The park is situated in Kisoro a district in Uganda’s far south-west. It is Uganda’s smallest National Park (33.7 square kilometers), and lies in the coordinates of 01°22′S 29°39′E. Mgahinga experiences two (2) wet seasons (February to May and September to December every year). The biggest rains are in October (250mm) and the least showers are received in July (10mm).The park is only fifteen (15) kilometers by road, south of Kisoro town and about fifty five (55) kilometers, away from Kabale, which is the biggest town in the sub-region.
Mgahinga was declared a game sanctuary in 1930 by the British administration and a National park in 1991, and it has always provided a home to a number of exceptional biomes including its only habituated mountain gorilla family called Nyakagyezi and the endangered Golden Monkeys. The park is under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) which is the governing body for all Uganda’s National Parks. Despite this group’s periodic migrations to the neighboring counties of Rwanda and Congo DR, tracking gorillas in thick jungle continues to be Mgahinga’s most exhilarating and memorable activity. It is hard to explain how awesome a feeling it is when you come eye to eye with the muscular mountain gorillas especially the silverbacks (male gorillas).
The park has a long list of bird species (over 179 bird species). The list includes the Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-capped Warbler, and Speckled Mouse bird, Rwenzori Turaco, White-napped Raven, Paradise Fly-catcher, and the Rwenzori Nightjar. Mgahinga is also a home to seventy six (76) species of mammals including the bushbucks, elephants, the South African porcupines and the giant forest hogs. Though many of the park’s other mammals are not easily seen, when encountered they provide awesome scenes for the camera.
Mgahinga is part of the Virunga Conservation Area (VCA) which is a 434 square-kilometer protected area shared with two (2) other National parks; Virunga National Park and Volcanoes National Park in Congo DR and Rwanda respectively. Together with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga is one place where tourists can enjoy Uganda Safaris to track the mountain gorillas.
Mgahinga is also an important place to interact with some of the few uniquely authentic traditional societies especially the marginalized Batwa pygmies. They will take tourists on trips along the places they use to live in including a walk through the Garama cave which lies near the park’s northern edge situated just 3km from Ntebeko.
Mgahinga National Park also has an eye-trapping topography with beautiful peaks rising to a height above 3400m. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has three high peaks namely, Sabinyo, Muhavura and Gahinga which can all be summited without the use of expert equipment. Perhaps packing a pair of strong jungle boots and maintaining a fair level of fitness would make the hike more enjoyable.
Tourists need not to worry about where to rest their heads while on Gorilla Safaris in Mgahinga National park. There are accommodations in and around the park ranging from midrange to luxury and budget options, offered in camping grounds, lodges, hotels, resorts and guest houses.