On this page I tell you how to get to Mgahinga National Park, best time to visit, about the facilities - where you can find accommodation /camp, and what you can see and do there...
Mgahinga National Park is in the south- west of Uganda close to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It sit right at the boarder of Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo - Infact the Mgahinga ranges run across the three countries.
Getting there is quite simple - it is ideally suited for day trips ... and here is how you can access the park;
By Air; This is the quickest and shortest of course. The downside is that you miss out on seeing much of the country side. You can quite easily take a flight from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro Airfield. From Kisoro, Ntebeke - the main entrance to Mgahinga is about 15km away on a dirt road.
By Road; If you are travelling from the Capital - Kampala, travel west through Mbarara, Kabale down to Kisoro. This 510km journey should take you close to 8/9 hours - the beauty is that you get to see the stunningly beautiful landscapes of the country side and much of rural Uganda. The last about 75km are steep uphill and downhill on a tarmac road that twists and turns through mountainous rocks to Kisoro town.
View Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda in a larger map
You will then do a further close to 15km on a dirt road from Kisoro to Ntebeko - which is the main entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Sections of it are steep uphill and rocky - so that you know!
You could plan to visit the attractively beautiful Lake Bunyonyi first - lovely place! no doubt you will enjoy your stay. From Bunyonyi, follow the shoreline to the Kabale-Kisoro highway at Muko. Follow on to Kisoro and do the 15km drive on the dirt road to the Ntebeko entrance.
Been to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park already? Mgahinga is quite close from Bwindi - you could quite easily plan to visit the two parks. From the Bwindi trailheads of Nkuringo and Rushaga, Kisoro is about 28km. This route includes a section of unsealed dirt road before rejoining the Kabale-Kisoro main road. From Kisoro, Mgahinga is a further 15km on a dirt road.
... Just to note; you shouldn't have a problem accessing the dirt roads especially in the dry season but perhaps you are better off with a 4x4 (4 wheel drive) during and shortly after the rainy season. Sections of the road get flooded, muddy and slippery which could be challenging to drive on.
Once inside the park, there are no roads - the exploration is done on foot rather than driving. Parking is provided at the Ntebeko entrance and at the base of the Muhavura ranges.
Mgahinga can be visited all year round. Depending on when you plan to visit, best advice is, find yourselves a good fulltime 4x4 (4 wheel drive). A good part of the route is bitumen that will give you a lovely drive ... however, sections of the dirt roads can be challenging especially in the wet season - never mind driving on a steep uphill and downhill road!
March to April and September to November are the wettest months. The rains can be quite heavy and it gets really wet, misty and damp. December to February and May to August are relatively dry, with June and July with the least chances of precipitation.
The average day temperature is about 15°C that drops to about or just below 10°C - which can feel quite cold once you get used to the warm Ugandan weather.
A fee will be charged for most of the activities and guided tours within the park which is different from the entrance to the park and surely as expected, these fees are subject to change. See current fees for National Parks in Uganda here ...
For accommodation, Kisoro and Kabale town will provide the most reliable places to stay for a night. There is quite a range at different prices - the choice is yours.
But if you are into camping, right at the entrance to the park at Ntebeko, there is a community campground that is quite spacious. You could pitch your own tent or hire one of the bandas (thatched huts). There is also a dormitory facility that is conducive if you are travelling as a group. It's all quite basic here but reliable - food and cold drinks are available too!
At the foot of Mountain Muhavura close to the Muhavura ranger station is another campsite. This is rather favourable for those that intend to climb the Muhavura ranges.
And if your pockets are deeper and you fancy something more up market, Mount Gahinga Lodge just outside the Ntebeko gate offers full-board accommodation in luxury bandas that are self-contained.
I have made a whole page where I tell you more about the attractions in Mgahinga, so I'll keep this short:
Without doubt, most people come here for the Mountain Gorillas and perhaps the thrill and adventure of mountain climbing ... but there is quite more that Mgahinga offers.
Have enough time with you and just find your way to the park. This could turn out to be a real life time experience. Find me on the next page to tell you more; Mgahinga National Park Attractions.
Did you know that 'Mgahinga' comes from 'Gahinga' - a local word from the Batwa language that means a pile of volcanic stones cleared from a farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.
You know that there are other National Parks in Uganda - Read more here ... but at close to 34km2 in size, Mgahinga stands out as the smallest of the Parks in Uganda.
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