Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park (33.7 km²), however, it is also one of the most dramatic. The park lies on the northern slopes of Mt. Muhabura, Mgahinga and Sabyinyo; three volcanoes that create an unforgettable regional backdrop. These peaks are three of the six Virunga volcanoes that mark the southern limit of the Albertine Rift Valley and divide Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. The Virunga are home to more than half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorilla. 380 Individuals roam the slopes of the volcanoes while the remaining 340 live nearby in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Fortunately for the gorillas, Mgahinga’s small area is supplemented by two larger, adjoining parks in Rwanda (Volcanoes NP) and DR Congo (Virunga NP).
The main tourist attractions include gorilla tracking (only one gorilla family has been habituated here for tourism), golden monkey tracking, bird watching, cave exploration (ancient Garama cave), and the Batwa Heritage Trail. The three mountains of the Virunga volcanoes, Mt. Muhabura (4,127m), Mt. Gahinga (3,474m) and Mt. Sabyinyo (3,645m), provides a good challenge to mountain climbers.
76 mammals, among which are buffaloes, elephants, giant forest hogs, bushpigs, duikers, leopards, civets, golden cats, jackals and porcupines have their home here. Because of the difficult terrain and the fact that most of these animals are nocturnal, they are rarely seen. At least 127 bird species have been recorded. The park also provides a habitat for the rare and endangered golden monkey.
Size and accessibility:
Mgahinga covers only 33.7 km² and lies in the most south westerly corner of the country, bordering Rwanda and Congo.
A drive from Kampala takes about 10 hours.
Kisoro is the nearest airstrip and regular flights from Entebbe are scheduled.