Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: 2nd best Gorilla Park in Uganda

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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: 2nd best Gorilla Park in Uganda

Mgahinga National Park was gazetted in 1991 and it includes parts of Muhavura, Mgahinga and Sabinyo Volcanic Mountains. The summit of Muhavura has a small crater lake and forms the highest point (4127m) in the park. The summit areas are dominated by wart and dwarf heath vegetation. This emerges into bamboo and broad leaved montane forest down the mountains. The lower slopes have high altitude Savannah woodland with lost of lichens and mosses. The park has one habituated gorilla group, although this group sometimes crosses the border into Rwanda, which means Mgahinga is not a reliable spot for viewing gorillas. There are 76 mammal species recorded, including buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, golden monkeys, leopards. 115 bird species have been recorded, including Rwenzori turacco, crowned hornbill, black kite and crowned crane. Mgahinga hosts a population of golden monkeys and a few families of mountains gorillas.

This Uganda Gorilla Safari Park is located in the southwestern corner of Uganda, bordering Rwanda and Congo, 14km away from Kisoro town. It is situated about 15 kilometers (9.3 mi), by road, south of the town of Kisoro and approximately 55 kilometers (34 mi), by road, west of Kabale, the largest city in the sub-region. The park is found in Bufumbira County, in Kisoro District and it is located on the land of 33sqkm. It covers the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m).

Tourist activities and attractions in the Park:

Gorilla tracking: This is the major tourist activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In the park there is one habituated gorilla family. Tracking from this park is easier given that this habituated family is no longer quite mobile since it has established its base at Nyakagezi

Hiking: This is yet another adventurous activity that is done in this park. With in Mgahinga national park tourists have a chance to transcend to Mt. Sabinyo which is 3645m above sea level, Mt Gahinga of 3474 km and Mt. Muhavura of 4127 m. More still seeing the 'Old man's teeth' on the top of Mt Sabinyo is another awesome adventure.

Bird watching: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has got a number of unique bird species. The park has so far recorded about 79 bird species some of which are endemic to the East Congo Montane region. Common bird species in the park include Ibis, Whydah, Speckled Mouse birds, and Fire Finch Stonechat, Grey Capped Warbler, Waxbills, and Yellow-Vented Bulbul. For the Virunga Conservation Area as a whole, over 295 species in the Virungas are endemic to the Albertine Rift Afromontane region representing 59% of the total known endemic species. For interested bird watchers, the local birding guides are available to guide you through the tour. You are also reminded to travel with all your birding equipments.

Cave exploration: The distance to the cave entrance from the park Headquarters is 3 km long and it takes about 4 hours.

This is one of the caves where once the crafty Batwa (who were warriors) lived and fought their neighbors. These pygmy related Africans lived a warrior lifestyle and they used to fight with the neighboring Bantu tribes. The Garama cave which measures 342m in length and 14m deep is now inhabited by only bats. A trip to visit the Batwa local communities can also be arranged for tourists interested in learning and experiencing the lifestyles, traditions and norms of these pygmy forgotten Africans.

Accommodation facilities in the park: Red Chilli Hideaway gorilla Camp for budget, Mgahinga Safari Lodge for mid range, and other accommodation facilities are in Kisoro town.

A combination of the two gorilla lodges of Mgahinga and Bwindi will make your Uganda Gorilla tour very wonderful and memorable.
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