Gorilla trekking Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla is Uganda’s smallest national park. However, it is also one of the most dramatic for the park lies on the northern slopes of Mts. Muhabura, Mgahinga and Sabyinyo, three volcanoes that create an unforgettable regional backdrop. These peaks are three of the six Virunga volcanoes that mark the southern limit of the Albertine Rift Valley and are divided between Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. The Virungas are home to more than half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorilla. 380 individuals roam the slopes of the volcanoes while the remaining 340 live nearby in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Fortunately for the gorillas, Mgahinga’s small area is supplemented by those of two larger, adjoining parks in Rwanda (Volcanoes NP) and DR Congo (Virunga NP)

Though gorilla tracking is the park’s most popular activity, Mgahinga merits a visit simply to appreciate the scenery. A choice of hikes allows for all abilities, ranging from the 8 hour return trip to the summit of Mt. Muhabura, to gentle strolls across the lower slopes beneath the magnificent three peak backdrop. The park experiences two rainy seasons; March-May and September-November. October is the wettest month, with 250mm of rain and July the driest with just 10mm.

This is the most done activity in Mgahinga gorilla national park. Nyakagyezi is the only habituated gorilla group in Mgahinga gorilla national park comprising of 9 members, which include 2 silver backs, 3 adult females, 2 infants and 2 juveniles. Unlike in the past years when the family would cross over to the neighboring Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, Nyakagyezi has presently settled in Mgahinga making it reliable for trekking. Just like in the adjacent Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, a gorilla permit a at a cost of 600usd and 450usd in the high and low season respectively is a must have for all trekkers. On each day, eights are available meaning that eight people are allowed to trek Nyakagyezi family every day. The unpredictable forest weather requires travelers to carry rain jackets, sweaters, hiking boots and hand gloves to ensure smooth hiking vi the steep slippery grounds. While with the gorillas, trekkers are reminded to keep a distance of seven meters away, keep a low tone, move at a low rate and littering in the park.

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