Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is that one most dramatic primate adventures and undoubtedly a unique wildlife experience in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers visitors on African safari a chance to get up close to a group of mountain gorillas while they are in their natural habitat. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park straddles in southwestern Uganda at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) about 8-9 hours’ drive from Kampala city center.
It is one of the 4 most pristine national parks in the world where visitors can go for gorilla treks in the world. The park hosts a family of mountain gorillas that resides on the high slopes of the volcanoes. This national park spans up to about 33.7 square kilometers making Uganda’s smallest national park.
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is done the same way as it is in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Volcanoes National Park, or Virunga National Park but most importantly; each gorilla destination offers a distinct experience. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park starts with an early morning breakfast at the visitor’s respective safari lodge.
After, visitors gather at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park headquarters at Ntebeko Entrance Gate where they will be briefed on the set rules and regulations to be observed while on a gorilla trek. Visitors are put in a group of 8 visitors to trek the only one habituated gorilla family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Nyakagezi family) and you are accompanied by an experienced park ranger guide. Later, you hit the jungles to look out for a group of rare mountain gorillas which may take you about 2 to 6 hours depending on your hiking speed, nature of the habitat, and location of these primates.
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park like it is in Bwindi National Park or Volcanoes National Park allows you to spend only 1 hour on a face to face encounter with these unique creatures in the wild, photography and opportunity to explore their behaviors and body gestures among others. But trackers are always sent to the field to ascertain the whereabouts of these creatures and this means, fewer hours of trek. After magical encounters, you return to the lodge to have a rest.
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park requires all visitors to observe the set rules and regulations or rather the safety measures while on a trek. The set rules and regulations to follow while on gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include among others-maintaining a distance of about 7 meters away from mountain gorillas at all times, keep your voices low at all times, only 8 visitors are allowed to trek 1 habituated family, no flashlight camera is allowed, only 1 hour is given to you to have a face to face encounter with mountain gorillas, don’t trek gorillas if you are sick, don’t eat, smoke or drink in the presence of gorillas, in case you are sneezing, please cover your nose and mouth when coughing.
Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park takes you to extreme southwestern Uganda where this pristine national park straddles. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is reachable by road or by air. By road, visitors on gorilla trekking safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park will spend about 8-9 hours but depends on the route you take. Road trip to Mgahinga National Park starts from Kampala or Entebbe through Masaka to Mbarara through Kabale then to Kisoro which may take you about 8 hours and a 4 wheel drive safari vehicle is ideal for you to navigate through the remote routes in this particular part of Uganda.
Alternatively, you can take a flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield and then land at Kisoro or Kihihi airstrip where you can easily connect to Mgahinga National Park by road using a 4 wheel drive safari vehicle.
Gorilla permits for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is limited to 8 visitors which means only 8 gorilla permits are always available for purchase. This also means that you have to book one in advance. The cost for gorilla permits in Mgahinga National Park goes at $600 per person just like it is in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Where to stay in Mgahinga National Park
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is ideal as there are many accommodation options for visitors to overnight stay before and after taking part in this thrilling primate experience. Visitors on gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can choose to spend a night in nearby hotels/lodges in Ntebeko, Lake Mutanda, and Kisoro. The accommodation options in Mgahinga National Park include Amajambere Iwacu Camp, Lake Mutanda Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Kisoro Traveler’s Rest Hotel, River Mucha Hotel, Gahinga Safari Lodge a mention but a few.
In conclusion, gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the most rewarding safari experiences that shouldn’t miss out on your bucket list. Visit Mgahinga National Park and have the best of magical encounters with the rare mountain gorillas while in their natural habitat.