Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of the fascinating out door activity in the Pearl of Africa, it offers travelers an opportunity to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat for about an hour. Uganda is one of the safe and comfortable safari destination featuring reliable and affordable gorilla safaris open to all tourists. Gorilla trekking experience is one of the star attractions commonly included on the highlights of Uganda safaris, and the activity is done in two amazing safari destinations such as; Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi forest park. However it is important to note that the gorilla trekking safaris are best experienced in misty Bwindi impenetrable forest national park – famous home to almost half of the remaining mountain gorilla population in the world with about 500 individuals surviving here. In this article, below, we are glad to present you an insight about gorilla trekking in uganda;
Where to go gorilla trekking in Uganda
As earlier mentioned, gorilla trekking safaris here in the Pearl of Africa occurs in two destinations, namely;
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
There are about 19 habituated gorilla families recorded in Bwindi forest, to offer a perfect experience to all travelers, this park has been bisected into four sector that harbor the habituated gorilla groups, they include; Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhiji sector. Each sector has it own accommodation facilities that ranges from budget, mid range and luxury options, on this note we advise travelers to book accommodation depending on the sector to trek to avoid inconveniences that might cause you to miss out on this dream life adventure because of not arriving in time for breifying at the park headquarter offices.
Bwindi forest is located in south western region of Uganda covering parts of kabale and Kanungu district, from Kampala to the park by road, it is about 9-10 hours drive including the stopover points at the Uganda Equator and Mbarara for enroute lunch and driving through eye catching landscapes.
Mgahinga gorilla national park
This is another great place to go gorilla safaris in Uganda, though less visited, Mgahinga gorilla in wonderful destination that offers visitors a double experience due to the fact that it hosts both the habituated mountain gorilla species as well as the golden monkeys. There are about 2 habituated gorilla groups in Mgahinga though one not reliable because it keeps on making its movement to Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Mgahinga national park is situated in south western Uganda close to the border of Uganda, DR.Congo and Rwanda with in the Virunga volcano massif. From Kampala to the park via Kabale-Kisoro, it is about 8-9 hours drive by road.
Best to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking experience
Whether you are planning to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest or Mgahinga gorilla national park, the best time to go is during the dry season when the roads leading to parks are dry thus easy to navigate through compared to wet season that features wet, muddy and slippery roads. The dry season is experienced in the months of December, January and full end of February plus July, August, September and early October.
On the other hand gorilla trekking in Uganda is open to all travelers through out the year and it is paramount to note that the two parks are dominated by tropical rain forests that feature tall tree canopies and these do limit easy penetration of sunlight to the ground, therefore expect some muddy or wetness while trekking.
The dry season is as well the peak season when tourists are coming in, we thus argue you to book your gorilla permit in time at least 4-6 months prior to the date of travel, since during the dry season, permits tend to get sold out due to the high demand.
The wet season can be ideal time to travel for budget travelers since it is considered a low season, thus many accommodation lodges/camps reduce their rates and tour operators also offer discounted gorilla safari packages that favor budget travelers. The wet season occurs in the months of March, April , May, June, late October and full end of November.
What is the cost of gorilla trekking in Uganda
For anyone to enjoy gorilla trekking in Uganda, you are required to purchase a gorilla permit that is charged USD $ 700 per person per single trek, it is also paramount to note that gorilla trekking in uganda is not allowed to persons below 18 years of age, he/she is considered a child. The revenue collected from gorilla safaris is shared and about 20% of the money is given to local community through infrastructure development like hospitals, roads, schools and many others.
Gorilla trekking experience
The trekking begins with briefing at the park headquarters, here are you grouped into groups of 8 people with a ranger guide, transfer to the starting point and begin the trek, upon locating the gorilla family, you will be allowed to spend one hour with the gorilla family, feel free to take photos and videos with them, learn more about lifestyle behavior and after the awesome experience, return to the park headquarters. At the end of this lifetime adventure, you are awarded a certificate of participation appreciating you for taking part in the conservation of the mountain gorillas.
If time allows, you can take a community visit where you encounter the Batwa people- famously known as shortest people in the world, while, grab a chance to learn and experience their interesting way of life that is exhibited through their traditional cultural dances and songs. You will as well meet and greet with many local people who share exciting stories about their culture.
Gorilla trekking tours
Gorilla tours can be tailored to suit your perfect experience here in the Pearl of Africa, here are some of the rewarding gorilla safari you choose to enjoy when you travel to Uganda;
- 3 days gorilla trekking
- 4 days double gorilla trekking
- 5 days gorilla and wildlife
- 5 days gorilla and chimpanzee trekking
- 10 days Uganda safari
- Among others.
What to pack for a gorilla safari
Here are some of the gorilla trekking gears you need to pack for your safari;
- Strong Gum boot and stockings – for easy movement while trekking and sockings to protect your hands from germs when trying to support yourself from plants while trekking.
- Long sleeved trousers/shirts/ tops for ladies to protect your skin from thorny bush plants.
- Insect repellent to protect your skin from wild insect bites
- Sunlight repellent to protect your skin from direct sun rays from heating your skin
- Strong rain jacket for emergency incase to rains while trekking
- Strong warm jacket or sweater to keep you warn during the cold mornings and evenings.