The scenery in and around the park is stunning with three extinct volcanoes Mount Sabinyo, Mount Muhavura and Mount Gahinga all having their slopes in the park. The forests provide shelter and sufficient food for the mountain gorillas and other park animals. Although the park is located in Uganda, it is much easier to access it from Rwanda in a journey that takes about three hours from Kigali through the border Kyanika. The park can also be reached by air and road from Kampala. The road journey from Kampala takes about 8 hours while using a chartered plane from Entebbe takes only one hour.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name suggests, it was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey. As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivalled.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has a total population of 80 mountain gorillas, but only one gorilla group is habituated and open to tourists – the Nyakagyezi family. The group used to move to Rwanda and Congo but have now settled in Uganda for more than three years. Gorilla safaris to Mgahinga are great because the park attracts fewer crowds. Having one habituated gorilla group means only 8 gorilla permits can be sold in a day. Visitors are advised to book their permits weeks in advance from the Uganda Wildlfe Authority offices in Kampala or the Park Headquarters in Ntebeko. A Uganda gorilla permit costs $600 compared to $1,500 in Rwanda.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: The Experience

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has three extinct volcanoes of Mount Gahinga which has an elevation of 3474 meters, Mount Sabinyo at an elevation of 3645 meters and Mount Muhabura with an elevation of 4,127 meters. These volcanoes have thick forest cover which greatly influences the climatic conditions of the area. The park is home to a number of flora and fauna, but the most unique and sought after are the endangered mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys.

Batwa Cultural Experience

The Batwa cultural experience in Mgahinga is the best one any traveler can have. These former inhabitants of the park shared it with the mountain gorillas and all those animals take travelers through their life back then before they got evicted from there. The Batwa cultural tails will have travelers learning and reliving the way of life of the Batwa, say hunting skills, wild honey gathering, how they made fire from sticks, their medicines from even the most unlikely plants among others. The experience often climaxes with music and dance by the Batwa. The revenues from the Batwa cultural trail experience go to the funding of the education of the Batwa children.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: Birdlife

The park has about 180 bird species that roam around with a number of the Albertine Rift endemics. There are a number of birding trails that are well developed for travelers to follow. With a bird guide and your binoculars plus refreshments, birders should be able to see more than 100 birds a day if they are keen. Endemics like the handsome spurfowl, dusky crimson-wig, red-throated alethe, Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori turaco, collared apalis, Archer’s ground robin among so many others and a number of other bird species are all that you will be able to see.

The birdlife in Mgahinga is good year-round, but at its best from April to mid-May and from October to November. June and July have the least rain, and March to mid-May have the most rain. The heavy rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails, which can limit your bird-watching time. The main nesting season is in May and June. From late May through September, food is abundant. Migratory birds are in the park from November to April.

For more information, Go TO



For more information, Go TO


Tour details

  • Tour Type Game Drive
  • Country Uganda
  • National Languages English
  • Time Zone GMT+3