Are you interested in seeing the gorillas in Africa and you want to know why is gorilla trekking limited to one hour encounter? 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.
Below are the major reasons why is gorilla trekking limited to one hour encounter
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park is where gorilla trekking place in Uganda, the park is located in the south western Uganda sharing boarder with Congo, it is one of the only two parks in Uganda where you can trek and see the magnificent Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat in the world, it is home to more than half of the only remaining population of Mountain Gorillas in the world making it famous and best place to trek the Mountain Gorillas. The park is one of the oldest forests in Africa and was declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest National park is done in the four sectors namely Rushaga, Buhoma, and Ruhija and Nkuringo sector. The experience is all the sectors is the same and very enjoyable.
Why is gorilla trekking limited to one hour encounter. The chances of seeing the gorillas in Uganda is 98% since it has half of the world’s population of these great endangered apes. There are 18 habituated gorilla families found in Bwindi impenetrable national park, every gorilla family is allocated 8 visitors per day which gives you an opportunity to visit the gorillas any time of the year. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National Park is safe and such a life time experience on your travel list.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National Park
Why is gorilla trekking limited to one hour encounter. Gorilla trekking means visiting the gorillas in their natural habitat in the forest, the trek in Bwindi forest starts at 7:00am with briefing at every Park headquarters in each region on the dos and don’ts while moving in the forest and with the gorillas. After briefing, the park guides, rangers, and trackers lead you to the forest to find the gorillas. You are allowed one hour of viewing the gorillas when found and later you return to the starting point to receive a certificate for the successful gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National Park.
The gorillas are amazing to watch as they have 95% of the human DNA. Only eight visitors allowed to see gorillas per habituated family per day according to Uganda wildlife Authority policy so as to conserve the gorillas. To be allowed to do gorilla trekking, you must be aged 15 years and above as per the policy and minors are not allowed to trek since they may not easy be controlled in the forest and may easily transmit diseases to the gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable National Park is safe for gorilla trekking, policies and guidelines are in place for trekking and conservation which as Eco Adventure Safaris we always share with you while planning your gorilla trip.
How many gorilla trekking families are in Bwindi for gorilla trekking?
Uganda has 19 habituated gorilla families found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga National park, Bwindi has 18 Habituated gorilla families for gorilla trekking and Mgahinga has one habituated gorilla family all for gorilla trekking.
In Bwindi, every sector has gorilla families named and every day allocated to visitors for gorilla trekking namely; Buhoma sector there is Mubare Gorilla Family, Habinyanja Gorilla Family, Rushegura Gorilla Family, Katwe Gorilla Group. In Ruhija sector, there is Bitukura Gorilla Family, Oruzogo family, Mukiza gorilla family, Kyaruguriro Gorilla Family. In Rushaga sector there is Nshongi Gorilla Group, Mishaya Gorilla Group, Bweza Gorilla Group, Bikyingi gorilla family, Kahungye Gorilla Family, Busingye Gorilla Family and Mucunguzi gorilla family. In Nkuringo there is Nkuringo Gorilla Family, Bushaho Gorilla family, Christmas Gorilla Family.
What is the price of the gorilla trekking permit in Bwindi impenetrable National Park?
Bwindi impenetrable National Park has about 144 gorilla trekking permits per day to be sold at Uganda wildlife Authority. The gorilla trekking permit for Bwindi costs USD700 per person for Non-Foreign Residents, USD600 for Foreign Residents and Shs.250, 000 for East African Citizens. You are allowed only one hour of viewing of the gorillas or staying in their space.
The gorilla trekking permits normally sell out so very quickly during the high season (January, February, July, August, September, and December every year. Contact Eco Adventure Safaris about your planned trek and desired dates, we shall check the availability of permits online system for Uganda Wildlife Authority and if permits are available, we shall send you an invoice to make payment for the permits as they are top priority and if they are not available, you will choose other dates that have availability of permits. Once we receive payment, we shall book and secure your permits and send you copy of the receipt with booking ID to confirm your trek. The process of acquiring the gorilla permits is easy and transparent for your booking of gorilla trip to Bwindi impenetrable National park.
What is the best time for gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National Park?
Since Bwindi is a tropical forest and there are rains throughout the year, the best time to trek gorillas in Bwindi is during the drier months of January, February, June, July, August and early September, these months experience less rainfall though the climate changes every day. Any time of the year, you can visit the gorillas in Bwindi. Sometimes, the rainy season is considered better to see the gorillas as there is a lot of food growing because of rain and gorillas can clearly be spotted. Gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly and all those interested in trekking gorillas during this time should book their gorilla permits in advance.
How to access Bwindi impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking?
You can access Bwindi impenetrable national Park by road, it is about 9-10 hours’ drive from Kampala/Entebbe. The road trip is enjoyable as you will stop at the Equator for Photography, Lunch in Mbarara and other stops to view beautiful scenery. We do use 4×4 vehicles that are comfortable for your trip and our professional and trained driver guides will ensure your safety on your gorilla trip.
You can as well fly to Kisoro or Kihihi Airstrips that serve Bwindi impenetrable national park. The flights is about 1-2 hours and they you drive to the hotel/ lodge. There are daily flights from Entebbe international Airport and Kajjansi Airstrip, you can opt for scheduled flights or chartered flights depending on your budget and planned trip.
You can also fly into Kigali international Airport, drive to south western Uganda through Cyanika or Katuna Boarder which take only 4-5 hours with the time spent at immigrations at the border. We always advise our visitors to acquire the East African Visa which allows multiple entry of both Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. The East African Visa fee costs USD100 which can be gotten at the Airport upon arrival or online and it is cost effective instead of buying single entry Visas. But you can as well opt to secure single Visas as well, the Rwandan Visa costs USD30 and Uganda Visa cost USD 50. Bwindi impenetrable national park is easily accessible and safe for gorilla trekking.
Where to stay on a gorilla trekking trip to Bwindi impenetrable National Park?
Bwindi impenetrable national park has many lodges/Hotels where you can stay on your gorilla trekking tour. These range from budget to high end hotels and Eco Adventure Safaris can help you book the hotel of your choice and budget. We recommend staying in the sector where you are trekking for easy accessibility of the park headquarters. In Rushaga, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, in Nkuringo you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge. In Buhoma sector you can stay at Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany springs Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, and Gorilla forest camp. In Ruhija sector you can stay at Trekkers tavern Lodge, Bakiga lodge or even at Lake Bunyonyi or lodges in Kabale town. The lodges are very many in Bwindi but they require to be booked in advance as they can be fully booked during high season. We always ensure standard service for safety of clients on their stay.
Why book with Eco Adventure Safaris to do gorilla trekking in Bwindi?
Eco Adventure Safaris is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe. Eco Adventure Safaris is run and owned by Ugandans. We have been in operation for more than 15 years and we specialize in life changing experiences and sustainable tours and holidays to all East African countries. We are members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and are registered by UTB (Uganda Tourism Board). We have a good and long working relationship with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) making it easy to book your gorilla permits and gorilla trekking safari. Eco Adventure Safaris is highly reviewed on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings. Please contact Eco Adventure Safaris for more information about why is gorilla trekking limited to one hour encounter.