Gorilla Trekking from Queen Elizabeth National Park
Gorilla trekking from Queen Elizabeth National Park is very much possible, with a number if travellers over the years combining their Bwindi gorilla safaris with a wildlife safari tour in the beautiful Queen Elizabeth National Park. Gorilla trekking is a thrilling activity in Uganda’s gorilla parks of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, which involves trekkers hiking through the tropical rainforests searching for the endangered mountain gorillas, and once encountered travellers are allowed only 1 hour with the gorillas. Gorilla trekking is the most sought after tourist activity in Uganda by a number of tourists who do opt to visit Uganda, in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the best place to see gorillas in Uganda. When gorilla trekking in Uganda is mentioned, many travellers think of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south-western Uganda inhabiting well over 430 gorilla individuals, over half the total world population of mountain gorillas with the rest of the population being shared by the three Virunga Massifs Parks. With such a high population of the endangered mountain gorillas inhabiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, there are more habituated gorilla families which travellers can encounter on gorilla trekking safaris in the park.
There are about 19 habituated gorilla families distributed in the four sectors of Bwindi including Buhoma in the north, Nkuringo in the south, Rushaga in the south and Ruhija gorilla sector found in the east of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is these about 19 habituated gorilla families that travellers can trek every day, with only 8 persons trekking a single gorilla group every day. Given there are four gorilla sectors inhabiting gorillas for gorilla trekking, accommodation booking should be done basing on these and after confirming one’s gorilla trekking permit for easy accessibility.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable starts very early in the morning at around 7am with briefing sessions from park officials about what to expect and the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking. Thereafter, you shall be placed in groups of 8 and allocated a gorilla family to trek. Once in the jungles searching for the gorillas, travellers should look out for other wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the plant species which the guides shall point out. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is safe with a number of park rangers in the park to protect both you the traveller and the endangered mountain gorillas and the impenetrable forest. While gorilla trekking, an armed ranger guide is with you, one in front leading the trail with another behind the last person. Once you do encounter the gorillas, you shall spend 1 hour with them, taking in their beauty and magnificence. You can take pictures and make videos for keeps. Thereafter, you shall return to the starting point of the trek and be rewarded with gorilla trekking certificates. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can take 2-6 hours or more depending on the location of the gorillas as well as the terrain.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park requires one to purchase gorilla trekking permits to be allowed to encounter the gorillas. Uganda gorilla permits cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and ugx250000 for East African citizens. A Uganda gorilla trekking permit is much cheaper as compared to Rwanda’s gorilla permit which costs $1500 per person per trek, which can actually be the cost of the total cost of a gorilla safari tour in Uganda. Because the gorilla permits in Uganda are cheaper and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park gives great gorilla trekking experiences, the Uganda gorilla permits do sell out very fast; booking t least 3 months in advance is advised especially for travel during the peak season.
Queen Elizabeth National Park on the other hand is the seconded largest national park of Uganda, and is one of the most visited attractions also located in the south western region of Uganda, traversing the districts of Kasese, Rukunjiri, Kamwenge and Rubirizi. Queen Elizabeth National Park has abundant wildlife spewing from its various vegetation types including the vast savannah plains, which are suitable for game drives to see the amazing wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Prominent wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park that travellers can easily spot include buffaloes, leopards, hippos, elephants, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, warthogs, giant forest hogs, and the famous tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector, among so many others. Primates like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys and vervet monkeys among others can be spotted in Queen Elizabeth National Park especially in the Kyambura Gorge. The birdlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park is also diverse, allowing birding safaris to take place to sight various bird species including but not limited to open billed stork, African shoebill stork, black crake, white tailed lark, black headed gonolek, and the yellow backed weaver. The abundant wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be seen on various activities in the park like;
Game drives: game drives in queen Elizabeth national Park take travellers through well-developed trails say the Kasenyi Plains, in the Ishasha sector, the Mweya peninsular mong others which thrive with wild animals and scenic beauty. Early morning game drives and night game drives re the most rewarding for travellers can see more wildlife before they hide in the shades from the scorching sunshine.
Bot cruise: a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park takes travellers to the scenic and beautiful Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George to Lake Edward. Boat cruises are organised twice daily, in the morning and afternoon each taking about 2 hours, giving travellers another opportunity to see more wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park like hippos and crocodiles in the waters and water birds, as well as elephants, buffaloes and more taking a drink in the fresh water to quench their thirst at the shoreline.
Nature walk: nature walks re a great way to explore the parks and its surroundings. Nature walks are done in the company of armed ranger guides, through clearly well-developed trails.
Lion tracking, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge, birding and so much more are some of the activities in Queen Elizabeth National park that travellers can enjoy sighting various wildlife of the park as well as take in the magnificent beauty of Queen Elizabeth National Park which was visited by even the Queen of England: Queen Elizabeth II.
Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from Queen Elizabeth National Park
Both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park are located in the south western region of Uganda. While in Queen Elizabeth National Park, travellers get to drive from Mweya via the Ishasha sector to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park talking about 3-4 hours of road drive. The drive is very scenic and filled with game viewing opportunities especially the tree climbing lions of the Ishasha sector.
Advantages of gorilla trekking from Queen Elizabeth National Park
More and more travellers are opting to do gorilla trekking from Queen Elizabeth National park, with first arriving in Queen Elizabeth national Park for the amazing wildlife safaris and then connecting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking safaris. This kind of arrangement has travellers not only combing a gorilla safari with a wildlife safari in Uganda but also shortening the long drive from Entebbe or Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The advantages of gorilla trekking from Queen Elizabeth National Park therefore include;
Short distance. Gorilla trekking from Queen Elizabeth National Park creates a short distance to cover when transferring from the park to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It takes only about 3-4 hours of road drive to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National park from Queen Elizabeth National Park, with great views en-route.
Seeing the tree climbing lions. Gorilla trekking Queen Elizabeth National park has travellers driving through the Ishasha sector the home of the tree climbing lions, thereby giving travellers an opportunity to spot them hanging from the acacia trees and nearby anthills.
Gorilla trekking from Queen Elizabeth National Park also gives travellers an opportunity to combine a gorilla trekking safari with a wildlife safari, getting to visit the two top tourist destinations and attractions of Uganda in one go. Cultural and community tourism in both Bwindi Impenetrable and Queen Elizabeth national Parks can be added on your gorilla trekking from Queen Elizabeth national Park safari for a complete Uganda safari experience.