Are you a primate enthusiast and your dream has always been to catch a glimpse at the rare mountain gorillas but strictly in a less crowded place? If this is what you have always been looking for then look no further than Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in south Western Uganda.
Mgahinga National Park is the less known of all the four protected areas that protect the endangered mountain gorillas. Located within the Virunga Region, Mgahinga was created to protect the endangered mountain gorillas. This is the place where gold meets the silver! You will meet both the silverback gorillas and the golden monkeys in this mysterious national park.
To many that have had the opportunity to trek the great hills of Mgahinga National Park, missing it out in your travel plan would be a common blunder that most of the first time travelers make. There are volcanic mountains that are protected within the park; Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabinyo and Mount Muhabura.
Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
When it comes to gorilla trekking tours in Africa rarely do people talk about Mgahinga National Park, the fact that it is always overshadowed by premier destinations like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. This makes it an ideal destination for anyone who wishes to go off the beaten track. There is one habituated gorilla family that lives within the park; the Nyakagezi gorilla family.
One of the advantages with tracking the mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park is that its vegetation cover is very unique from that of Bwindi impenetrable National Park. Whereas Bwindi National Park features largely a tropical rainforest, Mgahinga on the other hand features mainly the bamboo trees that get visitors the best visibility and opportunity to take clear pictures of these remarkable creatures while in their natural habitat.
Another interesting feature is the dramatic setting of the Mgahinga National Park. It is located within the mystical Virunga Mountains that offer a unique scenic frost view. The park sits high in the clouds. Have you ever thought why you need or the hidden secret behind trekking these towering mountains in Mgahinga National Park? There are three peaks that you can try out to ascend i.e Mount Muhabira 4,127 m), Mount Sabinyo (3645m) and Mount Gahinga (3474m). Of these Sabinyo is the most difficult to climb and you can only hike this adventurous mountain only from the Mgahinga National Park.
Go Golden Monkey Tracking
As well, it offers trekkers a chance to engage in varied safari activities within the park. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s only park where you can strike your imaginations with the striking golden monkeys, some of the most fascinating creatures on earth. While on a primate safari in this national park, you can take part in either golden monkey trekking, an activity which involves hiking to the bamboo forests, a zone where these ancient monkeys live. Besides, you can incorporate your primate adventure with hiking experiences where you can explore park’s most scenic volcanoes-Sabyinyo, Mgahinga and Muhabura that make up part of the great Virunga Massifs.
Visit the Batwa
Research from Uganda’s tourism marketing Agency in United Kingdom, shows that most of the tourists are shifting from sightseeing to embracing ecotourism. This is because it gives one an opportunity not just to have a walk through, but rather to also learn about how their visit contributes to the development of a given community in terms of education and sanitation.
While exploring Mgahinga National Park, one of the most rewarding experience is to follow the Batwa Trail. The Batwa Trail is done within the forest and it takes travelers through the past lifestyle and the culture of the Batwa people. The Batwa are former forest dwellers who used to live within the forest. Their past life was characterized by hunting and food gathering and during the creation of the park, they were forcefully evicted out of the forest by the Ugandan government so that a safe haven can be created for the gorillas. The walk to caves where they used to live is not only interesting but educational! You will also learn about the medicinal plants that they used as herbs and your tour fees will help in changing the lives of these marginalized people.
Mgahinga National Park is one of the spectacular parks that offer you a chance to strike a glimpse at the rare mountain gorillas while in their natural non tropical habitat.
A lot might have been explored about the African culture in documentaries continent-wise, but the Batwa experience remains one of the hidden cultural gems in the renowned Pearl of Africa. Their cultural experience still remains a mystery even to fellow African communities in Uganda making it a must have detail on your itinerary when visiting Mgahinga national park.
Remarkably, a gorilla trek in Mgahinga National Park takes you through its one habituated gorilla family-Nyakagezi and the fact that this adventure is limited to only 8 visitors per habituated group, you have opportunity to explore them in no crowded area. This gorilla family is composed of 10 members and they equally offer the best of gorilla experience to visitors on gorilla safari in Uganda.