The Nyakagezi Gorilla Group based in Mgahinga National Park which had crossed to Rwanda last year is back in South Western Uganda. All nine members are back and in a healthy condition. Nyakagezi Gorilla Group is the only resident habituated gorilla group in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, located about 10 km from Kisoro.
This group is keeps migrating between Congo DR, Rwanda and Uganda, migrate across international borders, mainly in search of “greener pastures” (patches with more food). Across the three countries, such movements have drawn interest of the different countries especially when it becomes of Gorilla habituated to tourism. These kind of groups are known as transfrontier groups and are under the management of the trilateral memorandum of understanding signed between Uganda Wildlife authority (UWA), RDB by the time ORTPN and ICCN in 2006 on “the collaborative monitoring of and Sharing revenues from Transfrontier tourism Gorilla Groups”. Such cases have been happening: Kwitonda group moved 8years ago to PNV In Rwanda from PNV in DRC and has been benefiting of the implementation of the MoU by sharing the tourism revenue by 50% between Rwanda and DRC as indicated in the MoU.
This, therefore, implies that Uganda Wildlife Authority can now sell gorilla tracking permits for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and therefore some relief of the pressure on Bwindi, where the bulk of the gorilla tracking takes place. It will also benefit tourism into the Kisoro area of Uganda, which in itself is one of the most scenic parts of the country and holds many more attractions interesting for tourists visiting the country.
Nyakagezi group of gorillas currently has 10 members. The family includes the lead silverback Bugingo who is around 50 years old and father to most of the group; his silverback sons, Mark and Marfia; and two blackbacks, Rukundo and Ndungutse, who love to pose and play in the trees. The two females, Nshuti and Nyiramwiza, both have babies Furraha and Nkanda respectively. Although gorilla tracking in Mgainga Gorilla National Park can take an entire day it is generally less physically demanding than that at Bwindi National Park.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the far south-western corner of Uganda. The huge cones of the Virunga Volcanoes, Muhavura (4,127m) , Sabinyo (3,645m) and Gahinga (3,474m), dominate the landscape here at Uganda’s smallest national park. Mgahinga may be Uganda’s smallest national park at only 33 km², but it combines with the Parc National des Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda to create a conservation area of 434 km².
Birds in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The varied habitats of Uganda’s smallest park make it home to a variety of birds with 179-184 species recorded. The list includes the Ibis, Pin-tailed Whydah, Speckled Mousebird, Stone Chat, Grey-capped Warbler, Wax Bills, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Firefinch, White-naped Raven, Black Kite, Rwenzori Turaco, Blue-headed Coucal, Paradise Fly-catcher, Rwenzori Batis, Double-collared Sunbird, Rwenzori Nightjar.
Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga
The endangered golden monkey is endemic to the Albertine Rift, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers a rare chance to track these striking creatures, high in the dense bamboo forests on the Gahinga trail. There is an estimated 3000-4000 individuals in the Virunga area which 42-60 are habituated in Mgahinga.
Other Wildlife in Mgahinga
Mgahinga is home to 76 species of mammals, although they are difficult to glimpse in the wild forest vegetation. They include giant forest hogs, bush pigs, forest buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, golden cats, side striped jackals, black fronted duikers and South African porcupines.
Mountain Gorillas Population in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park shoots up to 400 (2011 Census Results Release)
Trekking Tour Packages in Rwanda and Uganda