Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Travel Guide

  • Gorilla in the trees
    Gorilla in the trees
    by Zanzibargirl
  • Our group at Mgahinga
    Our group at Mgahinga
    by Zanzibargirl
  • summit (do you believe?)
    summit (do you believe?)
    by Bonobo2005

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Things to Do

  • Zanzibargirl's Profile Photo

    by Zanzibargirl Updated Sep 15, 2004

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    Seeing one family of 9 out of 600 gorillas left in the wild is special. To know that on a given day I was one of only 6 people in the world to get to do it makes it even more special. And on the day I went I got to see them roll about for about an hour in play, chest beating and nose picking sessions. The first thing I remember is hearing this great big gorilla fart. I sat their in awe as I watched these big human like apes just welcome us into their world and happily let us sit and be part of their group. They got as close to a metre away, and I will treasure the goosebump feeling I had for life! So very very special.

    Nosy Gorilla
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  • Bonobo2005's Profile Photo

    by Bonobo2005 Updated Jun 5, 2004

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    Mt Sabinyo (3634m) has 3 peaks and is nicknamed "the old men's teeth" because it's craterrim is ruined so much. The summit is the border with both Rwanda and DR Congo.

    I loved this mountain most, but unfortunately I wasn't allowed to go up. The reason was, they said, that they are still maintaining the ladders. I even sent faxes and phoned to the head office of the proper authorities in Kampala, but permission was denied.

    In the meantime the ascent to Sabinyo's peaks might be on offer again. Please tell me how it was....

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  • Bonobo2005's Profile Photo

    by Bonobo2005 Updated Jun 5, 2004

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    Gahinga (3474m) is the smallest of the 3 inactive volcanoes in the Park, and the 6th highest of the 8 volcanoes in the Virunga range.

    The climb (hike) to the craterrim differs from Muhabura and it's therefore interesting to climb both. Gahinga has a large bamboo zone that you cross and sometimes you need the use of ladders. The crater doesn't have a lake but a swamp. It's quite a long walk but only a relatively short climb, while Muhabura is much more demanding.

    I actually climbed Gahinga on 2 consecutive days. After the clouds on Muhabura the previous day we had clouds again on the day of the first ascent once we reached the rim. I knew that the reason was that we started too late and also walked too slow.

    Up to about 10AM Gahinga was usually cloudless, so the next day I demanded a climb again, but this time starting 7AM and climbing as fast as possible. This time I was rewarded with a clear sky and the views that I had looking forward so badly, were unforgettable!

    ****more impressions see the travelogue****

    Views into Rwanda from Gahinga rim
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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Bonobo2005's Profile Photo

    by Bonobo2005 Updated Jun 5, 2004

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    When doing an activity in Mgahinga NP, whether it is gorilla tracking or just hiking, you will be continuously accompanied by a small army.

    In & around the Park another 1000 troops will protect you from the "buffalos".

    Actually the presence of so many bullets around me did me at first feel pretty unsafe, but I got used to it soon.

    The main reason for all this is the tragic 1999 Bwindi massacre in which 8 tourists were killed.

    my private army on the way to Gahinga
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    • Eco-Tourism
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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Bonobo2005's Profile Photo

    by Bonobo2005 Updated Jun 5, 2004

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    At Virunga Hotel (Kisoro) we were offered a hiking/boattrip to search for pythons that supposed to be about 10 meters long and even eat dogs.

    After we had been taken by dug out canoe to some kind of island the python
    tracking took us through banana plantations and swamps during which we attracted huge attention from locals.

    It was a very nice halfday afternoon activity, but we didn't see any pythons,apparently because they were in the water due to lack of sunshine. I'm not sure what will be your chance if you go there... ;-)

    our little anxious assistant guides
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  • Bonobo2005's Profile Photo

    by Bonobo2005 Updated Jun 5, 2004

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    Lake Mutanda is just few km's out of Kisoro town, a nice lake and a lovely walk.

    Very much like Northern Rwanda -even the same language is spoken- with heavily cultivated green hills, great people, hundreds of children shouting "how are you" from everywhere and the impressive volcanoes of the Virunga range in the back.

    approaching  lake Mutanda
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