Bird Watching In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

  • Gazelle Safari Africa

  • Destination
  • Apr 07, 2022

Don’t underestimate Mgahinga as a bird watching destination because of its petite size 33.7Km2. Its’ three mountains are strategically located in Virunga Region, a geographical setting that experiences a cool-friendly weather attracting an estimated 179-184 bird species every year. To be exact, birds that thrive at settings with an average temperature of 20°C/68°F during the day, and 9°C/48°F at night.

Mgahinga’s bird list has 24 Albertine Rift endemic species and at least 14 species of these soar between 2,227m and 4,127m above sea level. This includes Archer’s robin-chat, Dusky Crimson wing, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori turaco and Rwenzori nightjar among others. In addition to the above, Mgahinga  has about 39 bird species of the total 88 of the Afro-tropical highlands biome bird species that occur in Uganda Destinations.

Bird Habitat in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Each of Mgahinga’s three mountains have four different vegetation zones, each of which attracts different species. These include montane forest, woodland, bamboo, moorland zone and the Afro montane belt. Among the species you stand great chances of seeing rare and colorful bird species which may include the; African olive pigeon, Moorland chat, Ibis, Black Kite, Scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, Pin-tailed Whydah, Kivu ground thrush, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Olive woodpecker, White-napped Raven, Stone Chat, Moorland chat, Grey-capped Warbler, Alpine swift, African paradise flycatcher, Paradise Fly-catcher, Blue-headed Coucal, Double-collared Sunbird, Cape Robin chat. Wax Bills and Speckled Mouse bird, regal sun bird, Rwenzori Turaco, Red faced woodland warbler among other species. And these birds can also be identified by their calls for the keen birders.

Birding Trails in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

During your Uganda Safaris, a guided hiking experience will be organized for you to see the above mentioned residents. They are common  at the Gorge Trail between Gahinga and Sabinyo offering  beautiful sighting of the Regal Sunbird, Bronze Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Blue-headed Sunbird, Kivu-ground Thrush, Black-headed Waxbill, Dusky turtle Dove, Rwenzori Batis, Cape Robin-chat, Olive Thrush and Streaky Seedeater among others.

The Bamboo trail has an elevation of 2500 meters while the montane forest sits at 2660-2700 meters above sea level. These two are popular habitat for the Rwenzori Turaco. Along the level ground of the Uganda-DRC border, you can meet the Red-faced Woodland Warble, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Banded Prinia, Chubb’s Cisticola.

Best Time To Visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga is an all year round birder’s haven, From April to Mid-May and from October to November, the mountain receives a large influx of migratory bird species adding to the already big variety of birds present.  If travelling in April-March, carry warm clothing and rain gear as these months are the peak of the rainy season.

Remember to carry binoculars, cameras, wear long sleeved shirts, long trousers, rain jacket and waterproof hiking boots.

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