Mgahinga Gorilla National park
Positioned in the southwestern region of Uganda, Mgahinga gorilla National park was created in 1991. The park covers an area of approximately 33.9 square kilometers and it is situated in the Virunga Mountains. Mgahinga gorilla national park encompasses three inactive volcanoes that are Mount Muhavura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo. Also, the park is made up of vegetation zones including the bamboo forests, Albertine rift montane forests, Rwenzori – Virunga montane moorlands with the tree health and then the alpine zone at the higher altitude.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is commonly known for hosting a various primate species including the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys which are split between the habituated and unhabituated groups. Also, the park is a home to over 76 mammal species including the elephants, leopards, bushbucks, bush pigs, buffalo, black fronted duiker, black and white colobus and others. Among the birds in the park are; Rwenzori double collared sunbird, collared apalis, strange weaver, montane nightjar, red faced woodland warbler, mountain masked apalis, red-throated alethe, handsome spur fowl, dusky crimson-wing and others.
Safari activities in Mgahinga gorilla national park
Volcano hiking or climbing
Mgahinga gorilla national park encompasses a whole of three volcanoes which from parts in different countries like Rwanda, Democratic republic of Congo and Uganda. The names of these volcanoes have got meanings that are Sabyinyo means Old man’s teeth; Gahinga means Pile of stones and then Muhavura which means a guide. Of the three mountains, Muhavura is the highest and thus a traveler gets a higher advantage of sighting the peaks of other mountains when he or she climbs it. Walk through the different vegetation zone of the park including the mushy vegetation, bamboo forests and others while hiking to the top of these mountains or volcanoes.
This is one of the must do activities while on a Uganda safari in Mgahinga gorilla national park. The park is a home to a number of endangered mountain gorillas and seeing them involves walking and hiking through the forests of the park. Gorilla trekking takes about 2 to 4 hours or depends on the location of the mountain gorillas. When they are allocated, trekkers are allowed to spend about an hour with them as they learn more about their ways of life like feeding, playing, mating and others.
Mgahinga gorilla national park records over 180 bird species including the endemic ones from the Albertine rift and the residential birds. Spot the beautiful and colorful bird species especially when having a nature walk through the trails of the park. Among the birds to be seen include the dusky turtle dove, black headed waxbill, kivu ground thrush, greater double collard sunbird, olive pigeon, black headed waxbill, striped breasted tit, malachite and scarlet tufted sunbirds, Rwenzori batis, cape robin chat and others.
Golden monkey trekking
Carryout an adventurous experience by taking part in the trekking of the small and fast primate creatures – golden monkeys. The experience takes about 4 hours for every session that takes part. Get a great opportunity of viewing and taking pictures of these primates and also those of the mountain gorillas since golden monkey trekking can be done during gorilla trekking experience. Hike through the forests of the park to the habituated families of the golden monkeys which are about 6 in number. Remember to move with some binoculars, hiking boots, gloves and other protective requirements for your safety during the trekking.
Before Mgahinga gorilla national park was gazetted as a national park, the Batwa people were the inhabitants and lived in the forests as hunters but later displaced though some of them remained around the park. The Batwa people are also encountered on the profits made after tourists visiting the national park. Also, these people entertain the travelers in many ways that is; through dances, songs, stories, poem, folks and others.