Gorilla Trip in Uganda
Are you planning to visit Uganda for Gorilla Trekking, Gorilla Trip in Uganda this guide to Gorilla Trekking in Uganda well researched and put up by Eco Adventure Safaris is one of the best guides that will help you plan and book your gorilla trek successfully, we are glad to guide and advise you on planning your safari to Africa? Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is one of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that attracts many travelers to do during their visit to Uganda. Despite the high costs, time and discomfort from booking to doing the hike through the forest to search for these endangered apes watching gorillas in their natural habitat in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is one of the best wildlife experiences every traveler would do on his/her safari. Gorilla Trekking involves hiking/walking through the forest and at some point difficult terrain, thick vegetation, crossing rivers and swamps in search for gorillas, this activity is challenging and it requires one to be fit at the time of the trek. Gorilla trekking gives you an opportunity to encounter and watch the gorillas in their natural habitat for one hour in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. For travelers who would like to spend more time with the gorillas in their natural habitat can opt to visit Bwindi Forest for Gorilla Habituation experience which gives you 4 hours encounter with the gorillas.
Where is Gorilla Trekking Done in Africa?
Gorilla Trekking is done in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo which host the four national parks that are home the only remaining mountain gorillas. These include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo. In Congo you as well have an opportunity to see the Lowland gorillas which are found in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. In order to trek at any of the mentioned national park a gorilla permit is required for you to be allowed to go for gorilla trekking. With this once you have you planned dates of gorilla trekking we recommend you start booking your gorilla trip immediately given the fact services and permits sell out very quickly especially if you plan to do the trek in the peak season of June to September, it is always better to book atleast 5 months in advance prior traveling. Gorilla Trekking at the mentioned parks can be booked directly or through a trusted Tour Operator Eco Adventure Safaris.
Where is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda done?
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda is also home to other National Parks which can be visited as well during your gorilla trek safari these can be added in to the itinerary, best include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park
Cost and Getting Gorilla permits in Uganda
The Gorilla permit in Uganda Costs $700 Per person per trek for the Foreign non residents, $600 Per person for residents and $70 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda has 17 habituated gorilla family groups with 16 found in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga this means 136 Gorilla permits are available every day for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda also gives you an option to spend more time with the mountain gorillas through Gorilla habituation experience which is only done in Bwindi forest, a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person giving you an opportunity to spend 4 hours encounter with the semi habituated mountain gorillas under the guidance of trackers and researchers as opposed to one hour for the normal trekking. Getting gorilla permits in Uganda can be done directly by booking them through Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour operator in Uganda like Eco Adventure Safaris.
P.S When booking your gorilla permit it is important to note that the gorilla permit price excludes accommodation, air tickets, ground transport, meals and other expenses, you will need to get more details of the package you are booking with your tour operator.
What is the age limit for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda?
The minimum age limit for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is 15 years and the maximum age depends on fitness levels. Gorilla trekking for elders is now made possible especially in Bwindi forest through the provision of sedan chair carriers, these chairs are used to carry those who feel unfit and are unable to walk into the forest at the time of their trek, you will be carried by potters to and from the forest during your trek, hiring the sedan chair can done in advance or at the day of the trek and price ranges from 400-500 dollars. Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is also possible for those under 15 years, you will need to request for this in advance.
Gorilla Permit cancellation penalties and policy in Uganda
To go for gorilla tracking you are required to have a gorilla permit, with this it is preferred that and one who books a gorilla permit should be able to utilize it for the trek on a given date. Gorilla permit cancellations penalties and policy in Uganda, when you fail to make it to the date of the trek from 0 to 8 days, to the day of tracking and with this you don’t get the refund for the permits. For the last 6 months gorilla permits cancellation policies have changed a lot due to the outbreak of Corona Virus which has forced both countries to relax the cancellation policies, in Uganda all gorilla treks that were affected by the pandemic have been given an opportunity to changed their dates of trekking twice up to 2022 December. Contact us here for details.
What is the best time for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda?
Gorilla Trip in Uganda. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done throughout the year and the best time to do a gorilla trekking in Africa 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 pack for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
During gorilla tracking you will need a comfortable, hard wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots. Conditions are generally very muddy in the forest when it is raining. There are uphill sections which may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long trousers to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. Suggested Items to pack for Gorilla trekking;
- Insect Repellent
- Torch/Flashlight – and Spare Batteries
- Wet Wipes
- Water Bottle
- Camera, lenses etc
- Comfortable walking/hiking boots & socks
- Gardening gloves for gorilla tracking
- Sandals/strops/walking shoes
- Hat and Sunscreen
- Rain Jacket
- Binoculars (game/bird watching)
Compare gorilla trekking in Bwindi with Mgahinga National Park
Gorilla Trip in Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park are the only 2 national parks where gorilla trekking is done in Uganda. These are home to over 50% is half of the remaining Mountain Gorilla population in the world. Other national parks where you can do gorilla trekking are Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo.
Are you planning and interested in going for gorilla trekking in Uganda and you are finding it hard to choose where to go between Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park, here below is the comparison based on our expertise to help you choose and decide where to go for gorilla trekking experience between the two parks in Uganda.
The whole truth is that both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park have mountain gorillas and there is no big difference when it comes to the experience obtained at the end of your trek. However, there are many things you can base on to compare gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National Park with Mgahinga National Park for you to choose where to book and go for your gorilla trekking and these include the following;
In terms of Vegetation and trekking experience, Mgahinga National Park mountain gorillas are in the Virunga/hills with mainly bamboo as the main vegetation while in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, these mountain gorillas are in a thick impenetrable tropical rain forest with varieties of trees and plants. It is believed that Mgahinga National Park gorillas are easy to see because of the kind of vegetation, making it easy to take clear photographs compared to Bwindi given gorillas in here are found in the thick forest.
In terms of accessibility, both Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park can be accessed by road or Air. By road you will drive from Kampala/Entebbe which is 8-9 hours drive via Kabale town and proceed to Bwindi or Kisoro to get to Mgahinga National Park. It is also possible to get to Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park via Kigali which then becomes 4-5 hours drive only. With this, you land in Kigali, use the East African Tourist Visa (which allows you to visit both countries at ago) and then trek gorillas in Uganda at an affordable price.
In terms of Lodges, Both National Parks have Budget, Mid Range and Upmarket Lodges where you could choose to stay during your trek. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the best place for gorilla trekking for those interested in staying in super luxury lodges on international standards compared to Bwindi. These lodges offer great and luxury services some are ranked among the best in Africa and the country at large for example Gorilla Sanctuary Forest Camp, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and Buhoma Lodge among others.
In terms of Gorilla families, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has more gorilla families open for trekking than Mgahinga National Park. Bwindi has 19 habituated gorilla family groups this means 152 Gorilla permits are available every day for gorilla trekking in Bwindi. Mgahinga National Park has only one Gorilla family hence only 8 Gorilla permits are available each day for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park. This makes it more flexible to get gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi compared to Mgahinga National Park especially during the peak season months.
In terms of distance to see Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with that in Mgahinga National Park, The issue of walking longer or short distance depends on the given gorilla family allocated to you on the day of trekking at of the national parks. In both Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park gorilla families are allocated depending on the interest and physical fitness of given individual. If for example, you want a shorter trek, you will have to inform the park authorities on the very day of trekking so that you are allocated such family. If you want a medium or longer trek, then you do the same. It should be noted that while they will try to give you a family that requires shorter walks, the behavior of gorillas might affect the experience if for example gorillas decide to move further as you look for them you will need to move a longer distance still.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is also closer to other National Parks compared to Mgahinga National Park. With just 2 hours drive you can visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for Big game wildlife viewing and 4 hours to Kibale Forest National Park for Chimpanzee trekking hence making it easy to combine your memorable gorilla trek with an extra adventure in other parks.
Why book with Eco Adventure Safaris Ltd your Gorilla Trip in Uganda
Eco Adventure Safaris Ltd will help you book your Gorilla Trip in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo contact us and we advise you on the booking process. We as well have different gorilla trekking safari packages ranging from budget, mid-range to luxury options that we can book for you including the gorilla permits. Feel free to checkout our trip advisor reviews and read from a community of happy satisfied clients. With us, you can be rest assured of a memorable Uganda Gorilla safari holiday. We are devoted to providing excellent service and customer satisfaction. Our team of excellent tour consultants is always willing to help answer all your safari questions. We guarantee you a great Gorilla Trip in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo with us.