Mgahinga National Park in Uganda
Mgahinga National Park is located in about 14 km from Kisoro in south western Uganda bordering Rwanda (South) and Congo (west).
The park covers the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes i.e Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), Mt. Muhavura (4127 m) and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m) in the North with 33.7 sq.km of land i.e 8% of the Virunga Conservation Area. Getting to this destination requires only 15 minutes from Ntebeko Gate.
The park has favorable climatic conditions that enable the growth and conservation flora and fauna like the endangered species of Mountain Gorillas along the Mountain which often transfer to the top and bottom depending on the weather condition.
Activities at Mgahinga National Park in Uganda
Gorilla tracking involves moving from place to place in search of the endangered species of Mountain Gorillas in thick montane green vegetation rain fore.
The prominent Gorilla group tracked here is the habituated Nyakagezi Gorilla group that has 9 members i.e 2 Silver backs, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants/ babies.
The group is never constant for it usually moves from one destination to another which makes it hard to to trek them down there fore, we recommend visitors to find out the group’s current location before tracking.
This activity will take a day in company of an experienced guide who has adequate knowledge about this group and the forest as well.
This will make tracking them more easier. While trekking, you will spot and encounter other mysteries of nature like the birds, terrain & thick vegetation, wild flora including the flowers.
Various species of Birds can be spotted at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and these include approximately 79 different endemic species that can be seen in the gorge with in Mt. Gahiga and Mt. Sabinyo.
While on a trail through the forests in the gorge, you will spot birds like the Cape Robin-chat, Dusky turtle Dove Olive Thrush, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Kivu-ground Thrush Bronze Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Black-headed Waxbill, Rwenzori Batis, and Streaky Seed eater.
Visit the Uganda- Congo border at about 2,700m you will see the beautiful Rwenzori Turaco interacting lively within its habitat as well as the environment. While there, you will also see and hear high vocals/ sounds coming out of different bird species like the Chubb’s Cisticola, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Banded Prinia and Doherty’s Bush-shrike.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Visit Mgahinga National Park to discover extraordinary mysteries of nature like the wild thick forest vegetation, bamboo forests, Rugezi swamp, forest birds along with the close by lakes and agricultural communities.
Visitors can take on a 4 hours hike via Rugezi swamp and the forest into the Sabinyo Gorge where various birds can be seen in the air like the Rwenzori Turaco. If you are interested in bird watching don’t miss out on this activity.
There are also vegetation zones with calderas at the apex of Gisozi hill that can be spotted while on the walk towards the Congo border. On your way to visit the Kisoro and Bunagana towns, you will spot the magnificent Lake Mutanda with clear fresh waters.
Mountain Sabyinyo Volcano (366m)
Mt. Sabinyo comprises of 3 defying peaks for climbing despite them wearing out as time goes by. When a visitor ascends up the mountain using the Eastern part of the peak, they will spot various crests according to how far they will go up.
For example, as you continue climbing, you will get to peak 11 that involves hiking a ridge into the gorges of Rwanda and Uganda an experience that will leave you thinking about the various mysteries of nature.
This is very difficult and quite challenging due to the fact that while climbing up, it is very hard for one to stay clean/ tidy since the techniques used involve hands on and are not flexible enough like ladders, pulp struggling etc. At the top you will see all the three countries i.e Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mountain Gahinga Volcano (3474m)
Mt. Gahinga is found near Mt. Muhavura in form of a stack known as a “Gahinga” in the local language. This appears bigger than the normal pile although when compared to Mt. Muhavura, it is very small.
You will take approximately 6 hrs walking through the thick Bamboo forest to the top.Before, the mountain had a crater lake at the top that has transformed into a grassy swamp over time and one only takes 8 km to reach this venue.
Mountain Muhavura Volcano (4127m)
Mt. Muhavura is a unique funnel shaped mountain located strategically in a region that provides exceptional views of the flora and fauna around the park as well as the country.
On your way up, you will pass through stony surfaces covered by grass and candid shrubs. This will take about 8 hrs about 12 km to the top where you will see the great Virunga volcanoes, Bwindi Forest National Park, Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park, peaks of Rwenzori Mountains etc .