Uganda gorilla trekking safaris and tours – Uganda is a land locked country found in the eastern region of Africa. It is bordered by Kenya in the East, Tanzania in the south, Sudan in the north, Rwanda in the south west and Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. Uganda is truly a beauty gifted with a good weather, beautiful landscapes and mostly the rich wildlife found in its 10 national parks. No wonder it’s referred to as the pearl of Africa. With a variety of beauty that Uganda can offer to its tourists, gorillas have merged as the high ranked product that the pearl can give to its tourists. Gorillas are the world’s largest primate species and they are greatly endangered due to a number of threats that they face. They are two subspecies of gorillas found in the world. We have the western gorillas with the cross river gorilla and western lowland gorillas as it sub-species then the eastern gorillas with the mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas which are found in east Africa, particularly Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo.
Uganda mainly possesses the mountain gorillas sub species to the eastern gorillas. These gorillas are situated in Uganda’s ever green national parks; Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park. These parks are located in the south west region of Uganda with shared border districts of Kisoro, Kanungu, Rubare and Kabale among others. A number of gorilla tours are made to these national parks to get a view of the beautiful gorilla species. Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park each have gorilla families that are habituated to favor gorilla visitors to trek them peacefully.
This 2 days tour from Kigali will take you to Bwindi impenetrable national park for a mountain gorilla experience. Bwindi …
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Safaris
Bwindi impenetrable national park has the highest gorilla tours due to the chaotic and pleasing gorilla families found in the area. This park has four sectors; Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo; all these sectors accommodate more than 600 individual mountain gorillas that make up half the population of gorillas found in the world. Mgahinga national park is the smallest park in Uganda with about 300 gorilla individuals but which has only one habituated gorilla family; Nyakagezi family with about nine individual members that are visited on the gorilla tours around Uganda. Gorilla tours in Uganda are usually favorable in the dry seasons as you can easily trek through the trails and the dense vegetation of the national parks where mountain gorillas are found.
Before encountering the gorilla experience on your tour, it’s recommended to book gorilla permits at the Uganda wildlife authority or through a certified tour operator in advance to secure your permit due to the high demand. Each permit booked is valid for only one trek in the preferred national park and it cannot be shared by another person. On each gorilla tour a permit costs $600 dollars and $1500 for gorilla habituation per person. Besides gorilla tours in the visited gorilla national parks, there are still a number of attractions and activities to be offered to the tourists that include different fauna and flora in both national parks not forgetting the golden monkeys in Mgahinga and the Batwa community in Bwindi impenetrable national park. A gorilla tour is truly an encounter that each tourist must experience on their safari while witnessing the great mountain gorillas that are found nowhere else in the world but Uganda, surely it’s a lifetime memory.
Trekking Gorillas in Bwindi
Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in south western Uganda; it is shared by the districts of Kanungu, Kisoro and Kabale. This park covers an area of 331 sq.km of a lowland forest and montane, this park is referred to as impenetrable due to its thick forest that can only be accessed on foot. Gorilla trekking is an activity where you track down a gorilla family in its natural habitat. In Bwindi impenetrable national park, gorilla trekking is a honey pot as its main activity that attracts millions of tourists annually. Bwindi has more than 600 individual mountain gorillas that compose half the world’s population. The 600 individual mountain gorillas are distributed in the four sectors of the park; Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east, Nkuringo in the south west and Rushaga in the south east. Buhoma sector is the most famous with up to four families all containing 36 habituated individuals that are trekked by the tourists. It has habituated groups that include Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe.
Ruhija the eastern sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park has four habituated gorilla families that include Mukiza, Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyaguriro. This sector has the friendliest gorilla family as it took short time to habituated to the human beings. Rushaga this sector is located in Kisoro it has 5 habituated gorilla families that include Bweza, Nshongi, Kahungye, Busingye and Mishaya families. Nkuringo sector, found in the east region has three habituated families in Bwindi these include Bushaho, Nkuringo and Bikingi. The trekking of the above gorilla families is only possible with the acquisition of a gorilla permit. Gorilla permits as booked from the Uganda tourism board headquarters in Kampala and its always advisable to book the permit months before the main activity. Only 8 individuals are allowed to trek since only 8 gorilla permits are available for each visited group.
When to do gorilla trekking in Bwindi? Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is favorable during the dry season to be able to trek through the park trails. This activity begins early in the morning by 8 am with a briefing at the sector s headquarters you will be led by a guide who will take you through the trails that led to the particular gorilla family. At the briefing before tracking, tourists are given a number of guidelines to follow while trekking the beautiful species as listed below, provided by the Uganda wildlife authority rangers;
Don’t visit the gorillas if you have a cold or other infectious illness
Minimum age for tracking is 15 years
Human waste should be buried 30 cm deep
Don’t use flash light while taking photography
Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted while with a gorilla family etc.
The gorilla trekking activity in the four sectors of Bwindi takes about 2 to 8 hours depending on the location of mountain gorillas. When the desired gorilla family is found on the trek, only one hour is permitted to spend interacting with the jungle beauties. On finding the gorilla families be expectant to witness the jungle livelihood on the gorillas as the play, feed, fight and other rare occasions like giving birth and mating, on this experience is surely available on your Uganda safari.
What do other than gorilla trekking in Bwindi? Beside the gorillas there are other attractions in the park that include 348 bird species such Tit Hylia, Strange weaver, Dustky Twinspot, Montane Oriole, Handsome Francolin etc. The park is also a home to 10 primate species that include the Red tailed monkey, Vervet monkeys, white and black Colobus monkeys, and elephants among others. Other attractions include the beautiful butterfly species, frogs, trees and the colorful flowering plants. Also a number of activities are carried out besides gorilla trekking include hiking, birding, bike riding, cultural encounter (Batwa community) and village walks (Buhoma walk) among others. Gorilla trekking is a lifetime experience that can be experienced in Mgahinga national park south of Bwindi impenetrable forest, the gorilla experience is like no elsewhere in the world other than in the pearl of Africa Uganda and it’s an experience on shouldn’t miss on their Uganda safari.
Trekking Gorillas in Mgahinga
Figuring out what amazing activity you can do in your Honeymoon holiday, research, primate adventure, wildlife safari, camping safari, weekend, or family day out? Gorilla trekking is the way to go. Gorilla trekking can only be done in 5destinations in the entire world in the continent of Africa, at the Virunga Chain of Mountains, namely; Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Volcanoes National park in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda (the pearl of Africa). No one forgets the experience of tracking these gentle Apes, strongly believed to be in the same family with Humans, and sharing 98% of the DNA. Tracking them gives you a chance of getting closer, watching the mothers nurse their young ones, the youngsters climb trees, somersault or wrestle each other, and the gentle silverbacks monitor the entire territory. Their Appearance and vocalization is so amazing and unforgettable.
For that reason, a day or More in Mgahinga gorilla national park (Uganda's smallest national park), situated in the southwestern part of the country is one to remember as you engage in the destinations prime activity, Gorilla Trekking. The park seats on approximately 33.7sqms of Land, harboring plenty of flora and fauna, unique bird species, fascinating mountains, one of the world's ancient inhabitants (the Batwa pygmies), and primates among others. With over 50 individual mountain Gorillas habituated here, tourists are allowed to track only one very exciting family, that at times crosses to Rwanda, in search of food or shelter. Nyakagyezi family is comprised of over 10 members namely; 3 silverbacks, 2blackbacks, 2 adults female 1 infant, and 2youngsters. However, the number is increasing and the statistics will have changed by the time of your visit.
You can plan for your gorilla tracking activity at any time of the year as long as you are physically fit, emotionally sound, and financially stable. We always recommend dry season as the best time for Gorilla tracking at Mgahinga national park, June to early September or December to February, when the ground is neither muddy nor slippery, the jungle is transparent thus revealing the giant Apes, and when there is no sudden rainfall to disorganize the exploration. Only those aged 15 and above are allowed to engage in Gorilla trekking activity at the park, after purchasing the tracking permits that cost 700usd at Uganda Wildlife Authority headquarters in Kampala, or in kisoro.
Tracking is not so challenging and tedious since the place has a gentle topography, small in size and the creatures don't move so far. As early as 8:30 am, you will join other members at the park's headquarters for a briefing session by the park wardens who will explain to you the unique behaviors of the gorilla group at the park and the rules governing the place. Thereafter, the Park Ranger, accompanied by a security guard will escort you to the jungle in quest for the Gorillas wherever they are playing, feeding or resting. This search can last for as long as 2-5 hours, depending on your pace and the direction the Apes have taken. Upon finding them, the park ranger rewards you with one hour of watching, asking questions and taking photos.
The following are some of the rules and regulations governing the park that every tracker is expected to follow to ensure the conservation of the park and the endangered gorillas; do not litter the place using waste, no making noise while tracking, obey the 7mtr distance rule from the Apes, carry updated Gorilla trekking permit, no using flashlights while taking photos, and avoid any form of eye-contact with the silverback or any family member In the troop. It is important to note that the mountain gorillas shy and gentle creatures, but can charge at you in case they feel unsafe or attacked; in case such a thing happens, don't take a step backward or forward, and look down so that they take the victory.
We also advise that you equip yourself with; long stockings to cover your legs, carry insect repellants, good tracking boots, long-sleeved shirts to protect your legs, a pair of trousers, a hat to protect you from sun heat, professional camera for photos, binoculars for watching distant creatures and tracking documents among others. Accommodation is available in and around the park, with amazing facilities at pocket-friendly rates; one can pick from the luxury, midrange, and luxury accommodation options. Some of the accommodations include; Mount Gahinga safari lodge, travelers nest host, chameleon hill lodge, and Nkuringo safari lodge among others. Mgahinga national park can be accessed both by road and air, from Kampala city, Kigali Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, the best option is to contact us for guidance and the most appropriate transportation to the destination. Finally, in addition to Mountain Gorilla trekking, Mgahinga national park offers visitors an amazing chance of visiting the Batwa pygmies, engage in birding, nature walk, photography, and Golden Monkey trekking among others. Don't be left behind, book for Gorilla trekking safari now.