Budget activities in Mgahinga national park
Budget activities in Mgahinga national park: Mgahinga national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda in Kisoro district. The national park was gazetted in 1991 with an aim of protecting endangered mountain gorillas. Mgahinga national park is home to a number of primates, 180 bird species, and over 76 mammal species living in the bamboo and afro-montane vegetation covers.
Budget activities in Mgahinga national park we are looking at those tourism activities that are affordable by budget travelers. The main activity carried out in Mgahinga national park is mountain gorilla trekking and this is because the park is home to endangered mountain gorillas. There are other possible activities tourists coming for gorilla trekking can engage in and they include the following.
Top budget activities in Mgahinga national park
Mountain gorilla trekking
Although people say it’s expensive, mountain gorilla trekking is among the budget activities that can be done in Mgahinga national park since it’s the main activity done there. A lot of tourists visit Mgahinga national park to specifically carry out mountain gorilla trekking. A gorilla trekking permit is affordable to all tourists that love to carry out mountain gorilla trekking. A permit goes for $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 members of East African states.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park involves visiting the jungle and searching for where the mountain gorillas could be. The search is always led by armed ranger guides who take tourists through different trekking trails looking for where the apes could be. When the trekkers do a mountain gorilla family, they are given 1 hour to be around the members watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their behaviors among others.
Bird watching in Mgahinga
Bird watching safaris is another tourism activity that can be carried out by budget travelers in Mgahinga national park. A bird watching permit is $30 for foreign non-residents, $25 for foreign residents, and UGX20,000 citizens of East African member states. The price is very affordable to all categories of travelers including budget travelers. Mgahinga national park hosts 180 bird species 14 of which are endemic to the Albertine rift area.
The bird watching activities in Mgahinga national park are carried out in different areas of the park where birds normally concentrate. Birds to see in Mgahinga national park include the Great blue turaco, Kivu ground thrush, dusky turtle dove, scarlet tufted malachite sunbird, cape robin chat, buff spotted flufftail, montane double-collared sunbird, MacKinnon’s fiscal, double colored sunbird, ladgen’s bushshrike, regal sunbird, red-billed fire finch, chubb’s cisticola, olive pigeon, narina tragon, alpine chat, blue-headed coucal, Rwenzori turaco, dusky crimson wing, and speckled mousebird among others.
Nature walks are other budget activities travelers would do in Mgahinga national park during their free time. There are half day nature walks in Mgahinga national park concentrating on the forest zone. So many trekking trails are within Mgahinga and among these include Sabyinyo gorge, bamboo trail, and other trails which lead tourists to Rugezi swamp and Garama cave.
Batwa cultural experience.
A visit to the Batwa is carried out by all categories of travelers including budget ones. A small amount of money is paid and a local guide takes you to different homes around the Batwa community. During the movement, one is able to visit farmers, traditional healers, and storytellers. The Batwa used to live inside Mgahinga national park but were later evicted to create space for wild animals. By visiting the Batwa, you will get know about how they lived in the jungle and how they are surviving out of the jungle.
Best time to visit Mgahinga for budget activities
Mgahinga national park can be visited for budget activities at any time of the year however certain months are better than the rest. The dry season months of June, July, August, September, December January, and February are the best to visit the park. There is little or no rainfall received, the trekking trails are dry and easily passable, vegetation is short with good views of wildlife, and the roads to the park from Kisoro are passable.
Tourists can still visit Mgahinga national park during the rainy season because the park is always open. Not so many tourists love to visit the park in the rainy months may be the budget travelers who love discounted accommodation facilities. The rainy season has a lot of rainfall making the trekking trails muddy and slippery, vegetation is short and scattered with unclear views of wildlife, and roads leading to the park are impassable, especially the marram ones.
Accessing Mgahinga national park
Located in southwestern Uganda, Mgahinga national park can be accessed by both air transport and road transport.
Accessing Mgahinga national park by air transport: This is the quickest way to get to Mgahinga national park as it takes 1 hour and 25 minutes. There are daily morning flights by Aerolink Uganda and Bar Aviation Uganda to Kisoro airstrip where tourists connect to Mgahinga national park.
Accessing Mgahinga national park by road transport, tourists from Entebbe/Kampala can access Mgahinga national park in 9 to 10 hours. The journey from Entebbe/Masaka goes through Masaka, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale and Kisoro to the park. Those from Kigali use 4 to 5 hours to get to Mgahinga national park by crossing to Uganda via Cyanika border.