A complete guide to gorilla trekking in Uganda ; Gorilla trekking is an interesting and extraordinary activity that involves tourists moving on foot into the tropical rainforest in search of the habituated mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their environment. Gorilla trekking is one of the most popular activities that attracts big numbers of people to travel to Uganda and its done in two national parks that is Bwindi impenetrable national park which harbours the highest number of gorillas and Mgahinga gorilla national park both located in south western region. In order for one to have a successful gorilla trekking safari, they ought to follow a complete guide to gorilla trekking in uganda. Apart from Uganda, gorilla trekking is also done in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park and kahuzi biega national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Below is a complete guide to gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking experience in Uganda
Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of one habituated gorilla family while Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of over 22 habituated gorilla families which are found in four sectors namely rushaga sector in the south, buhoma sector in the north, nkuringo sector in the south and ruhija sector in the east. Gorilla trekking in both Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park starts very early in the morning at around 8:00am with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing, you will be subdivided into groups of 8 people where each group will be allocated a habituated gorilla family to trek and an experienced park guide who is well conversant with the trails in the jungle. Trekking of mountain gorillas in Uganda takes about 2 to 7 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking, you will be able to view other primate species, birds, plant and tree species among others and once the mountain gorillas are found, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their behaviours, habits, watch them carry out their daily activities, take photos and record the beautiful moments to show people back home.
Cost of gorilla trekking permits in Uganda
Gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park cost 700 USD per person for foreign non residents, 600 USD per person for foreign residents and 250,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.
How to book gorilla trekking permits in Uganda
Gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park can be booked through Achieve Global Safaris a trusted tour operator where you will contact us with the date, month, year and gorilla destination that you wish to visit. After contacting us, we will check for permit availability through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and if there are permits available, you will be asked to make a deposit. Once the payment has been made, we will be able to purchase the gorilla trekking permit on your behalf and send you a scanned copy of the receipt as confirmation.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park can be done all year round though the best time is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February because during this period there is less or little rainfall in the national parks therefore access roads and gorilla trekking trails will be passable which makes trekking easy compared to the rainy season when the trekking trails are muddy and slippery hence making gorilla trekking difficult.
What to pack/carry for your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda
When going on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, there are various essential items that travellers should pack or carry including insect repellent, hiking shoes, long sleeved shirt and trouser, garden gloves, waterproof rain jacket/poncho, energy snacks and drinking water, camera and extra batteries, face masks, warm sweater, a pair of binoculars, walking stick, a hat and sunglasses, back pack among other.
Where to stay during your gorilla trekking safari
There are a wide range of accommodation facilities in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park where you can stay during your safari. The accommodations range from budget, midrange and luxury including Buhoma Lodge, Buhoma Haven Lodge, Gorilla Leisure Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Haven Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, Bakiga Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Trackers Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Gorilla Closeup Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Rafiki Safari Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort, Silverback Lodge, Lake Mulehe Lodge, Lake Chahafi Resort, Bwindi View Lodge, Gorilla Bluff Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Engagi Lodge, Gahinga Lodge, Ruhija Safari Lodge, Bweza Lodge among others.
How to get to the gorilla trekking destinations
Both Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park are located in south western part of Uganda and can be accessed by air transport means where you will book charter or scheduled domestic flights with Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe international airport to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrips and then connect to either Bwindi impenetrable national park or Mgahinga gorilla national park by road.
Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park can also be accessed by road transport means where you will drive from Kampala/ Entebbe via masaka, Mbarara, Kabale and then to the park headquarters which takes 9 to 10 hours’ drive in a safari vehicle.
You can as well access Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park from Kigali Rwanda where travellers will fly to Kigali international airport and then connect to Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park via katuna border in Kabale or cyanika border in Kisoro which takes about 4 to 5 hours’ drive.