Mountain Gorilla Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National ParkMgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahiga Gorilla National Park offers such a rich diversity of sights to explore making it the perfect place to visit for a safari. Mgahinga is simply exciting and magical small park with the endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.

The beautiful Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the far south western part of Uganda bordering both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lieing on the northern slopes of Muhabura at 4127m, Mgahinga at 3474m and Sabyinyo at 3645, these three volcanoes create an unforgettable regional backdrop and they mark the southern limit of the Albertine Rift Valley.

The park derives its name from Gahinga which the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.

The population of the endangered mountain gorilla is grown to 1000 and they can only be found in the Virunga Massif including Virunga National Park in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo Mgahinga and Bwindi in Uganda. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, is part of the part of the bigger Virunga Conservation Area, jointly protected area with Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga’s small area is supplemented by those of two larger, adjoining parks in Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park) and DR Congo (Virunga National Park).

Wildlife in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga National Park is home to over 39 mammals of these including the Mountain gorillas, buffaloes and elephants, the endangered golden monkeys, giant forest hogs, bushbucks, leopards, spotted hyenas, black fronted duikers among others.

Mountain gorillas and Golden monkeys are the most sought-after wildlife in this park. The park has only one group that is tracked which is the Nyakagezi gorilla group though before this group of Gorillas could migrate from one country to another until it finally made Mgahinga its home. The park has 9 habituated gorillas 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants which make gorilla trekking possible.

The Virunga conservation area has over 250 bird species with Mgahinga inhabiting over 115 bird species with some of these species are endemic to the Albertine rift valley including White-necked raven, Black kite, Pin-tailed whydah, Double-collared sunbird, Speckled mouse bird, Paradise flycatcher, Ibis, Whydah, Speckled Mouse birds, Fire Finch Stonechat, Grey Capped Warbler, WaxbillsYellow-Vented Bulbul, Alpine chat, Alpine, Archer’s robin-chat, Blue-headed coucal, Dusky crimson wing, Kivu ground-thrush, Olive pigeon, Olive woodpecker, Ruwenzori batis, Ruwenzori nightjar, Ruwenzori turaco

Activities in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park,one of the smallest of Uganda National Parks has alot of activities to offer including the experiential and adventurous Hikers and Climbers, Gorilla trekking, off of the beaten Path and Golden Monkey Trekking.

Gorilla tacking: This is the most breathtaking activity done in the park, and it is only Nyakagezi gorilla group that is tracked in this park. This activity needs when you are physically okay since its quite challenging such as moving in the forest, valleys and the steep slopes. The tracking could last 2 hours, 4 hours or a day.

Mountain climbing: There is nothing as thrilling and adventurous as climbing the 3 volcanoes. You can climb each to the summit in one day. Mt. Muhavura can be climbed in 8 hours covering around 12km. the best views like peaks of Mt. Rwenzori, Virunga volcanoes, Bwindi forest, L. Edward in Queen Elizabeth national park. Mt. Gahinga can be hiked in around 6 hours and the distance covered is about 8 km. Mt. Sabinyo can be hiked in 8 hours, and hiking to the top is quiet challenging but it is a great and an adventurous with a remarkable experience of being in 3 countries at ago; Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Birding: Mgahinga National park has different bird species around 79 species and birding can be carried out through the bamboo forest, in the gorge between Mts. Sabinyo and Gahinga, and in the montane forest where you can easily see the Rwenzori Turaco.

Hiking and Nature walks: This is done around the edges of the mountains and it is a very interesting activity where hikers do it around the wild vegetation, bamboo forests, the Rugezi swamp which gives them a chance to have beautiful scenic views of agricultural areas, surrounding lakes like Lake Mutanda and also forest birds.

Golden monkey tracking: The endangered golden monkeys are amazing to watch with in the trees, and one should not miss out on this activity while on a safari in Mgahinga.

Cultural Encounters: Mgahinga has been a home to the indigenous group of the Batwa, whereby they stay, hunt, feed, and do all their other activities in the forests. So while visitors are in Mgahinga they can have a visit to the Batwa’s home steads to see how they live, dress, eat, dance among others, it’s a culture like no other.

Accommodation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Since the park is located near Kisoro town, they are various accommodation facilities ranging from Campsites, Budget, midrange to Luxurious lodges and they include;

  • Mount Mgahinga lodge: This lodge is located on the edges of the virunga volcanoes, and it provides a great ambiance together with great spectacular views.
  • Mgahinga Rest Camp: This camp is located near Mgahinga national park, staying here gives you an opportunity of being in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda
  • Traveler’s Nest Hotel: This a hotel in south western Uganda outside Kisoro offering spectacular views of the Virunga volcanoes.
  • Clouds Mountain Gorilla lodge: This lodge in the Sothern part of Bwindi Impenetrable where you can do all the activities in Mgahinga.
  • Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge:  This is near Mgahinga National park, while at this lodge there are impressive views of the volcanoes

How to get to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The Park is 510km from Kampala and you can be accessed by either Road or Air.


It takes 9-10 hours drive from Kampala to Mgahinga, covering 510 km, this route is tarmacked and a bit mountainous and steep or from Kabale town passing near the beautiful lake Bunyonyi to Kabale – Kisoro tarmac which will take 14km from Kisoro to the park.


The park can be accessed by air with Aerolink at Entebbe International airport to Kisoro air field in Nyakabande.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can also be accessed through Kigali Rwanda as the park is 3hours from Rwanda and less tiring than driving from Kampala to Mgahinga.

When to visit and climate in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

The Park is open for visits the whole year though the best time is during the drier seasons from June to August and December to January. At this time the trails tend to be easier to navigate and spending a precious hour with the gorillas might be more pleasant when it isn’t raining.

Quick Facts

Located: Kisoro District of far south-western Uganda
Best Time to Go:
June to August and December to January
High Season:
June to September (Gorilla permits are scarce)
Size: 34km² / 13mi²
Altitude: 2,227-4,127m / 7,306-13,540ft

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