Are you looking for mountain gorilla trekking experience In Mgahinga gorilla national park Uganda? You can’t mention Uganda’s top list national park without Mgahinga gorilla national park. The park comes on the list as many thousands of travelers from different parts of the World pack for a visit to Uganda mainly to uncover the ever praised thrills in Mgahinga national park.
Mgahinga national park is physically located in the Western part of Uganda along Uganda’s border with the vast Democratic Republic of Congo. If you are after a blend of nature, culture and Gorilla encounter this is actually a destination you should consider first before looking further. The tropical rainforests, savannah, and swampy areas are the reason why this Park is home to a range of Wildlife Species including the unrivalled species of the endangered mountain Gorillas. Not only gorillas but the park is a home to the primates such as the golden monkeys which can be sported jumping up in the tree during the gorilla trek
You cannot consider gorilla trek safari to Uganda without including Mgahinga gorilla national park Bwindi Impenetrable National Park both parks are the premium destination for gorilla tours in Uganda.
Mgahinga national park can be reached by both air and road transport depending on the travelers budget and interest. By road it covers almost 495 km that’s about 8-9 hours’ drive from the capital city Kampala passing via Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway with various stopover at any interesting point like at the equator to soak up some brief information about it, take photo, and as well take a cup of coffee. And also a stopover at Mbarara for lunch and later continue with the Journey to Mgahinga.
In case you are someone who don’t love long drives and with also a sounding budget, you can consider travelling by air. Private and scheduled charter flights are available from Entebbe up to Kisoro airstrip where you will be picked up by a company or Lodge driver/ guide up to the suburbs of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or to your pre booked accommodation for your overnight night.
One can also decide to reach Mgahinga National Park from Rwanda if one arrives at Kigali international airport and cross to Uganda – Mgahinga, this is the shortest route if driving is considered via the Chanika boarder.
This Park is well known for housing a smaller number of Gorillas compared to gorillas in Bwindi national park, but they are attractive and easily seen. Many gorillas inhabit the park, but only one Gorilla family is habituated and open for tourism. Since some parts in Mgahinga are occupied by Savannah and bamboo forests, this creates more space to see the Gorillas from a distance. They cannot easily hide, there are always on display and found at a workable distance unless there is scarcity of food, that’s when they move deep in the forest.
Gorilla trekking is the main done activity at the park most visitors come for. Gorilla trekking allows one to meet these endangered apes face to face in their natural habitat deep into the forest with a harmed ranger guide. All gorilla trekking safaris begins with an early briefing from the park guides and also getting assigned to the park ranger guide, just to receive short briefings about the dos and don’ts with the gorillas. For conservation and to ensure peacefulness, only eight people are allowed to visit one Gorilla family per day. After briefing, the Journey to the jungle starts in a group following the permanently established trails in search of the Gorillas.
Not like in Bwindi national park, in Mgahinga, trackers are usually the first to go early in the morning to locate the whereabouts of these apes, so they will communicate via radio calls with the ranger guide leading the trekkers about the exact location of these apes. And once these apes are located, you are expected to stay with them for only one hour while observing their behaviors as well as taking many photos with them. It’s advised you come along with packed food for eating while in the Jungle and drinking water.
Like other Gorilla hosting destinations such as Rwanda and DRC, Gorilla trekking can be done all year round but it’s more convenient, rewarding and exceptional in the periods when there is low rainfall drops (low season).
Rainy seasons disorganize gorilla trekking, the treks become sloppy and muddy making the activity more difficult, Gorillas tend to hide in their huts to escape the coldness, and sometimes it can rain and interrupt with the starting time for Gorilla trek.
To have an unusual Uganda Gorilla Trekking experiences consider a visit to Mgahinga in low season.
No one is allowed to trek the gorilla’s with-out a gorilla permit and it’s a password for gorilla trekking. The permit in Uganda costs $700 USD per person per trekking and its valid for use by one person. One is advised to book a gorilla permit in advance at least 2-3 months prior to gorilla trekking to avoid disappointment of last minutes booking and gorilla permits are only provided by Uganda Wildlife Authority. It’s always advisable to book with a local tour operator. And in order to be allowed to meet these apes face to face, you must be above 15 years of age. And you must also be free from infectious diseases.