The climate in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is mild to cold and wet. The high altitude (2,227-4,127m or 7,306-13,540ft) makes this one of the coldest destinations in the country. It is on average 20°C/68°F during the day, becoming cold in the evening (9°C/48°F). The climate is quite varied because of the park’s wide range of altitudes. Temperatures drop by about 6.5°C for every 1,000m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1,000ft). The lower altitude range is the area most visited by tourists.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park mainly experiences cold climatic and weather conditions and this can be attributed to number of factors. Mgahinga National Park is situated in extreme southwestern Uganda and stands between elevation 2227 and 4127 meters making it one of the coldest safari destinations. During day, temperatures in Mgahinga National Park range from 20 degrees Celsius and at night, they drop up to about 9 degrees Celsius.
The weather and climate in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park keeps fluctuating from time to time due to variation in altitude. In every 1000 meters, temperatures in Mgahinga National Park can drop to about 6.5 degrees Celsius and the lower elevation is usually the most explored area by visitors on Uganda safari.
The region of Mgahinga experiences no real dry season, so rain is always possible! However there tends to be less rainfall in December to January, while June and July receive the least amount of rain. There are two recognizable Wet seasons: from February to May and from September to November. It is advised to pack decent hiking shoes and waterproof clothing.
The highest altitudes are home to the giant senecio and lobelia. At these altitudes of over 3,000m (9,800ft) there is less rainfall as the area is above regular cloud level. It is thought that giantism in the plant species found here is a result of this, allowing plants to store more water and ensuring that they have more efficient temperature control.
No real dry season is experienced in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Two wet/rainy seasons are experienced in Mgahinga National Park each year with the first one starting from late February to May-this is the longest rainy season and from late September to November-the shortest rainy season. Due to this, you are advised to pack appropriately depending on your travel interest and if your plan is to trek mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park, you need good waterproof hiking boots, gardening gloves, waterproof daypack, rain jacket/poncho, long sleeved shirts and others. The highest elevation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park inhabits the giant senecios and lobelia. At 3000 meters, less rainfall is received. Usually, the wet or rainy season is ideal for birding tours in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
The dry season in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park occurs in the months of June, July, August and early September then December, January to early February. The average temperatures experienced during this season range from 20 degrees Celsius day time and 8 degrees Celsius at night. The dry months are normally perfect for mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking or volcano hiking adventures in Mgahinga National Park. The dry season is characterized by low rainfall and the habitat remains relatively drier thus favoring most of safari activities.
Exploring the Park
Mgahinga National Park is open for visitor exploration all year round. However, depending on what your travel needs are, Mgahinga National Park is best explored during the dry season which occurs from June to early September and December to February. During this period, most hiking trails in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park remain drier, less slippery and less muddy thus making it ideal for visitors to hike through the dense vegetation and steep slopes.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in Kisoro district southwestern Uganda approximately 510 kilometers about 8-10 hours’ drive from Kampala capital city. It spans up to 33.7 square kilometers making it the smallest national park in Uganda. Mgahinga National Park is a home to a section of mountain gorillas that today remain 1004 in the world and thrive in only Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Only 1 gorilla group ‘Nyakagezi gorilla family’ has been habituated and set for visitors to trek while on gorilla safari in Mgahinga National Park. It forms part of the vast Virunga Conservation Area that also covers Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo.
Other Interesting Reads
- When is the Best Time to Visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
In conclusion, Mgahinga National Park is one of Uganda’s most stunning national park you need to explore this coming holiday while on safari in Africa.