The legendary Hirwa Gorilla Family, renowned for its presence in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, has embarked on a remarkable journey and found its new haven in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park. These two neighboring national parks, nestled within the Virunga Massif, boast similar vegetation covers that beckon these majestic creatures to call either park home.
Mountain gorillas, an imperiled subspecies of eastern gorillas, are captivating figures. These elusive creatures find sanctuary solely within the Virunga Massif, encompassing Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park also cradles these unique primates. The mobility of these gorillas is astounding, and for a considerable time, Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Park have shared the Nyakagezi gorilla family, the lone habituated group in Mgahinga. However, a beacon of hope emerged as Uganda welcomed the Hirwa gorilla family. This family, comprising 17 members, migrated in August 2019 from the northern realm of Volcanoes National Park’s Kinigi province. The family settled in the serene southern reaches of Mgahinga National Park, a journey underscored by the harmony between these two protected areas.
The transition of the Hirwa gorilla family from Rwanda to Uganda was a mix of triumph and loss. Though 17 strong at the outset, the family faced the cruel hand of fate as lightning struck, claiming four members in the lush forests of Mgahinga. Despite this setback, the family finds solace in Uganda’s embrace and remains under the vigilant care of the International Gorilla Conservation Program—a testament to the dedication of preserving the Virunga area’s precious inhabitants.
Uganda’s commitment to gorilla conservation has led to an expansion of opportunities for travelers seeking an encounter with these magnificent creatures. Mgahinga National Park, the smallest of Uganda’s national parks, was initially home to the Nyakagyezi gorilla family. However, with the migration of the Hirwa family in August 2019, the landscape of Mgahinga transformed. The introduction of the Hirwa family paved the way for an increase in daily gorilla trekking permits, from a modest 8 to a more accessible 16 permits daily. This ensures that more adventurers can now witness the splendor of the Hirwa gorilla family in their newfound Ugandan habitat.
While the journey of the Hirwa gorilla family remains uncertain, their safety and well-being are paramount. Under the watchful eye of the International Gorilla Conservation Program, these gentle giants flourish in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park. The prospect of their return to Rwanda looms on the horizon, but for now, their tranquil existence is a testament to the cooperative conservation efforts of both countries.
Mgahinga National Park, though small in size, offers a monumental primate experience. Formerly home to the Nyakagyezi gorilla family, it now hosts the captivating Hirwa gorilla family. The journey to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a privilege that unfolds through the art of gorilla trekking. With an increase in permits to 16 per day, adventurers have a unique opportunity to be part of this incredible journey. For those seeking the thrill of encountering the Hirwa gorilla family up close, Trek Africa Tours extends an invitation to secure your gorilla trekking permit at $700.
Trek Africa Tours, a revered name in the realm of primate safaris, stands ready to guide you on an unforgettable journey to encounter the Hirwa gorilla family in Mgahinga National Park. As specialists in crafting remarkable experiences, we orchestrate gorilla trekking safaris to Mgahinga National Park, ensuring every detail is seamlessly woven into a tapestry of wonder. Contact us to unlock the gateway to witnessing the magnificence of the Hirwa gorilla family in their new Ugandan home.