Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest national park in Uganda at 33.7km2. It is however one the contingent part of the spectacular chain of the Virunga volcanoes, that mark the limit of the southern corridor of the great Albertine Rift Valley stretching between Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Mgahinga therefore is part of the Virunga volcanoes massif Trans-boundary ecosystem that hosts more than half of the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas. Mgahinga’s slopes are covered with a variety of altitudinal bands of vegetation, including bamboo, giant trees of hagenia and an interesting alpine zone of neubutonia and lobelias, and a second vegetation growth of bush and grass that is regenerating from a recovered farmland that had been encroached on by the community. The park has at least 39 species of mammals and 79 birds species, including the Rwenzori turaco, crowned hornbill, and crowned crane among other birds that inhabit high altitudes of the Virungas. Famously the park is known for the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys that are commonly trekked, as well as its neighbours who once inhabited the park as hunter-gatherers, the pygmies.