Uganda's smallest National Park (33.7 km2) in the south-west, is linked to National Parks in Rwanda and Zaire to form a single conservation area in the Virunga Mountains. This is home to almost half of the world's remaining population of mountain gorillas. The remainder are found in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Mgahinga comprises three extinct volcanoes covered with Afro-montane tropical rainforest.
The park has a montane forest belt, a bamboo zone, an ericaceous belt and an alpine zone. In the saddles between the volcanoes lie three extensive swamps. Apart from the endangered mountain gorillas, the park supports a high level of endemism, including the rare golden monkey, and Black-fronted Duiker, as well as the side-strapped Jackal. Some 185 species of birds have been recorded, including 12 endemic to the region, such as several bandsome francolin, the Rwenzori Turaco and the side breasted tit.
Both the Batwa and Bafumbira people live adjacent to the park, and benefit from some of the park fees under the on-going programme to involve local people in conservation. Human pressure on the park has been intense in recent years, but local development programmes are assisting sustainable local projects.