Welcome to the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, located in south-western Uganda, it is the smallest national park in Uganda but one of the only four protected areas in the world to inhabit man’s closest apes, mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas roam about the whole forest of Mgahinga in search for food.
Since many travelers enjoy trekking these endangered primates and yet they are rarely seen; can only be viewed from Bwindi and Mgahinga (Uganda), Volcanoes (Rwanda), and Virunga (Democratic Republic of Congo), there is no doubt that Mgahinga Gorilla national park is one of the leading tourism sites in Uganda since it harbors these rare primates.
Mgahinga is a favorite destination for taking your gorilla trekking safari from because it has a thick rain forest with a wide variety of tree species and gorillas are known to be vegetarians. There is enough food for them in the park and this is the reason why some even migrate from Congo and Rwanda to this place.
Though not in large numbers, gorillas of Mgahinga are easily seen in their natural habitats and this makes tracking easier as compared to other parks. You will get a welcoming atmosphere from the minute you step in the Park, which is an evidence of adventure filled of natural beauty.
The treks in the thick forests of Mgahinga are led by well-trained Park Rangers and this activity offers an experience of a lifetime though somehow challenging – it is not advisable for ill/sick individuals to go for the activity (gorilla trekking). While in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park gorilla trekking safaris start from Ntebeko Entrance gate at around 07:30am where trekkers will first be briefed before heading to the thick forests to trek the mountain gorillas, an activity which will last for 1-4 hours depending on where the primates spent their previous night.
Once you have searched and found the gorillas, a trekker is expected to budget for his/her time thoroughly well – enjoying their behaviors and taking photos, since the maximum time allowed to spend/interact with them is only one hour. The trekking of mountain gorillas is done in groups of eight individuals per trekking group and each group will be led by a local professional Park Ranger who will help you spot the gorillas easily due to his professionalism and the fact that he spends much of his time in the Park, thus knowing where these great apes mostly spend their nights.
In Mgahinga, there are various high-quality accommodations where travelers will base while enjoying the amazing activity of gorilla trekking which in turn offers an experience of a lifetime and all trekkers go with great memorable escapades. Some of the mostly recommended accommodations in Mgahinga include the Mount Mgahinga Lodge, Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Kisoro Traveler’s Hotel and Mucha Hotel.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park comprises of about 100 mountain gorilla individuals but there is only one habituated gorilla family that is open to trekkers and this is called Nyakagezi gorilla family.
A gorilla permit in Uganda is very much affordable as it costs only US$ 600. The gorilla permit in Uganda can only be purchased from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Kamwokya, Kampala, and it can either be got directly through contacting UWA or by your chosen local tour agency that will have booked your entire safari, such as Eco Tours Rwanda, one of the leading and most reliable tour agencies in East Africa.