Mgahinga Gorilla national park is part of the bigger Virunga Conservation Area, now jointly protected area with Congo and Rwanda. This park adjoins Rwanda’s volcano, and the democratic republic of Congo’s virunga national parks. Though it is very important as it is one of the two parks in Uganda that are habitat for the endangered mountain gorillas. Mgahinga gorilla national park is situated in south western Uganda, in Kisoro district. Mgahinga gorilla national park experiences two wet seasons in the year that is February to May, and September to December.
Species: There are 76 mammal species recorded, including buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, golden monkeys, leopards. 115 bird species have been recorded, including Ruwenzori Turaco, crowned hornbill, black kite and crowned crane. Mgahinga hosts a population of golden monkeys and a few families of mountains gorillas. This park was once a home to the mountain gorillas but then they migrated to Rwanda in the Volcanoes.
Gorilla Tracking: This is the most thrilling tourist activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The habituated gorilla in this park is called the Nyakagezi, which consists of 9 members, 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants. Gorilla tracking is an intensive experience that can take the whole day. The guide leads you through the gorilla’s world, explaining aspects of their ecology and behavior along the way. We must stress that, while you have a very good chance of seeing gorillas, success is NOT guaranteed. They are wild creatures with no fixed routine, and finding them requires the skill and experience of your trackers and guides, as well as luck. The trackers and guides have helped to habituate the gorilla groups and know them intimately. They will take you to the area where they left the gorillas the day before. Before leaving they may be able to suggest how long the hike might be. While walking, please feel free to ask guides to slow down if they are going too fast and if you need a rest. Feel free to stop and look at birds or flowers, the guide will ensure that you don’t get left behind.
Gorilla Tracking can be strenuous walk, so go prepared. It is advisable that you:
1. Wear shoes with good traction, suitable for steep muddy slopes
2. Carry rain gear, sunscreen and a hut, as the weather is unpredictable.
3. Carry water and food
4. Carry binoculars, you will see much more, you can hire from our office.
5. When taking photos, remember your subjects are black animals in dim light, and flash is not allowed.
Good Manners for Gorilla Watchers
• Keep your voice down or be quiet. You will see and hear if you do.
• Don’t point or waive your arms- this can be seen as a threat. Move slowly.
• If approached by a gorilla, back away slowly to keep 5m separation.
• Don’t use flash, this could threaten the gorillas and bother other visitors.