Mgahinga National Park

Mount Gahinga Lodge


Gorilla trekking and Batwa culture

Right on the edge of Mgahinga National Park, Mount Gahinga Lodge is the perfect base to go gorilla tracking on the Ugandan side of the Virungas, track the rare golden monkey, climb a volcano and share the culture of the Batwa, the oldest inhabitants of the Central African rainforest.

A charming property showcasing traditional local craftsmanship, each of the eight banda cottages were handbuilt with en suite bathrooms, a fireplace and a porch for looking out over the green peaks beyond.

The main lodge, also made of stone, wood and thatch, features a lounge, bar and dining area.


At a glance

  • Eight bandas

  • Dining room, lounge and bar

  • Personal butler

  • Direct access to Mgahinga National Park

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  • Mount Gahinga Lodge 4

    Gorilla trekking

    Meet your guide and head into the forest to meet the park's one habituated family, the Nyakagezi gorilla group. The trekking can be challenging, clambering up steep slopes and through dense foliage, though it is more than worth a chance to spend an hour with these incredible animals watching as they play, feed and socialise.

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    Batwa cultural experience

    Supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust, this hands-on experience will open your eyes to another world – that of one of Uganda’s longest surviving tribes. Visit the local Batwa community in their traditional dwellings and learn about how they have lived for generations in the surrounding forest.

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    Golden monkey tracking

    The Golden Monkey can be found in the foothills of the volcanic mountains of Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. Characterized by their bright golden body, cheeks and tail, these playful primates are a pleasure to watch.

Community & Culture

The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), established in 2009, is a non-profit organisation that connects Volcanoes’ Rwanda and Uganda luxury lodges to the neighbouring communities and conservation activities. The VSPT receives funding through Volcanoes Safaris, which contributes $100 from safari bookings, as well as private donations by our guests and others. The VSPT aims to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities, promote the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats and work with communities and institutions to reduce human-wildlife conflict.

The Batwa are thought to be one of the oldest surviving Indigenous people in the Central African Region. Known for their unique culture in the forests, the Batwa of the Virunga Mountains survived by hunting small game, gathering plants and fruits, living in caves and constructing huts of leaves and branches. With international attention on the conservation of the endangered mountain gorilla, the Mgahinga part of the Virunga volcanoes was turned into a national park in 1991. The creation of the park required the Batwa to be removed from their homeland in the mountains, displacing them into a modern and unfamiliar world. Without resources or land, they suffered from acute poverty, malnutrition and poor health.

Volcanoes Safaris have done their part to help right this past injustice by purchasing 4 hectares of land and assisting 18 families build permanent homes, a community centre and have land for agricultural use. VSPT has also collaboratively developed a series of projects to support the Batwa through tourism related enterprises and to help preserve their culture and heritage while providing a livelihood. These have included setting up a Vocational Centre, a Batwa Heritage Trail and sharing their culture with guests.

Volcanoes employ over 150 staff from the Great Lakes region – Rwanda, Uganda, DRC and Burundi – many of whose families have lived through conflict, mostly based at their lodges and ecotourism projects. Empowering local staff at all levels of management is a key aspect of Volcanoes’ philosophy. The overwhelming majority of our management staff are from the region and over 50% are women; 85% of the staff at lodges come from the neighbouring communities. Staff benefit from extensive training programs and manage guest experience from beginning to end and take pride in sharing the cultures of the Great Lakes region.


Volcanoes Safaris have been at the forefront of reviving gorilla and chimpanzee tourism in the region since 1997, setting up some of the very first camps and lodges around the park, and today they are recognised as the leader in great ape tourism with numerous conservation awards for their work.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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