Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park from KisoroJanuary 14, 2022
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park from MbararaJanuary 14, 2022
Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park from Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Bunyonyi is one of the coolest places located in southwestern Uganda close to Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park between two districts of Kisoro and Kabale. It is situated at 1,962 m above sea level about 25km long and 7km wide. It is known to be the second deepest lake in Africa with a recorded depth of 144ft and 2952ft. It has 29 historical islands, with each island having its unique heritage attached to it. Lake Bunyonyi is also home to a variety of bird species making it one of the great places in Uganda to watch birds. Lake Bunyonyi has, for years, attracted many visitors because of its beauty, heritage, and the Local community leaving around it.
Lake Bunyonyi has 29 recorded Islands, each with unique history and heritage attached to it. Of these Islands, the main Islands are more focused on than others, which include Bushara Island, Akampene Island, commonly known as the Punishment Island, Kyahugye Island, Bwama, and Njuyeera (Sharp’s Island) and Bucuranuka Island. These islands have great history for example, the Punishment Island where in the past unmarried and young girls who got pregnant used to be seen as bringing shame to their families in parts surrounding the Lake and neighboring communities, so they were taken to a tiny island that is the Punishment Island and left to die. The lucky ones were rescued, and the unlucky died there mysteriously.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is among the Virunga volcanic mountain chain of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda famous for Mountain gorilla safaris. 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.
What to do in Mgahinga National Park from Lake Bunyonyi?
Mgahinga national park is worth your time and visit as it has a lot to see and do, you will require to spend one or two nights near Mgahinga or you can drive to Mgahinga for any activity from Lake Bunyonyi and then return the next day, detailed below are activities to do in Mgahinga National Park.
You can see the mountain gorillas the first day in Mgahinga National Park. Gorilla trekking is a life time experience that refers to visiting the rare mountain gorillas in their natural environment as you watch me 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 and taking photography’s once you find the gorillas.
For a successful gorilla trek in Mgahinga national park, 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 a 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, how amazing to spend your day visiting mountain gorillas.
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking is another activity to do in Mgahinga National Park from Lake Bunyonyi. Golden Monkeys are also rare primates in the world and Uganda is lucky to have them remaining in Mgahinga national park. Golden monkey tracking is one of the primary activities in the park that make Mgahinga gorilla national park a distinct destination. There are two communities of golden monkeys habituated for trekking, golden monkey trekking permit costs USD100 as per the Uganda wildlife Authority Tariff of 2020-2021. The trek starts early morning at 7:00am with briefing at the park headquarters about the dos and don’ts while in the forest. Later you start your walk into the forest with park guides and Rangers until you find the golden Monkeys and you are allowed to view them for one hour. In East Africa, the golden monkeys are only found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda.
Mgahinga national park has three of the six Virunga mountain chain namely; Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Gahinga and Mountain Muhabura and you can make a choice of climbing one of the mountains depending on your fitness. Mountain Sabinyo is at 3,669m and takes about eight hours to cover the round trip, following a steep ridge up to the peak, Mountain Gahinga which is the smallest with 3474m takes around six hours to ascend and descend, topped by a swamp-filled crater and giant lobelia. Mountain Muhavura is the highest peak at 4,127m, and this 12km round trip takes around eight hours. Once at the top, hikers are rewarded on a clear day with views of the Virunga Volcanoes, Lake Edward, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the peaks of the Rwenzori Mountain. Volcano Hiking experience gives you an opportunity to see different tree species, spot birds, Forest Elephants, Primates and Gorillas if you are lucky enough in Mgahinga National Park.
Batwa Cultural experience
Cultural experience is one of the highlights to do in Mgahinga National Park from Lake Bunyonyi, Mgahinga national park used to harbor the Batwa Pygmies in the forest who were evacuated as a conservation measure of the endangered apes and primates. The Batwa Cultural encounter will expose you to their unique culture, dance, way of life, the food they eat as they introduce you to their traditional forest life. In the trail, The Batwa will lead into the forest in which they demonstrate their traditional forest life such as hunting, fruit gathering, collecting honey, and performing rituals among others. These Batwa trails are organized to appreciate culture and also support the livelihoods of the communities around the park by paying a fee. Donations to children, women groups are much appreciated, and also buying souvenirs supports the community.
Mgahinga National park has about 79 bird species that have thus far been recorded including several species endemic to the East Congo Montane region where Mgahinga is part. Some of the birds you can spot are the Dusky turtle Dove, Cape Robin-chat, Kivu-ground Thrush, Olive Thrush, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bronze Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Black-headed Waxbill, and Streaky Seedeater, the Chubb’s Cisticola, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Banded Prinia and Doherty’s Bush-shrike among others are inconspicuous inhabitants of the tangled vegetation at the forest’s edge. Birding takes place at the gorge between mountain Sabinyo and Mountain Gahinga as well as at the forest Age, the birding trail is about four-hour walk as guides help you to identify the sounds and the birds
Where to stay in Mgahinga National Park?
Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park from Lake Bunyonyi. 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 outskirts 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, Lake Chahafi Lodge, Lake Muhele Lodge which can serve as for both Midrange and Budget. There is also an option of staying in hotels in Kisoro town, the town is just 30 minutes drive to the Park headquarters.
Why book Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park from Lake Bunyonyi with us?
Eco Adventure Safaris offers amazing Uganda safari experiences including Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park from Lake Bunyonyi, the rest of Uganda, and the East African region as a whole. Contact us here for our discounted packages and also tailor-made trips. Eco Adventure Safaris is highly rated and reviewed on trip Advisor to help you learn about the experiences of the other travelers who have traveled with us.