What is the best time to visit Mgahinga national park?

What is the best time to visit Mgahinga national park?  : Mgahinga national park is situated in South-western Uganda, Mgahinga national Park is a small but one of the best destinations that offer tremendous attractions and activities, that will make you appreciate the beauty of Uganda’s National Parks. These riveting activities include gorilla trekking, the Batwa trail, bird watching and nature walks among others, but gorilla trekking is the principal reason as to why tourists visit this Park. Surprisingly, all tourists can visit Mgahinga National park for this life changing adventure look forward to achieving maximum satisfaction and unforgettable experience.

Nevertheless, maximum satisfaction in gorilla tracking is about perfect timing and prior/earlier preparedness. Meeting face to face with the mountain gorillas is everyone’s dream, but achievement of a maximum and memorable gorilla tracking experience is not a guarantee and varies from one person to another. It should be noted that this level of satisfaction depends on factors like preparedness, level of expectation and perfect timing for the activity. Mountain gorillas–scientifically known as “Gorilla beringei beringei” are one of the fascinating species of Giant Apes found within restricted locations that include Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park. There are currently 80 mountain gorillas found in Mgahinga National Park and only one habituated gorilla group (the Nyakagezi group) is available for tracking by tourists.

What is the best time to visit Mgahinga national park?
Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park

The question of what time to visit Mgahinga National Park has continuously sparked debates and arguments among travelers who yearn to achieve a maximum African Safari experience. Even so, the answer is that Mgahinga National park can be visited all year round because both dry and wet seasons are perfect for different activities in the Park including gorilla trekking. What might seem the right time for someone may not be the same for another person, because different people associate perfect time with different reasons/factors. However, the dry season from late May to early October and December to February is the perfect time for gorilla trekking. Reason? It is believed that tracking gorillas during these months is easier because the trails are drier, but do not be surprised when it starts raining in the middle of the day because Mgahinga National Park is nestled on a high altitude area and within a Tropical rainforest that receives rain all year round. The drier seasons are also the Peak season in gorilla tourism where the demand for gorilla permits is high; hence permits have to be booked in advance (at least 6 months prior to the tracking dates). Much as the dry season is considered the best for gorilla trekking, it does not offer clear wildlife and bird sighting because the views are clouded by hazier air, What is the best time to visit Mgahinga national park? .

The rainy season from late February to early May and mid-October to November is not preferred because the tracking trails tend to be slippery and muddy hence gorilla tracking is challenging during these months. Also the roads leading to the Parks can become bad and literally impassable in some areas.

Another reason why the rainy season is avoided is that the Park is repeatedly blanketed in murk/mist and the air is always moist, and hailstorms are frequent. However, it is inescapable to acknowledge the pros of  gorilla trekking in the wetter months because these seasons truly reward tourists with excellent views (when rain ceases and the murk/clouds lifts) than the hazier air associated with the drier months, and the vegetation is excellently green during the rainy season. The wetter months (April, May and November) are also low seasons in Uganda’s gorilla tourism hence discounted gorilla permits are offered to tourists whereby foreign non-residents pay $450 per person instead of the normal $600 hence saving $150, foreign residents pay $400 in place of the usual $500 allowing tourists to save $100 and East African residents are charged Shs 150,000 instead of the Shs 250,000 charged during peak seasons and other normal months.

Bird watchers should also take advantage of the rainy season because it is the most perfect time for sighting the migratory bird species. Of course bird watching can still be conducted any time of the year, but the rainy season (especially around November to April) will offer mind-boggling views and sweet melodies of the beautiful migratory bird species such as the Brown-chested Lapwings.

In conclusion, much as Mgahinga National park can be visited at any time of the year, the best time for Gorilla trekking is the dry season from late May to early October and December to February because this is when the tracking conditions are favourable (the forest trails are not muddy and slippery) and the best time for tourists who intend to visit this Park for bird watching is the rainy season because this is when the migratory bird species such as the Brown-chested Lapwings are common. However due to the high rate of Global warming, it becomes difficult to predict the weather.

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