virunga-volcanoes

7 Days Explore Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Safari

This Uganda Safari will take you to Mgahinga gorilla national park located in south western Uganda on the border with Rwanda and DR Congo. This is the smallest of all Uganda national parks but is filled with engaging activities for any outdoor enthusiast. All the 3 Virunga volcanoes in Uganda are found in this park and open for hiking opportunities. On this tour you will have mountain gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking, walk in the footsteps of the Batwa, and hike a volcano of your choice. With extended days you can hike all the three volcanoes or alternatively you can choose hiking over the other activities.

Safari Highlights

  • Gorilla trekking
  • Golden monkey trekking
  • Batwa cultural trail
  • Hike Muhavura or Gahinga or Sabyinyo

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to the Pearl of Africa

On arrival at Entebbe international Airport, a representative of Kagera Safaris will be eagerly waiting to receive you and transfer you to your hotel in Entebbe.

Drive time – 20 minutes
Hotel No 5 / Entebbe Protea / The Boma

Day 2: Transfer to 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 and magnificent views of the Volcanoes. There is also an option of a flight from Entebbe to the Kisoro airfield.

Drive time – 9 hours OR Scheduled Flight – 1 hour 50 minutes
B, L & D
Mount Gahinga Lodge

Day 3: Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga gorilla national park was primarily protected because of mountain gorillas and golden monkeys among other wildlife – Gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking. Your driver guide will pick you up from the lodge and transferred to the briefing point inside the park to learn about how to behave and interact with the gorillas in the wild.

Depending on the location of the gorillas, you might need to drive before you start the trek in the park. The ranger guide will then lead you to start your gorilla trek in the park. After hiking some distance depending on the location of the gorillas, you will sight them and spend up to 1 hour with them before you start your descent back to the lodge. The experience in this jungle and meeting these enormous creatures will stay with you for life.

B, L & D
Mount Gahinga Lodge

Day 4: Golden Monkey trekking

After an early morning breakfast, your driver guide will transfer you to the briefing point where the golden monkey trekking starts. Just like the previous day, you receive a briefing from the ranger guide and later start your hike up Mgahinga national park in search of the golden monkeys, which are only in the Virunga Volcanoes.

Generally golden monkeys are swift in their movements unlike the gorillas and you will follow them as they move to feed. They love bamboo shoots compared to any other vegetation for feeding. The first part of the hike is through the secondary forest and shrubs but as you go deeper into the forest you will get in the bamboo sections where you will start hearing sounds and see movements of these amazing creatures. You are allowed 1 hour with the golden monkeys before you start your decent back to the starting point.

B, L & D
Mount Gahinga Lodge

Day 5: Walk in the footsteps of the Batwa

The Batwa are an indigenous tribe that lived in the forest and depended on it for livelihood because they were hunter-gatherers. However over time other people groups started influencing the Batwa using them to do unsustainable poaching therefore the government decided to move them out of the forest all together.

This morning, you will be transferred to the briefing area by your driver guide. After briefing from the guide leader of the Batwa with translation from the ranger guide, they will take you to start the journey in their footsteps. They will take you through the forest and how they lived and depended on it. This tour can be half day (about 4 hours) or full day (about 6 hours).

B, L & D
Mount Gahinga Lodge

Day 6: Hike Sabyinyo or Muhabura or Gahinga Volcanoes

Mt Gahinga, 3474 metres above sea level or 11,400 feet offers a gentler hike through the bamboo forest and marshy craters at the peak. The lower slopes are rich with forest birds and the marshes near the summit are home to bushbuck and elusive duiker. This is shared between Uganda and Rwanda. Total time of the hike is approximately 6 hours.

Mt Muhabura – 4127 metres above sea level or 13540 feet is the most challenging peak in the park. The hike will take most of the day, but the adventurous are rewarded with great sense of accomplishment and – on a good day – spectacular views of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. This is shared between Uganda and Rwanda. This takes approximately 8 hours.

Mt Sabyinyo – 3674 metres above sea level or 12050 feet is the most dramatic climb. At some point you will depend entirely on the wooden stairs up the steep slopes and therefore you will let go of the climbing sticks. On arrival at the peak you will successfully be in all the 3 countries at ago i.e. Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. This takes approximately 9 hours to climb up and down in favourable weather.

B, L & D
Mount Gahinga Lodge

Day 7: Departure

We hope you had an adventure filled stay exploring Mgahinga gorilla national park. Today morning after your breakfast, the driver guide will transfer you to Entebbe and you proceed to the airport for your flight home. Thank you for visiting Uganda with us.

Drive time – 9 hours OR Scheduled Flight – 1 hour 50 minutes