Is Mgahinga national park worth visiting
Is Mgahinga national park worth visiting: Mgahinga national park is Uganda’s smallest park situated in the southwestern part of the country. Mgahinga national park is one of Uganda’s most popular tourist destinations. The small national park is home to some of the mountain gorillas left in the world. Other mountain gorillas do live in Virunga national park, Volcanoes national park, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
Is Mgahinga national park worth visiting? The answer is YES. Mgahinga national park as small as it is harbors some of the mountain gorillas left in the world. About 100 mountain gorillas are said to be living in Mgahinga national park. Some of the mountain gorillas have been habituated and are used to human presence around them.
Is Mgahinga national park worth visiting
It’s a dream come true for most of people to trek and be around mountain gorillas as this gives them a chance to know about their habits, watch them play, and also carry out their daily activities among others. With only one mountain gorilla family, a maximum of 8 people can go gorilla trekking a day to spend some quality time around mountain gorillas.
Apart from gorilla trekking, tourists can go hiking Mount Sabyinyo which is also part of the national park. Tourists can also visit the Batwa pygmies who live around the park boundaries. Batwa cultural tours are best done in Mgahinga national park in the whole country. A high population of the batwa live around the park boundaries and that is where tourists can meet them.
Mgahinga national park is a popular destination for mountain gorillas trekking in Uganda. This is because the mountain gorillas can only be found in two national parks which are Mgahinga and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. These two places combined harbor more than half of the mountain gorilla population left in the world.
The mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park make it worth visiting
Mgahinga national park is one of the national parks in the world that harbors endangered mountain gorillas. It’s the smallest of all national parks with mountain gorillas and has the lowest population of these apes. About 100 mountain gorillas are said to be living in Mgahinga national park in southwestern Uganda.
Some of the mountain gorillas are wild while others have been habituated and are used to human presence around them. The slopes of Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo are home to mountain gorillas of Mgahinga national park. Only one mountain gorilla family has been so far habituated in Mgahinga national park and is open for trekking activities every day.
A maximum of 8 people go gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park because there is one habituated gorilla family in the park. Gorilla trekking is done by people aged 15 years and above with valid gorilla trekking permits. Gorilla trekking permits are issued out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority at a fee of $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East African Member states.
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park is carried out every day and a maximum of 8 people does go for the activity. Early in the morning, tourists meet at the briefing center where armed ranger guides teach about the rules and regulations of the activity before heading into the jungle. The teaching helps tourists to know what to do so as to trek safely and also come back safely.
Armed ranger guides lead trekkers in the jungle and they start looking for where the mountain gorillas could be. The search takes 2 to 7 hours and the time taken to see the apes depends on the location of mountain gorillas as well as the speed of trekkers. While searching, trekkers get an opportunity to meet some of the park animals, birds, and vegetation types.
There are high chances of seeing mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park because rangers keep monitoring their movements. When the mountain gorillas are finally spotted, tourists are given one hour to be around the members and this gives them an opportunity to watch them do daily activities, take photos, and record videos. Later, trekkers are escorted out of the jungle and move back to their safari vehicles.
Apart from mountain gorilla trekking, tourists can go hiking in any of the three mountains shared in the park. There can be bird watching where about 183 bird species can be spotted and lastly, Batwa cultural tour is best done within this park. The Batwa cultural tour takes you to the shortest people in Uganda who once lived in the forests for all their lives until the government evicted them.
The best time to visit Mgahinga national park
Tourists can visit Mgahinga national park at any time of the year however some months are better than others. The dry season months from June to September and December to February are the best time to visit Mgahinga national park as they are characterized by little rainfall and too much sunshine. The trekking trails are dry and easier to go through while the vegetation is short with good views of the mountain gorillas and other attractions.
The rainy season which happens from March to May and October to November favors the budget travelers only as they get discounted accommodation facilities. The rainy season has got plenty of rainfall which makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall with unclear views of animals and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.