Don’t be deceived into thinking too little of 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 that attracts 179-184 recorded 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.
12 of these are among the 24 species endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains that soar between 2,227m and 4,127m above sea level. This includes Archer’s robin-chat, Dusky crimsonwing, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turaco and Rwenzori nightjar among others.
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 include African olive pigeon, Moorland chat, Ibis, Black Kite, Scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, Pin-tailed Whydah, Kivu ground thrush, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Olive woodpecker, White-naped 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 Mousebird among other species.
But that’s only half the story, the park is a favourite haven for 39 of the 88 species of Afro-tropical highlands biome that occur in Uganda.During your visit, a guided hiking experience will be organized for you to see the above mentioned residents at the Gorge Trail between Gahinga and Sabinyo.
Best time to visit
Birdwatching in Mgahinga is great year-round, yet excellent from April to mid-May and from October to November. If travelling in April-March, carry warm clothing and rain gear. It is the peak of the rainy season.
The best time to see Migratory birds is from November to April.