Gorilla Tours in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Gorilla Tours in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park happen to be the most selling primate tours in the national park and country at large. It is a known fact that gorilla tours, or rather gorilla safaris, in Uganda are one of the top foreign exchanger earning tourism activities in the country. Majority of the tour operator companies in the country cannot miss including gorilla trekking tours in their tour/safari packages that they sell to various clients/travellers.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park, located in Kisoro district, in the southwestern part of Uganda, is just the second gorilla national park in the country after Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park is a haven for the highly sought-after mountain gorillas, which are a subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are only two other countries in the world where you will be able to find mountain gorillas in the wild, and these include Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes National Park located in the Republic of Rwanda.
About Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Uganda is one of the smallest national parks in the country, covering only 34 square kilometers of rainforest. It was gazetted as national park in 1991, in order to conserve the endangered primate species such as its mountain gorillas and also the golden monkeys.
The national park is managed and run by Uganda Wildlife Authority, under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. The park is also part of the Virunga Conservation Area, along with Virunga national park in Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. It also encompasses three out of eight volcanic mountains that are found within the Virunga Volcano Massif, and they include; Mountains Gahinga, Sabyinyo and Muhavura, also known as Mount Muhabura.
Between 1930 and 1950, the national park was a well-known game reserve, with part of the park used as farmlands by the locals that lived within and in the surrounding areas. However in 1989, most of the local people who were living within the protected area (majority being the Batwa ethnic group), were evicted out of the park and relocated to other nearby areas/communities.
Gorilla Trekking Tours in Mgahinga National Park.
Gorilla Trekking Tours in Mgahinga national park are very pocket friendly especially for tourists on a tight travel budget. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park take place in groups consisting of a maximum of eight members each. The national park at present has two gorilla groups which tourists like yourself can visit, and the include; Nyakagezi gorilla groups and the Hirwa group, which recently migrated to the park from Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.
If you are interested in taking part in the gorilla trekking tours in Mgahinga national park, you will need to first of all book a gorilla trekking permit which costs USD 600 dollars per person. However, starting 1st June 2020, a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda will cost USD 700 dollars person for foreign-non residents and USD 600 dollars for foreign residents.
Gorilla tours in Mgahinga gorilla national park are conducted starting from Ntebeko, which is where the headquarters of the park are located. Gorilla tours in this national park can take between one and a half to seven hours, depending on how fast and easily trekkers can locate a gorilla group. How fast or easy you locate a gorilla group in the park is totally dependent on how far deep in the forest these gorillas have moved as they search for food.
Once you have located a gorilla group, you will be given only an hour to spend with the gorillas. Here, you will be able to monitor how they interact with each other, feed, play and so much more. Seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is not something you can experience anywhere else, not even in a wildlife zoo. It is for this reason that you are encouraged to always move with your camera, and make sure that you pack extra batteries. Also, it is important that you make sure that the flashlight is disabled on your camera or phone. This is for your safety. Gorillas are very sensitive to flash lights and can easily be agitated by these bright lights and become aggressive towards you. So, to avoid any unfortunate incidents, please ensure that your camera’s flashlight is disabled.
It is always recommended that tourists going on a gorilla trekking tour to Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Uganda, pack their own lunch, mineral water and some snacks that you can take while trekking. This is because gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park can take several hours and you want to keep hydrated and energized throughout your trekking experience.
Gorilla tours in Mgahinga gorilla national park are usually combined with cultural experiences such as the Batwa trail experience. After Mountain gorilla Trekking in the park, you can then proceed to go on the Batwa trail experience which takes you on a cultural journey to the land of the Batwa people, also known as pygmies. These cultural tours are conducted by local Batwa guides who will take you through the rich history and lifestyle of the Batwa people. You will get to learn how traditional hunting techniques of the Batwa, how they use natural herbs to make local herbal medicines, and so many more. You will also get to explore interesting sites like the Garama caves which were once used refuges by the Batwa during times of war, and now act as a safe haven for thousands of bats.
There are also other activities that you can do during your gorilla tour in Mgahinga national park, and these include; Birding, Guided forest walks, Golden monkey tracking and Volcano climbing to mention but a few.
And to spice up your safari in Uganda, you can combine your gorilla trekking tour in Mgahinga national park with a visit to other national park, for instance; you can include chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park, a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park, boat cruise in Lake Mburo national park or Queen Elizabeth national park, horseback riding in Lake Mburo national park, Lion tracking experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park and so many more. Do inform your trusted travel consultant to incorporate activities you are interested in doing during your visit to Uganda.
There is so much to see and do during your Uganda Safari, and a gorilla trekking tour in Mgahinga Gorilla national park is just one of them. Get in touch with any of our team of expert travel consultants at Explore Rwanda Tours for the best offers on gorilla tour packages in Uganda.