Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla National park
Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is quite easy to access the main destination easier by road transport or Air transport the choice is yours. However, the park sits in the southwestern region of Uganda in Kisoro districts bordering with Rwanda Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Mgahinga Gorilla national park is one of Uganda’s smallest protected national park covering an area of about 33.7 square kilometers and was gazette in 1991 as a national park to conserve the endangered great mountain gorillas. It sits on an altitude of 2,227 meters and 4,127 meter above the sea level which cools during morning and night hours.
Ideally, Mgahinga gorilla national park marks one of the famous destination in Uganda in that it is home for gentle giants ‘’mountain gorillas’’ and golden monkeys which are the major tourist attractions in the country that attracts millions of visitors.
Below are the means of transport that can access you to the park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be either be reached by road or air transport;
Travelling to Mgahinga gorilla national park by road transport is quite easy starting from Kampala via Masaka –Mbarara to Kisoro takes about 9 to 10 hours’ drive.
One can still access the park by public means of transport though not recommended because they overcharge. You will need to board a bus has a public means of transport right away from Kampala bus station to Kisoro town and then hire a private taxi to drive you to the park headquarters because public means of transport are not allowed in the park’s promises.
Mgahinga gorilla national park can also be reached by visitors on a self-drive start from Entebbe or Kampala via Masaka to main destination ‘’Ntebeko park headquarters. Please notice, the journey to Mgahinga takes the whole day inclusive with stopovers on the way at the equator and Igongo cultural Centre for picnic Lunch.
Moreover, road transport to Mgahinga gorilla national park is bit tiresome since it takes a whole day travelling but quite rewarding in that you will have spectacular views of the kigezi hills, farmland, banana plantations, local markets among others thus making it enjoyable and worth trip.
By Air Transport
Travelers can fly to Mgahinga gorilla national park by domestic flight ‘’domestic airline companies’’ in Uganda like the Aerolink Uganda which is good in organizing flights to Mgahinga gorilla national park. The Aero link Uganda limited operates chartered and scheduled flights daily from Entebbe International airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Kisoro Airstrip. The flying time from Entebbe to Kisoro can take only 1:30 hours to land. However, Flights from Entebbe airport start at 7:00 am and arrive at Kisoro airstrip at 8:10am and the return flights from Kisoro airstrip depart at exactly 8:25am and arrive at Entebbe Airport at 11:25 am.
Aerolink Uganda also organizes connecting flights from other safari destinations such as Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Semuliki national park many more. Therefore, you can combine gorilla trekking with other fabulous activities such as game drive, Chimpanzee tracking, boat cruise rides, hot air balloon many more.
Mgahinga can also easily accessed from Kigali Rwanda through border crossing without any need of worry about the long distance drive. When travelling from Rwanda you will fly to Kigali international Airport, then connect by road via Cyanika border to Ntebeko headquarters which lasts about 3 to 4 hours’ drive. Travelling from Kigali by road transport is the best alternative in that it takes short period of time to access the park with no much expense on transport and accommodation.
Where to stay –Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga gorilla national park has got range of comfortable accommodation facilities ranging from Luxury, Mid-range and Budget. These are the lodges and camps where you can stay during your visit such as Mount Gahinga ,3 Way Gorilla Resort, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Rugigana Campsite, Mutanda Island Lodge, Mucha Hotel, Travelers Rest Hotel Kisoro many more.
Activities to do in Mgahinga gorilla national park
Below are the activities that make Mgahinga gorilla national park famous worldwide;
Gorilla trekking is the most done activity in Mgahinga gorilla national park and attracts many tourists who visit the park. Its starts in the morning with briefing at the park headquarters to learn about the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking. After you will be grouped into 8 individuals by the park ranger then allocates you to habituated gorilla family in search for them. This is an activity which can last 2 to 7 hours depending on their movements. As you will be hiking in the forest while looking for them, you will have a chance of seeing other primates, birds and animal species. Once you come across them, one hour will be given to you to learn about their social life and picture taking, call it a day.
Golden Monkey trekking
This is every special activity done in Mgahinga national park, it is the second most done activity with in the park after gorilla trekking. You will first have briefing at the park and after hike in the forest in search of habituated golden monkey families. And once are found you will be allowed one hour with them to watch their behaviors, picture taking and recording videos for your future remembrance.
The park is good location for birding which offers a record of over 200 bird species with 12species endemic to the Albertine rift. Bird species to be spotted include; Cape robin chat, speckled, Kivu ground thrush, African olive pigeon, blue headed coucal, archers’ robin chat, black kite many more.
On your visit to the park never leave without visiting the Batwa trails where you will discover the most thrilling experience from the Batwa people learn how they gather honey, make traditional medicine, make fire with sticks, listen to their sorrowful songs and stories on how they used to live with mountain gorillas in the forest before gazette into a national park.
Lastly, Mgahinga can be easily accessed either by Air or Road transport depending on visitor’s choice of transport. Book now your gorilla trekking permit and get closer to our cousins in their respective inhabits.