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Gorilla Trekking in Uganda what you need to know

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda what you need to know

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda what you need to know. Gorilla trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that every traveler should do. Seeing these intelligent primates up close as they tend to their families and play with each other just like us humans play with our children, is a surreal moment. It was like looking into a mirror.

There are not many wild mountain gorillas left in the world and only in certain countries in Africa will you be able to see these animals roam freely while allowing you to observe them sustainably from afar.

Within this guide, you will find all the information you need to go gorilla trekking in Uganda, one of the most affordable places to see these wild mountain gorillas roam free. Without further ado, here’s a complete travel guide to gorilla trekking in Uganda.

Where can I trek gorillas in Uganda?

There are two gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Bwindi is by far the more popular choice as the park contains a greater population of gorillasis better situated for fly-in safaris, and has a greater range of accommodation options.

Which park you visit will depend on your wider travel plans and the time you have available. There is no difference in permit prices or chances of sightings across the two parks.

How difficult is the trek itself?

You should be prepared to walk through a challenging terrain of steep ridges and valleys, following animal paths through tangled undergrowth for about 3 hours, although sometimes contact can be made after 45 minutes, and other times 6 hours.

During the rainy season, the trekking routes can become very slippery and much more challenging. The rains can sometimes bring the gorillas to lower ground which can shorten the length of the trek, but you should be prepared to trek for up to 6 hours in any case. 

The gorillas typically prefer the highlands, so the trek is made more challenging due to periods of steep gradients.

What to wear on a gorilla trek?

Charging through the dense forest thickets at both Bwindi and Mgahinga require a well-considered get-up. Since you’re on the equator, you will need to be prepared for rain no matter what time of year you are traveling. While you want clothing that protects you from the elements, you also need to keep cool for the 2-6 hour trekking, so you’ll want light and comfortable clothing.

The name of the game is keeping your skin covered up to protect yourself from forest critters (particularly fire ants) and thorny plant life. You’ll want to keep dry whilst also staying comfortable and cool.

The essential clothing:

  • Good quality, robust, waterproof trekking shoes/boots.
  • Light waterproof trekking pants/trousers.
  • Long socks to pull up over your pants/trousers to keep your skin protected. Waterproof Gaters are an even better option.
  • Waterproof jacket/raincoat/windbreaker
  • Long-sleeve trekking T-shirt (ideally Dri-FIT or similar)
  • Gardening/outdoor gloves protect against thorns and allow you to push through the more difficult parts of the trail without worrying about what you’re grabbing onto!

We also recommend bringing a few sachets of rehydration salts. Water is of course provided for the treks, but you can often find yourself dehydrated after a full day of trekking and the salts can provide quick relief.

Walking sticks are provided for you.

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