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mgahinga gorilla national park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: Background Info

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is found in Kisoro in the extreme Southwestern Uganda. It is the smallest of the 10 parks in Uganda covering only 33.7sq.kms. It has existed since 1991 when it was established to shelter some of the endangered mountain gorillas. This makes it one of the 4 parks where mountain gorillas thrive. The other 3 include the Virunga National Park in DRC, Volcanoes National Park Rwanda and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Southwestern Uganda.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park takes its name from Gahinga Volcano. It is a scenic park with 3 Virunga Volcanoes and the other 2 include Muhabura (4127m) and Sabyinyo (3634m). This park only has Nyakagezi gorilla family set for gorilla trekking. Originally, this gorilla family group used to roam between Rwanda and the DR Congo then permanently settled in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: Destination Preview

mgahinga gorilla national park

Wildlife

There are lots of things to see in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. From the endangered mountain gorillas to golden monkeys, three of the Virunga Volcanoes and unique flora and fauna. The montane-woodland, montane-forest and large swathe of bamboo forests supports a large population of golden monkeys, found only here in Uganda. They are also home to the Nyakagazi family of mountain gorillas, the only habituated group outside of Bwindi.

In addition to gorilla treks and golden monkey excursions - both a standard visit and the longer habituation experiences - Mgahinga is an excellent general trekking destination. Challenging guided day hikes are available to the summits of all three of the mountains accessible from Uganda: Gahinga, Sabyinyo and Muhabura.

There are 76 recorded mammal species. The most charismatic of these is the mountain gorilla and the golden monkey. One gorilla family is habituated, but several move between Uganda and Rwanda. The golden monkey, a playful and distinctive species found only in the Virungas numbers between 3,000 and 4,000, with about 60 being habituated to human contact in Mgahinga. Other notable species are black and white colobus monkey, leopard, elephant, giant forest hog, bushpig, black-fronted duiker, and buffalo.

Birdlife

Avifauna is less diverse, with a current species list of 115 birds. The list includes the Ibis, Pin-tailed Whydah, Speckled Mousebird, Stone Chat, Grey-capped Warbler, Wax Bills, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Firefinch, White-naped Raven, Black Kite, Rwenzori Turaco, Blue-headed Coucal, Paradise Fly-catcher, Rwenzori Batis, Double-collared Sunbird, Rwenzori Nightjar. Of these, several are localised forest specialists and 12 are Albertine Rift endemics.

Not much research has been done so far regarding the birds of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, but the park is still of great interest to bird-watchers. More than 180 bird species have been recorded, and several are localized forest birds – 12 of which are considered endemic to the Albertine Rift (birds restricted to this area). There are several guided mountain hikes on offer where birders get an opportunity to tick off some Afro-alpine endemics, such as the scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: Location

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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Smallest of the 10 parks in Uganda covering only 33.7sq.kms. It has existed since 1991 when it was established to shelter some of the endangered mountain gorillas.