Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m on an area of 33.7km2, making it Uganda’s smallest National Park. As its name suggests, it was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey.
The British administration declared the area a game sanctuary in 1930; it was gazetted as a National Park in 1991. As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivalled.
Mgahinga’s most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.
Mgahinga has one habituated trans-boundary gorilla group. The Batwa were self-sufficient – and visitors can see how during a fascinating tour with a Batwa guide to learn the secrets of the forest.
Mgahinga Lodges and Hotels
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has a wide range of lodges and hotels available for different budgets. Some of the hotels are close to the National Park or briefing points, others are around Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyonyi while others in the nearby towns like Kisoro for those tracking in Mgahinga National Park or Congo.
Travellers Rest Hotel, Kisoro
The hotel is built in a somewhat colonial style and was entirely renovated in 1999. It has 12 rooms at very reasonable prices, and it offers a cozy environment to relax in after gorilla treks or day visits to the area.
When you enter, the ibis welcomes you with its typical sound. The beautiful surrounding garden is the home of many birds. Sitting on the terrace you can smell the sweetish perfume of the honeysuckle, and in the evenings, when it gets cooler, you can warm yourself by the fireplace, outside or in the lounge.
From far away the huge cones of the Virunga volcanoes dominate the landscape and beckon as you approach. The surrounding landscape is of astonishing beauty. The volcano mountains offer spectacular views on the Rift Valley and the emerald-green Lake Mutanda in the distance. This hotel is ideal for those who are going for gorilla tracking in South Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park.
Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge
Mount Gahinga Lodge is the perfect base to go gorilla tracking in Mgahinga National Park, Uganda. Track the rare golden monkey, climb a volcano, walk through local villages and most of all to share the culture of the Batwa, the oldest inhabitants of the Central African rain forest.
Nestled at the base of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mount Gahinga Lodge is a stunning luxury adventure lodge hidden in the southern corner of Uganda. Its rustic charm is inspired by traditional design and building techniques.
The lodge with its beautiful newly renovated living room, sun room and terrace has fantastic views of the volcanoes and the Kisoro valley below.