Is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park your dream destination? Did you know that Mgahinga National Park has only one habituated family for visitors to track? If you are planning your gorilla safari to Mgahinga National Park, then Nyakagezi family should be a must to track while you are on safari in Uganda. This group is the only habituated troop that is set for visitors to track each day in Mgahinga National Park. The trek in Mgahiga is easier and similar to that of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
The park is situated in extreme southwestern part of Uganda and it refuges about 80 individuals of these Great apes but only ten (10) of them can be tracked within Nyakagezi family. This group has been famous for its migratory behavior across the boundaries to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Virunga National Park and Rwanda Volcanoes National Park but recently it has settled and can be tracked around Mgahinga National Park.
The family members came back and settled at the protected area in year 2012 and only comprised of ten individuals and three silverbacks and in 2013, it welcomed a newly born baby gorilla which increased their number up to 11. The other members in the troop include the Mathew, Marfia, Ndungutse, Nyiramwiza, Furaha, Nkanda, Bugingo, Mutagamba, Nshuti, Baby Rukundo and many more.
Bugingo is about 54 years and was once the leader of the family but he was overthrown by Mark but lucky enough they co-exist together in the same group. Mark and Mafia are the sons of Bugingo.
The group is headed by silverback gorilla ‘Mark’ whose role is to direct and safe guard the rest of the members. Given the migratory behavior of this family, permits are usually obtained or booked at the park headquarters of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Uganda. In case you fail to get a group to track in Bwindi, do not bury your dreams, pay a visit to Mgahinga National Park and you will be filled with lifetime experiences with these charismatic species while they are in their natural habitat.
Mgahinga National Park is part of the magnificent Virunga Volcanoes and it is strategically located at the border with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Besides gorilla trekking, there is also golden monkey tracking, hiking and of Mgahinga Volcanoes especially Sabyinyo and Muhavura as well as embark on Batwa trail to visit the Batwa community to explore the distinct lifestyle. The park is reachable by air and road. By road, it is 9 to 10 hours’ drive from Kampala and nearly three hours from Kigali. By air you can fly from Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip and then connect to Mgahinga National Park on road.
For visitor stay in the park, the notable safari lodges around Mgahinga National Park include Kisoro Traveler’s Rest Inn, Gahinga Volcanoes Lodge and many more.
Besides tracking the rare mountain gorillas in Nyakagezi group which features as the only one habituated family in Mgahinga National Park, you can also embark on other activities like bird watching, hiking adventures, golden monkey trekking and other wildlife sighting and many more.