There are only four National Parks in Africa that offer what is argably the most exhilirating wildlife experience in the world, an opportunity to spend time with Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat. Uganda is home to two parks including the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park, Rwanda is home to Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park is found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in southwestern Uganda and offers one of the finest gorilla treks in Africa and is a key destination for any tourist visiting the country. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is best known for its superb gorilla tracking. It covers an area of about 331 square kilometers. It is home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Aside from the endangered gorillas, the Bwindi also provides refuge to elephant, chimpanzee, monkeys and various small antelope and bird species.
Mgahinga National Park, Uganda
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the south western part of Uganda. Gazetted in 1991, the Park covers an area of 33.7 sq km. It is the country’s smallest and probably most scenic of all the Uganda National Park. It forms part of a large conservation area that straddles political boundaries to include Parc des Volcano in Rwanda and Parc de Virungas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three extinct Volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga range, lie within the boundaries of the Ugandan portion of this biologically rich area. Mountain gorillas form the main attraction at Mgahinga National Park. It has one of the most exciting mountain gorilla tracking safaris, gorilla tours, forest walks and other primates-related activities.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park lies in the North Western part of Rwanda. Established in 1929, Volcanoes National Park is one of Africa’s oldest national parks. Home to over a third of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world, the park was conserved to mainly protect these primates from poachers. It also comprises of five of the eight volcanoes of the magnificent Virunga Mountain ranges compounded by the bamboo forest. Aside from the gorillas, Volcanoes Park boasts a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems characterized by lush green and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.
Virunga National Park, D.R Congo
Virunga National Park lies from the Virunga Mountains to the Rwenzori Mountains, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Established in 1925, the Virunga Park covers 7,800 sq km and is one of Africa’s first national parks. One of Africa’s most active volcanoes, the Nyiragongo volcano is also situated here. Virunga boasts exceptional diversity, containing more bird, mammal and reptile species than any protected area on the African continent. It is also renowned for hosting a scenic landscape of glacier-covered highlands and lowland forests. Although mountain gorillas are now extremely rare and listed as one of the most critically-endangered species, successful conservation work has helped to secure the remaining populations. The park is managed by the Congolese National Park Authorities.