Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park: Mgahinga gorilla national park is one of the gorilla destinations in Uganda which offer a fascinating and incredible gorilla trekking activity where visitors get an opportunity to move into the tropical rain forest in search of the habituated gorilla families and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Mgahinga gorilla national park is situated in Kisoro district southwestern Uganda and it was gazetted in 1991 mainly to conserve and protect the endangered mountain gorillas.

Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of 2 habituated gorilla families namely Nyakagezi group which was the first one to be habituated and Hirwa group which migrated from Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking in the park starts in the morning with a briefing about the rules, regulations and expectations at Ntebeko park headquarters. After the briefing you will be grouped into 8 people and allocated a gorilla group to visit. Grouping of individuals is usually done according to age, physical fitness and personal preferences so that visitors who are not physically fit are allocated a gorilla group that is near to trek.

Trekking of the mountain gorillas in Mgahinga gorilla national park starts at around 8:00am with a park guide who will be sharing information about the gorillas. During trekking you will be able to view other primates like the monkeys, some animals, birds, plants among others. Gorilla trekking in the park takes about 30 minutes to 6 hours depending on where the gorillas are located and once they are found, you will spend one hour with them in their natural habitat learning about their habits, behaviors, taking photos and recording the moments. After a face to face encounter with the mountain gorillas, you will trek back to the park headquarters where you will be awarded a certificate to prove that you participated in gorilla trekking.

Cost of a gorilla trekking permit

A gorilla trekking permit is a legal document/ card that is issued to any visitor above the age of fifteen allowing him or her to participate in gorilla trekking activity in Mgahinga gorilla national park. a gorilla trekking permit therefore costs $600 per person for foreign non-residents, $500 per person for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 per person for East African citizens. a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda was however increased by $100 therefore effective 1st July 2020 foreign non-residents will pay $700 and $600 for foreign residents.

Booking a gorilla trekking permit

There are two options of booking a gorilla trekking permit and the first one is by booking directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority where by you will contact the head offices via email or telephone calls and the second option is by booking through a tour operator such as Achieve Global Safaris. When booking through a tour operator, you will contact us with the date, month and year when you want to trek the endangered mountain gorillas. We will check for availability of the permit and if there are permits available, you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. When the deposit has been made, you will be asked to send a scanned copy of your passport which will be used to register for your permit. We will then acquire a permit for you and send a scanned copy of the receipt as confirmation.

When to book a gorilla trekking permit

Gorilla trekking permits in Mgahinga gorilla national park should be booked 3 to 4 months in advance before the trekking date because they are competitive and usually get sold out especially during the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February therefore in order to avoid disappointments at the last minute, you are advised to book in advance.

Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. The dry season is also known as the peak season and during this period many visitors prefer to travel because it’s the period when there is less rainfall in the forest therefore gorilla trekking trails and access roads to the park will be passable hence making gorilla trekking successful.

Despite the heavy rains in the months of March to May and October to November, gorilla trekking can still be done during the rainy season because it doesn’t rain the whole day and there are some advantages like fewer crowds in the park, less competition for the gorilla trekking permit and also the lodges be offering discounts to visitors as a way of attracting them to visit the park.

Where to stay on your gorilla trekking safari in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Mgahinga gorilla national park has a number of accommodations where visitors on a gorilla trekking safari can stay and the lodges range from luxury, mid-range and budget. The lodges include Mgahinga Gorilla Lodge, Mgahinga Community Camp, Mgahinga Rest Camp, Traveler’s Rest House, Virunga Hotel, Mucha Hotel Kisoro, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort among others.

How to get to Mgahinga gorilla national park

Mgahinga gorilla national park is located in southwestern Uganda and can be accessed by road and air transport.

You can either use public means, private means or self-drive in your personal car to Mgahinga gorilla national park where by you will drive from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro and then connect to Ntebeko park headquarters and the journey takes about 9 to 10 hours’ drive. Though the journey is long, it’s filled up with great views on the way such as the homesteads, rolling hills in Kigezi, landscapes, local people, markets along the road among others.

You can also access Mgahinga gorilla national park by public means of transport though not recommended because it’s tiresome due to the fact that the bus stops in all towns and you can also be over charged. When using public means you will board a bus from Kampala bus station to Kisoro town and then hire a private taxi to the park headquarters.

You can also use air transport means to the park because there are domestic airlines such as Aerolink which operate scheduled and charter flights from Entebbe international airport or Kajansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip. After arrival at Kisoro airstrip you will connect to the park headquarters by road.

Mgahinga gorilla national park can also be accessed from Kigali Rwanda and when using this route you will fly to Kigali international airport and then connect by road to the park through Cyanika border which takes about 3 to 4 hours’ drive.

Mgahinga gorilla national park is a must visit destinations for visitors looking for lifetime and unforgettable memories and this can be possible if you book your gorilla trekking safari with Achieve Global Safaris