Mgahinga national park is known to be the smallest national park in uganda and it’s found in the southwestern region in Kisoro district and borders rwanda as well as democratic republic of Congo. The national park has an area cover of 33.7 square kilometers. Mgahinga national park was gazette in 1991 with an aim to conserve the endangered mountain gorillas.
The national park is a habitat to 39 mammals such as the elephants, buffaloes, gorillas, golden monkeys, giant forest hogs among others, 115 bird species as well as the three Virunga volcanoes such as muhavura, gahinga and sabinyo.
ATTRACTIONS IN MGAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
The national park is famous for having a number of gorillas due to its green vegetation that is a habitat to the endangered species. The gorillas within Mgahinga national park live in families with individuals. Within the national park there’s only one habituated gorilla family known as the nyakagezi gorilla family. The nyakagezi gorilla family is the easiest gorilla family to be trekked by tourists.
The national park is blessed with the golden monkey species that is rarely seen in the bamboo forests of Virunga as well as other national parks. The national park has a range of 42 to 60 golden monkeys that are habituated and ready to be trekked by tourists.
The ngarama cave lies beneath a plateau in the north edge of the national park and its just 3 kilometers from ntebeko. The cave was used by the Batwa as a council chamber and a retreat.
ACTIVITIES IN MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
Gorilla trekking is the most done activity within Mgahinga national park. The national park is a home to the endangered mountain gorillas as well as other gorilla safari destination which include Bwindi national park in uganda, volcanoes national park in rwanda and Virunga national park in the democratic republic of Congo. The trek starts with a briefing about rules and regulation at the park headquarters. After the trekking starts with an experienced guide and it takes 30 to 7 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas are located.
GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING
The national park gives the tourists an opportunity to search for the golden monkeys. Mgahinga gorilla national park is the only safari destination with the endangered golden monkeys. The golden monkey trekking takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on their location.
The Mgahinga gorilla national park has 3 dormant volcanoes where tourists can do hiking adventures. These include gahinga volcano which is 3474 meters above sea level and it’s the smallest of the 3 volcanoes within the park. The hike takes around 6hours depending on the hiking speed. Mount sabinyo is 3669meters above sea level and the hike takes 8hours round trip. Mount muhavura which is the highest volcano of the three volcanic mountains within Mgahinga national park. The mountain is elevated at a height of 4127 meters above sea level and the hike takes 10 hours.
The national park is blessed with over 115 bird species which makes it the best birding safari destination in Uganda. Mgahinga national park has many birding destinations such as the bamboo belt, the gorge trail that is in-between gahinga and sabinyo, montane forest among others. Tourists are able to spot a number of bird species such as brown crowned Tchagra, regal sunbird, blue headed sunbird among others.
The national park was formally a home to the Batwa tribe before it was gazetted to a national park. The trail starts with a prayer and later meet the Batwa people to explore their ancient cultures as well as their ancient ways. While on the trail the tourists get an opportunity where they get skills of honey harvesting, gathering and hunting skills, fire by rubbing two dry sticks against each other, visit to the ngarama cave among others.