Mgahinga is the smallest National Park in the country - about 38 square miles and yet it is one of the most stunningly beautiful places in all of Uganda. This area is the oldest part of the Western Rift Valley and from here the Virgunga Chain of active and inactive volcanoes stretch over three countries, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In fact when you climb up Mount Sabinyo you can step into the Congo, into Rwanda and back into Uganda. The volcanoes begin on the dry Rift Valley floors with all of its human bustling hustling about up and up through the bamboo and Hagenia-Hypericum Forests and into the high Afro Montane Region of the park with its windswept moorlands where you will find giant heathers, lobelia and groundsell. Simply awesome to the visitors who has never climbed a Mountain in East or Central Africa.
Mgahinga Gorilla Park is not only a place where you can find Mountain Gorillas but the endangered, beautiful and striking Golden Monkeys and a special Golden Monkey Tracking Walk is available.
One of the most fantastic possibilities at Mgahinga Gorilla Park is the climbing of the three Volcanoes including Mount Sabinyo meaning "Old Man's Teeth," referring to the ring of stubby peaks, Mount Muhavura is translated "the Guide," because of its towering cone which is a landmark in the region, Mount Gahinga is translated "Little Rocks." This name comes from the practice of farmers having to gather the volcanic rocks on their fields and creating piles of stones which are from Mount Gahinga.
Lifetime Experience Safaris offers Volcano Climbing of all three Mount Mgahinga Volcanoes...A 5 day Safari with three days of climbing and hiking up some of the most fantastic Volcanoes in this part of Africa.
Mgahinga Gorilla Park is also home to a group of Mountain Gorillas who move between Rwanda and Uganda It is located near Rwanda's Volcano Park and the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park. In essence Mgahinga Gorilla Park is part of a much greater regional park that allows the gorillas and other wildlife to move in between the parks.
Most Gorilla tracking (trekking) is done at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, since there is only one group in Mgahinga and that frequently crosses over into Rwanda and DRC, so one must have the latest information as to the location of the group. However the scenic beauty of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is simply stunning and considered the most beautiful in all of Uganda. You can explore caves, go climb the volcanoes, track the blue and golden monkeys that are both quite rare and discover the birds of Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Birding has been an underrated activity here because there has never been a real search of the kinds of birds that are here and the present list is about 160.
The Park came into existence in 1991 when people living there were relocated to nearby villages in the surrounding area of the park. It has been a major park for Gorilla tracking (trekking), but that can become a problem due to the movement of habituated gorillas into Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. (Habituated simply means that they are accustomed to have humans around them). Not tame, but not hostile to humans).
People living in the area have controlled and sustainable access to the park and there are the Bafumbira who are cultivators and the Batwa (Pygmies) who once lived in the park area and fed on wildlife and use many plants to make traditional medicine and supplement their diets.
The majority of the staff are from the surrounding area. The community receives 20% of the Park entrance fees for development projects.
Mgahinga like Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a mountainous area and a cool climate for Uganda. Animals found in the park are Mountain gorillas, Buffaloes, Elephants, bushbucks, the threatened golden monkey, and many others. Bird species include the Rwenzori Turaco, Crowned hornbill, Black kite and Crowned Cranes, Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike and Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird.
Mountain Climbing: There are 3 extinct volcanoes to climb for the physical fit, the longest climb takes a nine hour round trip up Mount Muhabura, while Mount Gahinga is 6 to seven hour round trip and the easiest of the three climbs, the toughest one even uses ladders in some instances, Mount Sabinyo is an eight hour hike-climb. People find them very rewarding with views of the Virungas as far as the eye can see. The Virungas are not a mountain chain as such but a number of volcanoes that are dotted across the landscape.
Golden Monkey tracking (trekking): If the mountain gorillas have shifted to Rwanda, Golden Monkey tracking (trekking) should definitely be on the list of things to do. It has a bright orange-gold colored body, tail, black limbs, crown and tail end. They are an endangered species and they are 3 to 4,000 in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
Mountain Gorilla tracking (trekking): Presently there are Mountain Gorillas in Mgahinga National Park that returned in the first week of October 2009. A splendid area to track the Mountain Gorillas in the shadows of Volcanoes. Nature Walks & Birding: There is certainly a variety of them and birdwatchers will have a field day here. There is the Sabinyo Gorge Trail winding its way into bamboo forest, along a stream into a forested gorge.
The Bamboo Forest provides an opportunity to see the Golden Monkey and you might also see the Handsome Francolin, Kivu Ground Thrush and Regal Sunbird. The forest made up of evergreen trees is an area where you can find Rwenzori Turaco, Western Green Tinkerbird, Olive Woodpecker, African Hill Babbler, Archer's Ground Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Lagden's Bush Shrike, Strange Weaver and others.
Rugezi Swamp: Here you have an good opportunity to see Elephants, and the Giant Forest Hog on your return in the late afternoon. This is an all day trail with lots of birds to be seen on it.
Garama Cave: It used to be used by the Iron Age People of the region and then by the Batwa as a hiding place from warring neighboring tribes who did not like the little people of the forest. You an go in about 300 meters, but need a good flashlight and extra batteries. It is rumored that the cave extends and comes out in Rwanda, well you can find out.
We can create a safari that reflects your interests to this fabulous spot in Uganda that you do not want to miss. Just let us know.