Interested in booking a flying safari to Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, look no further as Encounter Africa Safaris will provide you a with the best things to consider before booking a flying safari to Mgahinga National Park taking into consideration all new normal norms of social distancing, and covid SOPS. Our packages come in all budgets and by send through a request we will have one of our consultants getting back to you in on time.
This is one of the smallest national parks in Uganda but scenic and with a lot to see while here. The park is located in the South Western Part of Uganda, the park sits high in the clouds at an altitude between 2227m and 4127m. Park is Located in Kisoro District and covers an area of 33.7 square kilometers. It’s one of the homes for the remaining mountain Gorillas, Gorillas in East Africa are only found in 3 national parks; namely Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Volcanoes national Park and Mgahinga National Park. It’s the only park in Uganda we Gorillas Co-Exist with Golden Money which has left a saying ‘’Where Gold Meets Silver’’ implying to the Gorillas and Golden monkeys.
Mgahinga National Park forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. It is bordered by is bordered to the south by the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and to the west by the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.
Traditionally safaris to Mgahinga where done by road and many travelers didn’t fancy to visit the Park just because of the 8-9 hours’ drive that is involved from Entebbe to the park but with now the option to fly, this has made it much easier to do safaris to the less congested park and another option to visit when no Gorilla permits in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The flights here take an approximate time of just one hour to the park. Aerolink and FlyUganda are the operators in the region. All flights land in Kisoro Airstrip and your driver picks you and drive to the park where you will have booked for the night and its just 45 minutes’ drive. The flights are available all year round.
One important thing to note is that because of the weather in Kisoro being near Bwindi and Mgahinga National parks is very unpredictable and all flights are scheduled for morning while it’s still calm. The winds in the afternoon make it unfavorable for any flights to go there.
Sometimes flights take a little long to let there or leave because they do sometimes connect via Kihihi Airstrip and Kasese in case they have clients to Pick up or drop off as they proceed.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be visited all year round but the best time to visit the park is during the warmest and driest months – December to March and June to October. During the drier months tracking is much easier but the Gorillas and Golden Monkeys move much further as they look for food. This does not meaning that tracking cannot be done in the wet season. The chances to see Gorillas are much less the same as during the drier months of the year.
Booking is done all year round and travelers are required to make advance booking on all services. Flights to get availability and permits before they sell out as well accommodation. At Encounter Africa Safaris we ensure that once you send an inquiry to us, all services are booked for your tour and we recommend booking a trip at least two months before the date but nevertheless even last minute bookings can be made if services are available so send through that inquiry and one of our consultants we respond back to you within no time.
There are quite a number of activities that one can do while in on a fly in safari in Mgahinga National Park, which options you can only get if you opt for a fly in package. Among these are below.
This is by far the most common activity available in the region with Gorilla permits required to be booked in advance. Gorilla permits go for USD700.00 per person and one is required to make booking at least 3 months in advance. Contact us and our safari consultants will check for you availability.
Mgahinga has one Gorilla family Nyakagezi group, the group is comprised of 9 members with 4 silverbacks, 2 infants, 2 Adult females and 1 juvenile. The head of the family is Mark who took over the leadership from this father Bugingo who is believed to be more than 55 years old. The uniqueness of this group is that the silverback Bugingo still lives with the group which is a rare case as take over usually results from a fight and the looser is banished and left into isolation or dies.
These are beautiful primate species that inhabit in Bamboo forests of the Virunga ranges and not anywhere else. They live in families of about 40-60 troops so visitors who do this activity are in for a treat and those in this for photography they are very eye catching. This activity also starts at the same time as Gorilla tracking with briefing at 7:30am.
Also you have the option to do Golden monkey habituation experience which gives you an up-close experience with the Golden monkeys and also more details from the researchers.
Golden monkey permit costs USD90.00 for normal tracking meaning its an affordable option for those who cannot afford the USD700.00 for the Gorilla permit. The activity is new and a very interesting one to watch, the most interesting thing is it can either be morning or afternoon trek depending on what you book, this activity can be done on the same day you arrive from Entebbe. Encounter Africa Safaris helps you book your tour and secures your permits as well.
Batwa community are one of the oldest communities that have lived around the Virunga National park and they were hunters and fruit gatherers, they are very short people (pygmies). More than 80% of the batwa community today are landless after they were relocated from the forests when Bwindi and Mgahinga where gazette into National park by UNESCO to conserve the forests as they were also homes for the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Formally they depended on forests for all their livelihood and medicines for years, moving them out of the forest created great disruption in there way of life and forced them to reside along the park edges where they have now thrived for years.
The formation of the United Organization for the Batwa Development in Uganda has helped improve their livelihood through setting up programs to enrich them and introduce them to the modern life through activities to promote agriculture to them and development projects to supplement their source of incomes.
The Batwa trails. A nature walk that was put in place for visitors to go through and experience the day to day life of the batwa as you get to see how they cook, their kind of houses, traditional foods and dances. The money that is raised goes directly to providing services to the batwa in form of health services. The crafts go to providing a livelihood to the person that you buy from. Book and we will secure a walk thorugh the life of the batwa people.
Volcanoes hiking. Thess are available and can be done in a day. The Virunga range hiking experience for the 3 mountains of Sabinyo, Muhabura and Gahinga. This experience can be done in a day and starts at 8:00am so meaning one can catch a plan from Entebbe and still make it in time for the hike. Mount Muhabura being the highest at 4127m followed by Mount Sabinyo at 3667m high and lastly Mount Gahinga at 3473m.
Bird watching. Uganda being a birding haven for the bird lovers boosting over 1050 birds species, Mgahinga National Park is not one to exclude and also hosts some of the endemics and those interested in birding can follow trails to find these birds in this national park. Encounter Africa safaris works with an experienced team of Bird guides and also the ground team at Mgahinga National Park to ensure that you get the best service while on your birding trip.
Accommodation. Mgahinga National Park offers a variety of options to choose from on where stay with budgets ranging from budget to mid-range and luxury accommodation. Suites all budgets and are all in a drivable distance of just one hour from the Airstrip.
Encounter Africa Safaris remains the best suited company to contact in all your tour related activities and provides professional services. We have come up with a Covid 19 Healthy Policy including all New normal SOPS that we follow. We offer packages ranging from 3 days to any number of days you have and our packages come in all budgets and ranges. Contact us and you will not regret choosing us. We are highly recommended in Trip advisor and safari bookings.
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