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How Book A Gorilla & Chimps Trekking Combo in Uganda, Uganda’s gorilla & chimps trekking combo safari brings you close to the most celebrated primates in the world, the chimpanzees and the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The trip is a top bucket-list item for adventures in Africa and of the most endearing experiences travelers rate highly.
Are you planning to visit Uganda to go gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi impenetrable National Park? Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is one of the top activities you should do on your visit to Uganda, you will have an opportunity to visit and trek the mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest located in the far south western part of 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.
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.
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Places where to see the Gorilla and Chimpanzees in Uganda
How Book A Gorilla & Chimps Trekking Combo in Uganda. Two national parks in Uganda combine well for a gorilla and chimps trekking combo safari; Kibale National Park in western Uganda near the Rwenzori Mountains and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda’s southwestern corner, in the highlands at the base of the Virunga Mountains.
Chimpanzee Trekking Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park has thirteen (13) primate species hopping between the park’s treetops, the highest concentration of primates in Africa. The Central African monkey primate species in Kibale include the mangabey, red colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, black-and-white colobus, olive baboon, vervet, blue monkey, and the common chimpanzee. However, the biggest visitor attraction to the park is the habituated troops of chimpanzees. Chimp sightings are guaranteed with every visit, making Kibale an outstanding choice for chimps tracking in Uganda.
At Kanyanchu visitor’s center, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) guides lead small group daily excursions in the forest to find a chimpanzee family and spend at least an hour with them for a permit price of $200 per person. A much more intense experience with the chimps in Kibale is the Habituation Experience, which allows visitors to spend the whole day with a chimpanzee family for a permit price of $250 per person.
Expert trackers lead small groups of tourists from the Knyanchu Visitor’s Center into the rainforest to find a habituated troop of chimpanzees every day at 0800 and 1400. The chimpanzee tracking adventure starts after a short briefing at the center. Sightings are not guaranteed because the chimps are free to forage anywhere in the 296 sq mi forest park. However, you have a very high chance (about 98%) of seeing the chimpanzee band and spending at least an hour with them.
Tracking the chimps in Kibale is not as physically demanding as you’ll find out for gorillas. Although the rainforest is thick, the Kibale Forest terrain is mostly flat and easy to navigate. However, keeping up with the chimps once you find them is an active experience that may drain your breath. The chimps rarely stay still but stay on the move unless they’ve just filled their bellies and are relaxing to gain energy for the next foraging expedition.
When you plan a gorilla & chimps combo in Uganda, you can end the safari in Kibale after trekking the gorillas in Bwindi or start with Kibale and head southwards to Bwindi. Either route is highly satisfying.
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Located in Uganda’s mountainous southwestern region, surrounded by terraced slopes, misty mountain peaks, and densely populated communities, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a wildlife haven. The UNESCO World Heritage site hosts a high number of animal and plant species, one of the highest in the world. However, its most celebrated inhabitants are the mountain gorillas.
With the highest mountain gorilla population than any other protected area, Bwindi is an outstanding gorilla trekking destination in Africa. If you hope to have to best gorilla & chimps combo in Africa, the two parks, Kibale and Bwindi, will be your best choice across the continent.
When planning your gorilla & chimps combo safari, note that Bwindi is subdivided into four sectors that highly determine where you’ll stay and book the gorilla trekking safari. Each sector has many habituated gorilla groups, which visitors will trek in small clusters of eight trekkers per gorilla group. Make sure your tour operator informs you of which sector connects well with chimps tracking in Kibale.
Nkuringo, Rushaga, and Ruhijja sectors, in the south of Bwindi, connect well to Kibale, driving through the smooth-surfaced road via Kamwenge-Mbarara-Kale. Buhoma sector in the north is a challenging connection to Bwindi because of the unsurfaced road through Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha sector. It would take close to a 10-hours drive unless you hope to spend a night in Queen Elizabeth for a game viewing safari.
Plan to spend a night in Bwindi, close to the trekking point, because the gorilla trekking excursions start very early every morning. The whole gorilla trekking experience is written about in our Guide to Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is quite a distance from Entebbe International Airport. You would have to drive for about 10 hours from Entebbe or take a one-hour flight to a small airport 2 hours outside the park. However, between Bwindi & Kibale, the drive is shorter.
When you’re planning the gorilla & chimps combo safari, know that you’ll be driving for long hours in the back of a 4×4 safari car between to reach or leave Bwindi.
The best itinerary to consider to see both gorillas and chimps in Uganda
The best itinerary to consider to see both gorillas and chimps in Uganda would take about 5 days and 4 nights. The trip starts and ends in Entebbe, where you’ll spend a night on both occasions. You spend a night in each national park and plan to spend a day traveling between destinations.
How Book A Gorilla & Chimps Trekking Combo in Uganda. Coming into Uganda through Entebbe International Airport (EBB), Kibale Forest is the nearest of the two. Driving west via Fort Portal City, Kibale is about 338 km from Entebbe, a 6-hour drive on a smooth-surfaced road. Bwindi is about a 10-hours drive from Entebbe. Whichever route you choose to take, there’s no escaping the long-hour drive between the two destinations unless you can afford local flight fees.
Accommodation at both parks, from cheap homestays to exotic luxury forest lodges, is readily available for all types of travelers. If you’re using the services of a tour operator like Eco Adventure Safaris, they’ll usually book your accommodation, including meals and transport on the gorilla & chimps combo itinerary.
Accommodation on the itinerary will cost you less than $150 per person per night for budget, $150-$350 per person per night for midrange, and above $400 per person per night for an exclusive luxury lodge. Depending on the tour operator and your initial location, transfers may cost about $50 – $300 per day, including the driver and gas/fuel.
Other unavoidable costs on the gorilla & chimps trekking combo safari include the gorilla permit at $700 per person (or habituation permit at $1,500) and the chimps permit at $200 per person (or habituation experience permit at $250).
Best time to trek gorillas and chimps in Uganda
The best time to plan for a gorilla & chimp combo safari in Uganda is during the annual dry seasons of June to September. We don’t expect rain to disrupt your gorilla or chimps trekking experience during the dry seasons, giving you a high chance to see and spend time with the primates. The trails and roads in Bwindi are dry during this time.
The annual rainy seasons of March to May and November are the best times for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest. During this time, the chimps are easier to find because of the wide availability of forest fruits. And there are fewer travelers during the wet seasons. However, the rain can disrupt most travelers, so most choose to come during the dry seasons.
While planning, remember that the dry season is peak season in Uganda, and most travelers book their permits for the peak season. Therefore, ensure that you book your permit and accommodation with a trusted tour operator month before your travel date to avoid disappointments.
What to pack for gorilla and chimpanzee Trekking?
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.
Why book Gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi 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 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 How Book A Gorilla & Chimps Trekking Combo in Uganda Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a free quote and quick assistance in planning your combo safari.