Mgahinga gorilla national park is located in south western Uganda on the border with Rwanda and DR Congo and home to the Virunga volcanoes shared between these countries. It is the smallest of all Uganda national parks but filled with engaging activities for any outdoor enthusiastic visitor. On this gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking safari you will trek mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in the Virunga. If you are interested in hiking any of the Volcanoes i.e. Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura, you can choose to extend your stay. It takes a day to hike to the top of each of these Volcanoes. You can also extend your stay if you want to embark on the Batwa trail in this park giving you a glimpse of how they lived and co-existed with wild animals in this park.
- Gorilla trekking
- Golden monkey trekking
- Equator monument
Day 1: Transfer to Kisoro – Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Today after your breakfast your driver guide will transfer you to Kisoro – Uganda at the base of the Virunga Volcanoes. Enjoy the winding roads of the ‘thousand hills’ and magnificent views of the Volcanoes if you come throught Kigali otherwise you can come in through Entebbe international airport. You will spend the afternoon at leisure in preparation for all the trekking and hiking in the days to come.
9 hours via Entebbe ( there is an option of 1,5 hrs flight from Entebbe)
4 hours via Kigali
Meal plan – lunch & Dinner
- Up market – Mt Gahinga Lodge
- Mid-range – Bwindi Jungle lodge
- Budget – Lake Chahafi Lodge
Day 2: Golden Monkey trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park
Golden monkeys are only found in the Virunga volcanoes shared between Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Today you will leave your lodge after an early breakfast and your driver guide will transfer you to the briefing point where the golden monkey trekking starts. A Uganda wildlife authority ranger guide will receive you and offer you a briefing with information on what to expect while in the park as you search for the golden monkeys. After this short brief, you will then start your hike up in search of the golden monkeys, which are only in the Virunga Volcanoes. You are encouraged to take with you a porter because the hike can be steep in some areas and they will be helpful. You will be joined by enforcement officers to help in case you meet the wild buffaloes and Elephants which can be dangerous. The golden monkeys are generally more active than the gorillas and you will follow them as they move all over the place and feed.
Just like gorilla trekking, you are only allowed to spend 1 hour with the golden monkey before you start your descent back to the starting point and your lodge. They love feeding on bamboo shoots among other foods like fruits, vegetation and sometimes ants.
Day 3: Batwa trail in Mgahinga gorilla national park
The Batwa are an indigenous tribe that lived in the forest of the Virunga volcanoes and depended on it for livelihood before they were turned into national parks to help in conservation of the gorillas, golden monkeys, and other fauna and flora. They were hunter-gatherers and did an incredible job co-existing with these wildlife. Today you will meet some of the Batwa and they will take you through the forest and share how they lived and depended on the forest and survived attacks from the animals.
This tour will take you through the Batwa trail which was developed together with Uganda wildlife authority to share their experience on how they co-existed with the wildlife and raised families in this jungle. The proceeds from this goes into a fund which is used to purchase land and build for the different families.
Day 4: Departure via Kigali – Rwanda
We hope you have had an adventure filled stay exploring Mgahinga gorilla national park. Today morning after your breakfast, the driver guide will transfer you to Kigali city and you proceed to the airport for your flight home. Thank you for visiting Uganda with us.
Golden monkey trekking tips
- Mgahinga gorilla national park comprises of Volcanoes which requires hiking you should pace yourself and drink plenty of water.
- Eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden. Your ranger guide will communicate designated time and place for such.
- We encourage you to carry a rain poncho
- Waterproof walking shoes or hiking boots are essential.
- Gardening gloves for protection against stinging plants
- Long trousers and long sleeved sweaters or shirts while in the forest to avoid insect stings.
- Photography is permitted, although you must not use flash
- Porters are available to help you carry your day pack for a minimum fee of $20 or 50,000 Ugx
- Golden monkey trekking permit
- Batwa trail
- Ground transport
- Bottled water in the safari vehicle
- Full board accommodation for three nights
- Service of an English-speaking driver guide
- All mentioned activities except for the optional ones
- Extras at the accommodation i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.
- Tips to porters and driver/ guide