GORILLA TREKKING SAFARIS IN UGANDA
Gorilla Trekking safaris in Uganda provide one of the breathtaking activities one can enjoy while on a holiday trip in Uganda. Gifted by nature; with the deep lakes, spectacular greenery, exclusive cultures, soaring mountains, Uganda is above all endowed with half of the world’s reaming gorilla population resident in the southwestern part of the country. It is not a mystery but reality, it is possible to watch these endangered giants and even get closer to them than you have ever imagined!
Though these mountain Gorillas can also be found in the Virunga Massif in Rwanda and DR Congo, the biggest percentage of the remaining population (about 60%) is found in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. therefore Bwindi is a guaranteed area to trek gorilla or even do habituation. There are over 12 gorilla families which are open to tourists to be visited and only 80 gorilla permits are issued out to tourists on a single day for the gorilla trekking activity in Uganda. This makes it easy for gorilla trackers to find permits toad at least visit one of the gorilla families.
GORILLA TREKKING SAFARIS HIGHLIGHTS IN UGANDA
Mountain Gorillas can be located in only four (4) destinations in Africa; i.e. One population of the gorillas lives in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the other in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Mgahinga Gorilla Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the southwestern Uganda on the border with Congo and Rwanda. This park is one of the few places in the world where the endangered mountain gorillas live and it attracts people from different countries to come on Uganda Gorilla Safari. The moment you visit the park, the welcoming atmosphere is an evidence of adventure filled of natural beauty. A day gorilla trekking experience through the forests of Mgahinga with a well trained guide is a lifetime experience.
Normally, Gorilla trekking Safaris in Mgahinga start from Ntebeko Entrance gate at around 8:00am in the morning daily taking 2-4 hours. A visitor is expected to budget for his/her time well while with a gorilla family since the maximum time allowed to spend with them is one hour. The gorilla permits costs to Mgahinga are the same just like in Bwindi Forest.
Gorilla Families in Uganda
- Mubare GroupLocated in the Buhoma Sector
- Habinyanja GroupLocated in the Buhoma Sector
- Rushegura GroupLocated in the Buhoma Sector
- Bitukura GroupLocated in the Ruhija Sector
- Mishaya GroupLocated in the Rushaga Sector
- Nshongi GroupLocated in the Rushaga Sector
- Nkuringo GroupLocated in the Nkuringo Sector
- Oruzogo GroupLocated in the Ruhija Sector
- Kahungye GroupLocated in the Rushaga Sector
- Bweza Gorilla GroupLocated in the Rushaga Sector
- Nyakagezi GroupLocated in the Mgahinga
- Kyaguriro GroupLocated in the Ruhija Sector
What To Wear for Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Uganda?
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable (Uganda) is slightly different from that of Mgahinga (Uganda) and Volcanoes National Parks(Rwanda) due to varying landscapes but they are all located at higher elevations hence this makes them rainy, humid and cold especially in the nights. Therefore as you plan your Gorilla trekking safari in either Uganda, you need to choose the right clothing to wear so that you are protected from forest coldness, thorn pricks, nettles or insect bites such as flies and soldier ants. Take alook below for the recommended checklist on What to wear for Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Uganda.
Long Sleeved Shirts – Long Trousers: These will protect you from branches, nettles, thorns or anything else that can prick/scratch you.
Waterproof Hiking Sturdy Boots:The hiking trails can be slippery especially when it rains therefore a pair of waterproof hiking boots is required.
Sturdy Gardenning Gloves: They will help you support your selves on branches or vines, the gloves also give you protection against nettles such that you don’t get scratched. You can put them off when you meet the Gorillas inorder to take good photos.
A Rain Jacket: Being that gorillas are trekked in the rainforest and usually in the morning hours, rain has higher chances of falling at any time regardless of the season, therefore a rain jacket should be included in your “What to wear list”.
Other items to Consider: A Hat, Insect Repellent, A Warm Sweater
Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Bwindi Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is best known for its Mountain Gorilla populations and gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda. in Bwindi forest, there are 4 locations where gorilla trekking can be done from; and these are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. As of Dec 2018, the 4 locations above harbor a total of about 18 gorilla families. Gorilla permits are required to engage in the gorilla trekking activity and these can be booked prior to your traveling through Intare safaris, your trusted tour agent for the gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. The gorilla Permits can even be paid for up to two years in advance.
One must know that only 8 visitors are allowed to view the gorillas for one hour per day, and the minimum age limit for the gorilla trekking tours is 15 years despite size and appearance. All gorilla trackers are duly accompanied by guides while with the Gorillas. Tracking the gorillas can last from a few hours to a whole day, depending on how far the group has moved since it was observed nesting up the previous evening.
Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Uganda, When to Go?
Uganda is by no doubt known as as a whole round travel destination to any tourist planning to travel especially for gorilla trekking safaris. This is due to the favorable climate and strategic location to the equator. Uganda’s mountain gorillas are trekked in the tropical rain forests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, both located in southwestern Uganda. Despite the fact that mountain gorillas can be trekked all year round, but knowing the best time to travel for gorilla safaris is very helpful as each season has it’s own advantages and disadvantages.
Uganda mainly has two rainy seasons; the short season starts from October to November and the long rainy season starts from Mid-march to the end of May. The best time to visit Uganda for Uganda safaris. Therefore, the best time of the year when you should visit the gorillas is June, July, August and September. If that is not possible, January and February should be relatively okay.
Obtaining a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda
In Uganda, a gorilla trekking permit costs $ 600 (USD). And on a single day, a maximum of 80 gorilla permits are issued to people travelling to Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla parks to see gorillas and only 8 people are allowed to see a gorilla family.
How do I Obtain a Gorilla Permit?: Gorilla trekking permits tend to be very scarce and if you intend to trek gorillas as you travel for a safari to Uganda, you need to book the permits in advance so as to avoid inconveniences. Please do contact us for a gorilla permit booking and we will secure it for you at no extra cost as long as you book a gorilla safari holiday with us.