Mgahinga National Park, though small, offers a diverse range of activities and experiences that make it an ideal destination for a 6-day safari. Gorilla trekking, the park’s highlight, is just the beginning of the adventure. Here’s a detailed itinerary on how to spend 6 days exploring the wonders of Mgahinga National Park.
Embark on an early morning 540 km drive from Kampala to Mgahinga National Park, lasting approximately 8 hours. The journey offers stunning sceneries, including plateaus, the Equator point, beautiful gardens in the valley, and olive baboons. As you approach the park, the dense canopy and drop in altitude signal your arrival. Check into your chosen accommodation, ranging from luxury to midrange to modest facilities.
After breakfast, head to the Ntebeko Visitor Center for orientation before setting off on the thrilling gorilla trek. Trek through the forest in search of the Nyakigezi gorilla family, the only habituated group open to tourism in the park. Along the way, encounter other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabey. The forest is also home to a variety of birds, including the rare Albertine endemics. Spend one hour in the presence of the gorillas, respecting the guidelines to protect these magnificent creatures.
Embark on a morning golden monkey trekking adventure. Golden monkeys are known for their active lifestyle, making the trek an exciting experience. Observe these unique monkeys in their natural habitat, and take memorable photos. Golden monkey troupes in the park have been habituated, allowing tourists to enjoy their presence.
Experience the Batwa culture by embarking on the Batwa trail, guided by a Mutwa guide. Explore the traditional life and culture of the Batwa pygmies, who relied on the forest until they were evicted in the 1990s for gorilla conservation. The trek leads to the Garama Cave, a 342-meter-long cave near the edge of Mgahinga National Park. Learn about the cave’s historical significance as a council chamber for the Batwa and its use as a hiding shelter. Witness traditional Batwa performances that serve as a reminder of their past life.
Choose between hiking Muhavura Mountain, Gahinga Mountain, or Sabyinyo Mountain, each offering a stunning 360-degree view of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hiking Gahinga Mountain takes about 6 hours and leads through bamboo forests to a swamp engulfed in a crater. Sabyinyo Mountain, with its three peaks, offers a challenging and rewarding hike, taking around 8 hours to complete.
After six unforgettable days in Mgahinga National Park, depart for Entebbe Airport to catch your return flight.
To secure a gorilla trekking permit, it is essential to book in advance as availability depends on the presence of the Nyakigezi family in the park. Each gorilla permit costs $700 per person per day.
Golden monkey trekking permits are issued daily by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and cost $100 per day.
Gorilla trekking is open all year round, but the best time to visit is during the drier months of June to September and January to February. These months offer better trekking conditions with less undergrowth.
Mgahinga National Park can be accessed by road from Kampala to Kabale to Kisoro, taking around 8 hours. Alternatively, travelers can access the park from Rwanda via Kigali Airport and Cyanika border. Charter and daily scheduled flights can also be arranged from Kajjansi Airstrip or Entebbe Airport.
For a comfortable and enjoyable gorilla trekking safari, pack essential items, including comfortable trekking boots, binoculars, long-sleeved shirts and trousers in neutral colors, insect repellent, treats, garden gloves, a hat, and a spare fully charged camera battery.
For more information and to book your 6-day safari in Mgahinga National Park, contact Trek Africa Tours or visit our TripAdvisor page for reviews from our former clients.