Gorilla Trekking Uganda – Gorilla Trekking Tips and Advice for Uganda
Ultimate Guide for Uganda Gorilla Trekking – Everything you need to know about trekking with mountain gorillas
Gorilla Trekking Uganda – Mountain Gorillas have never been able to Survive in Captivity, therefore Gorilla Trekking in Uganda gives you an opportunity to see the Gorillas in their natural habitat. This is a complete Guide to travelers who want to come to Uganda for gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. It is Important to note that Uganda is the number one Gorilla trekking destination, home to half of the remaining mountain Gorillas in the world, with several habituated mountain Gorilla Families. The Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit is affordable and Uganda is a safe destination for Gorilla trekking and wildlife safaris.
Gorilla Trekking information, Tips and Advice you need to know before you go for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda.
The Mountain Gorillas are a sub species of the eastern Gorilla scientific name Gorilla beringei beringei. In the early 1970’s, there where attempts to capture Gorillas and take them to Zoos, however unlike the lowland gorillas which can be found in Zoos around the world, the mountain gorillas have never been able to survive in captivity and you therefore have to travel to Uganda, Rwanda or the DR Congo to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The mountain Gorillas are an endangered species and there about 1000 mountain Gorillas left in the world as of 2020. This number has increased due to conservation efforts and gorilla tourism. The number of mountain gorillas in the world had dropped to about 700 individuals in the 1990’s.
Read more about the Mountain Gorillas
Where to track Mountain Gorillas in Uganda – Gorilla Parks
The Bwindi Impenetrable forest is a tropical rain-forest located in south western Uganda and is home to half of the Mountain gorilla population in the World. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bwindi has been named by CNN as one of the top 23 places in the world for best hiking experience and also CNN Travelers choice for most beautiful place in the world.
The Bwindi Impenetrable forest has four locations which have been opened for Gorilla trekking, each having a couple of habituated gorilla families available for gorilla trekking. The first sector to be opened for Gorilla trekking in Uganda is the Buhoma Sector, the others are Rushaga Sector, Ruhija Sector and the Nkuringo Sector. Each sector has a collection of lodges and its recommended to stay in a lodge in the sector where you will do your Uganda Gorilla trekking.
The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the second location where you can go for Gorilla trekking in Uganda. The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family. The Nyakagezi Family has over 10 members, which have stayed together despite the fact that there are five silverbacks, two adult females and three young stars. As of 2019, the Hirwa Gorilla Family from Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park migrated to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. It should also be noted that there are over 80 mountain Gorillas in the Mgahinga Gorilla national Park yet its only the Nyakagezi group that has sofar been habituated for Gorilla Tourism.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers impressive views, with several other activities available to do including the Batwa Cultural trail, Volcano Hiking for Mount Sabinyo, Mount Muhabura and Mount Gahinga, as well as trekking the golden Monkeys.
How to Get to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Both the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national Park and Mgahinga Gorilla national Park are located in southwestern Uganda. Getting there by road takes 8-9 Hours from Entebbe or Kampala and 4-5 Hours when driving from Kigali Rwanda. You can therefore choose to land at the Entebbe international Airport or the Kigali International Airport and do the gorilla trekking in Uganda. You can as well as start the safari in from Kigali, continue to track Uganda Gorillas and other parks, then fly-out through Entebbe and vice versa. The other parks you can visit while on your Uganda safari include the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest national Park, Lake Mburo national park and so much more.
There is also an option to fly from Entebbe to Bwindi or Mgahinga with the flight being just 1 hour 30 minutes. The flying option attracts an extra cost, but will save you the long drive especially if you are a luxury traveler who does not wish to spend much time on the road.
While Planning your tour, it should be noted that the Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for Uganda, and if you want to land in Kigali its recommended that you get the East African Tourist Visa.
Gorilla Trekking Lodges in Uganda
There are several Lodges near the Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. The lodges range from Basic Budget, Mid-range, Luxury and Super luxury. At Adventure in the wild safaris, we offer only the best lodges which are self-contained, and with quality service. Each Sector of Bwindi has a bunch of lodges and its therefore recommended to book a lodge that is close to the sector where you will track the mountain gorillas in Uganda.
The lodges near the Uganda Gorilla Trekking parks usually have onsite security and there have not been any reported cases of security breach.
The Buhoma Sector currently has the highest concentration of lodges given that it was the first to be opened for Gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a unique activity that has been described by many as a once in a lifetime experience like no other African Safari. While on your gorilla trekking safari, expect to hike through the mountainous and rugged terrain covered with tropical rainforests and thick undergrowth as you search for the mountain Gorillas, a close cousin to humans sharing 98% of the DNA composition.
Gorilla trekking can only be done in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo which are the only three countries in the world where you can find the Mountain Gorillas. This makes Gorilla trekking a very interesting and sought after activity which is on the bucket list of travelers coming to African.
The Gorilla trek in Uganda starts with you waking up very early by 6:00am, you freshen up, have your breakfast then transfer to the briefing point based on the location of your lodge. You are expected at the park headquarters by 7:30. Briefing for Gorilla trekking starts at 8:00am, where you will be told about the Gorilla Trekking Rules and there after divided in groups of 8 which is each assigned a specific mountain gorilla family to track.
The Gorilla trekking takes from three to seven hours including one hour where you observe the mountain gorillas as you ask the ranger guides any questions you have about the gorillas. If you are interested in taking longer than one hour with the gorillas, there is a Gorilla Habituation experience option where you spend four hours with the gorillas.
When planning your gorilla trekking tour in Uganda, the question “is Gorilla Trekking Worth it?” may come to your mind. The answer is yes, Gorilla trekking is worth the all the hassle, money and effort.
It should be noted that the Mountain Gorillas are an endangered species which can only be seen in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo where they live in the wild. Gorilla trekking as an activity was introduced not only to give people in the world to visit the Mountain Gorillas in their Natural Habitat, but also to help in the conservation of this species. The amount you pay for the Gorilla Trekking Permit $600 helps in the conservation efforts and research, building of infrastructure around the parks and in the country, supporting the communities around the park as well as payment of the park staff and rangers who protect the mountain gorillas.