The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park takes its name from "Gahinga" - the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was gazetted as a National Park in 1991.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has one habituated trans-boundary gorilla family/group called Nyakagezi Group. The group comprises of 9 members (including 3 Silverbacks). The only challenge with this group is that it keeps on migrating between the borders of Uganda and Rwanda posing a challenge to those intending to track it.
The park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name suggests, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey.
As well as being an important national park for wildlife, the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies who also inhabit the national park area. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivalled. The Batwa were self-sufficient and visitors can see how during a fascinating cultural tour with a Batwa guide to learn the secrets of the forest.
The park’s most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.