Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name suggests, it was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered monkey. As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivalled.Mgahinga’s most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery
Day 1: Travel to Mgahinga
Travel down to the park from Kampala or Bwindi, checking into Travellers Inn in Kisoro town or at the park entrance,
Day 2: Gorilla or Golden Monkey Tracking
Option 1: Head into the park’s dense forests to track Mgahinga’s mountain gorillas – being sure to book in advance. Once you have located them, you can spend up to an hour watching these magnificent apes feeding, playing and relaxing in the trees.
Option 2: Trek through the bamboo forests in search of the rare golden monkey, endemic to this region. Pass spectacular vegetation and scenery on your way.
Day 3: Batwa Cultural Trail
Learn about the lives of the indigenous Batwa on the Batwa Trail. Local guides take you through the 8km gentle trail in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, demonstrating their traditional ways of life along the way, including hunting, gathering honey, fire making and fetching water. The trail culminates with a moving performance in the Garama Cave, an important spiritual and cultural site for the Batwa.
Day 4: Optional Extra Day – Summit a Volcano
Adventurous types can extend their stay in the park with a full day climb up Mt Gahinga, Mt Sabinyo or Mt Muhavura. These picturesque, conical volcanoes straddle Uganda’s borders with Congo and Rwanda, and on a clear day the peaks offer astounding views of all three countries.
Day 5: Proceed to Lake Mburo via Lake Bunyonyi
Return to Kampala or travel to Lake Mburo, stopping at the scenic Lake Bunyonyi for lunch and beautiful views