Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
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Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is amazingly an extra-ordinary primate experience of a lifetime! Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers the perfect alternative to tourists who miss trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi or if you are interested in the lesser-crowded gorilla treks.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is found in Kisoro in the extreme Southwestern Uganda. It is the smallest of the 10 parks in Uganda covering only 33.7sq.kms. It has existed since 1991 when it was established to shelter some of the endangered mountain gorillas. This makes it one of the 4 parks where mountain gorillas thrive. The other 3 include the Virunga National Park in DRC, Volcanoes National Park Rwanda and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Southwestern Uganda.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park takes its name from Gahinga Volcano. It is a scenic park with 3 Virunga Volcanoes and the other 2 include Muhabura (4127m) and Sabyinyo (3634m). This park only has Nyakagezi gorilla family set for gorilla trekking. Originally, this gorilla family group used to roam between Rwanda and the DR Congo then permanently settled in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Best time to trek mountain gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Gorilla safaris are can be done at any time of the year. But the dry season is the best time to track mountain gorillas. This is mostly from June-September and December-February. It is easier navigating through the paths in the park since vegetation isn’t dense like it is during the wet or rainy season.
Gorilla trekking tour permits for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The cost for gorilla trekking permits for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the same like it is in Bwindi. Permits are sold at US Dollars 700 for visitors under category of non-foreign residents, US Dollars 600 foreign residents and Shs. 250,000 East African Community citizens. Only eight permits exist in Mgahinga and you need to book for your permit early at least 2-4 months before the actual date you plan to travel to track gorillas. Gorilla trekking permits can be booked through a recognized, trustworthy tour operator and or directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Note, gorilla treks in Mgahinga begin at its offices at Ntebeko after briefing on gorilla tracking rules and regulations.
Gorilla tracking guidelines
On the actual date of trekking mountain gorillas, some of the important dos and don’ts to expect to know include keeping a distance of 7 meters away from gorillas, strictly 8 tourists are accepted to track one gorilla group per day, visitors have only one hour of face to face encounter with these apes, no use of flashlight camera when taking photos, drinking, eating or smoking isn’t allowed while with gorillas among the many other rules and regulations.
Things to carry on Uganda gorilla tour in Mgahinga
The most important items to have for gorilla trekking include rain-jackets, camera without flashlight, socks, hat, water proof hiking boots, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellents, gardening gloves, hat, long sleeved shirt, insect repellents, first aid kit, daypack, gorilla permits, visa and others.
Where to stay on gorilla safari tour in Mgahinga
The nearby lodges in and around Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include Amajambere Iwacu Camp, Mount Gahinga Safari Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Lodge, Traveler’s Nest Hotel.