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Are you planning a Gorilla Safari to Uganda and you are interested in Trekking Gorillas both in Bwindi and Mgahinga this is very possible and best for you to have both experiences meeting gorillas in both national parks. 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% that 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.
Trekking Gorillas both in Bwindi and Mgahinga, 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 vs 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.
Best time for Trekking Gorillas both in Bwindi and Mgahinga
Both parks are open for gorilla trekking all year round but it is also important to note that the forest is a tropical rain forest and can receive rain at any time. The best months to track gorillas include; June to August and December to February since they receive the lowest rainfall and the forest is less slippery. On the other hand, when you happen to travel during March to May and November there are chances of higher rainfall, you will be able to get discounts from some lodges for your accommodation.
Why book your Trekking Gorillas both in Bwindi and Mgahinga with Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris offers low budget gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. We combine gorilla trekking safaris with eco-friendly and unforgettable high-end adventure and wildlife safaris that help preserve biodiversity, conserve wildlife and uplift local communities, these include chimpanzee trekking, Big 5 safaris and game viewing, Mountain Hiking, Boat cruises excursions and Cultural encounters to give you a memorable and best African Safari experience including popular and great African safari destinations Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana and Namibia. Feel free to contact us about Trekking Gorillas both in Bwindi and Mgahinga.