Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

This is the smallest national park in the whole of Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has a huge amount to see and do. Encompassing three volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains, it is these lofty peaks that give the park its distinctive and beautiful features and they make for some amazing hikes to their summits.

The lush vegetation and verdant forests that coat their slopes are home to a family of gorillas and trekking through the undergrowth to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitat is an exciting and unforgettable experience.
The local Batwa community also calls these forests their home and learning about their culture and history of life in the area is fascinating. The stunning scenery on the show only adds to the appeal of this amazing national park.

Mgahinga National Park covers a surface of 34 km2. The park is sharing its borders with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo.
It is located 15 km south of Kisoro and 55 km west of Kabale. The three parks cover a total surface of 434 km2. Mgahinga is one of the two places in Uganda where the mountain gorillas can be spotted. This park has only one gorilla family that can be visited. This family sometimes crosses the border into Rwanda.
This beautiful park sits in the southwestern corner of the country and is home to three extinct volcanoes – Muhavura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo – whose forests and luscious slopes provide excellent opportunities for climbing, hiking, and wildlife spotting.



The Nyakagezi Group of mountain gorillas in Mgahinga have previously been a major attraction to the area, but, due to having a large range and crossing the border between Uganda and Rwanda, permits are currently not bookable at Uganda Wildlife Authorities. It is still possible to track them, usually by buying permits the day before at the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Headquarters, but we do not recommend them for reliable viewings and on these occasions we try to facilitate tracking in Nkuringo (a 2-hour drive away) for our clients.

Whilst the location of the gorillas can be somewhat unpredictable, the area nonetheless enjoys a stunningly diverse range of biodiversity, including 76 mammal species such as the black and white Colobus, buffalo, elephant, leopard and serval. There are habituated golden monkeys in the park, available for you to track with one of our local expert guides as part of your itinerary. Bird-lovers will not be disappointed and, amongst the approximate 180 species, you may see crowned hornbill, Rwenzori turaco, black kite, fiscal shrike and augur buzzards.

Activities in the area include treks of the dramatic volcanoes. Muhavura’s peak also has a small crater lake and, with a location that is 4,127 metres above sea level, is the park’s highest point. The area around the summit itself is characterised by wort and dwarf heath vegetation, contrasting heavily with the dense rainforest of the lower slopes. Nature walks around here or a trip in a dug-out canoe on Lake Mutanda can be highly rewarding, as can simply relaxing at your lodge and enjoying spotting some of the 79 recorded bird species, flowers and trees in the lodge grounds. 

Best time to travel to Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is open for gorilla trekking the whole year, but the best times are during the drier seasons from June to August and December to January. At these times the trails tend to be easier to navigate and spending a precious hour with the gorillas might be more pleasant when it isn’t raining.

Mgahinga national park is also home to bush pigs, bushbucks, duikers, buffaloes, forest elephants, jackals and leopards. The recorded bird species are over 180 and include the blue headed coucal, double collard sunbirds, ibis, paradise fly catchers, Rwenzori bats, Rwenzori night jar, Rwenzori turaco, Speckled mouse bird, Stone chat, black kite, wax bills and the white-naped raven.

3 days mountain gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National ParkDespite the rich biodiversity in the park, Mgahinga is more known for its golden monkeys and Mountain gorillas. Mgahinga has one gorilla group but with the most Silverbacks in Uganda.  The Batwa Trail in Mgahinga offers a much more interesting and quality cultural encounter than any offered in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. In Mgahinga, it is not just about cultural entertainment. Tourists go out into the forest with the Batwa themselves as Guides to learn about their ancient traditions, caves, traditional homes, medicines, and hunting methods.

Tour Package for Mgahinga National Park

Our 3 Days Gorilla tour in Mgahinga is designed for those who want an easier gorilla family or want to combine it with golden monkey trekking in Uganda. The trip starts from Kampala or Entebbe but can be arranged to start from Kigali in Rwanda to reduce the driving time.


Day 1: Pickup from Entebbe/Kampala – Transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Day 2: Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga – Batwa Trail (Optional)
Day 3: Transfer back to Entebbe