Katwe Gorilla Group in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest : Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda is a thick, well-endowed and most visited destination for gorilla tracking in Uganda. Mountain gorillas trekking remains unrivalled as far as filling your soul with beautiful memories and experiences is concerned. And one of the gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable is the katwe family. Announced by Uganda wildlife Authority in the year 2018; the Katwe gorilla group became one of the Gorilla groups open for trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park. This came after a three years’ habituation exercise and the high demand for gorilla permits in Uganda. The group resides in Buhoma sector, the oldest and one of the most famous sectors in the northern part of Bwindi national park opened for visitors in 1993. The group’s name; “Katwe” is derived from a hill in the region from which they often feed and were habituated.
Members of Katwe Gorilla Group.
With new births that exit in the group, the total number of Members at the katwe gorilla family is subject to changes. The recent survey indicates 9 members; One dominant silverback, 4 adult females, 3 black backs, and two infants.
The Katwe family feeds on mainly foliage; a meal they get after a search across the jungle. Their diet is composed of fruits, stems, roots, and bamboo shoots. On rare occasions, they feed on insects that help in immune-boosting. The infants are first breastfed by the mothers, before being taught how to pick and feed. It is such an interesting thing to watch the infants imitate their mothers’ eating style, and no one will blame you for smiling or grabbing it on the camera.
The Dos and Don’ts of Gorilla trekking
Gorillas are endangered and vulnerable creatures, and to protect them; guidelines has been set from the start to the end of the trekking exercise. This is often explained to the visitors during the briefing session; first thing very early in the morning at the park headquarters. Before meeting the Gorillas; wash hands, attend the pre trekking briefing, don’t litter the park, no making noise while tracking, creating a new path, and also proper disposal of human waste as instructed by the park ranger.
With the family: stand at least a distance of 7 meters; don’t feed them, keep your voices low, look aside and cough on your elbow if need be, spend only a maximum of one hour with the Gorillas to avoid stressing them, don’t use flashlights while taking photos, and remember all the instructions from the park rangers. After one hour with the Gorillas; Depart the park happily, don’t make raise your voices until up to 7 meters from the apes, and leave the park clean.
Cost of Gorilla trekking
8 trekking permits are available for the Katwe family in Bwindi Impenetrable national park per day. This can be attained through a tour operator, or from Uganda Wildlife Authority headquarters. The permit costs about 700 USD for foreign non-residents,and about 600 USD for foreign residents, and 250,000 shillings for East African Residents. One must be 15 years and above to qualify for a permit valid for only the trekking day.
Other activities done in Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Get immersed into the real authentic African set up while on the soils of the Pearl of Africa. Nature walk s give a great experience as you encounter a natural environment with chances of meeting animals such as baboons, monkeys, and forest pigs, Katwe Gorilla Group in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is luckily the only habitat where the gorilla habituation experience can be had in the whole of Africa. Mountain gorilla habituation is the process whereby the gorillas are taken through a period of getting familiar and comfortable with human presence. The process takes about two years. Tourists can join the conservationists on their daily routines for an encounter of the wild mountain gorillas.
This activity can uniquely be explored in Nkuringo sector. Bird watching is basically done during the nature walks in the presence of the singing birds and different tree species. Some of the commonly seen birds include; Short-tailed warbler, White-tailed blue flycatcher, Garners warbler and African emerald cuckoo to mention a few. Binoculars are highly recommended for clear views of the birds and other features
There are several trails to hike onto in this region. Hiking is done during the gorilla habituation experience, gorilla trekking safari and when determined to reach to the top of water falls found at Rushaga region. Hiking is usually done from the north to Bwindi to the south. Hiking time usually ranges from 5 to 9 hours or less. For those who need challenging hikes, take the Kashasha River Trail that takes about 5 hours. It involves steeper inclines especially if you take the Buhoma route which is 600 meters up at the end of the trail.
Best Time to visit Katwe Gorilla family.
Dry months is the best time to visit this family because they leave deep in the Forest; A hilly region. Trekking on wet months leads to more stress; a situation nobody making memory would wish to leave in. June to September and December to February are dry.
What you need to pack for your gorilla trek
Deciding on what to carry for a gorilla trekking safari is one tricky thing for every traveler; especially for a new traveler. The following should make up your list; good hiking boots to handle the mud, a jacket for the sake of any abrupt rainfall, a good camera for photography, gloves to protect your hands, long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, a hat, binoculars to catch distant creatures, visa, Yellow fever vaccine, negative Covid Test certificate / Vaccination and many more.
This gorilla group is indescribable, a small group composed of very exciting members in their natural habitat, Buhoma sector north of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – southwestern part of Uganda.
How to get to Bwindi impenetrable
Set in the southwest, Bwindi can be accessed by holidaymakers by road or by air. By road, getting to Bwindi National Park can take you 8-10 hours from Kampala and 3-4 hours’ drive when you start from Kigali – Rwanda. By air, flights set off from Entebbe Airport/Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrip