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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the great regions to see the series of the Virunga mountains located in the southwestern corner of Uganda. The country’s smallest national park covers an area of 33.7 square kilometers. The slopes of the park are covered by lands of altitudinal vegetation ranging from the farmlands that have been covered by the local people to undisturbed montane forest followed by bamboo zone, these are homes to the famous mountain gorilla’s gorilla beringei. The national park was gazetted as a way of protecting the critically endangered species that call this home. It was founded in 1991 harboring both mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga has Muhabura (4127m), and Mgahinga (3474m), these are part of the eight series of the great Virunga volcanic region these can all be climbed, the names of the three peaks come from the translation of Muhabura which means the guide, during the 19th century, the mountains crater still glowed which gave travelers a natural lighthouse. These peaks mark the southern limit of the Albertine Rift Valley and are shared between Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the region is home to mountain gorillas that roam freely within the countries, and the Ugandan side is home to the Nyakagezi gorilla family which can be visited any time of the year, it is advisable to make bookings in advance for gorilla permits worth 700 USD, the Ugandan side is smaller compared to the other Virunga parks the others standing out with a higher population of mountain gorillas.

Popular activities of the national park include mountain gorilla trekking, the gorilla groups live within the ecosystem without being captivated, there was initially only one gorilla group in the park which was later joined by the ones that crossed from Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Golden monkey tracking all activities begin in the early morning at 8:00 am east African time. Mountain climbing, Mount Sabinyo has three peaks an ascent leads first peak after which you climb the second along the narrow ridge that overlooks the beautiful breathtaking views in the deep gorges lying on each side of the mountain, third one lies on muddy steep slopes. The rim of the mountain has weathered into stubby peaks earning its name an ‘old man’s teeth’ as the locals call it because of its nature and how it looks at a distance.

Other activities include bird watching, mountain biking, and guided nature walks among other activities, the park experiences two rainy seasons, the wettest month with 250mm of rainfall and the driest month with 10mm of rain, the best time to visit is during the dry season between December – February, and June to mid- September, it important to carry warm clothes, hand gloves, boots, long-sleeved shirts and trousers, and any other useful personal material for an African safari,.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be visited all year round, It is situated 540 square kilometers from Kampala taking to eight hours to pass via Kabale and Kisoro, chatter flights can be arranged to the nearest airstrip Kisoro from Entebbe or Kajansi. There is available accommodation around the national park ranging from the best budget to Luxury.

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