This is the most tourist activity that pulls a great number of tourists to this national park. Thus Mgahinga’s most exciting and memorable activity in this thick jungle. The park has one habituated gorilla group (Nyakagyezi) which is visited and has females, 4 juveniles and 2 infants. This group is mobile and keeps on moving between Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Booking is through Uganda Wildlife Authority at Kampala which issues you with a permit that allows you to go trekking these great apes. Registration and briefing for gorilla trekking commences at Ntebeko at 07:45. Trekking starts at 08:30 and can take you over to eight hours.
Buffalo wall & Bird Watching Safari
Farmland along the northern edge of the park is guarded by a dry stone wall that keeps buffalo in the park handout of crops. The trail along the wall is ideal for birding. Guides will escort you between 17:00-18:00 if you book by 10:00 that morning. A stroll towards the Democratic Republic of Congo takes you through a wetland area where ibis, speckled mouse bird, and fire finch are found.
Batwa trail and Garama Cave
The Batwa Trail leads from the base of Muhavura to Garama cave. This walk is conducted by Batwa guides who provide insights into their traditional forest life and culture.The 342m long Garama cave lies beneath a plateau near the northern edge of the park, 3km from Ntebeko. It is set in the former farmland zone but in earlier times, the cave lay deep in forest when it was occupied periodically by Batwa who used it as a council chamber and a retreat after raiding their Bafumbira neighbors. Today the cave provides an atmosphere setting for a performance of Batwa music at the Batwa Trail.
Hiking to the Peaks
Since Mgahinga harbours 3 of the 8 mountains in the great Virunga forest, various people flock this national park in order to climb these mountains. These three mountains in this national park are Muhubura which is 4127m high whose name literally means”the guide, Sabinyo and it is over 3669m whose name means”old man’s teeth” and Gahinga which is over 3474m which is named for the local practice of tidying the volcanic rocks that clutter farmland into ‘small piles of stones or gahingas.These mountains can be thoroughly described as below;
Sabinyo has three peaks. An ascent leads first to peak 1 before climbing towards peak 2 along a narrow ridge that overlooks breathtaking drops into deep gorges on each side. Peak 3 is reached by a steep and muddy scramble. The borders of three countries converge on this summit and you will find yourself simultaneously in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda. The 14km round trip takes about 8 hours.
An ascent of Mt. Gahinga climbs through bamboo forest to reach a lush swamp which lies in the crater at the summit. The round trip from Ntebeko takes around 6 hours
This classic volcanic cone is capped by a small but pretty crater lake; a modest reward for a 5 hour trek that rises steeply for 17oom to over 4100m. The real incentives for the climb are the mountain’s marvelous alpine vegetation and superb panoramas. The Muhavura trail provides the quickest and shortest ascent route to experience these dramatic plants while the view includes the five other Virunga volcanoes, the rift valley, Lake Edward and (in clear weather) the Rwenzori mountain. The 12km round trip takes around 8 hours. If you have your own equipment and food, you should consider camping at the ranger post at the base of the volcano to make an early start (and improve your chances of clear view).
Golden monkey trekking
This is yet another interesting activity that make Mgahinga gorilla national park a distinct destination. Mgahinga gorilla NP To make trekking easy, two communities of golden monkeys have been habituated for trekking a t a cost of 100usd which make it affordable compared to gorilla trekking. Unlike gorillas, golden monkeys are lively, playful creatures which continuously jump across trees which make an encounter with them en experience for lifetime.
Besides willdife, Mgahinga gorilla national park is best for Volcano climbing being a centre for three extinct Virunga volcanoes. The national park hosts Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga and Mount Muhabura all available for hiking. Travelers have a choice on which volcano to climb depending on one’s physical fitness and time. Intrestingly, the park of each volcano reward travelers with spectacular views of the entire Mgahinga park, neighboring countries and local communities which make the experience more enjoyable.
Caves are found on some of the steep slopes of the mountains, you are able to visit once on your hiking adventure. The most famous is Garama Cave, found near the park headquarters. It was a home to the Batwa and acted as a fortress in times of war protecting them and their loot from their enemies.