Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga
Comparing gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga gives travelers an opportunity to know which they would rather visit of the two. It is both in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park that travelers can find and track the endangered mountain gorillas that are also found in two other national parks of Virunga and Volcanoes in the Congo and Rwanda respectively, and nowhere else in the world. Having a gorilla trekking experience is almost everyone’s dream and travel wish, choosing the right gorilla destination is therefore important. It is therefore important that before you proceed with booking your gorilla tour in Uganda, you should make a sound decision on which of the two gorilla destinations in Uganda that you can go with. Comparing gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga is therefore very important.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site, duly recognised for its contribution to the eco system and harboring more than half of the world’s total gorilla population while Mgahinga Gorilla National Park does have the gorillas but not recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. Bwindi being recognised as a UNESCO site has publicized the park and made it known by many thus having may visitors opting for it.
Whereas Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south western Uganda covering the districts of Kisoro, Kanungu and Kabale, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located on the extreme south western part of Uganda in the district of Kisoro only and it is part of the Virunga ranges that are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park alone hosts more than 400 gorilla individuals making it the one gorilla destination that has more than half of the total gorilla destination. Mgahinga Gorilla on the other hand has very few mountain gorillas with about only 80 individuals found in the park. This also means that Bwindi has more gorilla families, about 40 in total while Mgahinga doesn’t, thus making Bwindi one very often opted for gorilla destination in Uganda and the region. Considering the number of gorillas and gorilla families in the each of the parks is therefore important when one is comparing gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga.
There are currently 19 gorilla families in Bwindi that are fully habituated and travelers can visit while on a gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park safari. Mgahinga on the other hand, however, has only one habituated gorilla family that travelers can visit while on a trekking safari in the park.
The gorilla families of Bwindi, unlike in Mgahinga that has one gorilla family roaming the entire park, are in the four sectors/ regions of the park namely Buhoma gorilla sector in the north, Ruhija gorilla sector in the east and Rushaga and Nkuringo gorilla regions in the southern part of the park. Each gorilla region has gorilla families that travelers can trek. With 19 gorilla families in Bwindi, acquiring gorilla permits is relatively much easier compared to Mgahinga as one has a variety of sectors to choose from.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi attracts a crowd due to the big number of gorilla permits available per day thereby making the place congested with much activity going on whereas gorilla trekking in Mgahinga which attracts less gorilla trekkers is a tranquil place giving travelers an opportunity to lay back and relax and also explore this little hidden gem on foot and undisturbed.
It is also only in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park that gold meets silver in Uganda, that is: it is only in Mgahinga that you will find and also be able to trek not only the gorillas with majestic silverbacks but also the little and very active golden monkeys. This is not possible in Bwindi. Travelers comparing gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga and are looking at having a golden monkey tracking opportunity would best consider Mgahinga.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has very many accommodation varieties ranging from super luxury to midrange and then to really basic, fit for all sorts of travelers’ budgets. Mgahinga on the other hand has fewer options with most of the lodging options being outside of the park in Kisoro town.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is more accessible to or from other parks say Queen Elizabeth making it easy to combine one’s gorilla safari with a wildlife viewing and nature safari. Mgahinga on the other hand is quite far-off.
Both Bwindi and Mgahinga offer great gorilla trekking experiences and irrespective of which you choose to track from, be assured you will enjoy it.
Both Mgahinga and Bwindi can be accessed by both air and road, and can take between 8-10 hours by road through both tarmacked and marram roads but with great views and an experience of the countryside. By air, travelers can use charter flights with Aerolink or Fly Uganda if time is not on one’s side or long road drivers are not your liking. From Entebbe or Kajansi, travelers fly into Kihihi or Kisoro airstrips and then be transported for at least 2 hours to your booked accommodation. Alternatively, both parks can be accessed from Kigali-travelers fly into Kigali International Airport in Rwanda and then be transported to Bwindi or Mgahinga for at least 4 hours on the road through the Katuna or Cyanika border posts.