Mgahinga park: The epitome of beauty
Imagine being in three countries simultaneously. One leg in the DR Congo another in Rwanda and your face and arms in Uganda. Imagine you delivered a baby at the intersection lines, surrounded by the best views in Africa. What would be the nationality of such a baby?
I think an adventurous pregnant woman needs to try delivering a baby in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits between 2,227m and 4,127m above sea level in the south western Uganda district of Kisoro. It is part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in Rwanda and the DR Congo.
Busting with wildlife
The 34sqkm park is home to 39 mammal species, including the mountain gorilla (gorilla beringei), elephant and buffalo. There is also the rare golden monkey said to be found only in the Virungas and two other forests in Central Africa.
Blue monkeys also call the park home just like the spotted hyena, the golden cat, leopard, serval cat, side-striped jackal, giant forest hog, black-fronted duiker and bushbuck, among other mammal species.
The park also has 79 bird species so far recorded with several endemics and is an important water catchment in the area.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, with one habituated trans-boundary gorilla group, was declared a game sanctuary in 1930 and was finally gazetted as a national park in 1991 to protect the endangered mountain gorilla.
It is the only park with oversized mountain gorillas. This family of habituated gorillas does not recognise the political boundary between Uganda and Rwanda.
The gorilla beringei is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla made up of two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains within Mgahinga, in north west Rwanda and in the eastern DR Congo. The other is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The most striking features of the park are its three conical, extinct volcanoes that form part of the scenic Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, the DR Congo and Rwanda.
The highest of the three peaks is Muhabura (4,127m). Muhabura, commonly known as Muhavura means a guide. The locals used to look for its high peak to help them get a sense of direction. The cone shaped Muhabura has a crater on top.
The second is Sabyinyo at 3,645 m. Sabinyo is the only peak most probably in the world that is located in three countries. The summit of the mountain marks the intersection of the borders of the DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
A child born at the peak will most probably have three nationalities. Should you want to be in three countries at the same time, just climb Mt Sabinyo. And should you want to give birth to a child with three nationalities, just do the hard job and climb to the peak of Mt Sabinyo.