Mgahinga National Park

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Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga is part of a larger ecosystem, the Virunga conservation area (434 km sq) which includes two adjacent parks in Rwanda and Congo. This small park, covering just 38sq km, enjoys a magnificent setting on the northern slopes of the virunga volcanoes. It rises from 2227 m to 4127 m above sea level.

The park which is a cultural heritage featuring in the history, folklore and traditional healing practices  for local people, covers the north slopes of the three northern Virunga volcanoes, Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo. The park derives its name from “Gahinga” a Kinyarwanda word for a pile of a volcanic lava stone heaps around which cultivation is carried out. On the other hand, Muhavura means guide and Sabinyo means the old man’s teeth. It is bordred to the south by Rwanda and to the west by DR Congo.

While Sabinyo is deeply eroded with jagged crown and deep gorges and ravines, Gahinga has a swamp filled – crater about 180m wide and Muhavura has a small crater lake about 36m wide at its summit.  On some of the steep mountain slopes are caves formed by lava tubes, one of them being the famous Garama cave located near Ntebeko, the park headquarters.

Two rare primates, mountain gorillas and golden monkeys can be tracked and one can climb the dormant volcanoes to stand simultaneously on the border of Uganda, Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo. This park offers a unique Batwa forest experience, including discovery of a cave and traditional home of the Batwa king complemented cultural dances in the cave.

Getting there; Mgahinga National park can be  accessed by road or air transport. Kisoro town at the foot of Mt. Muhavura is about 540 km from Kampala and takes about 8 hours via Kabale on an excellent paved road surface. Public transport by bus is available on daily basis. Mgahinga is located 13 km from Kisoro town and can be accessed by public transport. Kisoro town can also be accessed by air. The two towns boast of a bitumen runway Airfield at Nyakabande.

For more information about park visit the official Mgahinga National Park planner to get all the information you need to know to plan a gorilla trek, hike or tour.

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