be unable to carry on with the golden monkey trek.
It is best to do one activity at a time in order to enjoy this gorilla and golden safari adventure. The joy of being just a few meters from the only leftover mountain gorilla in the world is unmatched. You get a sense of connection with the mountain gorillas when standing face-to-face with them. The golden monkeys are forest entertainers.
What are the Guidelines of Gorilla and golden monkey safari in Mgahinga National Park?
- Preserving the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in their habitats is key for any primate safari, but having fun and making memories is important, too. Some of the guidelines set to strike a balance between conservation and creating safari memories for visitors include:
- In case you catch a communicable infection like flu, cough, covid-19 volunteer to stay behind so as not to pass such infections to these already vulnerable primates.
- Keep your voices low when walking to find the mountain gorillas or golden monkeys because you may scare them. These primates fear unfamiliar voices in their presence.
- No flash photography is allowed when taking photos for the gorilla trekking and golden monkey adventure. This scares the mountain gorillas.
- Never eat or smoke before the mountain gorillas because it may be harmful to their health
- Littering in the forest is forbidden because it alters the natural setting where mountain gorillas feed. The mountain gorillas are vegetarian, and this may slowly reduce their food.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, do not surround them. This makes them feel ambushed.
- Ask the ranger guide to dig a hole about 30 cm deep in case you wish to do a long call. You need to everything beyond recognition.
- Anyone below 15 years is not allowed to do gorilla trekking or golden monkey safari
- because the time of locating these primates has yet to be discovered, and some patience is needed to complete this trek.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas or golden monkeys, keep a distance of about 8 meters from them. To reduce the chances of passing a communicable infection to them.
- Never spit on the vegetation because it’s food for the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. It is unhealthy and disgusting too.
- Provoking or teasing the mountain gorillas or golden monkeys may agitate them, causing them to go into hiding.
Contact us for more information.