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Are you planning to visit Uganda to see the Mountain Gorillas and you want to know the travel advice for gorilla trekking in Uganda? Uganda is a fantastic place to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and Here are the main things you need to consider when planning to see Gorillas in Uganda;
- Permit Booking: Make sure to book your gorilla trekking permit well in advance. The number of permits is limited, and they can sell out quickly. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are the two locations in Uganda where you can go gorilla trekking.
- Physical Fitness: Gorilla trekking can involve some strenuous hiking, so it’s important to be in decent physical shape. The terrain can be rough and steep, and you might be trekking for a few hours before reaching the gorillas.
- What to Pack: Pack comfortable and sturdy hiking boots, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, a hat, and sunglasses. Also, bring a waterproof backpack for your camera and other essentials. It can rain unexpectedly, so a rain jacket is a good idea. Don’t forget insect repellent and sunscreen.
- Respect Wildlife: Once you find the gorillas, maintain a safe distance (usually around 7 meters or more) and follow the guidelines provided by your guide. Gorillas are wild animals, and it’s crucial to respect their space.
- Photography Etiquette: When taking photos, turn off the flash on your camera. Flash photography can disturb the gorillas. Also, be mindful of the sounds your camera makes; some noises might startle them.
- Guides and Rangers: Follow the instructions of your guide and the park rangers. They are experienced in gorilla behavior and know how to keep you safe.
- Health Precautions: Gorillas share many of our diseases, so if you’re feeling unwell, it’s essential to let your guide know. Visitors are not allowed to trek gorillas if they have contagious illnesses.
- Tipping: Tipping your guides and trackers is a common practice. It’s a way to show appreciation for their hard work and dedication to gorilla conservation.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Respect the local communities and their customs. You might have the opportunity to interact with them, and being respectful goes a long way.
- Accommodations: Choose accommodations that are close to the gorilla trekking location to minimize travel time on the trekking day. Bwindi has 4 main gorilla trekking locations, Buhoma and Ruhija in the north and Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south.
What is included in our Uganda Gorilla Safari Cost
All Eco Adventure Safaris gorilla trekking packages are all-inclusive of gorilla permits, accommodation as well and transport to and from Entebbe or Kigali to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We prefer assisting with all components of the tour or your holiday so that while traveling with us in Africa, your holiday is stress-free having trusted the experts to do it for you.
Gorilla permit and what is included or excluded
A gorilla permit is a card issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority that allows you to go to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park home to endangered mountain gorillas to have a chance of viewing them for one hour. Gorilla permits are only valid for the date booked and once expired cannot be used. Make sure that you are available on the day of trekking. This gorilla permit includes spending one hour with a given habituated mountain gorilla family. During this one hour, you will be allowed to take still photos as well as simple videos. Please read our dos and don’ts while with mountain gorillas. You will also listen to an informative talk from your guide or the day. Included as well are the services of a ranger guide and tourism police to ensure that security in the forest is guaranteed. The ranger from Uganda Wildlife Authority will be carrying a gun probably an AK47 to scare away any stray animal that may misbehave along the way. Park entry fees for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and or Mgahinga national park is also included in the pre-purchased gorilla permits and is valid for 24 hours.
How to book Uganda Gorilla Permits?
Travel advice for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Once you have your planned dates of travel confirmed we will need you to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we check for the availability of gorilla habituation permits online with the Uganda Wildlife Authority once we confirm permits are available for your planned dates we will let you know so that we can send you an invoice for you to make payment for the permits. Once the payment is done and we have received it on our account we will go ahead and purchase your permits immediately and send you a scanned copy of the permits for your records and perusal, this will confirm you are booked for Gorilla Trekking Experience in Bwindi Forest National Park. Booking permit for gorilla trekking is advised to book your Gorilla permits in advance at least 2-3 months prior your visit given the fact few permits are available per day and sell out very quickly on first come first serve basis.
What is the best time for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is done throughout the year and the best time to do gorilla trekking in Africa is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this 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?
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-sleeved 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)
How to get to Bwindi Forest National Park
By Road; The southern sector of Bwindi Forest National Park can be accessed through the main safari circuit from Entebbe/Kampala which is approximately 8-9 hours drive. You will need to turn off at Muko along the Kabale-Kisoro road you will see the signpost of Uganda Wildlife Authority which you will follow up to your booked lodge for accommodation in either Rushaga or Nkuringo sector.
By Air; You can fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala’s Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip to access the southern sectors of Rushaga and Nkuringo. Scheduled and chartered flights are available and operated by domestic airline operators of Aero Link and Fly Uganda. You will need to plan with your tour operator for a transfer from the airstrip to the Park
Traveling to Uganda to see Gorillas with Eco Adventure Safaris.
At Eco Adventure Safaris we provide personalized service with the utmost dedication to the safety and enjoyment of our clients. We are committed to the well-being of our staff and guests as well as to having a positive impact on the communities and wild places that our operations reach. On all our operations and safaris, we embrace the environmental ethic “Take Nothing but Photographs, Leave Only Footprints” all our packages are eco-friendly. Contact us here for more details on the travel advice for gorilla trekking in Uganda.