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Getting There | Mgahinga National Park
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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is situated in far south western Uganda. It’s situated in 510km from Kampala; the most commonly used route passes through Kabale and Kisoro districts. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be reached in 8 hours on good tarmac. Its then a further 76km to Kisoro town on a mountainous tarmac road with steep ascents and descents.

Ntebeko, the main entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is 14km from Kisoro at the end of a dirt road with some steep and rocky sections.

Far southwest, bordering Rwanda and Congo, 14km from Kisoro town. The park lies in the south-western corner of Uganda, 540km from Kampala.

By Road:

  • Kisoro is about 540 km from Kampala (Uganda’s capital city). The journey to the park by road takes about 10 hours, excluding rest stops, passing via Kabale and Kisoro. It takes about 8 hours to reach Kabale.
  • For public transport, there are daily buses/minibuses, which set off at 7.00pm from Kampala. Once in Kisoro Town, you can hike to the park if you are strong enough or hire a cab to the park gate.

 Please note that the 80km section between Kabale and Kisoro is a winding, mountainous drive on murram that takes at least 2 hours, while the park gate at Ntebeko lies a bumpy 14km (30 minutes) south of Kisoro.

From Kabale

An attractive, alternative route leaves the main road at Kabale and follows the shoreline of the superbly scenic Lake Bunyonyi to rejoin the Kabale-Kisoro main road at its halfway point at Muko.

From Bwindi

Mgahinga can be reached from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the most popular location where travelers go on gorilla trekking safaris. From Bwindi’s southern gorilla tracking trailheads at Nkuringo and Rushaga, Kisoro lies 28km south and Mgahinga 14km beyond.  Mgahinga is almost four hours’ drive from the main trailhead at Buhoma. Dirt roads from Buhoma pass the Ruhija trailhead to join the Kabale-Kisoro tarmac road (see above). Mgahinga can also be reached by air using the daily flights from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro airfield.

By Air

Charter flights can be arranged from Entebbe or Kampala (Kajjansi) to Kisoro Airstrip.

How to Access the Mgahinga National Park

The park can be reached by way of road through Kabale and Kisoro, 510 kms from Kampala. Kabale is where the tarmac finishes. From Kampala to Kabale a 434 km journey can be completed in 8 hours on good tarmac. Kabale is 88 kms to Kisoro on a mountainous marrum road with steep inclines and descents. Large trucks with trailers proceeding to and from the DRC via the border at Bunagana (14 kms from Kisoro) use this route. Great care should be observed in trying to pass such vehicles.

Travel time Kabale-Kisoro 3 hours walking.

In Kisoro visit the National Parks office for directions to the Park HQ at Ntebeko Camp located 13.6 Kms from Kisoro. They have a map you may be able to make a photocopy of before setting out.
NP Kisoro office- pass the Caltex station and Commercial Bank of Uganda on your left coming from Kabale and proceed for 500m up a slight hill, NP office immediately on the right. It is well sign posted.

The Route to Mgahinga Ntebeko Camp:
Take direction Bunagana from the NP Office, after 100m take a left turn at the Travelers Rest. Almost immediately after TR make a right turn (straight on leads to the Uganda/Rwanda border at Cyanika). A further 250m take a further right turn. You are now on the main track to Mgahinga. All further junctions are well sign posted. At junction 4.3 kms there are 2 signposts. One leads to Muhavura Ranger Station (straight on) and the other (a right turn) to Ntebeko Gate.

The route had been upgraded right up to Ntebeko Gate (Sept 00) improving it dramatically. Parts of the road at 6 kilometers from Kisoro are liable to flooding after heavy rain. It can be very muddy. The steep assent road to the Ntebeko Gate starts 7.3 kms after leaving the NP office in Kisoro.

The route from junction 4.3 kms to Muhavura Ranger Station is rough. Vehicles can be left at the campsite or at the roads end below the Ranger Station where you should find someone to take care of it.

Leaving a vehicle here is a good idea if the Gorilla family is currently located on Mt. Muhavura. It will save a 16 km walk from Ntebeko gate and back from the Muhavura Ranger Post. Gorilla trekking starts from the Ranger Station where a tracker from the previous days tracking is picked up to help locate the family.

For those without their own transport a ‘Private Hire’ can be arranged at the bus park in Kisoro town or through the Virunga Hotel behind the National Parks office in Kisoro. Through the Virunga Hotel you can arrange a price for a return journey allowing you peace of mind that they will come to pick you after some days spent at the park.