To list some of Uganda’s top captivating parks, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park cannot miss. Thousands of travelers from different parts of the world pack for a visit to Uganda mainly to uncover the ever praised thrills in Mgahinga national park. The park is geographically located in the Western part of Uganda along Uganda’s border with the vast Democratic Republic of Congo. If you are after a blend of nature, culture and Gorilla encounter this is actually a destination you should consider first.
The tropical rain forests, savannah, and swampy areas are the reason why this Park is home to a range of Wildlife Species including the unrivalled species of Gorillas.
For a gorilla safari to Uganda, it must be including Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
How to get there
Travelers from Kampala, you will get to Mgahinga National Park in the Western part of Uganda either by road transport means or air transport.
By road it is about 495 km and it takes about 8-9 hours’ drive from the Kampala Uganda’s capital city to Mgahinga via Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway.
This jaw dropping journey includes a layover at the equator to soak up some brief information about it, take photo, and as well take a cup of coffee.
As the journey continues, you will have another stopover in Mbarara for lunch and later continue with the Journey to Mgahinga.
If you are nervous about long distance then you should not even think about road transport instead you will go by air transport.
Private charters are arranged from Entebbe up to Kisoro airstrip where you continue from up to the suburbs of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Other than reaching Mgahinga from Kampala, you can alternatively land in Rwanda at Kigali international airport and cross to Uganda – Mgahinga, this is the shortest route when compared.
Mountain Gorillas in Mgahinga
Mgahinga has less number of Gorillas but there are attractive and easily seen. A number of Gorillas inhabit the lush habitats of Mgahinga but only one Gorilla family is habituated and open to be visited by travelers.
Since some parts in Mgahinga are occupied by Savannah and bamboo forests, this creates more space to see the Gorillas from a distance.
They cannot easily hide, there are always on display and found at a workable distance unless there is scarcity of food, that’s when they move deep in the forest.
Gorilla Trekking Experience
This is every ones dream and a main highlight for most of visitors to Mgahinga National Park. For first timers, Gorilla trekking usually grants travelers grand opportunities to meet face to face with the species of Gorillas in the Jungles.
For conservation and to ensure tranquility, only eight people are allowed to visit one Gorilla family per day. A briefing is conducted first to advice trekkers on what to do and to avoid while in the Jungles.
After briefing, the Journey to the jungle starts in a group following the permanently established trails in search of the Gorillas.
Trackers are usually the first to go early in the morning to locate where these apes are, so they will communicate via radio calls with the ranger guide leading the trekkers about the exact location of these apes.
After locating, expect to spend only one hour allowed. You will see these creatures as they feed, move around, fight, play and more.
Take a lot of photos and videos before you start the journey back after one hour with these apes. It’s advised you come along with packed food for eating while in the Jungle and drinking water.
Best time to trek Gorillas in Mgahinga
Like other Gorilla hosting destinations, Gorilla trekking can be done all year but it’s more convenient, rewarding and exceptional in the periods when there is low rainfall drops (low season).
Rainy seasons are hectic, Gorillas tend to hide in their huts to escape the coldness, trails are muddy, slippery and sometimes it can rain and interrupt with the starting time for Gorilla trek.
To have an unusual Uganda Gorilla Trekking experiences consider a visit to Mgahinga in low season.
What’s required for Gorilla trek
As usual to be part of Gorilla trek, you must buy a Gorilla permit.
The permit in Uganda costs $700 USD per person, valid for use by one person, booked in advance and only provided by Uganda Wildlife Authority. It is more secure when you book with a local tour operator.
Another thing to know is that for anyone to trek must be fifteen years and above. You must also be free from infectious diseases.
What to Park for Gorilla Trek
There are important you must pack for Gorilla trek in Mgahinga, these include strong hiking shoes, insect repellents, nose capes, sunglasses and huts, long sleeved shirts and trouser, shocking, vests, waterproof bags, jackets and gloves.
Where to stay
Mgahinga has abundant lodging facilities that are nestled in different locations around the park. There are all reserve for tourists to stay on their visit to Mgahinga National Park an enthralling gorilla trekking Tour. Enjoy beautiful moments in Mgahinga with the Gorillas.