How to Get to Mgahinga National Park for Gorilla Trekking

From Entebbe, you have multiple options to reach Mgahinga National Park, each offering a unique experience. Let’s explore these transportation options in detail.

Mgahinga National Park, located in the southwestern region of Uganda, is a hidden gem and a paradise for gorilla trekking enthusiasts. This remarkable national park is part of the larger Virunga Conservation Area, which spans three countries and protects the endangered mountain gorillas. Nestled within the Virunga Mountains, Mgahinga offers a unique opportunity to witness these gentle giants in their natural habitat, surrounded by lush forests and breathtaking mountain landscapes. If you’re planning a gorilla trekking adventure in Mgahinga, it’s essential to understand how to get there and make the most of your experience.


To reach Mgahinga National Park, the first step is to arrive in Uganda. The most common entry point for international travelers is Entebbe International Airport, located near the capital city, Kampala. Several international airlines operate regular flights to Entebbe, making it easily accessible from major cities around the world. Once you arrive in Uganda, you can choose from various transportation options to reach Mgahinga National Park.
From Entebbe, you have multiple options to reach Mgahinga National Park, each offering a unique experience. Let’s explore these transportation options in detail.

Getting to Mgahinga

By Air:

If you prefer a convenient and time-saving option, you can choose to fly from Entebbe to Kisoro Airstrip or Kihihi Airstrip, the two nearest airports to Mgahinga National Park. Several domestic airlines operate regular flights between these airstrips and Entebbe, offering a comfortable and scenic journey over Uganda’s diverse landscapes. Upon landing, you will be greeted by the serene beauty of Mgahinga and the promise of unforgettable gorilla encounters.

How to Get to Mgahinga National Park for Gorilla Trekking
5 Day Mgahinga Gorilla and Golden Monkey Tour

By Road

For those seeking a more adventurous and immersive experience, a road trip to Mgahinga is an excellent choice. From Entebbe, you can embark on a picturesque drive through the beautiful Ugandan countryside. The journey takes approximately 8-10 hours, depending on the specific route and road conditions. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the rural landscapes, vibrant markets, and local communities that define Uganda’s rich cultural heritage.

As you approach Mgahinga National Park, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking scenery, including the towering volcanoes that dominate the landscape. The park is situated in the southwestern corner of Uganda, bordering Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its strategic location makes it an ideal destination for cross-border adventures and combined gorilla trekking experiences.

Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga National Park is renowned for its population of endangered mountain gorillas, which are closely monitored and protected within the park’s boundaries. Gorilla trekking is the highlight of any visit to Mgahinga, allowing you to observe these gentle giants up close in their natural habitat. Before embarking on your gorilla trek, it is essential to obtain a gorilla permit, which grants you permission to spend time with a specific gorilla group. Gorilla permits are limited in number and in high demand, so it’s advisable to secure yours well in advance. Permits can be obtained through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or authorized tour operators.


The trek to find the gorillas can be challenging but immensely rewarding. Trained guides will lead you through the dense forest, sharing their knowledge about the gorillas’ behavior and the park’s ecosystem. The duration of the trek can vary, ranging from a few hours to a full day, depending on the gorilla group’s location. Along the way, you’ll immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the rainforest, encountering other fascinating wildlife and bird species.

Once you find the gorilla group, you will have a designated time to spend with them, usually around one hour. This intimate encounter allows you to observe their behavior, social interactions, and even capture photographs to cherish the memories. It’s important to note that strict guidelines are in place to protect the gorillas and ensure their well-being, and it is crucial to follow the instructions of your guides at all times.

Attarctions in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mountain Gorillas

The main attraction of Mgahinga National Park is undoubtedly the mountain gorillas. This park is one of the few places in the world where you can observe these majestic creatures up close in their natural habitat. With a limited number of permits available each day, gorilla trekking in Mgahinga offers a more intimate and exclusive experience compared to some other popular gorilla trekking destinations.

Golden Monkeys

In addition to mountain gorillas, Mgahinga National Park is also home to a population of endangered golden monkeys. These playful and charismatic primates are known for their stunning golden coats and can be found in the bamboo forests of the park. Golden monkey trekking is a unique and rewarding experience, allowing you to observe these rare monkeys in their natural environment.

Volcanic Landscapes

Mgahinga National Park is situated in the Virunga Mountain Range, which is part of the larger Virunga Conservation Area. The park is dominated by three volcanoes: Mount Sabinyo, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Muhabura. These majestic volcanic peaks not only provide a stunning backdrop for your trekking adventures but also offer opportunities for volcano hiking and summiting.

Hiking and Nature Walks

Beyond gorilla and golden monkey trekking, Mgahinga National Park offers a range of hiking and nature walk options. You can explore the park’s dense forests, traverse scenic trails, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The Batwa Trail, in particular, is a cultural hike that takes you through the ancestral lands of the Batwa Pygmies, providing insights into their traditional way of life.

Accommodation Options in Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga National Park offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. From luxury lodges to cozy guesthouses, there is something for everyone. The lodges are designed to provide comfort and relaxation after an adventurous day in the park. Many of them offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and warm hospitality, ensuring a memorable stay.

Some of the popular accommodation choices near Mgahinga National Park include Mount Gahinga Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, four Gorilla lodge and Travelers Rest Hotel. These establishments offer comfortable rooms, delicious cuisine, and excellent amenities to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

In conclusion, Mgahinga National Park is a captivating destination for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Whether you choose to fly or embark on a road trip, the journey to Mgahinga is filled with breathtaking landscapes and cultural encounters. Once in the park, the awe-inspiring mountain gorillas and the diverse ecosystesms will leave you in awe. Plan your trip well in advance, secure your gorilla permit, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in Mgahinga National Park.

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