Mgahinga gorilla national park
Mgahinga gorilla national park is a small forest park.This is home to the mountain gorillas. There are also the golden monkeys. You can follow the Batwa trail in this park.
The colonial government named it a sanctuary in 1930. However in 1991, it became a park.
Mgahinga covers the slopes of the three Virunga Volcanoes. These include Mountain Muhavura (4,127 m) and Mountain Gahinga (3,474 m). The other is Mountain Sabinyo at 3,645 m. The three dormant volcanoes are climbed to the top. Nonetheless, they require no mountaineering experience.
Tropical rain-forest naturally covers the three mountains. There is a crater lake at the top of Mt Muhavura. Meanwhile,the views from the lake reach the Rwenzori mountains.
On one side, the Volcanoes national park is for Rwanda. But the Virunga belongs to Congo. These three parks form the Virunga Conservation Area. This area is 434 sq. km. Each country protects its part of the area.
Gorilla tracking is still the main tourism activity. However Mgahinga gorilla national park is less visited than Bwindi Impenetrable national park. This is because, it has only one habituated gorilla family. That is the Nyakagezi group. Thus the gorilla permits are limited to only 8 visitors per day.
Mgahinga provides hikes to the volcanoes. Similarly, the caves plus golden monkey tracking.
The Batwa trail is an interesting activity in the park. The Batwa (pygmies) guides explain how these people lived in the forest. Previously, they were residents of the forest. However, the government evicted them in order to create the park.
This park has half of the left mountain Gorillas. Yet, it is within the Virunga. It is also a habitat for the rare golden monkeys. The park has rare bird species. There are over 70 mammal species.
The large mammals in the park include Elephants and Buffalos.
The size of Mgahinga gorilla national park is 33.7 sq. km. This is only (8%) of the Virunga Conservation Area (VCA)
The location of Mgahinga gorilla national park
The park is found in the far south west. It shares borders with the Rwanda and Congo. In addition, the park is situated 15 km from Kisoro town.
From Entebbe to Kisoro through Kabale, its is 505 kms.
The Tourism activities that are around the park
Gorillas and golden monkeys are the main attractions. However, hiking is also popular. Bird watching too is an attraction. There are nature walks as well. You can experience the cultures. The Batwa trail is one of them. And lastly cave exploration too.
The accommodations around Mgahinga national park
The Mount Gahinga lodge is of high budget. On the other hand, the Travellers Rest is of Medium budget.