Birding Mgahinga gorilla National Park
Book birding safari in Mgahinga gorilla national park. Being one of the smallest parks in Uganda, many people forget how beautiful this park is. It’s actually one of the best bird watching destinations in Uganda. It’s also the youngest park in Uganda having been gazetted only in 1991. It’s about 33 sq Km in size and its located in the south western district of Kisoro and boarders Virunga national park of Democratic republic of Congo. Mgahinga National Park is park of the wider Virunga Conservation Area which includes Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park of Democratic Republic of Congo. This national Park is made up of three Volcanic Mountains, Mt. Mgahinga, Mt. Sabinyo and Mt. Muhavura. This park also has the Batwa people who also attract people while on safari here.
Mgahinga national Park boosts of about 180 species of birds and it has some Albertine Rift endemics. It has about 14 of the total 24 bird species endemic to the Albertine rift. The park also is home to about 39 species of the afro tropical highlands. In this park you have high chances of seeing are bird species that migrate from Congo.
Some of the Birds you are likely to see in Mgahinga gorilla national park are;
The Ruwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori night jar, the regal sun bird, stone chat, and red faced woodland warbler. African hill warblers, Kivu ground thrash, Handsome Francolin, crowned hornbills, montane scooty babou, chubs cisticola, green tinker bird and the olive woodpecker among others.
Being a mountain, you will expect to see different birds at every layer of vegetation on your biding trail.
Best time to visit Mgahinga gorilla national park for birding
Like All the other National Parks, Mgahinga National Park can be visited anytime of the year. But the best time to visit is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. This season has less rainfall and the roads are good during this time. It makes bird watching and Gorilla tracking hiking possible. The other months of the year are wet. The roads are muddy and slippery but still those with a strong will can still visit Mgahinga.
Activities to do in Mgahinga national park after birding.
Other than birding, there are other activities you can do in Mgahinga national Park. These include;
Mountain gorilla tracking
This Park is one of the homes to these endangered animal species. It’s easy to track the gorilla here because there is less traffic since most people choose Bwindi Impenetrable Park.
Golden monkey tracking
This Park is where Gold meets silver. It’s the only park with both gorillas and golden monkeys. Golden monkeys are another species of apes that is rare and specific to this area. You have a chance to track these golden monkeys while on safari here.
Mountain Mgahinga National park consists of three volcanic mountains, Sabinyo, Muhabura and Mgahinga. Mount Sabinyo which is 3669 meters above the sea level and hiking takes about 8 hours round trip, Mount Muhavura stands at an altitude of 4127 meters above the sea level and hiking takes about 10 hours. And Gahinga volcano which is 3474 meters above the sea level and is the smallest of all, it’s 6 hour round trip.
Mgahinga gorilla national park was formally a home of the Batwa tribe or pygmies before it was gazetted into a national park. The trail gives you a chance to meet the people in this area and experience and explore the ancient culture of the area.
Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for birding
The park is located in the south western district of Kisoro. It can be accessed via road. It will about 10 hour to get there from Kampala. You can also access it through Kigali, it’s about hours from Kigali. We can also arrange transportation by air from Entebbe or Kajjansi.