Are you planning to visit Uganda to go meet the gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park? But you would like to know the advantages of Trekking Gorillas in Mgahinga National Park compared to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Gorilla trekking is one of the top activities you should do on your visit to Uganda, you will have an opportunity to visit and trek the mountain gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is located in the far south western part of Uganda sharing the Rwanda and Congo border. Mgahinga gorilla national park is among the Virunga volcanic mountain chain of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda famous for Mountain gorilla safaris.
One of the main advantages of Trekking Gorillas in Mgahinga National Park is the park attracts fewer crowds that is 8 people for trekking gorillas per day compared to Bwindi given the fact it only has one habituated gorilla family meaning only 8 gorilla permits can be sold in a day.
Below is a summary of the advantages of Trekking Gorillas in Mgahinga National Park;
The park is Uganda’s smallest national park which is boarded by Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda. Mgahinga gorilla national park has the three volcanoes namely Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo and Mountain Muhabura all of which are part of the six Virunga Mountains. Mgahinga National Park harbors the endangered mountain gorilla and the Golden Monkeys. The park is a tropical rain forest comprised of lowland equatorial evergreen forest, tropical seasonal forest, montane rain forests and mountain Bamboo.
How is Mgahinga National Park gorilla treks?
Mgahinga is home to one gorilla family open for gorilla tracking and this is called Nyakagezi gorilla group. Like gorilla tracking in Bwindi you need to book your trek in advance with a trustworthy tour operator to avoid missing out on the only 8 permits that are available for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga. The gorilla permit for trekking in Mgahinga cost same like for Bwindi that $700 pp for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents and 250,000 Uganda shillings for East African Resident.
Gorilla tracking in Mgahinga only has one session in the morning, this starts in the morning with briefing and after you head out with walking through the forest in search for these endangered mountain gorillas.
Cost of Mgahinga National Park gorilla trekking
Mgahinga National Park is another unique place in Uganda for the amazing gorilla tourism. Gorilla trekking is visiting the rare mountain gorillas in their natural environment as you view their beauty, the way they move, feed, and live. The gorillas are known to have 99% of the human DNA and are amazing to Watch. Mgahinga National Park has one habituation gorilla family known as Nyakagezi gorilla family available for trekking every day. Only eight visitors are allowed to visit per pay for only one hour of Viewing once you find the gorillas. Gorilla trekking starts early morning at the Park headquarters with briefing on does and don’ts, Later you are grouped and allocated gorilla families to visit and off you start the amazing experience.
What is the cost of Permits to trek gorillas in Mgahinga National Park
For a successful one-day gorilla trek in Mgahinga national park from Kisoro, you are required to have a valid gorilla permit secured from Uganda wildlife Authority for your desired date of trek at USD700 for Foreign Non-Residents, USD600 for Foreign Residents, and Uganda shillings 250,000 for East African citizens. One the day of the trek, you will drive to the Park Headquarters for briefing on the regulations to follow while in the forest and with the gorillas, experienced guides and Park rangers will accompany you on the trek into the dense rain forest on the mountain slopes. The journey, through dense foliage and up steep climbs, is abundantly rewarded with the lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. You will have an opportunity to be within 7-5 meters of these magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day-to-day activities. You will be allowed one hour of viewing the gorillas and then return to the starting point to receive a certificate for a successful gorilla trek.
What is the cost of transportation to Mgahinga National Park?
The transportation costs includes Vehicle hire, driver guide and Fuel for the whole round trip. Vehicle hire ranges USD100-250usd per day considering the kind of vehicle you choose to use, for three day trip, you will need approximately 290USD for the gorilla return trip. To visit Mgahinga national park, you are required to secure Uganda visa at USD30 at Entebbe international Airport or any of the boarder points into Uganda. The park can be accessed by road and its only 45 minute drive from Kisoro town. We use 4×4 vehicles with AC and drinking water for our all-inclusive packages that are very comfortable for your road trip to Mgahinga national park. For entry into the park, you will need to have secured permit for gorilla trek.
What is the cost of accommodation in Mgahinga National Park?
Mgahinga National Park has a number of accommodation choices where you can stay while on your visit. Most of the lodges are found in the out skirts of the forest with a clear view of the forest and the mountain ranges. The Lodges range from Budget to Luxury and these include; Gahinga Lodge which is a luxury hotel ranges from USD400 per person per night, Lake Chahafi Lodge, Lake Muhele Lodge which can serve as for both Midrange and Budget range from USD100 Per person per night. There is also an option of staying in hotels in Kisoro town where you can get as low as USD50 for a room, the town is just 30 minutes’ drive to the Park headquarters. Some the travelers opt to stay in Lodges/Camps in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as it is about 1 hour drive to Mgahinga National Park.
Other Things to do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Batwa Cultural Trail Experience
This is done in the Mgahinga Batwa cultural trail. On Batwa cultural trail experience tour you will be guided by one of the Batwa guides giving you an opportunity to learn about traditional forest life of the Batwa in Mgahinga Forest which is historically the home of the Batwa, you will also enjoy the traditional dances of the Batwa and Stone Age including making traditional fire among other activities taking you through the authentic batwa life during the times in the forest. This activity costs $80 per person.
Nature walk in Gahinga Forest
The Nature walk is done in Mgahinga forest it is a very exciting activity to do after gorilla trekking which gives you an opportunity to learn more about tree species as well other wildlife species in the forest.
Village walk around Kisoro
This walk will take you through Kisoro local communities including visiting local markets and learning the day to day life of the local people in Kisoro. You have an opportunity to engage and learn more about the Bafumbira and Bakiga tribes including enjoying traditional cultural dances, local foods and local arts.
Golden Monkey Tracking
Golden Monkey tracking is another activity that can be done after gorilla trekking in Mgahinga, this is only done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, like gorilla tracking this also starts in the morning with briefing and after you head out with walking through the forest in search for these endangered monkeys. Golden monkey tracking permits are readily available and can be purchased on arrival at the park headquarters.
Golden Monkey Habituation
Golden Monkey Habituation is another activity that can be done after gorilla trekking in Mgahinga, this gives you an opportunity to spend much time with the semi habituated Golden monkeys as you participate in activities geared to making them get used to human presence this also starts in the morning with briefing and after you head out with walking through the forest in search for these endangered monkeys. Golden monkey habituation permits are readily available and can be purchased on arrival at the park headquarters.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the best places for bird watching in Uganda, the park is home to over 127 bird species with various Albertine endemics.
Why book Mgahinga National Park gorilla trekking with Eco Adventure Safaris
Eco Adventure Safaris offers amazing gorilla experiences Mgahinga national Park, the rest of Uganda and the East African region as a whole. Contact us here for our discounted packages and also tailor made trips. Our magic in organizing authentic experiences stems from the fact that we have overtime assembled a team mixed with young and energetic staff guided by well-experienced mature managers and directors who are Ugandans and passionate about what they do. Eco Adventure Safaris is highly rated and reviewed on trip Advisor and trustpilot to help you learn on the experiences of the other travelers who have traveled with us. Contact us about the advantages of Trekking Gorillas in Mgahinga National Park.