Found in the south west, bordering Rwanda and Congo. Mgahinga comprises 3 extinct volcanoes and 3 extensive swamps. At 33.7km2, it is Uganda’s smallest National Park. It is situated in Kisoro in south western Uganda about 540 km from Kampala (Uganda’s capital city) .
Mgahinga is one of two locations in Uganda in which mountain gorillas can be found; the other being Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park takes its name from “Gahinga” – the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.
The park has one habituated gorilla group, although this group sometimes crosses the border into Rwanda, which means Mgahinga is not a reliable spot for viewing gorillas.
There are 76 mammal species recorded, including buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, golden monkeys. 115 bird species have been recorded, including Rwenzori turaco, crowned hornbill, yellow-billed kite and grey crowned crane. Mgahinga hosts a population of golden monkeys and a few families of mountains gorillas.
This park was once a home to the mountain gorillas but then they migrated to Rwanda in the Volcanoes.
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”.