Welcome to Mgahinga National Park, a complete guide for visitors with everything you need to know about the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in South West Uganda. Find information about the park, things to see (attractions), things to do (activities) and a travel planner to help you plan a safari to Mgahinga Forest. Our exclusive safari planner section has detailed information on planning a gorilla trek, when to go, gorilla permits, how to book your safari, where to stay and more!
About the Park
At just 33.7km2, Mgahinga National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the southwestern corner of Uganda. The Park covers the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m). The Park is about 10 km south of Kisoro and is bordered to the south by the Republic of Rwanda and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each of these countries protects its own portion of the Virungas, in the Parc National des Volcans and Parc National des Virunga respectively. The three parks together form the 434-sq. km. ‘Virunga Conservation Area’ or VCA. Mgahinga is 33.7 sq. km, just 8% of the VCA. The entire Park is in Bufumbira County of Kisoro District. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is 33.7 sq. km and consists of the partly forested slopes of three extinct volcanoes. From far away, the huge cones of the Virunga volcanoes dominate the landscape and beckon you as you approach. When you reach the park you can get a great overview of the area by walking up the viewpoint, just 15 minutes from Ntebeko Gate. Mgahinga Park has great biological importance because throughout the climatic changes of the Pleistocene ice ages, mountains such as these provided a refuge for mountain plants and animals, which moved up or down the slopes as climate became warmer or cooler. The Virungas are home to a large variety of wildlife, including about half the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.
The parks is one of the most scenic given that the park lies on the northern slopes of Mt. Muhabura, Mgahinga and Sabyinyo. These three volcanoes create an unforgettable regional backdrop. These peaks are three of the six Virunga volcanoes that mark the southern limit of the Albertine Rift Valley and are divided between Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. The Virungas are home to more than half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorilla. 380 individuals roam the slopes of the volcanoes while the remaining 340 live nearby in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Fortunately for the gorillas, Mgahinga’s small area is supplemented by those of two larger, adjoining parks in Rwanda (Volcanoes NP) and DR Congo (Virunga NP).
Things to Do
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the popular destinations where Silver meets Gold (mountain gorillas and golden monkeys). Though gorilla tracking is the park’s most popular activity, Mgahinga merits a visit simply to appreciate the scenery. A choice of hikes allows for all abilities, ranging from the 8 hour return trip to the summit of Mt. Muhabura, to gentle strolls across the lower slopes beneath the magnificent three peak backdrop. Read More
Golden Monkey Tracking
Golden monkey tracking is one of the top activities that make this park an interesting place for tourists to visit for a primate safari. Challenge yourself an engage in this life changing activity and achieve an excitement of a lifetime.
Plan a safari to Mgahinga National Park
Planning to take a gorilla safari in Mgahinga National Park? The park experiences two rainy seasons; March-May and September-November. October is the wettest month, with 250mm of rain and July the driest with just 10mm.
Where is Mgahinga National Park?
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in South Western Uganda. The Park is situated about 8-10 hours drive from Kampala, Uganda and about 6 hours drive from Kigali, Rwanda. The can be accessed using both road and air transport. Read More
Which entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park should I take?
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has one main entrance for visitors and it is accessible from all directions. The Ntebeko gate is
How should I get to Mgahinga National Park
Most people travel on otrganised safaris that are arranged by various tour operators. If you are looking to an independent trip, you should consider driving to to the park or using public transport as per our resource information. On this website, you can also check out our road trip ideas. Once you get to the park, you hike through the park on foot.
Where should I stay on my Safari Vacation?
There are several campgrounds, hotels and lodges around Kisoro and Lake Mutanda Area. There are developed lodging facilities inside the park. There are also many lodging options near the Ntebeko’s entrances. Depending on the season, you will need to reserve hotels and campgrounds well in advance.
What animals will I see in Mgahinga National Park?
Therre are several animals that have been recorded within the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Check out our wildlife checklist for a detailed listing of animals that you can see in the region.