Located in the south-western corner of Uganda, 10 km south of Kisoro town, it borders the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west and Rwanda to the south. The park covers the northern slopes of Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), Mgahinga (3,474 m), and Sabyinyo (3,645 m).
The park consists of the partly forested slopes of three extinct volcanoes. From far away, the huge cones of the Virunga volcanoes dominate the landscape and beckon you. When you reach the park you can get a great overview of the area by walking up the viewpoint, just 15 minutes from Ntebeko Gate. Mgahinga Park is of great biological importance because throughout the climatic changes of the Pleistocene ice ages, mountains such as these provided a refuge for mountain plants and animals, which moved up or down the slopes as the climate got warmer or cooler.
The Virungas are home to a large variety of wildlife, including about half the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. A large gorilla family exists in this park and tracking it can be a thrilling activity. The group, called the Nyakagezi, currently consists of 9 members – 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants.
It can be a tough walk, so go prepared. It is advisable that you wear shoes with good traction, suitable for steep muddy slopes and carry rain gear, sunscreen and a hat, as the weather is unpredictable.
Volcano Climbing (Mt. Sabyinyo (366m) – ‘Old man’s teeth’)
Like it does to an old man, time has eroded Mt. Sabyinyo’s crown, but this volcano offers 3 challenging peaks to climb. A climb up the mountain takes one up a ridge along the eastern side to peak I. The climb to the peak II involves walking along a ridge with breath-taking drops into the gorges of Rwanda and Uganda. After that comes the steep hike up to the peak III. Once you get there, you will be in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda at the same time. It takes an about eight-hour round trip to cover the 14km stretch.