Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks

Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks

Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks

Comparing Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks: Gorilla trekking is the top most sought after activity in Africa and is only done in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This experience is mostly liked by people who love primates and their natural habitat. Uganda is special since it hosts almost half of the remaining mountain gorillas that are located in two national parks (Bwindi and Mgahinga) both located in southwestern Uganda.

Bwindi National Park hosts 21 habituated gorilla families that are trekked every day and each family is trekked by 8 visitors. There are other attractions in the park such as 120 species of mammals such as giant forest pigs, African Golden cats, African civets, and many more primates such as L'hoest's monkeys, black and White Colobus monkeys and much more. Over 300 bird species such as African green broad bill, white-tailed flycatcher, regal sun bird, African harrier hawk and much more.

Mgahinga national park is host to only one habituated gorilla family - Nyakagezi, availing only 8 gorilla trekking permits offered in this park hence offering a great off-the-beaten path experience. It's the smallest national park in the pearl of Africa with unique wildlife species. It's part of the Virunga mountain ranges, unlike Bwindi National Park. This park has a rugged terrain compared to Bwindi National Park hence offering an opportunity to hike as you search for endangered mountain gorillas.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park can be done in four sectors that is Nkuringo, Rushaga, Ruhija and Buhoma. This is not like in Mgahinga national park where the trekking of gorillas is done in only one sector of the park. In the southern Rushaga sector, two Gorilla families are open for habituation experience where only 4 tourists are allowed to spend 4 hours in the presence of these gentle giants.

There are high chances of spotting endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest because of the high number of habituated gorilla families compared to Mgahinga national park with only 1 gorilla family.

Gorilla trekking experience in Mgahinga national park has fewer crowds due to less number of gorilla families and this means that visitors have ample space in the briefing room and also get a chance to hear all the required information during briefing exercises unlike in Bwindi where there are over 120 trekkers each day. This will allow privacy in the park hence enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Also, Mgahinga national park offers an opportunity to trek both mountain gorillas and Golden monkeys which are both rare primate species, unlike Bwindi National Park which offers a chance of only gorilla trekking. Therefore tourists have a chance to combine gorilla trekking and golden monkeys trekking experiences on their Uganda safari to Mgahinga national park.

Some gorilla families in Bwindi National Park live near the park offices where briefing takes place and this can be a bit time-saving for those who are time conscious just 2 to 3 hours of trekking is done unlike in Mgahinga national park where visitors may walk long distances and hike in search for mountain gorillas.

Both national parks offer a great Batwa community experience but differently. Bwindi presents the Batwa community experience where visitors get entertained in form of cultural music and dances, natural fire making and many more. In Mgahinga, there is Batwa cultural trail exploration which allows visitors to penetrate the forest to learn about how Batwa people could survive while in the forest before they were evicted to conserve the national park wildlife species.