Mgahinga is one of the smallest parks in Uganda covering a total of 38 square kilometers. Being park of the Virunga region conservation area (434 square kilometers), Mgahinga’s ecosystem represents all that you can expect to find in the other parks in the region. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was set aside as a conservation area with the main aim of protecting mountain gorillas and the endangered golden monkeys that live its thick forests making it one of two parks in Uganda where you can go for a Uganda gorilla tour to track the mountain gorilla.
Some of the most outstanding features of Mgahinga national park include its three conical, extinct volcanoes which are part of the spectacular Virunga range that forms the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo. The 3 volcanoes in Mgahinga are Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo. Each of these ranges have distinct and spectacular features crafted by Mother Nature making them a must see while on your Uganda safari.
The Sabyinyo range is deeply eroded, with a jagged crown and deep gorges and ravines. Gahinga on the other side has a swamp filled crater about 180 meters wide and Muhavura has a small crater lake about 36 meters wide at its summit. A top of the steep mountain slopes are caves which were formed by lava tubes with the most famous of all being the Garama cave, located near the park headquarters at Ntebeko.
The dense forests of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are also inhabited by humans more precisely the Batwa of Uganda who are live a hunting and gathering lifestyle and were once famous for being fierce warriors. The Batwa depend on the forest for shelter, food, and medicine and as such called the children of the forest.
Tour activities at Mgahinga National Park
Gorilla Tracking: This is by far the most popular activity at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Just like the Bwindi impenetrable forest park, the Mgahinga also provides the best Uganda gorilla safaris opportunity for you. A gorilla tour at the park normally starts as early as 8:00 am in the morning and lasts between 2 to 4 hours with the Park Rangers guiding you through the dense forests to track the mountain gorillas. While at the park one will also be marveled by the many bird species that keep flying around and about within the forest.
Hiking and Nature Walks: the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, trails provide visitors an opportunity to view not only the forest birds, but also the Rugezi Swamp, the wild vegetation, the bamboo forests and the magnificent views of the surrounding lakes and agricultural villages.
Mountain / Volcano Climbing: The Mgahinga extinct ranges compose some of the best spots for hiking in Uganda. With the hiking activity taking up at least a whole day. While at the peaks, one has magnificent views of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the Virungas, the Rwenzoris, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Lake Edward. The slopes are also covered with caves the most famous of all being the Garama Cave at Ntebeko.
Birding safaris: The Mgahinga forests are home to various unique bird species making it one of the most popular spots to go birding. One of the most common birds that can be seen is the Rwenzori Turaco.
Cultural Encounters: Mgahinga’s dense forests have always been a home to the Batwa hunters and gatherers for generations. You can have a guided walk into the forest with a Batwa leading you through their forest. This is always an eye opening and exhilarating experience. You will be able to See their old homes and also view the survival techniques they employ.