Mgahinga National Park is a protected area located in southwestern Uganda, bordering Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park covers an area of approximately 33.7 square kilometers (13 square miles) and is known for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes.
The park is home to three of the Virunga Mountains volcanoes: Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and several bird species.
One of the main attractions of the Mgahinga National Park is gorilla trekking. The park is home to one habituated gorilla family, which can be visited by tourists with a permit. The park also offers other activities such as hiking, bird watching, and cultural visits to the nearby Batwa pygmies.
The park has several accommodation options, including lodges and campsites. Some of the lodges are located just outside the park, while others are located within the park boundaries. The lodges offer a range of accommodation options, from basic camping to luxury cabins.
It’s recommended to book gorilla trekking permits and accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to ensure availability and get the best rates.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). These permits allow visitors to trek through the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park to observe the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Here is some information about obtaining gorilla trekking permits in Uganda:
- Availability and Cost: Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda are limited and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Each permit costs USD $700 per person for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. There are discounts for low season months of April, May and November.
- Booking: Gorilla trekking permits can be booked directly through the UWA website or through a local tour operator. It’s recommended to book well in advance, as permits can sell out quickly during peak travel seasons.
- Identification: Visitors are required to present their passport or ID when obtaining a gorilla trekking permit, and must carry it with them during the trek.
- Age limit: The minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years old.
- Trekking Groups: Trekking groups are limited to 8 visitors per gorilla family per day, and each group is accompanied by a UWA ranger.
- Guidelines: There are guidelines and rules to follow during the trek, such as staying a minimum of 7 meters away from the gorillas and not touching or feeding them.
- Trekking Difficulty: Trekking can be physically demanding, and visitors should be in good health and fitness before attempting the trek.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda provide a unique and unforgettable experience, and are highly sought after by travelers from around the world.