Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

This is Uganda’s smallest national park (33.7 km2) in the south-western part of the country. It is linked to two other Virunga national parks i.e Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) to form a single conservation area in the Virunga Mountains. This is home to almost half of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas. (The remainder are found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.) Mgahinga comprises three extinct volcanoes covered with Afro-montane tropical rain forest.

The park has a montane forest belt, a bamboo zone, an ericaceous belt and an alpine zone. In the saddles between the volcanoes lie three extensive swamps. Apart from the endangered mountain gorillas, the park supports a high level of endemism, including the rare golden monkey, and Black-fronted Duiker, as well as the side-strapped Jackal. Some 185 species of birds have been recorded, including 12 endemic to the region, such as several bandsome francolin, the Rwenzori Turaco and the side breasted tit.

Both the Batwa and Bafumbira people live adjacent to the park, and benefit from some of the park fees under the on-going programme to involve local people in conservation. Human pressure on the park has been intense in recent years, but local development programmes are assisting sustainable local projects.

Activities in the Park

Mgahinga is an exhilarating experience for outdoor-oriented people. Gorilla trekking is the prime activity but a number of other hikes showcase the park’s dramatic views, lush vegetation and interesting wildlife. Though most travelers take a gorilla safari to this national park, there are several other adventures that you do within the park. These include;

Full-day climbs to the summits of Mt. Muhabura and Mt. Gahinga are challenging, but offer spectacular views. A 13-km nature trail provides the opportunity of seeing some of the special flora and fauna in the park.

A visit to the Pygmy villages neighbouring the park.

Accommodation

Overnight camping is not allowed on the mountains, but is possible within the park at Ntebeko Camp near the Garama Cave. Bring your own tent and food. There is also a campsite near the departure point for the Mt. Muhabura climb. Hotel accommodation is available in Kabale or Kisoro.

How to Reach the Park

The park booking office is located in Kisoro, and all the permits must be obtained before leaving for the park. It is an hour’s drive by 4WD vehicle, or a three-hour hike for Kisoro to the park headquarters at Ntebeko Camp.
VISITORS – Entrance Fee per 24 Hour Visit
Adult Child
Foreign Non-resident 14.29 3.81
Foreign Resident 9.52 2.86
Citizen Resident 1.90 0.49
MOTOR VEHICLES – Entrance Fee per visit
Ugandan Foreign
Motorcycle 1.90 7.62
Motor car or pick-up 4.76 19.05
Bus or Lorry 11.43 45.71
CAMPING FEES – in US $ per person, per night
Foreign Non-resident 5.71
Foreign Resident 4.76
Citizen Resident 1.90
RANGER GUIDE – per half day
Foreign Resident or Non-resident 6.67
Citzen Resident 1.90
NATURE WALK FEE
Foreign Non-resident 5.71
Foreign Resident 3.81
Citizen Resident 0.95
GORILLA TRACKING FEE
Foreign Non-resident 142.86
Foreign Resident 114.29
Citizen Resident 38.10
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING FEE
Foreign Non-resident 7.14
Foreign resident 13.33
Citizen Resident 3.81
RESCUE FEE per person 9.52
GARAMA CAVE EXPLORATION FEE
Foreign Resident or Non-resident 5.71
Foreign Resident 4.76
Citizen Resident 1.90
PHOTOGRAPHIC FEES – in US $ for commercial filming
Where the size of the filming party is:
1-5 persons 190.48
6-20 persons 476.19
Over 20 persons 952.38

These figures do not include Entrance Fees For fuller details please contact:

The Warden in Charge,
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park,
P. O. Box 723, Kabale, Uganda.