Mgahinga Gorilla National Park “where Gold meets Silver” is located in the southwestern region of Uganda, Kisoro district in Virunga Mountains and contains three active volcanoes Mount Muhavura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabinyo. It is contiguous with Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park and southern sector of Virunga National Park in the Democratic republic of Congo.

It is Uganda’s smallest National park with 33.7 square kilometers. It was gazzeted as a National park in 1991 and takes its name from Gahinga the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.

The park was created to protect mountain Gorillas and endangered golden monkey and other wildlife. It also has a huge cultural significance for the indigenous Batwa pygmies.

Activities that Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is known for?

Gorilla tracking

There is a variety of Mountain Gorillas in the park and trekking these gentle giants requires a well trained guide who explains the gorillas behaviors. There is only one gorilla family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, called the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family. Trekking starts from Ntebeko entrance gate at around 8 am and the maximum time allowed to be with mountain Gorillas is 1 hour.

What Is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Famous For?

Batwa experience

Mgahinga’s dense forests were home to the indigenous Batwa. These are hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for food, shelter and medicine.

When the national park was established the Batwa were evicted from the forest and abandoned their low-impact, nomadic lifestyle. But they still enter the forest to entertain visitors and show them more about their culture.

Mountain/volcano climbing

  • Mount Muhavura is the highest peak at 4,127m, climbing takes about 8 hours and at the top one gets a clear view of virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward, Bwindi impenetrable national park and the peaks of Rwenzori.
  • Mount Gahinga is 3,474m and climbing takes 6 hours to ascend and descend. Here lucky climbers may spot golden monkeys on their way through the bamboo forests
  • Mount Sabinyo is 3,669m it also takes 8 hours to cover 14km round trip following a steep ridge up to the peak.


The park shelters a number of bird species therefor a walk through Gorge Trail between Gahinga and Sabinyo can provide a spectacular sightings of the Dusky turtle Dove, Cape Robin-chat, Kivu-ground Thrush, Olive Thrush, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bronze Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Black-headed Waxbill and Streaky Seedeater.

Hiking and nature walk

A walk-through Gorge Trail between Gahinga and Sabinyo can provide a clear view of wildlife, farmland of the bamboo forest, give one a chance to find Rwenzori Turaco and many bird species plus different vegetation zones. On a clear day, you may view the Virunga Volcano range and come across buffalo and duiker.

Accommodation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Visitors will find all types of accommodation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park ranging from luxury, midrange and budget. All the accommodation rooms are self-contained with a private toilet and bathroom with a wide array of services and amenities for a visitor. Some of these lodges include;

Lake Mulehe safari lodge

Lake Mutanda safari lodge

Travelers nest hotel

Mount Gahinga lodge

Mount Gahinga rest camp

Community camp ground

Location of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the southwestern region of Uganda, Kisoro district in Virunga Mountains and contains three active volcanoes Mount Muhavura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabinyo.

Best time to visit the Park

The best time to visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is in the dry season when thick forests are penetrated easily and the paths are not too muddy.

What to pack when visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

  • Wear long sleeved blouse(ladies) & long sleeved shirts (men)/Trousers to avoid being scratched by trees
  • A Rain Jacket since the park is covered in tropical jungles where rain is expected at any time of year, regardless of the season.
  • Wear Water proof sturdy boots. Tourists should be aware that these walking boots are essential for searching for endangered mountain gorillas in national parks as they move from one location to the next within the park.
  • Hat and Sun Glasses. Since the weather is an predictable, the sun might be too much therefor to be on safe side travelers should have a hut and sun glasses.
  • Pair of Binoculars. This helps to see Gorillas and other primates and mammals plus birds that might be very far
  • Cameras, Extra Batteries, Flash light.

 Age limit for Gorilla tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Gorilla trekking limit/minimum age is currently 15 years and anyone below that age is considered a minor or child and thus unfit to trek the once-endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park

How to get to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Travelers have to drive from Kampala, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale upto Kisoro district where Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This journey takes about 9 to 10 hours’ drive.