Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest Ugandan national park created in 1991. Located south west of Uganda in Kisoro town, the park comprises of the Ugandan section of the Virunga massif region bordering Parc National des Virunga of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda Parc National des Volcans.
The park comprises of of montane forested region and vegetation, and was mainly preserved to protect the home of mountain gorillas and quite a number of other wildlife species including the Golden Monkey, Colobus monkey, jackal, porcupine, Golden cat and more. The park also harbors three inactive volcanoes including the Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo, which lie in a line along the Uganda Rwandan border. The slopes of these volcano ranges around park boundary are intensively cultivated and densely
settled by Bufumbira people and Batwa pygmies who were inhabitants of this forest before it was turned into a national park.
Mgahinga National park has one group of habituated mountain gorillas which in the past used to cross over to Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo but has since settled in Mgahinga national park. Gorilla trekking is the primary activity in the park although one can also trek to see the Golden monkeys which are also restricted to the Albertine rift region. The park is located at the extreme corner of south western Uganda on Rwanda and DR Congo borders and is Uganda’s smallest national park covering an area of 34 sq km. the journey to the park covers about 482 km by road or one can fly from Entebbe to the nearby airfield of Kihihi where transportation can be arranged to the park.
Given the mountainous and high altitude of the park, trekking can be difficult but the tough climbs to the top of the volcanoes offers stunning back drop views of the glaciated Rwenzori Mountains.
The park is home to the Nyakagezi habituated gorilla group which used to migrate through Virunga national park and the Volcanoes national park but today has settled in the Mgahinga montane forest.
Gorilla permits to go watch this gorilla group can be purchased from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) , or from the park headquarters in Kisoro which need to be booked at least two days to do day.
Golden Monkey Tracking
A visit to the Batwa pygmies provides a rich cultural experience ,The Batwa originally used to leave in the Mgahinga forest before they were evicted by the government to turn the forest into a national park.