Mountain gorilla in Uganda, The Gorilla Beringei (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of two eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei) subspecies. It is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List as the total population is reported to be 1,004 individuals in two populations as of 2018. Another population lives in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park of Uganda and Mgahinga national park both situated in south western Uganda the other in the Virunga Mountains in three neighbouring national parks that is volcanoes in Rwanda, Virunga in Congo and Mgahinga national park forming the Virunga conservation area.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in south western Uganda in the district of Kisoro, the park is park of Bwindi impenetrable forest, the park was gazetted with the purpose to conserve the life of the endangered mountain gorillas from human activities like hunting, and encroachment in to the forest , destroying the natural habitat of these primate species. Bwindi national park, rests in an area of about 321 km2 and its covered with the dense tropical forest, montane highland and its famously known as a home to a large number of gorillas living in the park. the gorillas have become the prime tourist destination in Uganda, gorilla trekking, has boosted the tourism industry due to the high number of travellers visiting the park for gorilla trekking experience.
Not only is Bwindi famous for gorilla trekking, but also , the park is a paradise of birds with over 360 recorded bird species and 12 of which are not recorded anywhere in Uganda and 90% of these are known to be Albertine rift endemics such as short tailed warbler and blue headed sunbird as well as seven IUCN red data listed species of birds. 120 species of mammals, colobus monkeys, chimpanzee, with over 400 habituated mountain gorilla families making a total of 17 habituated gorilla families free for trekking, Bwindi has 16 habituated gorilla families and two families in Rushaga sector still under habituation. One gorilla family is trekked at Mgahinga gorilla national park. mountain gorillas Aretha main attraction in these two national parks that is Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park offering gorilla trekking experience to travelers visiting the park.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, has provided both shelter and food for the gorillas living in the dense tropical forest pf Bwindi, the park harbours over half of the world population of the gorillas and others are distribute in volcanoes national park, and Virunga national park in Congo. Bwindi forest national park, is the best location for gorilla trekking with the high number of gorillas, therefore, you are assured 98% chances of seeing the mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is an all year-round activity either during the wet season, or the dry seasons of the year. This means that Bwindi forest national park, can be visited any time of the year for the memorable and the best adventure safari of your life time during the gorilla trekking experience.
Bwindi impenetrable forest, comprises of four sectors distributed in the park all having habituated mountain gorillas opened for gorilla trekking the sectors of Bwindi include; Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga sectors in Rushaga sector, Nshongi, Kahungye, Busingye, Mishaya and Bweza gorilla group. Nkuringo sector we have Nkuringo gorilla family, Ruhija comprises of Bitukura Group and Oruzogo Group. The third group called Kyaguliro Group was committed for research and later was introduced for gorilla trekking, Buhoma gorilla families include; Mubare gorilla group, Habinyanja gorillas and Rushegura gorilla families. Gorilla trekking in the forest also exposes you a lot of other primate species including, colobus monkeys, bird species, Gorilla trekking involves having an encounter with the gorillas in their natural habitat the best part of this activity is that you have a close encounter with the gorillas in their natural habitat, you will observe them, study and learn their behaviours, take gorilla photos and videos for your memorable experience while in Uganda in case you are not planning for another trip for gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Mgahinga National park
Mgahinga national park, is also known for harbouring one habituated gorilla family, the park located in south western Uganda in the district of Kisoro. Mgahinga gorilla national park lies in the boarder with Rwanda and Congo and its one of the national parks that form the Virunga conservation area.as well as the volcanoes and the Virunga national park in Congo. Mgahinga national park, covers an area of 13.1 sqkm and its one of the smallest national parks in Uganda the park is managed by Uganda by Uganda wildlife authority a government body managing national parks in Uganda the park was gazetted with the purpose to conserve animals that where roaming freely on land and some where being poached leading to their extinction.
Mountain gorilla trekking is one of the most thought after activity in national parks harbouring gorilla habituated families. Mgahinga national park, is an ever green forest covered with bamboo and alpine forests, the forest is covered by shrubs food which gorilla feed on, therefore, the presence of abundant food, has reduced on the movement of the gorillas from one place to another since for over years the gorillas where seen crossing to Congo side but currently , they are based in Uganda and now being trekked in Uganda. Besides gorilla trekking, the park also harbours other animal species like black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, forest elephants, giant forest hogs, warthogs and different species of birds and over 200 butterflies with mountain gorillas as the main tourist attractions on the park.
Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda
Gorilla trekking permits for both Mgahinga and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are issued by the Uganda wildlife authority, the permit is an essential document that lows any traveller to access the forest for gorilla trekking, without the permit, you will not be allowed to view the gorillas in their natural habitat. Bwindi being the top most site with high number of gorillas, has greatly improved on the tourism industry in Uganda. Bwindi forest national park, receives high number of visitors in the park for gorilla trekking, thus there is stiff competition for gorilla trekking permits by different companies offering packages for Bwindi gorilla trekking. Therefore, the permits tend to get sold out quickly so clients having interest in gorilla trekking, are advised to book their gorilla permits in advance in order to secure the permits for your preferred date for gorilla trekking to avoid missing out on the activity because you did not secure the permits. Booking your permits in advance, helps you have enough time for your preparations for your trip in Uganda and purposely gorilla trekking experience which requires a bit of physical fitness and energy to hike steep slopes.
Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda currently costs, $600 per person but with effect from July 1 2020, there will be permit increase to $700 per person. One can secure the permits by contacting directly Uganda wildlife authority by sending and email or calling their telephone line or alternatively, you can secure the gorilla permits through any of the registered companies in Uganda we will help secure the permits for you in advance before they are sold out. Bwindi also offers an opportunity for clients who would like to spend more time with the gorillas, can therefore opt for gorilla habituation experience which costs $1500 per person the permit allows you 4 hours with the gorillas compared to the normal gorilla trekking which is only one hour with the gorillas.
Best time to visit mountain gorillas in Uganda
The recommended time of the year to visit Bwindi and Mgahinga national park in Uganda, is best during the dry seasons from the month of December, January, June , October, February during this months, there is less or no rain fall at all making it easy to hike the steep slopes for gorilla trekking when the land is dry and not muddy. The park also offers other activities besides gorilla trekking including, bird watching experience, Batwa community walk, nature walks among others.