Uganda Gorilla Safaris to Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park and Uganda gorilla safaris destination home to mountain gorillas with 1 habituated gorilla family known as the Nyakagezi gorilla group. The park is located in Southwestern Uganda. The park covers only 33.7 square kilometers deriving its name from a local word “Gahinga” which means a pile of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes. Nyakagezi is a place in Mgahinga where there is a lot of sumptuous food attractive to the gorillas.
Just like the park’s name, the area was gazetted to protect the one gorilla family in the park. This group was in the previous century known to be transboundary between Uganda and Rwanda, however, the group is known to live only within the park. Lately, the Hirwa gorilla group of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park with 20 members moved into the park.
Many travelers on Uganda gorilla safaris usually prefer to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is home to almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Mgahinga park is, however, one of the best places to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda and this is why;
- Tracking the Nyakagezi gorilla group is amazing with the fact that this group is big and social compared to many other habituated gorilla groups. The family is comprised of three silverbacks, 2 adult females, 2 black backs and 2 infants. The Nyakagezi family is led by Silverback Mark assisted by Mafia, Ndungutse, and Bugingo. Rukundo is the sole Black back, Nshuti an adult female plus two babies namely Nshuti baby and Fred. Silverback Bugingo was formerly the lead silverback before Mark took over, however, the former is happily playing the role of the “senior” silverback in the group. Such a group is rare to find since in many families big groups separate to have dominance and 2 silverbacks can’t lead the same group.
- Nyakagezi family is one of the easiest to track given the fact that it prefers a narrow home range for feeding, resting, relaxing and recreation. In case you are not ready to hike for a long distance, Mgahinga is a better option since they can be found after a short time of trekker rather than those of Bwindi that may require a longer time to trek.
- It’s only in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park where mountain gorillas and golden monkeys co-exist therefore the slogan where silver meets gold. In case you would love to see these beauties then it’s good to choose trekking Mgahinga for gorillas and golden monkeys as well. There is no other place where this is possible in Uganda.
- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is closer to Rwanda and therefore easier to return to Rwanda after the trek. In case you are in Rwanda where the gorilla trekking permit is at US$ 1500 and would love to trek gorillas at a cheaper price you can opt to trek in Mgahinga at just USD 600. It’s about a 4 hours drive from Kigali to Mgahinga and therefore you can return after the trek.
Best time to trek gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The best time of the year for Uganda gorilla trekking safaris in both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is during the dry season months of June –August and December –February which makes it easy to go through the trails. When trails are drier, gorilla trekking is easy since trails are passable and the park is accessible. It is best advisable to track gorillas during the dry season since it’s easy to trek gorillas as well as view wildlife. However, the dry season is actually the peak or high season therefore early booking is recommendable since permits can easily get fully booked as well as accommodation.
Uganda gorilla trekking safari packages
To help you better plan your gorilla trekking safari, here is a list of top gorilla packages in Uganda that you can choose from;
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Our most popular Uganda Gorilla Safaris, Primate Tour to Bwindi Impenetrable Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park offer our Gorilla Safari Uganda clients a great opportunity to go for Mountain Gorilla Trekking. The Most Popular Safari Packages include 3 days Bwindi Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari and 3 days Mgahinga Gorilla Uganda Safari Tour. The Uganda Safari are categorized into 3 major categories namely Short safaris, medium safaris, and long safaris. The short safaris range from 1-3 days, the medium safaris range from 4-6 days and the long safaris range from 7 days and beyond.
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