Mgahinga Gorilla NP

- Overview Mgahinga Gorilla Safaris

About Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla NP is an alternative destination to Bwindi for mountain gorilla tracking in Uganda. Mgahinga is part of the Virunga Mountains, which are situated in the border area between Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The habituated gorilla group here used to be quite nomadic and sometimes moved across the border, making this park less reliable for gorilla tracking. The group has, however, settled in the area for the last three years and Mgahinga is now considered a reliable option for tracking gorilla.

Size: help
33.7km² / 13mi²
Altitude: help
2,227-4,127m / 7,306-13,540ft
Pros and Cons
  • Mountain gorilla tracking
  • Fantastic scenery with views over volcanic cones
  • Activities include hiking to volcanic peaks, golden monkey tracking, Batwa cultural trail and caving
  • Easier to obtain last minute permits here than in Bwindi
  • The nomadic gorilla group occasionally ventures out of the park
  • Access roads are bad in the rainy season
  • Very expensive gorilla tracking permit

Wildlife

Aside from the endangered mountain gorilla, Mgahinga is home to many other mammal species. However, as in all forests, animals tend to be hard to spot. The very rare golden monkey, endemic to the Albertine Rift, can also be tracked. Other mammals include black-and-white colobus, buffalo, elephant, bushbuck and duiker.
More about the wildlife

Scenery

Mgahinga is Uganda’s smallest park. It forms part of the Virunga Mountains and adjoins with the parks across the borders of Congo and Rwanda. The entire park is at a high altitude, and the views are out of this world. The most prominent feature is the volcanic cones of extinct volcanos in the mountain range.

Weather & Climate

The near-constant threat of rain means that Mgahinga doesn’t have a Dry season as such, although the precipitation eases a little from December to January, even more mid-year. The park’s reputation for being one of Uganda’s coolest places is reflected in the average daytime temperature of 20°C/68°F. You’ll need plenty of warm, waterproof clothing during the dual Wet seasons (February to May and from September to November).
More about the weather and climate

Best Time to Visit

Gorillas can be tracked year-round in Mgahinga. Predictably, the low seasons roughly coincide with the Wet seasons (February to May and from September to November), but be aware that some of the park’s accommodation shuts down in these months. The landscape of the park, dominated by the Virunga Mountains, can be better navigated in the drier months.
More about the best time to visit

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Safari Reviews

- Mgahinga Gorilla
Expert Rating
Wildlife
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
Birding
User Rating
Wildlife
Scenic beauty
Bush vibe help
Birding
Latest User Review
By Ross from CanadaCA
Rating:

A great choice for independent travelers as park permits are much easier to obtain than Bwindi and saves you having to buy at a premium from a tour operator. Fewer tourists, a rugged camping spot, and several excellent (but challenging) hikes make Mg... Full review


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