Fly into Kigali and visit Uganda for gorilla trekkingJune 12, 2022
Availability of gorilla tracking in BwindiJune 19, 2022
The chance of seeing gorillas in Uganda is high at more than 99%, are you planning to visit Uganda and you want to first confirm whether you will be able to see the mountain gorillas during your trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In this article, we explain how gorilla trekking is and the chances you have to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
When it comes to gorilla trekking, this is one of the most organized tourist activity in Uganda and on no occasions for the last 2 decades’ trekkers have reported not getting the chance to see the mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi starts very early in the morning where advance trackers go into the forest to locate where the gorillas last nested and spent the last night, they then start following them as they feed, interact and relax in the forest. These advanced trackers communicate with the guides with tourists during their trekking to find the gorillas, you will follow routes guided by the advanced trackers in the forest this saves time and the hustle to look for the gorillas hence giving you great chance of seeing the gorillas in Uganda. Gorilla trekking to find the gorillas in their natural habitat in Uganda takes about from 30 minutes to 5 hours to walk to find them and once you find them you will spend one hour with them encounter, take photographs and learn more about them.
What happens if I don’t see the gorillas on my trekking day in Uganda
Many travelers want to know what will happen if he/she misses to see the gorillas on the booked trekking day to avoid losing out on the money spent. This is very well understood and considered by Uganda Wildlife Authority given the fact mountain gorillas are found in their natural habitat anything can happen and you fail to encounter with the gorillas that is natural effects like heavy rains and gorillas getting charges and wild. With this Uganda Wildlife Authority normally compensates you by giving you an extra day for free to go again for gorilla trekking in either Bwindi Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Where is Gorilla Trekking done in Uganda
Gorilla tracking in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These are one of the only 2 national parks home to the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda, other national parks include Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo.
Bwindi Forest National Park is one of Africa’s oldest forests with a diverse biodiversity with various species which include 350 birds, 310 butterflies, 200 trees, 51 reptiles, 88 moths and 120 mammals, the park is also home to several primates including chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkey and the major one the Mountain Gorillas. The global population of mountain gorillas is 1064 individuals and half of these can be found in Bwindi forest, the park has over 15 habituated gorilla family groups open for gorilla tracking with 8 gorilla permits allocated to each group per day.
Mgahinga forest located in the far south western part of Uganda sharing the Rwanda and Congo border. Mgahinga gorilla national park is among the Virunga volcanic mountain chain of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda famous for Mountain gorilla safaris.
The park is Uganda’s smallest national park which is boarded by Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda. Mgahinga gorilla national park has the three volcanoes namely Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo and Mountain Muhabura all of which are part of the six Virunga Mountains. Mgahinga National Park harbors the endangered mountain gorilla and the Golden Monkeys. The park is a tropical rain forest comprised of lowland equatorial evergreen forest, tropical seasonal forest, montane rain forests and mountain Bamboo.
How is gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest is done in 4 sectors which include Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. Buhoma sector is located in the northern part of Bwindi and Ruhija sector in the North Eastern part of Bwindi both sectors are located close to Queen Elizabeth National Park making it easy to combine gorilla trekking with game viewing if you are trekking at these sectors. In the southern Part of Bwindi it is where Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors are located close to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla trekking and Golden monkey tracking. Each sector has different habituated mountain gorilla families open for gorilla trekking with Rushaga sector having many families compared to other sectors.
How much is Bwindi gorilla trekking
A Gorilla Permit costs USD700 per person per trek for Foreign Non-Residents, USD600 for East African Residents and USD70 for East African Citizens. This Gorilla permit gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest once you find them on your trek. A 3 Day Uganda gorilla trekking from Rwanda costs USD1290 per person all inclusive.
How to book Gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
You will need to secure your gorilla permit in advance to confirm you have booked Uganda gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking permits are purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority, this can be done at their headquarters in Kampala or Kisoro for tourists arriving in Uganda through Entebbe it is recommended to purchase their gorilla permits from Kampala and for tourists arriving in Uganda through Kigali they can purchase their permits at the branch headquarter of Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kisoro town which is 1-2 hours drive to Bwindi. Eco Adventure Safaris is one of the best gorilla safari companies which can purchase for you your gorilla permit in advance and on short notice, once you confirm your dates and share them with us via email or WhatsApp we will first tentatively reserve the gorilla permits for you online and then send you an invoice for you to make payment and once money comes through on our account we will purchase your gorilla permits immediately and send you scan copies of your permits for your records and perusal and this will confirm you have purchase your gorilla permits for your gorilla
What is the best time to go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda?
The best time to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this is makes it easier to travel to the park and gives a clear view of gorillas given the vegetation cover is not too much high grown
What to wear during Gorilla Trekking in Uganda?
You might be probably wondering what to wear for your trek, below is a compiled list on what to wear;
- A long armed sweater since the park gets cold
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- Water proof hiking boots
- A hat and sun glasses depending on the weather though this is optional
- Cameras and long lasting batteries since photography are very important to keep your memories alive. Always remember to keep our flash off.
- A pair of Binoculars. This will help you to see the vast birds Bwindi impenetrable forest has among other primates
- Gardening Gloves; these will help you when you a holding onto trees are branches through the trek.
- A rain coat; Since Bwindi impenetrable forest is rainforest, the rain is unpredictable so to be on a safer side, you will be required to carry along a coat.
- A mosquito Repellent; since it is a forest, it has different dangerous insects so it’s advisable to carry it along or wear it
- A sun screen; Well this is optional but depending on the season, it might get too hot and you end up getting sun burns on your skin so to avoid that, you will need a sun screen.
- You should not wear very bright colors since this will charge or scare away the gorillas.
- Black and Blue colors are also not recommended since they attract Tsetse Flies So I would recommend neutral colors.
Where to stay during Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park is done in the northern part that is Buhoma and Ruhija and in southern part that is Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors. In Rushaga lodges, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorillas Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Nsongi Camp, Icumbi Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge and Karungi Camp. In Nkuringo lodges you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge or Lake Mutanda Resort, all these lodges are close to the start point of Gorilla Habituation and Gorilla trekking.
In the northern part, in Buhoma sector you can stay at Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Ride 4 a Woman among others, In Ruhija you can stay at Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Agandi Eco Lodge, Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, and Broadbill Tented Camp among others.
In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the Lodges range from Budget to Luxury and these include; Gahinga Lodge which is a luxury hotel ranges from USD400 per person per night, Lake Chahafi Lodge, Lake Muhele Lodge which can serve as for both Midrange and Budget range from USD100 Per person per night
Why book Gorilla trekking in Uganda with Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris is a local tour operator in Uganda, we take pride in customizing tailor-made Gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Including Uganda gorilla trekking from Kigali Rwanda. We have a very diligent and trustworthy team. Your queries are answered within 20minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make you a travel plan for you, answer to all your questions and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. We also have very knowledgeable safari guides depending on your language preferences. Contact us here about the chance of seeing gorillas in Uganda