Mgahinga Nation Park is the smallest park in the whole game parks in Uganda. It covers 33.7km2, it’s located in the western part of Uganda and it shares the boarders with Rwanda and DR Congo. Its 367 km from the Entebbe. Its 482.2km when you use Kabale – Mbarara road. It’s small in size but protects the most expensive tourist activities that is gorillas and other animals plus the birds.it has a very interesting things to visit that were formed by volcanoes. Mgahinga has one group of gorilla to trekk but there always available for the visitors provided you have the permit. Nyakagezi in the only gorilla group you can find in Mgahinga national park. The park covers the slopes of Muhavura, gahinga and sabinyo it’s near to ntebeko headquarters at the altitude of 2227m.It joins volcanoes national park in Rwanda and virunga Nation Park in Congo, this three parks are well known for the mountain gorillas. Mgahinga was at first as area left to keep animals there but later in 1991 it was changed in a national park. Mgahinga has got a lot bamboo trees which attracts the Golden monkeys
MGAHINGA has three volcanoes that provide beautiful scenery to visit and each volcano where named in the local language.
The best place to get accommodation is in up-market lodges in Kisoro town, camping at the park entrance and around Ntebeko visit center
Wildlife in Mgahinga
When we talk about a bout wild life we mean both animals birds that live in bush or forest. Mgahinga national park is the home to 76 mammalian species of which the most know for the tour are the gorillas and the golden monkeys Mgahinga has got a lot of birds and animals and this include Gorillas, elephants monkeys, buffalos, bush pig. The birds spices are just 115species include white-necked raven, black kite double collared sunbird half of the population of this species live in virunga and the rest live near bwindi impenetrable, the bamboo zone is occupied by the golden monkeys
Local people around Mgahinga national park
In the early years before the park was established Mgahinga was well known as the habitant of the Batwa tribe, which is called pigmies. The settled in this place because it had a lot of fruits and animals they could feed on and their main activity was hunting because the park had a lot of animals. Currently you can find them within the park and around still doing their activities of fruit collecting and illegal hunting .as the war in Rwanda was taking place, some of the Rwandese moved to the boarder of Uganda in kisoro and intermarriage with Bakiga in Uganda forming the tribe called Bafumbira. Currently at the edges of the park you will find Bafumbira tribe dominating the district of Kisoro. The Bafumbira practice farming around the edges of the park
When to visit Mgahinga Park?
The park has an average temperature of 1500c during day and at night the temperature drops to 1000c.the park experiences two climatic weather conditions, it have two dry seasons in the year i.e. may-august and December to February, the park also have two wet seasons in the year i.e. march-April and September-November, the park is covered with mist making it difficult to move around the park, the best season to visit the park is dry season because it’s easy for movement and animals are seen everywhere
HOW TO ACCESS THE PARK?
Mgahinga is located in southwestern corner of Uganda, they are various routes you can use to access the park but the easiest is via Mbarara- Kabale road, Mgahinga is 482.2km from Entebbe international airport and 493.7km from Kampala. When you’re from Rwanda its more nearly, it’s around 142km.
Mgahinga national park can be accessed by daily flights also at Entebbe international airport to kisoro everyday
Other activities in and outside Mgahinga national park
During the volcanic explosion of the mountain especially the block down of volcanoes of the Ruhuma led to the information of Crater Lake called Lake Bunyonyi and is the second deepest lake in Africa. Various activities can be Dan on this lake and this include, fishing, boat cruise, swimming and many others
- Mutanda lies 15km from Mgahinga in north direction and it was formed as a result of volcanic dam. It has a nice resort and its 16km from kisoro town, one the lake you can view the cross of island and water flows to virunga volcanoes. You can catch fish and rust it when it’s still fresh, you can enjoy the beach water on the shores of the lake
TOURIST ACTIVITIES TO DO
The best you can enjoy for your visit in Uganda is gorilla trekking, it’s quite expensive but very amusing and memorable thing you will never forget in life, to go for gorilla trekking you need to book a permit with UWA or you can use African jungle adventure to buy a permit for you. Mgahinga has only one group of gorilla called Nyakagezi there always available. The gorilla tracking fee includes guide fee, park entrance fee for the day and community development contribution
Ntebeko visitor center
This is where the park activities are arranged from. It provides a wide view of the Mgahinga and the surround areas. It’s free of charge to enter there and no need of guide
Golden monkey tracking
Golden monkey are very interesting to see when they are playing in bamboo trees, the leave in bamboo Forest on the slopes of Mt.Gahinga in Mgahinga national park, the golden monkey are bright orange-gold body. The share homes with the mountain gorilla and other species in the park. Golden monkey tracking permits changes the price per period defined, no one is allowed to reach the platform without paying entrance fee.
The park has got three different volcanoes to visit, you can spend more than an hour climbing the mountain and have the full view of the park the volcanoes are Mt.Gahinga, Mt. Sabinyo and Mt.muhavura. When you’re at the top of these volcanoes you can view virunga volcanoes, Bwindi impenetrable forest and Lake Edward
Bird watching in Mgahinga can be done throughout the year; they don’t have specific season there always available within the park however the best time to view is April-may and October during rainy season. Mgahinga has its owner record of 115species to see that motivates people to visit the park
More of the historical background, how the used to collect their food, how the slept, how do they marry, how the earned the standard of leaving all this information can be got when you visit the batwa representative