Are mountain gorilla sightings in Mgahinga national park guaranteed?
Are mountain gorilla sightings in Mgahinga national park guaranteed?: Mgahinga national park is a gorilla park in the western part of Uganda in Kisoro district. It’s the smallest national park in the country covering 33.7 sq. km of tropical and bamboo vegetation cover. Mgahinga national park is among the few places in the world where endangered mountain gorillas do live. It’s home to over 90 gorilla individuals with one habituated mountain gorilla family open for trekking.
Are gorilla sightings in Mgahinga national park guaranteed?
So many travelers intending to go gorilla trekking in Mgahinga ask about the mountain gorilla sightings are guaranteed and they are very right because they value their money and time. Well, this could be because a lot of writers have shown the world that Mgahinga national park has the least population of these endangered primate species.
To consider the question asked “Are mountain gorilla sightings guaranteed in Mgahinga national park?” Well, the answer is yes, we haven’t seen any travelers that have visited Mgahinga national park and have not seen mountain gorillas. There are more than 85% chances of seeing mountain gorillas of Mgahinga national park on your trek.
First of all the national park is very small therefore mountain gorillas rotate around a small piece of land every day and another thing they are very few meaning that there is less competition for food. Food is always enough for these mountain gorillas and they keep in the park year after year. Somewhere you will see that these chimpanzees used to move to the neighboring country but this is no more because they decided to settle in Mgahinga.
Every day tourists go into the jungle with armed ranger guides who have been in this park for a number of years and know where these mountain gorillas normally hang. The armed ranger guides will go around the jungle with you until you meet the mountain gorillas. The search for mountain gorillas takes 2 to 7 hours in Mgahinga until the mountain gorillas are found.
The tourists can’t fail to see mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park and this is because the Uganda Wildlife Authority employed a number of armed ranger guides to monitor these mountain gorillas. There is a group of trackers that goes into the jungle before anyone else to see where these apes slept the previous night. They will use radio callers to communicate with rangers about the location of the mountain gorillas.
In conclusion, all tourists that visit Mgahinga national park for gorilla trekking will always see the mountain gorillas. The national park has only one mountain gorilla family which is monitored all the time by the armed ranger guides employed in the park. Trackers communicate with the armed rangers about the location of the mountain gorilla family so early morning they know which routes to use and where to find these apes.
Gorilla trekking activity in Mgahinga national park
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga starts early in the morning at 7:30 am at Ntebeko which is the briefing center of the park. Tourists that are going for gorilla trekking must be at the briefing point to learn about the rules and regulations of the activity and what to expect from the trekking.
A maximum of 8 people does do gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park every day and these are always led by armed ranger guides after the briefing. The armed ranger guides lead the trekking because they know the best trails to use and areas where the chimpanzees could be.
Searching for mountain gorillas takes trekkers and armed ranger guides to different trees where chimpanzees normally get food and this goes for 2 to 7 hours. While in the jungle, the trekkers do get an opportunity to get see different wildlife species that live within the jungle.
When the chimpanzees are found, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these apes and this gives them an opportunity to learn about their habits, take photos and watch them do daily activities like hunting, nesting, coupling, playing, resting, and grooming among others.
How much are gorilla permits in Mgahinga national park?
Gorilla permits in Mgahinga national park are legal cards that allow travelers to visit a gorilla family and be around the members for a maximum of 1 hour. The gorilla trekking permit comes at a fee which is used in the conservation of these mountain gorillas. Each gorilla trekking permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 members of East African states.
There are only 8 gorilla trekking permits in Mgahinga national park and these are very few compared to the number of tourists that love trekking. This means that you need to do your gorilla trekking permit booking early in advance of 3 to 4 months or more in order to avoid last minute booking. Travelers that want to sight mountain gorillas of Mgahinga national park can always book with local tour operators or directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
When is the most appropriate time to sight mountain gorillas of Mgahinga national park?
Tourists can visit Nyakagezi family of Mgahinga national park at any time of the year but there are months that give the best experience. The dry season months from June to September and December to February are the coolest months to visit Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family. These months have little or no rainfall, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, vegetation is short and thin with good views of mountain gorillas and roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers can still visit the members of Nyakagezi gorilla family during the rainy season which is from March to May and October to November and this period is good for budget travelers. Budget travelers enjoy the discounted lodges and tour packages during the rainy season but apart from that, there is nothing good about it. The rainy season has a lot of rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, vegetation is tall with unclear views of wildlife and roads are slippery.
Accommodation on your gorilla trekking safari in Mgahinga national park
Travelers that are visiting mountain gorillas of Mgahinga and would love to spend a night or more in the park have a lot of accommodation facilities where they can stay. These accommodation facilities are of different prices and offer different services to clients of budget, mid range, and luxury options. The lodges include Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mgahinga Safari Lodge, Mount Gahinga Rest Camp, Mt Muhabura Climbers Rest Camp, Mgahinga Gorilla Triangle Lodge, Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp, and Mutanda Lake Resort among others.