Located in Southwestern Uganda, Mgahinga National Park is home to not only endangered mountain gorillas, and distinct golden monkeys but also unique vegetation. Mgahinga is geographically set in an area that experiences tropical kind of climate and this supports growth of sub-alpine zones. The sub-alpine zone is divided into 2; the afro montane belt and moorland zones.
The moorland and afro-montane zones don’t have trees. The vegetation is largely comprised of ground plants that can grow in relatively cold conditions. Mammals rarely reside in this area, except small rodents and the butterflies hover over the flowers.
The afro-montane forest makes up the smallest portion in the African continent. At Mgahinga, there is woodland and only a small portion of pure montane forest at the slopes of Mount Muhabura. The montane woodland is an open forest cover comprising of dense ground cover.
At the base area of Mgahinga NP, there are wild herbs and shrubs. In the 1980s, the present Mgahinga National Park area was encroached by the locals and the tilled gardens currently have shrubs and grasslands. Vegetation is the main habitat to numerous wildlife and bird species. The main montane forest trees grow at an altitude of 3200 meters and most species are medicinal tree species. The ground cover consists of grasses, lichen, mosses and liverwort.
The bamboo zone is above the montane forest belt, and it is one of the dominate vegetation zone, covering the western boundary of the Sabyinyo volcano and below it on Mount Gahinga. The Afro-alpine belt features giant senecio and lobelia species –plants known to exist relatively in mountainous areas. The park also features the Ericaceous belt also thriving around Mount Muhabura. The lobelia is the common plant species that thrives around the ericaceous belt.
Over 60% of Mgahinga National Park is comprised of bamboo zone. This is where most of the park’s large mammals live. The bamboo vegetation grows at an altitude of 1800m and 3300m. It grows up to the height of 3 to 4 meters. Mountain gorillas and other mammals depend on bamboo vegetation.