The adorable Nyakagezi gorilla family is the only habituated gorilla group in Mgahinga national park in the far south western Uganda, mount Mgahinga is part of the renowned Virunga massif covering Rwanda, Congo and Uganda.
The word Nyakagezi was derived from a place in the park where the group always spends their time, the Nyakagezi gorilla family is always on the move and some times move far to the volcanoes national park in Rwanda and sometimes to Congo.Failure for tourists to get the group their given an alternative to trek gorillas in Bwindi at no extra cost. Thought the group is now settled in Mgahinga park.
The Nyakagezi gorilla family is dominated by a silverback known as Mark, Mark overthrew Bugingo who is now about 53 years and still in the family which is uncommon for mountain gorillas to stay with the family after being overthrown.
A part from trekking the Nyakagezi gorilla family, tourists can also go for golden monkey trekking, there are several troops of golden monkeys in mount Mgahinga national park. This species of monkeys are very beautiful to behold and well known for their playful character as they go about their day to day business.
The other members of the Nyakagezi gorilla family are Mathew, Mafia, Nyiramwiza, Nshuti, Bugingo, Rukundo, Mutagamba, and Nkanda all dominated by Mark. The group was habituated in 1991/but opened for tourism in 1994.
When visiting mount Mgahinga national park, tourists must endeavor to visit the people. The Batwa trail will reveal to you the forest people known as Batwa or pygmies. The Batwa are believed to have lived in this forests hunter gathering for about 500,000 years until they were displaced. Tourists can learn about their ways of lives and listen to ancient forest stories and also get entertained with local traditional dances.
Mount Sabinyo is one of the eight mountains of the Virunga massif and it can only be climbed from the Ugandan side despite being shared by Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. The climb to mount Sabinyo is very steepy and will require physical fitness but the reward is worth with panoramic views of all the three countries that’s incredible.
Mount Mgahinga national park can be reached within 9 to 10 hours drive from Kampala or tourists can opt to fly in to Kisoro airstrip from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield, alternatively tourists can fly in to Rwanda and then travel to the park.
Tourists visiting the Nyakagezi gorilla family can sleep in either Mount Mgahinga lodge or Mutanda lake resort. The lodges provide quality service and comfortable rooms. Gorilla permits for trekking the Nyakagezi gorilla family cost $600 per person and only a group of eight people is allowed to trek the family per day. The maximum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years.