Uganda safaris to Mgahinga gorilla park are among the most rewarding wildlife safaris in the Pearl of Africa. With adventures from the less traveled paths of Kidepo national park to the primates in Bwindi, Uganda is truly amazing.
Many travelers take on Uganda safaris and are fully immersed in the never ending adventures. There are however many adventure destinations that are unique but less explored. Today we are discussing Uganda safaris to Mgahinga Gorilla park home to Mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, bird species and more.
Mgahinga gorilla park’s most outstanding wildlife species are the mountain gorillas. This park is home to one mountain gorilla family called Nyakagezi. Being the only gorilla family here, gorilla tours here are very exclusive and enjoyable.
Uganda safaris featuring gorilla tracking in Mgahinga gorilla park offer once in a lifetime experiences and are highly recommended. Gorilla tracking here can be done anytime of the year but best experiences are in the dry season.
Golden monkeys are other rare primates species in Mgahinga gorilla park. Golden monkeys are endemic to the Virunga massif and Uganda’s Mgahinga gorilla park is the only place where you can see them in Uganda.
Just like mountain gorillas, golden monkeys also live in groups ranging from 5 to 20 or more. Golden monkey tracking here offers unforgettable Uganda safaris and primates experiences. Golden Monkey tracking also starts with a briefing at the park headquarters and then later proceed to the forested mountains.
There are several bird species here including those that are endemic to the Albertine and Rwenzori region. Birding here is done following adventurous trails in the gorge between mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo.
You would need at least 3 to 4 hour to fully explore this trail where you can see birds. Notable birds that are often spotted here include the Ruwenzori Batis, streaky seed-eater, Bronze Sunbirds among others. You can also hike the bamboo forested Mount Gahinga or Sabyinyo where you can see the Rwenzori Turaco.
The Virunga Mountains
Mgahinga national park is blessed to have 3 of the Virunga Massif Volcanoes that include Mount Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhavura. All the three Mountains can be hiked in a day in about 8 to 9 hours round trip. Mount Sabinyo’s peak is at 3,669 meters above sea level with about 14 kilometers of Hiking. It takes about 8 hours to complete this hike as there is a steep ridge to follow up to the mountain peak
Mount Muhavura has the highest peak standing at 4,127 meters above sea level with a 12 kilometer hiking journey. It takes around an 8 to 9 hours to complete this adventurous journey. On a clear sunny day you can easily see the Rwenzori mountain peaks, Bwindi impenetrable forest and other Virunga volcanoes while on the mountain summit.
Mount Gahinga stands are 3,474 meters above sea level and has a crater on its summit. This mountain is very adventurous to hike and one would need about 6 to 7 hours to complete the hike. Here you can be rewarded with a number of wildlife and if lucky can spot golden monkeys as you move through the bamboo forest.
The crater on the summit is filled with a swamp and giant lobelia giving you a glimpse of mountain vegetation.
The Batwa Community
The Batwa were initially living in the forest however when Mgahinga gorilla park was established, the Batwa were evicted from the forest. This was aimed at fostering conservation of the parks wildlife especially mountain gorillas as the Batwa would poach them.
As tourism in the region kept on increasing, the Batwa trail was established to ensure the Batwa can directly earn from tourism. During the Batwa trail excursions, Batwa lead tourists back to the forest where they used to live as they demonstrate their initial ways of life.
While on this trail expect to learn more about the hunting and gathering skills of the Batwa. If you are lucky you get to test fresh honey collected from the forests as you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. The batwa also demonstrate their medicinal skills showing you the different plants where you get local herbs and medicine.
This adventures trails also leads to the Garama cave a sacred place for the batwa where they used to take refuge. Uganda safaris featuring the Batwa offer the most authentic local culture experience and the best for those interested in African native tribes.