Uganda Top Destinations

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. 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. 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.

Background Information

Protected Area Type: National Park     When to go: All year round
Park Size:33.7 sq km

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located on Uganda's far south-western border shared with Rwanda. It is the smallest national park in Uganda, but it forms part of the greater Virunga Conservation Area adjoining with the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Here is 1 of Uganda's 2 populations of protected Mountain gorillas.


There is 1 habituated group of gorillas (as opposed to Bwindi National Park's 4 groups) in Mgahinga and they have the freedom of crossing the fenceless border into Rwanda, making gorilla trekking less reliable in this park.


Mgahinga also boasts 3 peaks, which are part of the famous and beautiful Virunga Mountain range. These peaks are Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Muhavura, the highest peak in the national park. All peaks can be hiked.


Game Viewing + Activities

In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, there have been 39 mammal species recorded, although it is believed that up to 89 do occur in the park. The larger mammals include the mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei), elephant (Loxondata africana) and buffalo (Syncerus caffer). There is also the rare golden monkey (Cercophithecus mitis kandti) known only to occur in the Virungas and two other forests in Central Africa, also recorded is the blue monkey. Other mammals include; the spotted hyena (Crucuta crocuta), the golden cat (Felis (Profelis) aurata), leopard (Panthera pardus), serval cat (Felis (Leptculurus) serval), side-striped jackal (Canisadustus), giant forest hog (Hylocheorus meinertzhageni), black-fronted duiker (Caphalophus nigrifrons), and bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus). The park provides haven to about 79 bird species, including several endemic to the East Congo Montane region. A total of 185 bird species have been recorded in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and most are likely to occur in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.