Mgahinga gorilla national park is the smallest wildlife park in Uganda. It is found in the south western corner of the country in the Virunga Mountains. It covers the northern slopes of three of the Virunga volcanoes namely; Mt Muhavura, Mt Sabinyo and Mt Gahinga. It is famous for the mountain gorillas that inhabit the area, but the beautiful scenery is part of what makes Mgahinga a popular Uganda tour spot.
Wildlife in Mgahinga
The park has 9 habituated gorillas 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants which make gorilla trekking possible. This small park does not have as large a population of wildlife as the neighbouring Bwindi impenetrable park. It has about 39 species of mammals
ecorded, but the number could possibly be more than that. Some of the animals found in the park include, side stripped jackals, bush pigs, golden cat, serval cat, leopard, spotted hyena, side-striped jackal, black-fronted duiker forest buffalos, elephants, bushbucks, golden cats, , fronted duikers, giant forest hogs and the South African Porcupines.
Mgahinga has about 79 bird species including some that are endemic to the Eastern Congo montane.
Mgahinga is open and a good place to visit all year round, but the best time to visit is in the drier season. The drier months include December to January and June to August. Because the park is located in perhaps the coldest area in Uganda, what counts as the drier season, is not as hot as it would be in other parts of the country, but there is less rain during those months. The trails are usually slippery and harder to navigate during the wet season, but it is a good time for bird watching.
Bird watching can also be done throughout the year.
What to do in Mgahinga
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is an interesting place to visit, you can of course go gorilla trekking, volcano hikes, because of it is located on the slopes of 3 extinct volcanoes Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhavura, and there are guided walks to the Garama cave. There is also bird watching; Sabinyo trail is very popular for birdwatcher. You can also go on a border trail, a 5 hour hike that covers about 10km and you do not need a visa to cross the border while on the hike.
This small park offers a unique experience of African wildlife. If you are planning a Uganda safari trip, be sure to add Mhaginga to your itinerary. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is very popular gorillas tracking. In uganda its popularity is only exceeded by Bwindi Impenetrable National park. The park is open for gorilla tracking all year round although some seasons are a better time than others. The best time to visit for gorilla trekking and game viewing is during the drier season that runs from June – august, ans December – January.