GORILLA TREKKING IN MGAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
“The wilderness holds the answers to questions than we have yet learned to ask.” Lots of hidden treasures are found in different destinations across the world, but those unknown have lots to show to all its visitors.
Mgahinga national park is one destination that is usually ignored yet it offers thrilling experiences that most travelers look out for o African safaris. The most outstanding activity every in this park is Gorilla Trekking that every primate lover seeks to find where this wonderful creatures stay.
The park is a home to over 80 endangered mountain gorillas. It is located in the southwestern part of Uganda, 15km by road south of Kisoro town. This park is part of Virunga Mountains, encompassing three inactive volcanoes of Mount Gahinga, Mount sabyinyo and Mount Muhabura. The altitude of the park ranges from 2,227 to 4,127m; it is a contiguous to Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo.
When it comes to gorilla trekking, Mgahinga gorilla national park is hardly mentioned. However, this park is a hidden treasure which few have discovered. Despite its small size of 33.7sqkm, the unique tourism destination rewards its visitors with experiential and adventurous travel encounter.
Gorilla Trekking is the most done activity, it lasts for less than six hours to hike the hills in search for the forest giants, and one magical hour to stay with them, watching them play from one tree branch to the other, feeding, carrying on their daily lives, taking photos and learning a lot of things about these mighty apes.
The park had one only gorilla group to trek thus making it even easier and better. Nyakagyezi is the only habituated gorilla group in Mgahinga gorilla national park comprising of 10 members, which include 3silver backs,2 blackbucks, 2 adult females, 1 infants and 2 juveniles led by Mark and assisted by Mafia.
A lot has been done making the Gorilla family to stay in the park not like back then when the family would cross over to the neighboring Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Nyakagyezi family has presently settled in Mgahinga Park making it reliable for trekking. However, one new gorilla family was habituated making them two groups in the park.
Just like the neighboring gorilla home, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, a gorilla permit costs USD 600 and USD 450 in the high and low season respectively. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park involves footing through the thick forest in slippery trails just to spend an hour with the humans’ nearest cousins in the forest.
Everyday only eight permits are available for eight people to track the gorilla family in the Park. The unpredictable forest weather requires travelers to carry rain sweaters, rain jackets, good trekking clothes, walking sticks, hiking boots and hand gloves to ensure smooth hiking of the steep slippery grounds.
While with the gorillas, trekkers are reminded to keep a distance of seven meters away, keep a low tone, move at a low rate, Use cameras with no flashlights, never to look at the gorillas straight at their eyes because this might make them uncomfortable forcing them to charge. Endeavor not to smoke and litter in the park for conservation issues.
The beauty of Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park is its nearness to Kigali airport, In fact it is just a three hour scenic drive making it accessible even from Rwanda. Still the ease to track these primates since the park is small and the gorillas have a limited range of space to feed, the park is less crowded with tourist since it has only one family to track, all these make Mgahinga the perfect place to trek the gorillas in Africa.
Don’t despair, come out of noisy streets and visit the primates that have 98% of human DNA in the wild. Explore every part of the world and discover the beautiful secrets you have not yet known. Visit Mgahinga national.