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Comparing Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi And Mgahinga

One of the most exciting wildlife encounters is gorilla trekking. This popular activity among primate enthusiasts is only available in four national parks

Comparing Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi And Mgahinga

One of the most exciting wildlife encounters is gorilla trekking. This popular activity among primate enthusiasts is only available in four national parks

Comparing Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi And Mgahinga

One of the most exciting wildlife encounters is gorilla trekking. This popular activity among primate enthusiasts is only available in four national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda. Uganda is unique in that it is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population in two national parks: Bwindi and Mgahinga.

Because of its high biodiversity, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. Apart from mountain gorillas, Bwindi features 120 animal species, including tiny antelopes, Giant Forest Pigs, the African Golden Cat, the side-striped Jackal, and the African Civet. Chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, and Black/White Colobus Monkeys are among the primates found in the park. This vast woodland is home to around 220 butterfly species and 310 bird species. The Frazers Eagle Owl, African Green Broadbill, Brown-necked parrots, and White-tailed Blue Flycatcher are among the famous bird species.

Mgahinga National Park is another location in Uganda where people may undertake gorilla trekking. It is Uganda’s smallest National Park, located at the base of three dormant volcanoes. Unlike Bwindi, Mgahinga is an extension or part of the larger Virunga region and conservation area, which encompasses Congo’s Virunga National Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. The rare mountain gorillas and golden monkeys are the main draws. Other activities available to visitors include viewing smaller primates and animals, going on forest/nature walks, mountain climbing, and birding. How does gorilla trekking in Bwindi differ from that in Mgahinga? In the coming chapters, we will go through everything in greater depth.Comparing Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi And Mgahinga

To begin, we should highlight that Bwindi impenetrable forest is home to around 45% of the existing population of mountain gorillas, thus distinguishing it from all other gorilla parks. It is a significantly larger park than Mgahinga, spanning 321 square kilometers. Bwindi contains around 35 known gorilla groups, 15 of which have been habituated and are available for gorilla trekking. There is just one habituated gorilla troop in Mgahinga that is available to tourists. Moreover, gorilla trekking in Bwindi may be done in four separate sectors of the park, each of which has many gorilla groups. The gorilla habituation experience is available in two groups in the Nkuringo and Rushaga areas, with just four people given four hours with the gorilla family.

This one-of-a-kind experience is only available in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It differs from conventional gorilla trekking in that only 8 guests are permitted to observe a gorilla family for one hour. These preliminary judgments should be enough to settle the dispute for some, but are they? There might be even more grounds in favor of Bwindi, and Mgahinga must have something distinctive as well, as we will see later.

Seeing gorillas is now certain in both parks, but that wasn’t always the truth in Mgahinga. The Nyakagezi group, which has since been established in Mgahinga, was known for crossing into Rwanda and, on occasion, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, thereby suspending all gorilla trekking activity in the park. You never know when they’ll decide to restart their cross-border travel.

Both Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla treks may be demanding, requiring hikes across rocky and steep terrain to locate gorilla groups. Yet, it is well acknowledged that the Nyakagezi gang in Mgahinga is much simpler to track down. They have a narrower range than most of the gorilla groups in Bwindi. Because Bwindi is such a big forest, tourists may have to trek further into the forest to find some of the gorilla groups. Nonetheless, several of the gorilla populations in Bwindi are relatively close to the starting places and may be found in less than two hours. Did I mention that gorilla trekking in Mgahinga is less crowded? Yes. There are fewer guests with fewer crowds during the briefing and after gorilla trekking and this to some may provide more solitude to calmly appreciate the magnificent landscape around the park.

Mgahinga has an obvious advantage over Bwindi in that it is the only park in Uganda where tourists may see both endangered golden monkeys and Mountain Gorillas. This means that visitors will be able to combine gorilla trekking with golden monkey tracking. Yet, Mgahinga’s beautiful Golden Monkeys are not a total knockout because Bwindi contains Chimpanzees. Visitors to Bwindi can observe Chimpanzees along the paths when gorilla trekking. There are no chimps in Mgahinga.

As previously said, unlike in Bwindi, Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga allows guests to participate in mountain climbing. Mgahinga has three volcanoes to select from Mount Muhavura, Mount Sabinyo, and Mount Gahinga. Hiking any of these volcanoes will reward tourists with spectacular views of Mgahinga National Park as well as the opportunity to watch birds, forest creatures, and primates like Golden Monkeys along the paths. There is no mountain climbing in Bwindi, thus Mgahinga takes the victory here.

People who enjoy exploring caverns can try going gorilla trekking in Mgahinga. The Garamba and Muhavura caverns, which were originally utilized by the Batwa for food storage, royal residence, collecting, and preparation for war, make Mgahinga gorilla trekking noteworthy. During their stay at either park, travelers are welcome to pay a visit to the Batwa people. For thousands of years, the Batwa pygmies were the main and original group residing in the park before being expelled in 1991. The existence of the Batwa in the park was largely responsible for the continuous decline in the number of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and other park species. The Batwa agreed to be transported somewhere in order to take gorilla conservation programs to the next level.

Because the Batwa have never fully merged into their new homes or nearby towns, this choice was hardly a win-win situation for everyone. In general, experiencing The Batwa way of life is more fascinating and satisfying in Mgahinga National Park. Unlike Bwindi, the Batwa route in Mgahinga allows tourists to experience the Batwa way of life for more than 5 hours within the park. Certain Batwa in Mgahinga are permitted to function as local guides in the forest, presenting you with their culture, old caverns, previous war hideouts, holy spots, gods, dances, language, traditional stories, clothes, and hunting methods. After gorilla trekking, travelers to Bwindi generally spend a short time outside the park to view the Batwa.

Both national parks provide opportunities for wildlife treks, but Bwindi may have the upper hand once again. Tourists to Bwindi can stroll along designated paths such as the waterfall trail, Muzubijiro loop trail, Bamboo trail, and Rushura trail. Visit the surrounding areas to learn about local beer brewing, language, and dances.

These national parks charge the same price for a gorilla trekking expedition. Both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park charge $600 for gorilla permits. But, depending on the quality of lodging and transportation, the complete gorilla excursion might cost between $1600 and $1900.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is conveniently positioned near one of Uganda’s largest and most popular wildlife parks, Queen Elizabeth National Park. After gorilla trekking, travelers may visit Queen Elizabeth National Park to see elephants, crocodiles, hippos, the Uganda Kob, antelopes, buffaloes, and the uncommon tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector. Also, if one missed the chimps when gorilla trekking, they may undertake chimp trekking at the spectacular Kyambura gorge or visit the salt mining lake near the park to see the lovely Flamingo birds. Because of its closeness to Queen Elizabeth National Park, travelers may easily combine gorilla trekking and game drives for a really fantastic African wildlife safari.

Both Bwindi and Mgahinga have identical gorilla trekking guidelines and restrictions. These guidelines were created to help safeguard gorillas from human infections and annoyance caused by extended human presence. Just eight visitors are permitted to monitor a gorilla troop in a single day, for a maximum of one hour. To undertake gorilla trekking in both parks, you must be at least 15 years old. It is forbidden to arrive unwell with communicable diseases. You can’t smoke, use lighting or create excessive noise while in the company of gorillas in both Bwindi and Mgahinga.

Packing lists for gorilla hiking in Bwindi and Mgahinga are identical. You must bring long-sleeved shirts, trousers, waterproof hiking shoes, long socks, a hat, sunscreen, and a walking stick to each park you visit. Prescription medications, a camera, binoculars, water, and snacks can guarantee that you have a pleasant experience when gorilla trekking in both gorilla parks.

Both Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks may be reached by car or air from Uganda’s city, Kampala, or Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Nonetheless, the distance to Bwindi is less than that to Mgahinga. You can use a private automobile or public transportation if you are traveling by road.

There are various routes available from Kampala. The trip from Kampala to Kisoro, the nearest town to the two parks, takes around 7 hours. If you believe the trek from Kampala to Kisoro is too long, you may visit both Bwindi and Mgahinga by flying from Kampala in Uganda or driving from Kigali (4 hours). Aerolink and Fly Uganda conduct flights to Kisoro Airstrip in Bwindi from Kajjansi in Kampala and Entebbe. People going gorilla trekking in Bwindi may land at Kihihi Airstrip, which is not far from the Ruhija or Buhoma districts. Still, wondering which Ugandan national park is best for gorilla trekking?

Let me summarize it for you to help you understand. Bwindi is a world heritage site that is home to half of the world’s surviving mountain gorilla population. It is a park with 15 habituated gorilla families where visitors may monitor gorillas or participate in the gorilla habituation experience while also seeing chimps. Nature hikes in Bwindi are great and well-arranged, with good routes. The road trip from Kampala or Kigali to Bwindi is shorter than the trip to Mgahinga. Because of Bwindi’s proximity to Queen Elizabeth National Park, primate enthusiasts may have a full African safari. Mgahinga features one habituated gorilla family, which is possibly the largest in all known mountain gorilla parks.

There are fewer tourists during gorilla trekking in Mgahinga, giving guests the opportunity to go golden monkey trekking, mountain mountaineering, and have a more comprehensive experience with the Batwa pygmies. That’s all. The final decision is yours.