Start here for basic information about the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Learn where Mgahinga National Park is in Kisoro District of Western Uganda. Find answers to the most frequently asked questions such as what to pack and how close you should get to wild animals. Are you planning a trip far in advance? Check our weather articles to learn what to expect in different seasons. And, don’t forget to check our park map.
Mgahinga National Park is 33.7km in size and this makes it the smallest national Park in Uganda.
Why Mgahinga Name?
This park takes its name from Gahinga which is a local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest of all Uganda’s national parks. The park was created to protect the mountain gorillas that roam freely within the Virunga region. The park is bordered by the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. It was declared a game sanctuary by the British administration in 1930 and was gazetted as a national park in 1991. The park has only got one habituated trans- boundary gorilla group. The visitors can also enjoy the Batwa visit which is a much far fascinating tour with the Batwa guide to learn the secrets of the forest.
The park’s star attraction is the mountain gorillas.
About the Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the luckiest and smallest parks in Uganda where the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas are found and it happens to be part of the Virunga massif where more than 480 mountain gorillas park known to be living.
The park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name says, it was created to give protection to the mountain gorillas that live in its dense forests, and it’s also an important habitant for the endangered golden Monkey. The national park has cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. The tribe of hunter gatherers was the forest’s first people. Mgahinga has got the most striking features and its conical, extinct volcanoes that are part of the spectacular Virunga Range which lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda.
The national park also forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area that includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes slopes have got many ecosystems and are biologically diverse and their peaks give a striking back drop to this gorgeous scenery.
Out of the mountain gorilla population that are found in the Virunga Massif, there are about 3 gorilla families that are known to be living in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
The park is located about 519 kilometers from Kampala and it is a 9-10 hours’ drive.