Mgahinga National Park, or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park “where silver meets gold” is Uganda’s one and only convenient stop for gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking. Mgahinga (33.7 km2) lies in the far outskirts of Kisoro district in southwestern Uganda and though not heavily crowded as some of the other National Parks, Mgahinga offers its visitors a blend of unique and memorable experiences.
The journey en route includes a treat to the most luxurious views of Mount Muhabura, Lake Bunyonyi and even the breathtakingly beautiful Echuya forest, a tropical forest in the Albertine rift covering an area of 34 km2 with very rich biodiversity that has natured endemic Albertine bird species over the years.
Activities in Mgahinga National Park
This is an interesting activity, especially for hard adventure lovers. One can hike Gahinga, and Muhabura but hiking Sabinyo will give you an opportunity to be in three countries (Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC) at the same time without needing a visa.
You will get to track the Nyakagezi family which is the only habituated Gorilla group with two Silverbacks that live in peace with each other. The Nyakagezi group was very much a transboundary group, crossing borders to Rwanda and DRC but it was carefully studied, and measures were put in place by the Ugandan government to make this group permanently find a home in Mgahinga. The Gorillas in this group are an interesting bunch with features of lowland Gorillas of DRC.
Golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga
Another interesting activity that can only be done in Mgahinga is to view the highly endangered Monkey species.
Nature walks give one an opportunity to learn about the different plant species in this and how some are useful to the local people in curing different diseases. You will also get to see some cool things like the three-horned chameleon or even a tortoise without having to go very far.
Batwa Cultural experience
The Batwa are a group indigenous to the Ituri forest of Congo and it’s an awesome experience interacting with them and learning about their way of life. It’s sort of like, having a central African feel while in East Africa.
Visit the Shozi caves.
The Shozi caves are located 18km (1 hour’s drive) outside Mgahinga Gorilla national park. They are said to have been built by King Luganzi of Rwanda who is believed to have been a king with supernatural powers. He used these caves as an escape route to Rwanda during times of war.
We recommend that you stay at the Lake Chahafi Resort because on top of the great services, you will get an added bonus (@a small fee) of different activities like Canoeing on Lake Chahafi and a hike to the Murora hill to view the trenches dug by the Anglo-Belgians during World War 1 in 1915 in defense from the Germans. The history of this particular point will not fail to intrigue you.