BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
BWINDI UGANDA GORILLA TREKKING - UGANDA GORILLA TOURS & GORILLA SAFARIS
Enjoy Uganda Gorilla Trekking – Visit the Mountain Gorillas in the Bwindi impenetrable national park and enjoy the ultimate gorilla experience. We offer tailor made and scheduled Gorilla trekking and wildlife safaris in Uganda and Rwanda at unbeatable prices all inclusive. Alongside your gorilla trek, we combine other interesting activities such as chimpanzee trekking, game viewing, mountain hiking, community tourism, white water rafting and so much more depending on the interest of every traveler. At Adventure in the Wild Safaris, we strive to ensure that you enjoy the most memorable Adventure in East Africa. Contact us to plan your Adventure safari!
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BWINDI GORILLA TREKKING FROM KIGALI- RWANDA
TOP LUXURY GORILLA TREKKING ADVENTURES IN UGANDA AND RWANDA
Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tours
Gorilla trekking is one of the most ranking activity that travelers give priority while planning their African safaris. In the whole of Africa this exception gorilla activity can only be experienced in only three countries. These countries include Uganda the pearl of Africa, Rwanda the land of the seven hills and the democratic republic of Congo where you will expect to sight both famous mountain gorillas and lowland gorilla species which are interesting with their gigantic size.
Uganda is famously known as one of those countries that conserve and protect the rare endangered mountain gorilla species in the wild. It therefore operates the popular mountain gorilla tours for the whole year since Uganda’s permit for gorilla trekking is quite affordable at $ 600 US dollars compared to that of Rwanda which is $ 1500 US dollars.
In addition, besides the Uganda Gorilla Trekking permit being cheap and affordable according to the gorilla statics for the three countries, Uganda has the biggest numbers of these endangered mountain gorilla species compared to remaining two countries. Living other factors constant Uganda is in position to out compete other countries as selling Uganda gorilla trekking tours gives it a market position.
In addition to other factors, these are some of reasons that Uganda’s economy has an advantage to receive a large number of visitors annually travelling to come see the precious mountain gorillas species.
Gorilla trekking Guide
Where to trek the mountain gorillas in Uganda
In Uganda, there are two protected and conserved national parks which are famously known for these endangered primate species. Traveler coming to Uganda should expect to visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and mountain Mgahinga national park in the western part of the country which are popularly known destinations for mountain gorilla tours.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
The park is situated in the border area of Uganda and democratic republic of Congo in Kanungu district and it was gazzetted in 1991 as a national park purposely to protect the famous, rare endangered mountain gorilla species.
Bwindi impenetrable national park has been ranked as one of the world’s number one primary gorilla trekking destinations. The park has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1994 due to its great ecological biodiversity.
Bwindi will give a traveler an exception and unique experience of the mountain gorillas since the park has 35 known gorilla group although only 17 groups have been habituated for research and open for tourism.
Bwindi covers an area of 321 square kilometers and it has four sectors for gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation. These include Nkuringo sector, Buhoma, Rushaga and Ruhija, two groups are found in Nkuringo sector and gorilla habituation experience which is done in Rushaga sector as travelers are permitted to spend 4 hours with the gorilla family if found.
According to the gorilla rules and standards in Uganda for both Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mountain Mgahinga national park the law recommends a maximum of 8 people to stay with the mountain gorillas for one hour per gorilla family.
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park,
The park is the smallest national park that covers the smallest area as compared to Uganda national parks. Although Mgahinga is the smallest national park in Uganda, it occupies a large extension of the Virunga massif and the conservation area. other parts of the Virunga Massif are Virunga national park in Congo and volcanoes national park in Rwanda. All these three national parks are known for the famous endangered species, however each country controls its own portion of the Virunga massif part and they have been conserved purposely to protect the mountain gorillas
Out of the 18 habituated groups in Uganda, 17 groups are found in Bwindi and only one group has been habituated in Mgahinga national park and it called Nyakagezi group which is much easier to trek since it has now settled in the park though it has been having notorious movements crossing to Rwanda and Congo.
It is important to note that the mountain gorilla trekking might be a bit difficult especially Bwindi impenetrable national park as it will require to hike, climb through rough steep terrain hills and you will have to go deeper into the forest so as to locate and trek these gorilla groups in the wild as the trekking becomes fascinating and adventurous activity in the African wild
On the hand, some gorilla families in Bwindi have settled near to the headquarters thus it may take you less than two hours to sight them, so it not a must for every group you will need to a lot of hiking and for Mgahinga it granted that can easily be located it will not require only physically feet people to participate in the activity.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda will always start with briefing at 7:00 at the headquarters to take you through about the dos and don’ts before you begin the trekking. At the same gorilla trekking permits have to be booked in advance before you start the tour. It always advisable to organize your gorilla trekking tour with a tour operate to assist you planning and have a perfect gorilla safari.
Although the two parks are known for the famous mountain gorilla trekking, there as unique activity a traveler can choose to include on their Uganda gorilla trekking tour. Bwindi and Mgahinga are known also to be habitants for the golden monkeys which a may not found elsewhere in Uganda national parks.
The surrounding areas are occupied by the Batwa local people who originally used to start in park forest but later they were forced to leave the national park and the government settled them around the park as they adopt the life of a normal human being. The Batwa are the shortest people(pygmies) in the world, these were fruit gatherers, hunters in the forest before they left. Their traditional lifestyle is so amazing that you can’t choose to miss a visit to the Batwa community while on your gorilla tour.
There are also other activities like mountain climbing, exploring the Batwa caves, bird watching and will be in position to spot other forest mammals.
The cost of gorilla trekking is the same for both national parks as a gorilla permit will cost you $ 600 US dollars per person. The permit is inclusive of entrance fees and gorilla trekking activity. However, if you are planning to travel next year 2020, there are some changes that a traveler needs to note on the gorilla trekking permit from $ 600 US dollars to $ 700 US dollars per person.
Where to stay while on a Uganda gorilla trekking tour
As mentioned earlier that there are four sectors in Bwindi impenetrable national park, each with different gorilla groups, these sectors have various accommodation facilities ranging from budget lodges to mid-range lodges and luxury lodges where you can choose to stay while on gorilla trekking tour in Uganda.
Some of these lodges include, Trekkers Tarven found in Ruhija sector and it’s a budget accommodation facility, Rushaga Gorilla Haven lodge which is also a budget accommodation facility found in Rushaga sector, Iachumbi gorilla lodge found in Rushaga and its amid range accommodation facility , gorilla mist camp is a mid-range accommodation facility found in Ruhija sector, Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge found in Nkuringo sector is a luxury accommodation facility, Rushaga gorilla camp is also a luxury accommodation found in Rushaga sector among other accommodation.
There are also lodges in Mgahinga gorilla national park which range from budget lodges, mid-range and luxury accommodation such include Mucha hotel in Kisoro which is a mid-range accommodation, travelers rest hotel in Kisoro is also mid-range facility among others.
How to access the two national parks for gorilla trekking?
From Kampala via Mbarara it is 8-9 hours’ drive to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and from queen Elizabeth national park via Ishasha it’s 3-4 hours’ drive to Buhoma in Bwindi and it is about 64km on road transport using a 4×4 vehicle. However, a traveler can also choose to use air transport from Entebbe airport to Bwindi impenetrable forest land in Kihihi or Kayonza to trek gorillas in Mishaya, Nkuringo and Nshongi.
To access Mgahinga national from Kampala via kabale-kisoro it is a distance of about 510km and it an 8 hours’ drive. The park can also be accessed from Bwindi via Rushaga and Nkuringo which is 14 km to Mgahinga and it a 4 hours’ drive. Although a traveler can opt for a flight from Entebbe airport to Kisoro airfield.
Uganda has over 10 National Parks and reserves making it one of the interesting destinations to visit in Africa. A Safari in Uganda offers you an opportunity to do several activities including Gorilla / Chimpanzee trekking, Game viewing Safaris, Hiking / Nature walks, Adventure sports, launch cruises and so much more.
Map of Uganda Showing National Parks
Bwindi Uganda Gorilla Trekking : Gorilla trekking information and FAQs
While planning your Uganda gorilla trekking safari, you may wonder what is included in the total quoted cost. Its therefore important to note that the following items are included in the Gorilla tours;
- Gorilla trekking Permit – The gorilla trekking permit costs $600 per person per trek, and this is normally included in the total cost for the Gorilla Safaris we offer.
- Accommodation and meals – The cost for the lodging is also one of the major things that determine the total cost for your tour. There are three categories of lodges, budget, Mid-range and luxury, each having its own price range. All the lodges we offer for our gorilla safaris are ensuite and are booked according to the sector where the gorilla trekking is to be done.
- Transport in 4×4 safari vehicle – We provide four wheel drive safari vehicles equipped with enough fuel, a professional driver / guide and drinking water.
- All activities on the itinerary: The cost of all activities included on your itinerary are usually included on the total cost unless otherwise stated as optional and a price indicated as extras.
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Vs Rwanda
The Gorilla trekking activity in Uganda and Rwanda is similar, however there are other factors before and after the trek which one can look at before determining where they should do there gorilla trek from as follows: For starters the Gorilla trekking permit for Rwanda costs $1500 USD while that of Uganda costs $600 USD, this therefore creates a very big difference between the total cost for the Gorilla safari in both countries.
Secondly there is a difference between the distances from capitals / airport to the gorilla national parks. The drive time from Kigali Rwanda’s capital city to Parc national des volcans where the Rwanda mountain gorillas are found is only two hours, while the drive from Kampala Uganda’s capital to Bwindi impenetrable national park is over 8 hours and thus very tiring. These days however you can land in Kigali and drive to Uganda for gorilla trekking in Bwindi.
However in conclusion it should be noted that in terms of accommodation, security, hospitality and other factors, these two neighboring countries are very much the same and therefore the above mentioned two major differences are what you may consider if you are undecided about where to do your gorilla trekking tour from between Rwanda and Uganda.
Gorilla Trekking Uganda From Kigali
Given that the distance from Entebbe to the Bwindi impenetrable national park requires over 8 hours of driving, and the price of the Rwanda Gorilla trekking permits is twice that of Uganda (
$1500 USD vs $600), a new trend where tourists land in Kigali and drive by road to the Bwindi impenetrable forest for gorilla trekking has emerged. The driving time from Kigali to Bwindi is four to five hours. This allows you spend less time on the road, but also enjoy lower rates for the same gorilla safari experience.
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Bwindi
The Bwindi impenetrable national park is home to half of the remaining mountain gorilla population in the world. According to the 2018 census, its estimated that about 1000 mountain gorillas are left in the world with the population increasing ever since the conservation efforts where started. In Uganda, gorilla trekking can be done in Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla national park. The Bwindi impenetrable national park is divided in four sectors, Rushaga, Ruhija, Buhoma, and Nkuringo with 15 habituated mountain gorilla groups available in Bwindi for tracking.
To fully enjoy your gorilla trekking safari, here are some of the things you need to park and come with for the gorilla safari; Hiking Boots, poncho, camera and accessories, energy snacks, long sleeved shirts and trousers, insect repellant, hat, walking stick.
The gorilla trekking permit for Uganda costs $600. Its usually recommended that you book your gorilla safari atleast four months in advance such that the gorilla trekking permit is secured on time as there is too much competition for the gorilla trekking permits especially in high season. The Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) is the body which issues out the gorilla trekking permits. A tour operator ideally helps you secure your gorilla trekking permit, however if you happen to be in Uganda already, then you can buy the permit by yourself from the offices of UWA.
The minimum age for gorilla trekking in Uganda is 15 years. Children under the age of 15 are not allowed to track the gorillas as the trek might be strenuous for them and also since they are not mature enough to handle themselves in case of any incidents with the gorillas.
Affordable Gorilla Trekking Uganda
At Adventure in the wild safaris we offer several affordable trip options for gorilla trekking in Uganda. You can send us an inquiry and we get back to you with the quotes as per your requirements. Our tours are designed to fit in the budget of each and every traveler.
Gorilla And Chimpanzee Trekking Uganda
Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking allows you explore the primate world in depth. You can start with a visit to Kibale forest national park, home of the chimpanzees and 13 other primates species. Or you can track the chimps in Kalinzu forest or Kyambura gorge, Queen Elizabeth national park then proceed to Bwindi impenetrable forest for gorilla trekking. The Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking Uganda safari requires five days if you are to enjoy it very well.