The Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla bengei) are the most awe-inspiring animals to be found in Africa. Unfortunately, man has not been merciful to them. Poachers have decimated them, and man has destroyed their natural habitat. They have faced extinction, but today sound conservation policies have slowed down their decline, and in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park they are able to establish their family groups untroubled by predatory man. Here on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains, in south west Uganda, the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (33.7 sq.km) has been established to provide a secure habitat for these massive, but gentle creatures. Access to the families is strictly controlled (and not always permitted) and small groups of visitors are always accompanied by a trained ranger. To keep disturbance to the animals to a minimum there are limits to the number of tourists allowed in at any one time. Here we are in the home of the animals and we must act as the perfect guests. The park can be reached by road through Kibale and Kisoro 510km to Kampala.
The entire world population is found in 2 only conservation area. The volcanic Virunga Mountains, which straddle the common borders of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and in South Western Uganda’s Impenetrable Forest. Both conservation area give a different gorilla experience. The habitat in Bwindi Impenetrable NP is a dense rainforest while in Kinigi, Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda) and Mt Mgahinga (Uganda) the habitat of the gorillas is part of the Virunga, the famous chain of volcanoes located in Congo, Rwanda and also partially in Uganda.
The mountain gorillas spend most of their time in the hagenia woodlands and bamboo forests. During the raing season when new bamboo shoots are growing, the gorillas spend more time foraging in the bamboo forests (base altitude). The climb to the natural habitat of bamboo forest and Hagenia woodlands offers fantastic views.