Mgahinga gorilla national park

Uganda to Celebrate the Debut Gorilla Festival

Uganda to Celebrate the Debut Gorilla Festival
For the very first time, Uganda is ready to celebrate a gorilla festival set for 6-8 October in Mgahinga Gorilla national park at the foothill of the Virunga mountain range in kisoro district. The festival is aimed at promoting Uganda gorilla tour packages and disclose the newly produced tourism products in Uganda to the outside world. Mountain gorillas are a key attraction in the festival and some gorilla babies will be named just as the kwita izina ceremony in Rwanda. This is the first time Uganda is openly naming gorillas. Also, the mountain gorilla festival is Uganda’s opportunity to understand and celebrate the value of conserving the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Also, the festival’s main target is to emphasize the risks of the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the Virunga massif shared by Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic republic of Congo. Mgahinga cultural and craft center in cooperation with the Uganda tourism board and Uganda Wildlife Authority are the organizers of this amazing festival. Over 200 people including travelers, conservationists, local people, and other players in the tourism sector are expected to grace this festival.

Rwanda has for the last decades been the only country celebrating the birth of iconic mountain gorillas. This year, Rwanda will celebrate the naming of 18 baby gorillas at the head quarters of Volcanoes National Park a home to the majestic creatures. It’s very crucial for Uganda to celebrate the gorilla festival being a home to over 50% of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas.

Other activities that will take place
The gorilla festival is not only about mountain gorillas but rather a variety of other activities. The attendees will have an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate other activities, which have been introduced in Mgahinga gorilla national park and kisoro district as a whole. The extra activities include among others:

Cycling/Biking
Cycling is one of the new tourism products that have introduced in the Virunga region. Here travelers ride on bicycles through local gardens, plantation and homes. This help travelers to explore local villages and activities which bring in close contact with local people which increase their understanding of local traditions, customs and cultures. Cycling is organized by the ultimate cycling Uganda together with the Uganda cycling federation to reward travelers with extra experiences which make a stay in Mgahinga indeed a life changing experience. At the end of the ride, every participant will plant a tree for the wellbeing of mountain gorillas and local people. Bamboo trees serve as food and habitat for gorillas while local people use them for construction poles, charcoal, firewood and herbs for medicine. Cycling is the most environmental friendly transport, which help in conserving the natural environment leading to sustainable conservation. Tree planting will also help to solve local people’s conflicts with park managers encouraging local support for tourism in the park.

Caving
A safari to Mgahinga gorilla national park without caving is surely incomplete. Ngarama cave is the focus for most caving trips in Mgahinga guided the Batwa during their famous Batwa cultural trail. The cave was initially the place of worship foe batwa pygmies to perform their rituals and offer sacrifices to their gods for prayer and thanks giving. Fortunately, two more caves assessed to be thousands of years old have been discovered in the park but are not yet open to tourism. Local guides have been trained and equipped with all necessary tools to ensure memorable caving experience.

Virunga Volcano Climbing

A hike to the summit of any volcano is an experience you should not miss out. The volcanoes in Mgahinga gorilla national park are Mt Gahinga, Mt Muhabura and Mt sabyinyo. Interestingly, each Volcano is unique on its way hosting an awe-inspiring feature at the summit. Mount Muhabura has a crater lake with crystal clear water; Mgahinga has a crater swamp while Mt sabyinyo summit is shared by Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. This helps travelers to be in three at the same time. Home stays and caldera expeditions are other tourism products that have been introduced in kisoro district.

How much is charged to attend the gorilla festival
Just like other festivals, the Uganda gorilla festival comes with a cost. Each participant will pay ush200, 000 (55$) to allow him/her be part of this three days festival. The fee is an inclusion of meals, tour activities and transport for those traveling from Kampala to kisoro. Those who will sleep over in tents, lodges or hotels will pay extra money for accommodation

In general, Uganda the pearl of Africa is an exceptional destination with diverse tourism activities and attractions. The cou8ntry has 10 national parks, mountains, rivers valleys, forests, and hospitable people, which make Uganda a place to stay.