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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

An Emerald Hidden Gem

Nestled in the southwestern corner of Uganda, bordering Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, lies the captivating Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

It might be lesser-known, but certainly knows how to amaze: three volcanoes rise above the park’s 34 square kilometres – the perfect setting for your wilderness exploration. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is renowned for … you might have guessed it: exactly, its mountain gorillas. In this UNESCO World Heritage Site you can visit the endangered animals in their home – an experience which will leave you speechless. And that’s a good thing, since you shouldn’t be too loud during your gorilla trekking tour.

Volcanic Majesty

The park’s three volcanoes belong to the famous Virunga Mountains which consist of eight volcanoes in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Konto and Rwanda.


The Muhavura Volcano, meaning “the guide” in the local language, stands at 4,127 meters and is one of the three volcanoes in the park. Here you can embark on a challenging but rewarding journey to its summit, boasting panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.


Meaning “old man’s teeth,” Sabyinyo is the most distinctive of the three volcanoes with its serrated crater rim. A hike to its peak is a thrilling adventure, and once you’ve reached the summit you are in three countries at the same time: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Kongo.


Named “small pile of stones”, the Gahinga Volcano is the smallest of this volcanic trio, but welcomes you with extremely scenic trails: after some hours through an extremely fertile lava area, a bamboo forest and a flora with alpine influences you reach the impressive edge of the crater.

Common Animals in Mgahinga National Park

  • Buffalos
  • Various bird species
  • Duikers
  • Mountain Gorillas
  • Bushbucks
  • Forest Elephants
  • Hyenas
  • Genets
  • Golden Monkeys
Golden Monkey Mgahinga


Facts about Mgahinga National Park

  • With over 180 bird species, Mgahinga is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Not only can you spot both endemic birds here, but also migratory birds, including the Albertine Rift endemics.
  • Mgahinga National Park is home to a population of endangered golden monkeys. A trek to see these playful primates is a must if you are crazy about animals. In fact, the park is one of the few places in the world where you can observe golden monkeys – it couldn’t be any more special.

Activities in Mgahinga National Park


One of the primary draws to the park is the opportunity to see the rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. While this park’s gorilla population is smaller than the one in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, it offers a profound experience… and less crowded 😉 Find out here what a gorilla trekking tour looks like. Enjoy!


Besides the volcanoes, the park offers a variety of hiking trails that showcase the stunning landscapes and the region’s diverse flora and fauna. The Sabyinyo Gorge Trail and the Bamboo Trail are extremely popular, each providing unique experiences.


Traditionally, the Batwa people were forest dwellers. Now they offer cultural experiences within the park. Participate in guided community walks and learn more about their ancient ways of life, traditional songs and dances.

How to get there

Getting to Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park is an adventure, as it’s located in a remote and beautiful part of the country.

By Air:

  • From Entebbe International Airport you have several flights to reach the park.
  • The closest airstrip to Mgahinga is the Kisoro Airstrip, which receives domestic flights.

By Road:

  • The park is located approximately 540 kilometers (335 miles) from Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The drive takes around eight to ten hours, but leads you through beautiful villages and landscapes like the rolling Kigezi Hills.
  • If you’re traveling from Rwanda, Kisoro is the closest town. It’s a two to three hour drive, depending on traffic and road conditions. You’ll need to cross the border into Uganda at Cyanika or Gatuna.

Border Crossing:

  • When crossing the border between Rwanda and Uganda, make sure you have the necessary travel documents and visas for both countries. Check the most up-to-date visa requirements and border crossing details with the respective embassies or consulates.


Mgahinga National Park has a tropical rainforest climate with mild temperatures: 15°C during the day, 10°C at night. There are two dryer seasons spanning from June to September and from December to February. In all the other months it can get a little wet.

Best time to visit Mgahinga National Park

The ideal time to visit is during the dry season from June to September and from December to February since the hikes will be more pleasant. If you want to visit the mountain gorillas, you should go there between April and June or from October to December. In all the other months they tend to stay in their holiday homes in the Democratic Republic of Kongo or in Rwanda.