Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Southwestern Uganda

The smallest of Uganda’s national parks (34 sq km), Mgahinga punches well above its weight. Tropical rainforest cloaks three dramatic extinct volcanoes and, along with the contiguous Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Parc National des Virunga in the DRC, this is the home of half the world’s mountain-gorilla population. Mgahinga also serves up some challenging but rewarding treks and an interesting cave, plus golden-monkey tracking is almost as fun as hanging out with the big boys.

Gorilla tracking is the main attraction, but it’s less popular than Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, due to the one habituated family having a tendency to duck across the mountains into Rwanda or the DRC. But there’s more on offer here than just gorillas. Elephants, buffaloes and serval are rarely seen, but they’re also out there, and 115 species of bird flutter through the forests, including Rwenzori turaco and mountain black boo boo. All activities are booked through UWA in Kisoro, or otherwise its office in Mgahinga.