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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park safari Activities
Best safari activities to Do in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Mgahinga offers a variety of safari activities such as gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, mountain hiking/climbing, birding, and Batwa cultural experiences. Below is a detailed list of things to do in Mgahinga:
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers gorilla trekking.
The park is home to one family of gorillas that used to traverse the jungle in three countries before settling in Uganda at Nyakagezi. The group is habituated, thus if you want to go gorilla tracking, you should make a reservation and acquire a permit, which costs US$700, US$600, and UGX250,000 for foreign nonresidents, foreign residents, and East African nationals, respectively.
Tracking begins from the Ntebeko entry main gate at 8:00 a.m. daily and continues into the forest until they are discovered. Because they are constantly anticipated to migrate in search of food, it may persist for 2-4 hours depending on where they are observed. Visitors are escorted by a ranger guide who leads them around the forest and advises them to make the most of their time because they only have one hour with these forest giants.
The wonderful spots of the park are easily accessible, mostly during the destination’s two dry seasons, which are from mid-December to February and June to October.
Mgahinga is home to 180 bird species, including the rare Albertine rift valley species. Permits for bird viewing cost US$30 for international residents, US$30 for East African citizens, and UGX10,000 for non-East Africans. This allows visitors to be guided by an expert birder to well-known birding areas such as the gorge trail between Gahinga and Sabinyo, which contains some of the most beautiful bird species such as the cape robin-chat, Kivu-ground thrush, dusky turtle dove, brown crowned chakra, and blue-headed sunbird, among others.
Further ideal birding locations include the bamboo forest, which is approximately 25,00m above sea level, and the montane forest, which is approximately 2,660m above sea level and is where the Rwenzori Turaco is predicted to be observed. The Chubb’s cisticola, red-faced woodland warbler, banded premia, and Doherty’s bush shrike provide pleasant voices along the Uganda-Congo border, although they are difficult to see.
Climbing a mountain
Mgahinga National Park’s strategic position necessitates hiking on any of all three volcanoes in a single day at a cost of US$80 for non-residents, US$70 for foreign residents, and UGX50,000 for East African citizens. Among these volcanoes are:
Sabinyo Mountain. It got its name from the term Iryinyo, which means “tooth” in Japanese. The volcano’s peak features craggy surfaces like an old man’s teeth, thus the name Sabinyo. The extinct volcano is located on the border of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The activity begins in the park’s visitor center with a ranger guide and walking sticks. It takes eight hours to climb and descend, and tourists will see a variety of landscapes, including grassland where they may see the endemic magnificent Rwenzori Turaco, bamboo forest, golden monkey habitat, and rain forest, among others. It also has other animals like as elephants and buffalos, albeit they are rarely observed. As you reach the summit of Mt. Sabinyo, you can see Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo all at once.
Gahinga Mountain. This is the smallest of the three and is located on the border between Uganda and Rwanda. Gahinga means “a pile of stones” in rufumbira/Kinyarwanda, the language spoken in southwestern Uganda, and the volcano was called after this because its look was similar to a pile of stones. It’s likewise inactive and sits 3,474 meters above sea level, with a 180-meter-wide marshy caldera that was formerly a crater lake. The 6-hour climb provides a beautiful view of the verdant farmlands around the agricultural area.
Muhavura Mountain. Around 7:00 a.m., visitors are taken from the park headquarters in Kinigi to the site where walking begins. With 4,127m ASL, it is Uganda’s third-highest peak. The 12-kilometer journey takes around eight hours to complete, and hikers must have water, food, a tent, and overnight gear. Its top provides excellent views of the Virunga mountains, Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi, and Mt. Rwenzori.
Golden monkey trekking
The only area in Uganda where you may go golden monkey tracking is Mgahinga National Park. There are an estimated 3,000-4,000 golden monkeys in the Virunga conservation region, with 40-65 of them habituated in Uganda’s Mgahinga national park. Tracking these endangered gorgeous primates may need you to travel greater distances because they move a lot across their habitat, therefore you should be physically fit for this activity.
Cultural encounters on the Batwa trail
Anybody interested in learning about the ancient lives of the world’s forefathers should join in this exercise to learn how the indigenous Batwa lived in the forest as hunters, gatherers, and keepers without causing harm. These pygmies entertain guests with their traditional dances, weaving talents, and various ways of living. A foreign nonresident or foreign resident pays US$80, while an East African national pays UGX50,000 to participate in the cultural event.