2 Days Mgahinga Gorilla Trekking Safari from Kigali.
2 Days Mgahinga Gorilla Trekking Safari from Kigali: This Rwanda-Uganda Safari is quite a common tour package that most tour operator companies sell to travelers who want to do gorilla trekking in Uganda after their Rwanda Safaris. This tour package is very favorable for tourists who have a fixed budget and travel schedule.
With gorilla trekking in Rwanda being offered at a fee of USD 1500 dollars per person, most tourist who want to see mountain gorillas prefer to do gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park at a fee of only USD 600 dollars per person.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the southwestern province of Uganda in Kisoro district. This national park can be easily accessed by tourist travelling from Kigali in Rwanda or those travelling from Volcanoes National Park. Mgahinga’s close proximity to Volcanoes national park in Rwanda makes it an ideal national park for tourists to visit on a gorilla trekking tour in Uganda.
A 2 Days Mgahinga gorilla trekking safari from Kigali always starts with a pick up from your hotel in Kigali city. After a meet and greet session with your guide from Explore Rwanda Safari, proceed with your transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
The drive from Kigali in Uganda to Mgahinga national park in Uganda usually takes about three hours. You will have a stop-over at Lake Mutanda Resort for lunch. You can have an optional boat ride on Lake Mutanda if you wish.
Later proceed for a cultural encounter to the nearby Batwa communities that live within Kisoro district near Mgahinga national park. During your cultural experience, you will get a chance to interact with local Batwa people, also known as ‘pygmies.’ You will get to watch entertaining cultural performances from the Batwa traditional dance groups. You can also visit local arts and craft shops in the area and show your support to the local community by purchasing some items/souvenirs.
Alternatively, you can drive straight to the national park where you will embark on a guided nature walk in the park. Mgahinga Gorilla national park encompasses part Bwindi Impenetrable forest, where the famous mountain gorillas live. Guided nature walks in Mgahinga can take between 1½ to 2 hours depending on your hiking pace. Interesting attractions to look out for during your nature walk include; forest bird such as the Bronze Sunbird, Regal sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, and the Olive Thrush bird among others. If you are lucky, you may also spot some golden monkeys jumping from tree to tree.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park also offers other interesting activities such as; Hiking Mount Gahinga, Birding, Caving, Golden monkey trekking and the Batwa Cultural Experience.
Mgahinga National Park in Uganda is one of the two national parks in Uganda that shelter the endangered species of mountain gorillas, with the other being Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The national park was established in 1991 and encompasses three of the volcanic mountains that belong to the Virunga Volcano Massif and these include; Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo mountains.
After your nature walk experience in the park, meet up with your guide at Ntebeko visitor’s center and transfer to your lodge within the park or to a nearby hotel in Kisoro town for dinner and an overnight stay.
Your gorilla trekking experience in Mgahinga begins the following day. On this day, you will be required to wake up very early in the morning, have heavy breakfast at your lodge or hotel. Proceed with your drive to the park’s headquarters in Ntebeko where you will begin your gorilla trekking experience.
Visitors doing gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla national park are required to report to the park’s headquarters by 7am. You will sign into the visitors’ registrar and proceed for a briefing from the head ranger at the park. After your briefing, you will be placed into gorilla trekking groups.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park currently has two habituated gorilla groups, which are the Hirwa and Nyakagezi gorilla families. These gorilla groups can be tracked by visitors in groups consisting of a maximum of eight members only. Actual gorilla trekking beings at exactly 8am and can take between 2 to 7 hours depending on the location of the gorillas.
Once you have located a gorilla group, you will be given only an hour to spend with the gorillas. Make sure that your camera is set and ready to capture this wonderful moment with the gorillas. Please make sure that the flash light on your camera is disabled as gorillas are sensitive to flash lights and can easily be aggravated by such bright lights.
You can have your packed lunch after your gorilla trekking experience and then head back to the visitor’s center where you will be given a gorilla trekking certificate. Reconnect with your guide and transfer back to your designated hotel in Kigali city or have the guide drop you off at Kigali International Airport for your departure flight. This will mark the end of your 2 Days Mgahinga Gorilla Trekking Safari from Kigali.