Mgahinga National Park

The Park covers 38 kms in size, is the Ugandan part of the bigger Virunga Conservation Area, which is a jointly protected area with Congo and Rwanda. It includes three extinct volcanoes: Mount Sabinyo (3.669 m.), Mount Gahinga (3.474 m.) and Mount Muhavura (4.127 m.). “Mgahinga” is named after Mount Gahinga plus the initial of Mount Muhavura.

Species

The vegetation is the one typical of afro-montane areas, with a consistent bamboo forest. There are 76 mammal species recorded, including buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, golden monkeys, leopards. 115 bird species have been recorded, including Rwenzori Turaco, crowned hornbill, black kite and crowned crane. Mgahinga hosts a population of golden monkeys and a few families of mountains gorillas called Nyakagezi a trans-boundary specie.

Nyakagezi Group
Family size: 9 members (incl. 3 Silverbacks)
Location: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

There are 36 different gorilla groups in the Virunga Volcanoes Massif. Of the 480 Virunga Volcanoes Massif gorillas 352 (73%) are habituated (349 in groups; 3 solitary males), while 128 are un-habituated (117 in groups; 11 solitary males). With the addition of the 2 newly habituated Bwindi gorilla groups approximately 50% of the Bwindi gorillas will be habituated throughout the 28 Bwindi gorilla families.

Activities

Each of the three volcanoes can be climbed with a day trip hike as recommended by the lonely planet, without special mountain equipment. Visits are organized to the Garama Cave, near the Park Head Quarter in Ntebeko, which is 432 m. in length and was once inhabited by the pygmies’ population. The main attraction was the “Gorilla tracking” to the only one habituated family of mountain gorillas, which in 2005 has migrated into Rwanda. A number of one day nature walks are available from the gate at Ntebeko (the Sabinyo Gorge trail and Rugezi Swamp trail), especially for bird watching activities, visit to the Batwa cultural centre and the Golden monkey trekking is now famous.

Accessibility

Mgahinga National Park can be accessed by road or air transport.
Kisoro Town at the foot of Mt. Muhavura is about 540km from Kampala and takes about 8 hours via Kabale on an excellent paved road surface. Public transport by bus is available on a daily basis.
Mgahinga is located 13 km from Kisoro town and can be accessed by Public transport.
Kisoro Town can also be accessed by air. The town boasts of a bitumen runway Airfield at Nyakabande.

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