Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Bwindi Forest National park) is a typical tropical rain forest with an annual mean temperature range of a minimum of 7–15°C to a maximum of 20–27°C. Its annual rainfall ranges from 1,400 to 1,900 millimeters. The heavy rains climax from March to April and from September to November.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest became popular to the world because of Gorilla trekking! It is a habitat for more than half of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorilla population. These gentle primates are highly endangered species and the forest possesses more than 360 individuals of the plausible 800 plus mountain gorillas in the entire world. They are highly endangered because of poaching, habitat loss and diseases. This national park generates one of the highest revenues to Uganda Wildlife Authority amongst all the safari parks in Uganda.
Bwindi, located in the southwestern region, on the edge of the rift valley. Commonly referred to as the impenetrable forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the western side; Kabale town to the southeast is the nearest main town to the park, 29 kilometers away by road. It covers an area of 331 square kilometers and is located in the highest parts of Kigezi highlands with an altitude of 1,190 to 2,607 meters above sea level and 60% of this magical park has an elevation of over 2,000 meters above sea level. The highest elevation in the park is Rwamunyonyi hill at the eastern edge and the lowest part of the park is located at its most northern tip.
Bwindi Forest National Park is approximately an 8 hour or 9 hour drive from Entebbe by road and just 1 hour away by chartered flights. Usually the first and last days of Uganda gorilla tours are reserved solely for traveling and a few other minor activities along the way. The journey is quite long especially when you are traveling by road but definitely worth it after when you experience a close encounter with the mountain gorillas in it’s forests. There is just a lot behind this destination appearing among the most visited Uganda safari parks and am sure you will see it when you travel. Please check out the list of recommended gorilla safari companies that can organize for you exceptional safari expeditions in the wilderness of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You can also browse through some of our most popular safari packages below;
Safaris to Bwindi Forest National Park
Activities in Bwindi
Gorilla Trekking is an experience where a group of people get to hike/trek through the thick forests in order for them to capture a glimpse of what gorillas look like and be able to view the environment in which gorillas stay.
Bwindi forest national park currently has six gorilla trekking sectors namely; Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga, Nyundo and Rubugiri, with Buhoma and Nkuringo emerging as one of the most visited sectors.
The proximity of the national park to the border of Rwanda has long made it possible for tourists to combine Uganda gorilla trekking and Rwanda gorilla trekking experiences in a single itinerary. Such trips can begin either way depending on a client’s preference making it possible to do Gorilla trekking in Bwindi from Rwanda – about (4 – 5 hours drive) from Kigali.
When is the best time to trek Gorillas in Uganda?
The best time to visit the mountain Gorillas in Uganda is mid-June through October, December running through March. This period is the busiest and best time of the year . These are dry months of the year and are the high season or peak seasons for Gorilla Trekking. Though mountain Gorillas can be trekked all year long in Uganda, with no seasonal closures.
Gorilla habituation is an experience where one gets to visit the mountain gorillas for more than the usual hours time, since these gorillas are being trained to live among-st human beings. The experience is so fascinating as it gives the tourist more time to learn about the mountain gorillas and their behaviors.
In Uganda gorilla habituation only happens in Rushaga gorilla sector which is south of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
The best time to do gorilla habituation in Uganda is during June to September and December to March.
Bwindi National Park is a home to over 320 bird species and 23 species. The bird species include Western Green Tinker bird, African Wood Owl, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Handsome Francolin, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Regal Sunbird, Collared Apalis, Montana Oriole, and Short tailed Warbler, Kivu Ground-Thrush, Chapin’s Flycatcher and African Green Broadbill and Green-breasted Pitta, African Green Broadbill, Great Blue Turaco Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Standard-winged Nightjar, flycatcher, Short-tailed Warbler, Doherty’s Bush shrike, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black-breasted Barbet and many more. .
Gorilla Trekking Sectors
Bwindi impenetrable national park has four gorilla trekking sectors which include Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Mugahinga which was recently added. Rushaga has 5 gorilla families and is actually the only sector that is permitted for Gorilla Habituation in Bwindi National Park. For one to be able to visit Uganda and Bwindi national park, one ought to be prepared for the experience because it will be mind blowing.
Getting to Bwindi
Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda is located about 478 kilometers from the capital city – Kampala and can take between 7 to 8 hours of driving. The journey is mostly on a smooth surface and a dirt murram road for the last part into the forest. Bwindi National Park can also be accessed from Queen Elizabeth National Park, diving through the Ishasha sector with 3 to 4 hours of driving.
Daily buses operate from Kampala to Kabale, Kisoro as well as Rukungiri via Kihihi. From those towns, you can easily connect to Bwindi National Park or arrange with a local guide to pick you up. The park can also be accessed by air, flying from Entebbe airport to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip on a domestic flight.
Aero link is a domestic operator with daily flights to Kisoro (only in the morning) and Kihihi airstrips of Bwindi.
Below are the flight schedules and times;
Those who may want to visit Buhoma may take on the charter planes and land off from Kayonza airstrip.
Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are grouped in gorilla families which are given a gorilla sector to live in. The gorilla families usually have a silverback as the male and the one who runs the family. Gorillas are trekked according to the gorilla families and where they are located(Gorilla Sector). We provide you with a complete list of gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Attractions in Bwindi impenetrable national park
Bwindi impenetrable national park is ranked as one of the top tourist destination in the world reason being the park consists of many attractive tourist attractions.
Tourist attractions in Bwindi impenetrable national park include;
Mountain gorilla is the top attraction in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park is a prominent home to many mountain gorilla individuals estimated to be 400 individuals which habit in different sectors of the park. These sectors situated in different regions of the park are where mountain gorilla live and in these sectors you find various exciting gorilla families and they include.
Buhoma sector is located in the northern region of Bwindi impenetrable national park, Buhoma sector is the most exciting and visited sector in the park, Buhoma sector is the first sector to be opened for trekking with mubare gorilla family to be opened for receiving trekkers. Mubare gorilla family is the first family to be habituated in both buhoma sector and Bwindi impenetrable national park habituated in 1992.
Buhoma sector consists of three gorilla families namely
Mubare gorilla family
Mubare gorilla family is the first gorilla family to be open for gorilla trekking first habituated in 1992, this group presently consists of 5 individuals, this family is named after mubare hills where this group was first sighted. Mubare gorilla family is headed by Kanyonyi a dominant silverback with 1 adult female, 2 sub adult female and 1 infant.
Habinyanja gorilla family
Habinyanja gorilla family deriving its name from a Rukinga word Nyaja meaning a place with water was habituated in 1997 and first trekked in 1999, this family was first sighted near swamp ponds of Bwindi impenetrable national park. Habinyanja gorilla family is consists of 13 prominent family members namely Makara, Rwansigazi, Maraya, Kisho, Nabukye, Binyonko, Rugyendi, Nyamuhango, Elsa, Hamusini, Hakato, Gacyaro and Bangenyi. This family is under the leadership of Makara a dominant silverback.
Rushegura gorilla family
Rushegura gorilla family was habituated in 2000 and opened for trekking in the same year, this group split from Habinyanja gorilla family. This family consists of 19 gorilla individuals and when you trek in this family you are able to get a sight of Mwirima the dominant silverback and leader of this group, Kabukojo the blackback, 5 adult female that is Kyirinvi, Kibande, Buzinza, Nyamunwa and Karungyi, 2 sub-adult female Kalembezi and Ruterana, 5 juveniles that is Nyampazi, Kafuruka, Kibande, Karungyi, Kanywanyi, 5 infant gorillas that is Kyirinvi, Buzinza, Nyamunmwa, kibade and katabazi
Buhoma sector is very accessible using routes from kabala, using kihihi airstrip and from Queen Elizabeth national park as it is close to ishasha sector the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park
Nkuringo gorilla sector is situated in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park Kisoro district, Nkuringo sector is a home to only three gorilla families which are
Nkuringo gorilla family
Nkuringo gorilla family is the first gorilla group habituated in the south western region of Bwindi and it was done in 1997. Nkuringo gorilla family is composed of 12 gorilla individuals including 1 silverback, 2 adult females, 2 adult females, 2 sub adults 3 juveniles and 2 infants. Nkuringo gorilla family is a historical family as it is the first family in Bwindi impenetrable national park to record the birth of twins, Nkuringo gorilla family initially was made up of 17 family individuals but many members split from the park and only 12 where left in this family group.
Bikingi gorilla family
Bikingi gorilla family is a fantastic gorilla family exclusive for gorilla habituation experience, this family was habituated as early as 2012. Currently this family consists of 15 family individuals that is 1 silverback, 5 adult females, 2 sub-adults, 2 juveniles and 5 infants. Bikigi gorilla family is not yet to have a leader because it is still undergoing through habituation process.
Bushaho gorilla family
Bushaho gorilla family is a group of 8 individuals with 1 silverback, 1 blackback, 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 1 juvenile, and 1 infant. Bushaho gorilla family was formed by numerous members who split from Nkuringo gorilla family, this family is under the leadership of a dominant silverback Bahati.
Rushaga sector is the most visited sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park by tourists coming from Kigali using cyanika border in Kisoro district, this region is also situated in the southern region of the park. Rushaga sector hosts the greatest population of mountain gorilla families in the park and they include
Nshongi gorilla family
Nshongi gorilla family is an exciting gorilla family in Bwindi impenetrable national park, this family consists of 7 family members under the leadership of Bweza a powerful silverback. There is 1 silverback, 1 juvenile, 1 infant, 3 adult females and 1 sub adult.
Kahungye gorilla family
Kahungye gorilla family is a family of 17 members deriving its name from kahungye hill where these gorilla were first sighted in this region, this family is under the leadership of a dominant silverback Rumaz with 3 adult females, 3 silverbacks, 2 infants, 3 juveniles and 3 sub adults.
Busingye gorilla family
Busingye gorilla family is a family of 9 members which broke away from kahungye gorilla family, this family under the leadership of dominating silverback Busingye. This group derives its name from a local word meaning peace.
Mishaya gorilla family
Mishaya gorilla family is a group of 12 members under the leadership of a dominant silverback Mishaya, Mishaya gorilla group was formed in 2010 by Mishaya who broke away from Nshongi gorilla group.
Bweza gorilla family
Bweza gorilla family is a family of 23 mountain gorilla individuals under the leadership of a silverback in the names of kakono, this family consists of 2 silverbacks, 4 black backs, 1 sub adult, 3 adult females and 2 infants.
Ruhija sector is found in the eastern region of Bwindi impenetrable national park, Ruhija is an amazing sector consisting of 3 gorilla families where mountain gorilla trekking takes place. These families include
Bitukura gorilla family
Bitukura gorilla family is a family of 14 family individuals with 4 silverbacks, 4 adult families, 2 juveniles, 3 infants and 1 baby. This family was habituated in 2007 and it initially consisted of 24 family members and recently the group faced constant conflicts which cause many members to run away from the group.
Oruzogo gorilla family
Oruzogo gorilla family is a family of 17 individuals with 1 silverback, this family was opened for tourism in 2007 and some of the prominent members of this group include Bakwate “old silverback”, Kaganga (silverback), Kasumali (silverback), six adult females whose names include Nyangaro, Katoto, Ruchura, Mutesi, Nyakina and Mukwano, one black back Bwengye, three sub adult males Nyakashunja, Musenene, Nyabirano, and Muhumuza, two infant males Mufuruki and Paska, one infant female Musana.
Kyaguliro gorilla family
Kyaguliro gorilla family is relatively a big family of 20 family individuals, this family was reserved for research that is why it is not occasionally visited. After the death of the group’s then leader who was struck dead by lightening, the group split into two groups that is Kyaguliro A and Kyaguliro B.
Kyaguliro A– consists of 10 family members that is 1 silverback, 2 black backs, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants under the leadership of Rukara a dominant silverback
Kyaguliro B– consists of 10 family members that is 1 silverback, 4 adult females 1 adult and 4 infants under the leadership of Mukiza a dominant silverback.
Mammals and other primates
Though Bwindi impenetrable national park is known for being a home to mountain gorillas the park is also a home to amazing mammals who habit in the deep forests of the park, mammals found in the park include forest elephants, giant forest hog, antelopes, side stripped jackal, African civet and many more.
There is also other primates which are habitants of Bwindi impenetrable national park, these primates include chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet, L’hoests, De Brazza monkeys, red tailed monkey, nocturnal potto and galago species.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is a great ecological system covered with numerous types of vegetation, on a record Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the few areas in Africa covered by tropical forest in that it is where lowland and montane vegetation zones meet. Bwindi impenetrable national park is crossed by many small rivers such as Ivi, munyaga, ihihizo, ishasha and ntengyrere which pour their waters in Lake Edward making it a renowned water catchment area. The park is characterized by a conopy of plant species which include Red stinkwood, Newtonia, Symphonia globulifera, East African yellow wood and Strombosia scheffleri. Beneath the main forest there are species like Xymalos, Neoboutonia Macrocalyx, Monospora, Myrianthus holstii, Teclea nobilis and Allophylus abyssinicus.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is covered by afro montane forests a rare vegetation type on African continent with a recorded number of 220 tree species and 100 fern species.
Hiking trails in Bwindi impenetrable national park are also a prominent attraction in the park, these trails lead to numerous parts of the park and attractions and while using them you get to encounter many mysteries of the park. While on hiking and nature walk expedition in the park these trails are used and they include
- River Ivi trail– this trail is the best bird watching trail taking you through the escarpment of Nkuringo, while hiking on this trail it takes 7 hours covering 14 kilometers to finish it.
- Waterfall trail– waterfall trail is a 4 hours’ trail to hike leading to the park’s waterfall.
- Habinyanja trail– this trail is a 4-6 hours trail which takes you past river Munyanga, this trail is most used by tourists after trekking Habinyanja gorilla family.
- Kashasha river trail– this trail is a 5-7hours trail to trek, Kashasha river trail runs between Nkuringo and buhoma sectors of the Bwindi impenetrable national park.
- Bamboo trail– this trail is an attractive trail to hike of 6 hours leading towards Rwamunyonyi peak. Bamboo trail is a best trail for viewing birds.
- Muzabajiro trail– this trail is an exceptional trail offering scenic views of western rift valley and Virunga, Muzabajiro is a trial of 6 kilometers and while on it you encounter beautiful ferns, a variety of bird species and peaks of Virunga volcanoes.
Bwindi impenetrable national park boosts a variety bird species most especially water and forest bird species, this park is a perfect spot for montane-forest bird watching in Africa. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home to over 350 bird species, among these bird species 14 species are endemic to Bwindi impenetrable national park and 23 of them are only found in Albertine rift. Bird species that are sighted in the thick forests of Bwindi impenetrable national park include Chapin’s fly catcher, Handsome francolin, Rwenzori Batis, Tit Hylia, Strange weaver, Dusky Twin spot, Montane Oriole, Regal sunbird, African wood owl, Bar-tailed trogon, Western green tinker bird, Black bee-eater, Dwarf honeyguide, Grey gecko-shrike, Kivu ground-thrush, Yellow-sreaked greenbul, Shelly’s greenbul, Red-throated alethe, collared apalis, handsome francolin, strange weaver
The most amazing trails for bird watching in Bwindi impenetrable national park is Buhoma waterfall trail, Mubwindi swamp trail and bamboo zone.
The Batwa pygmy people
The Batwa pygmy people are the ancient in habitant of Bwindi forests but during the gazetted of Bwindi impenetrable national park as a protected area they were forcefully driven out of the forest to the outskirts of the park. The Batwa people regarded as the keepers of the forest are hunter-gathers who majorly depend on hunting wild animals and gathering fruits, even today these people still practice they ancient life style. Upon visiting Bwindi impenetrable national park you will visit the Batwa community for cultural encounter where you will encounter these amazing people going on with their day to day lives in an ancient way.
You will witness them building houses using local materials, hunting small animals, local dance and drama and many activities which will blow your mind.
What facinates you about Bwindi forest national park (Bwindi impenetrable national park)?
By the mare mention of “Bwindi” lots should be triggered into ones mind. Bwindi is simply a forest nestled in south western Uganda shared amongst the districts of Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu. The constituents of this forest is what makes it rather a must visit place there by turning into an a national park ( Bwindi forest national park / Bwindi impenetrable national park). Bwindi forest national park is endowed with a multiplicities of attractions that will constantly be a bewilderment to many. Ranging from the magnificent mountain gorillas, numerous bird species, thick forest, different tree species, rivers springing out on where flowing with fresh water, extremely steep hills filled with several thickets forming up 3 canopies, therefore there is no doubt that Bwindi forest national park is a true jungle. the park is also having other wildlife besides the major occupants ( mountain gorillas). The forest of bwindi is also inhabited by forest elephants a bit rare to encounter but there visibility only limited to the night hours and on rare occasion during the day.
Top gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi forest national park.
Gorilla trekking is without doubt the prime activity conducted at Bwindi forest national park. The activity simply involves ascending into the jungle in search for the gentle giants (mountain gorillas ) and upon meeting the gorilla , a kick off of the interact sessions between the gorilla trekkers is bound to take place amounting to a maximum of 1 hour. Some of what to is observing how the gorillas go about their life ( feeding and nesting) interacting. A sessions that is rewarded with an exciting photo shoot which also doubles as souvenir for the gorilla tracking exercise. Bwindi forest national park , has got a total of four gorilla tracking sectors which are distributed in among districts that make up Bwindi national park. the sector include:
- Buhoma sector: This sector is located in northern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park in the district of Kanungu. its was the first ever gorilla tracking in Bwindi forest national park to be set up sector to be set up making it the oldest of the all the tracking sectors in Bwindi.
- Ruhiija sector: This sector is situated in Kabale district, its apparently near that all the sectors if one is traveling from Kampala.
- Rushaga sector: Rushaga is situated in Kisoro district and it has the biggest number of habituated gorilla groups, it also doubles as the only sector where gorilla habituation is conducted.
- Nkuringo: this sector is also situated in Kisoro district as well , it has the least numbers of habituated gorilla families.
What are chances of seeing Bwindi forest national park gorillas?
Gorilla trekking chances in Bwindi impenetrable national park has pretty much been over 99%. In the last one decade, only one person has been recorded not have seen gorillas on the first day of gorilla tracking but however was able to see gorillas on the second day of tracking.
Best Bwindi forest national park gorilla trekking sector.
Have you ever thought of going on gorilla trekking in Bwindi? if yes has the question of the best spot to track gorillas ever popped up in your mind ? well apparently Bwindi impenetrable national park sectors present opportunities to have the best of your gorilla trekking in Bwindi. Bwindi forest national park sectors to mention Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo have all been tailored to give all the gorilla tracking enthusiasts the best tracking experience, Thanks to Uganda wildlife Authority a body responsible to the well being of all Uganda national parks.
Other Wildlife in Bwindi forest national park.
The mountain gorilla existence at Bwindi impenetrable national park apparently seems to overshadow the recognition of existence of other wildlife in the forest. The jungles of Bwindi offers a huge bio-network that supports the thriving existence of other wildlife and bird species some whose discoveries are yet to be made. Some of the wildlife traced at Bwindi forest park include , forest elephants, jackals, monkeys (red tails, colobus, vervet, lhoests etc),baboons, forest duikers, Chimpanzees , several bird species and insects.
How to access Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Bwindi forest national park can pretty much be accessed from any part of Uganda and northern Rwanda. From Kampala the capital of Uganda, it takes approximately 8 t0 9 hours by road while driving to Bwindi through Masaka highway to Mbarara , to Kabale and to Kisoro and Kanungu respectively. This driving time is however is dependent on the gorilla tracking sector of Bwindi forest park one would prefer to go to. Bwindi impenetrable national park can also accessible accessed from Rwanda (Kigali) from various boarder post, taking up to approximately 4 hours to arrive, a time frame also dependent on the sector one is headed out to. Bwindi park can also accessed by air with flights departing from Entebbe to the various air fields close to Bwindi park ie kihihi airstrip serving both Buhoma and Ruhiija gorilla tracking sector. Another air strip can be accessed from Kisoro with serving Rushaga gorilla tracking sector and Nkuringo and other travel destination to mention mgahinga gorilla national park still within the confines of Bwindi. The most recent addition to the flight was the connecting flight from masai mara national reserve to Bwindi forest national park by air Kenya. The recent addition seeks to bridge a gap between travelers who wish to enjoy the wildlife diversity of masai mara as well delve into gorilla trekking one of the most incredible, thrilling and fascinating activity conducted at the Bwindi impenetrable national park.
How many gorillas are in Bwindi impenetrable national park?
Before we get into context lets pose 2 questions , ” did you know that Bwindi national park harbors half of the worlds mountain gorillas” ? and “did you know that mountain gorillas are an endangered species”? . Well with the above questions we will be able to get an insight of why Bwindi is such and an important ecosystem and guarded jealously. Regarding the gorilla population in Bwindi forest national park, only 4 gorilla population census has been conducted in Bwindi impenetrable national park ever since it was gazetted as a national park in 1991. The first census was conducted in 1994 with 300 as the revealed number, another in 2002 indicating an increment of up to 320 , the 3rd census conducted in 2006 revealing a decline to 300 in number, the most recent census was conducted in 2019 and the samples are still being analyzed in order to ascertain the number.
To still keep you on the know, half of worlds mountain gorillas are in Bwindi forest national park. If you may ask, if the half are in Bwindi, where are rest of the half of mountain gorilla population?. well the rest of the half are distributed in Rwanda, Congo and Uganda in the parks of Volcanoes Rwanda, park, Virunga park Congo and Mgahinga gorilla park Uganda respectively. The area of distribution in known as the great Virunga area.
Gorilla tracking procedure in Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and the rest of national parks that conduct gorilla tracking have got procedures. Depending on the gorilla tracking sector you intend to track from, one of course must have a gorilla tracking permit issued by an authority in this in its the Uganda wildlife Authority. The price of the permits vary depending on the nationality and residential status. The current Trekking permits prices stands at 600usds for foreign non residents residents, 500usds for each foreign residents and ugx250,000 for east African residents. note that listed prices apply to 1st June 2019. From June 2020 foreign non residents will be paying 700usds and foreign residents will be paying 600usds per permit. The permits are attached to particular gorilla trekking sectors and the tracking dates are strictly those indicated on the permits. upon getting the necessary permits, one of-course has to get them them selves to the national park park of course. its also advised to look for the services of trusted tour operator who will save you the hustle and bustle of the entire process but rather get you to the tracking and return you your destination successfully. upon getting to the park on the date of tracking, its a requirement that you get briefed from the park headquarters on the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking. later rangers are assigned and gorilla families to track from are also assigned to the trekkers. later swing into action and delve into the jungles in search for the gently giants, a search that can only come to a stand still when the gorillas discovered. It takes approximately 30 minutes – 5 hours to find the Bwindi gorillas, upon find the gorillas, you are given a maximum of one hours to interact with the gorillas. The interaction with the gorillas will be inform of knowing how they go about their daily life feeding, nesting and family activities. the tracking can only be deemed complete with pictures and videos as souvenirs.
How long is gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest national park?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, can take any time between 20 minutes from to 3/4 of the entire day. The gorilla tracking time frame varies depending many factors i.e. it depends on the location of the gorilla family you have been a signed to track from, it dependent where the gorilla spent the previous night, the gorilla movements of the gorillas. The trekking can also be dependent on the movements of the trekkers, so group of the people may move at slow pace while other may be energetic and fit enough to hike through the jungles in search for the gorillas.
Cost of Gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking is an activity which takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable National park Uganda/ Bwindi Forest National park and Mgahinga National park.
When considering the cost of Gorilla trekking in Uganda, note that the gorilla permit costs 600 USD. In the past years, it used to cost 450 USD during the low season however after sometime the discounted permits no longer exists. There are 13 gorilla habituated families and only eight people are allowed to trek the mountain Gorillas every day. Book your gorilla permit three months before travel.
What is a Gorilla Permit?
What is a gorilla permit? How do I pay for a gorilla permit? How do I get a gorilla permits? How do I book gorilla permits? How much does it cost to see a mountain gorilla? What is a gorilla permit? These are the most gorilla permit frequently asked questions, by tourists who would like to visit Uganda for a Uganda gorilla safari tour. What is a gorilla permit? A gorilla permit is an essential document/card that allows any traveler taking part in gorilla trekking in Uganda or even gorilla habituation experience in Uganda, to encounter with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. A valid gorilla trekking permit and gorilla habituation permit should be in the possession of any traveler so as to enjoy gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experiences respectively.
What is a gorilla permit?
“What is a gorilla permit?” is by far one of the most frequently asked question about gorilla permits in Uganda. What is a gorilla permit? A gorilla permit is a document/card issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to travelers interested in gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation in Uganda. The gorilla permit is a gate pass of sorts that allows you access to encounter the gorillas in their natural habitat. In Uganda, mountain gorillas can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, located in the south western region of Uganda.
How much does it cost to see a mountain gorilla? / How much is the cost of a gorilla permit?
It is important for you to know the cost of a gorilla permit when planning your Uganda safari. The Uganda permit prices tends to change every 3-4 years, but the current rate of a single gorilla trekking permit is $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and ugx250000 for East African citizens, per person per gorilla trek. A gorilla habituation permit however costs $1500 per person for single use. The Uganda permit price or cost is set by the governing and regulatory body, Uganda Revenue Authority (UWA).
What is included in a gorilla permit?
In most times when entering any national parks of Uganda, one is required to pay Bwindi Forest National Park entrance fees so as to access the park. When one purchases a gorilla permit in Uganda however, one does not pay entry fees because the fees are catered for in Uganda permit price already. This means therefore you shall not pay Bwindi Impenetrable National Park entrance fees, or even Mgahinga Gorilla National Park entrance fees. A gorilla permit price also includes the ranger fees, as well as caters for your one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The gorilla permit also caters for the security which you are assured of while in the gorilla parks of Uganda.
What is excluded in a gorilla permit?
To be able to spot the Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda gorillas as well as gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, one needs a gorilla permit. Travelers should know that gorilla trekking and habituation can be multiple day activities though of course 1 day Bwindi gorilla safaris are very possible especially if you are flying to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, or having a Bwindi gorilla safari from Kigali. This therefore means that travelers need to deal with accommodation, transportation as well as meals and sometimes even travel insurance, all of which are not catered for on your Uganda gorilla permits
When can one book a gorilla permit? /How do I book a gorilla permit?
Gorilla permits need to be booked at least 3 months in advance before your travel date, this is because gorilla permits do sell out very fast given gorilla safaris are very much sought after by many travelers looking to encounter the endangered mountain gorillas, our cousins who actually share up to 98% DNA with humans. To be assured of your gorilla safari, book your gorilla permit early enough, to be able to encounter the gorillas on your preferred dates, and in the Bwindi gorilla sector of your choice for those who would choose gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park over Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. How do I book a gorilla permit, you may be wondering. You book your gorilla permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority offices in Kampala, or online or better yet, through a trusted tour operator who is on ground to do the booking on your behalf.
What is a gorilla permit? And all other gorilla permit frequently asked questions are right to be asked by any traveler planning to encounter the gorillas in Uganda. A gorilla permit is a card or document that shall allow you access to enjoy gorilla trekking in Uganda. You need to book a gorilla permit even before you book your accommodation. Liaise with a reputable tour operator for a successful and stress-free gorilla safari.
How Long Does Gorilla Trekking Take
Mountain Gorillas inhabit the rainforest of Bwindi Impenetrable National park,(Bwindi forest national park) Mgahinga National park in Uganda, Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.
Gorilla trekking is an activity where tourists have a chance to trail through the forest in the wild. Gorilla trekking can be done in Africa in only three countries including Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republican of Congo with Uganda Bwindi forest national park being with the most traffic.
Booking Gorilla Trekking
Booking Gorilla trekking; Mountain Gorillas are habitats national parks in Africa in three countries. The most profound national parks where gorilla trekking takes place include Bwindi impenetrable national park ( Bwindi forest national park) ,Mgahinga in gorilla national park both in Uganda. others include Volcanoes Rwanda park and Virunga Congo national park in DR. Congo.
Booking Gorilla trekking requires one to get a gorilla permit which is a card issued to Gorilla trekkers in the jungle to authorize their access to trek. The trek takes 30 minutes and 7 hours to meet the endangered species this depends on where they last fed and how faster the trekkers are. You are given one hour to see the mountain Gorillas as they play, feed, groom each other and many more.
The mountain Gorillas are one of the most successfully Conserved species which have increased to 370 individuals in the early 2000s. However of recent the gorillas have increased to 900 species inhabiting the area this happened in the recent census of 2018.
Bwindi Forest national park ( Bwindi impenetrable national park) has for sectors, to mention: Ruhija, Rushaga ,Nkuringo and Buhoma. Each sector has their own family members, the silverback male is the leader of the group with a number of females and the off springs.
The park is a rain forest with thistles and nettles in the bamboo producing new shoots.
Gorillas start giving birth at the age of 9-12 years, the gestation period takes 9 months and the baby is weaned at the age of 3-4 years. When the males grow their pushed out of the family to create other Gorilla family at the age of 12years the males will develop the silver back ,when the silverback is old it defends its family.
Uganda conserves two populations including Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable National park.
The borders of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda form Uganda portion of volcanoes.
Mountain Gorilla conservation and research activities in the Virunga, Volcanoes in DRC and Rwanda the conservation started in 1970s and 1980s.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in 1980s was discovered that the site was not only a habitat for the mountain Gorillas but was for many endemic and threatened species. Considering this information, this led to the designation of Bwindi as a park in 1991.
Biking Safaris is an interesting experience where travelers instead of using tour cars or walking treks, they move on bicycles. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park (Bwindi forest national park) offers biking safaris for its guests.
Bwindi biking safaris through the park gives the traveler an amazing view of the park as you enjoy a village bike ride. You also get a chance to spot a number of bird species, wildlife ,butterflies ,primates all on the ride.
Sometimes the bikes are provided by the Organization in the names of Ride 4 a woman Organization.
Explore the forest as you enjoy the mountain bike, you can ride in a day with a well-informed guide, its very fun with a guide and you won’t miss out a thing on the trek.
The guide is well informed and trained in wildlife species, plant species, birds, trees of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest half a day or full day on a bike this is one of the reasons most people stay behind for another day for a mountain bike
Where to stay
Bwindi national park has a wide variety of budget and luxury accommodation facilities that can be offered to its visitors. Be sure to visit the accommodations to be able to make a selection of your preferable choice. Some of the accommodation facilities offered around and inside Bwindi Forest National Park are all in budget, mid-range & luxury settings.
Some of the Accommodation Facilities in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Book a Gorilla Permit
A gorilla permit is an identification that shows that a traveler has been approved either to trek the gorillas or to do gorilla habituation. Gorilla trekking permit is cheaper that gorilla habituation permit. Be sure to choose the right Tour Operator to help you book a gorilla permit in advance.
What Safaris Company should one use?
Be sure to choose a genuine safari company that will offer you a wide range of services that will suit you. They should be able to provide you with suitable transportation and guide your trip perfectly.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park ( Bwindi forest national park) offers a number of safaris packages which one can choose from and be able to have a proper planned trip. A traveler is advised to choose a safaris package of his/her choice so that their bookings, accommodation, movements and activities are planned and organized for them. Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park offers trips that cover both Uganda and Rwanda.
Bwindi forest plays a key role in regulating the outside area’s environment and climate. Bwindi National Park was designated as a national park in 1991 and in 1994, it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site because of its ecological importance and a 10 square kilometer area was incorporated into the park.