Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga national park
Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga national park: Mgahinga national park is located in south western region of Uganda in Bufumbira county of Kisoro district bordering with both Rwanda and DR Congo, the park is strategically suited in Virunga Mountains and encompasses with three inactive volcanoes, namely mount Muhabura, mount Gahinga and mount Sabinyo. Mgahinga national gorilla national park is also bordering with volcanoes national park in Rwanda and the southern sector of Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Mgahinga gorilla national park is also home to various wildlife species namely the rare golden monkeys, forest elephants, buffaloes, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, bushbucks, black-fronted duikers among other animal species record though some can’t be seen easily. The park also harbors over 180 recorded bird species among these are Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori nightjar, Rwenzori turaco, olive woodpecker, Alpine swift, African olive pigeon and other more.
Mgahinga gorilla national park was gazette in 1991 and it lies on total area range of about 33.7 square kilometer and its main aim was to protect the endangered mountain gorillas resting Bwindi impenetrable national park from over population of these species. Gorilla tracking in Mgahinga gorilla national park is the most famous activity known and also the most practiced one in the park by the visitors who come to explore and experience the activity in the park.
The experience also involves trekking in to the forest in search of these endangered animals in their natural habitats to learn about their daily way of living in the forest. The park has only habituated one gorilla family group called Nyakagezi with nine members, 2 juvenile, 3 adult females, 2 infants, and silverbacks. The group is known located and settled in the park unlike before un it used to cross over Rwanda and DR Congo back to mgahinga national park but you have no guarantee that you will see it.
In mgahinga gorilla national park, gorilla tracking activity starts very early in the morning at the park’s headquarters with a briefing about the rules and regulations by Uganda Wildlife Authority staff. After the briefing the trekking starts in the jungle with an experienced guide from Uganda wild life authority which take about 1 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas are located because their always move from one place ton another in search of food. When these forest gains are seen visitors are given one hour to spend with them from a time of contact to learn about their natural habits, take pics, record videos among others.
The time taken for tracking remains uncertain because the gorillas are wild and they like moving and cannot be kept at one place therefore; there is no guarantee to meet these endangered animals like I said earlier that a wild so their movement determines where and when it will takes to find them and spend time with them learning their behaviors closely.
Best time to track mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park
Gorilla tracking is open in Mgahinga gorilla national park throughout the year to visitors. But; however, the best time to track these creatures is the dry season in months of June to September and December to February when there are few chances of rain. During this season gorilla tracking is easier because the pathways are drier which makes it easy to hike deep in the jungle in search of these endangered animals. The months of March to May and October to November are not embarked to carry out this activity because the roads are muddy and also the grass becomes very tall which denies a clear view to watch and track these animals.
How much does gorilla permit cost?
Gorilla permits are the only tickets that authorize you an access to the park to meet these endangered wildlife animals and spend an hour with them in their natural habits. The permit cost USD600 per person for foreigners, USD500 foreign residents and 25,0000ugx for Eat Africa residents. This cost includes a park entrance fee and a guide to take you to track these gorillas. These permits can be obtained from Uganda wildlife authority headquarters in Kampala or at the park headquarters in Kisoro through a trusted tour operator.
How to get to Mgahinga national park for gorilla tracking
Mgahinga national park can be accessed by both road and air transport means. By road the park can be accessed by a good 4WD car from Kampala via Kabale to Kisoro and this journey takes about 8-9 hours and by plane you can access the park from Entebbe airport to Kisoro airstrip which is near the park. Mgahinga national park can also be accessed from Rwanda and the journey will take about 45 mins to an hour.