Birding in Mgahinga National Park Mgahinga Gorilla National park was gazetted in 1991, and is part of the Virunga conservation area. It is perhaps, Uganda’s most scenic national park. The entire Virunga conservation area has well over 250 bird species; Mgahinga on its own has a record of 115 bird species which makes for interesting bird watching. Some of these species are endemic to the albertine Rift Mountains. Bird watching can be done all year round in the park; the best time however is April to Mid-May, and October to November. There are migratory birds in the park between November to April. Game viewing and Gorilla Trekking are best done in the drier season. Bird watchers can have a decent birding experience at any time of the year but the best time is Apri to Mid-may and October to November. there are usually migratory birds in the park from November to April adding to the variety of birds pecies to be seen.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
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 Gorilla Park headquarters are responsible for protecting Uganda's portion of the Virunga Conservation Area (of which it only makes up 8%). There are 3 of the 8 Virunga Mountains that lie on the Rwanda-Uganda border; all 3 of which can be hiked to in one day by guests staying in the Mgahinga.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park consists of a lush, tropical rainforest at the base of 3 extinct Virunga volcanoes. Plenty of bamboo and mosses are found along the slopes, which aside from creating beautiful scenery, act as a food supply for Mountain gorillas roaming around the area. This is Uganda's smallest national park at only 33.7 sq km and it is at a high elevation with some peaks reaching over 4000m. The area is full of birdlife, mammal and plant life. Guests can look forward to sightings of the mountain gorillas as they move around the area, but they can move into Rwanda, so sightings in Mgahinga are not reliable. The local Batwa pygmies are indigenous hunter-gatherers in the area who have lived amid the mountains of Mgahinga for many years. It is an exciting and interesting part of a visit to this park to meet with and speak to the Batwa people. Take a guided tour with them and learn about the names of the volcanic peaks and what history they have.