Are you looking at watching mountain gorillas in the natural habitat during your holiday in East Africa? Look no further, in east Africa, Uganda, and Rwanda if the real deal for your unmatchable experience. In this piece, we bring you all you wish to know before booking your East African gorilla vacation.
Many tourists have identified east Africa as the base for the thunder of hooves. The great migration safari vacations and travel services enlighten you on other things to include on your travel plan to east Africa.
Gorilla trekking is a once in the lifetime experience for most travelers who come to Uganda and Rwanda and it is not that simple to put together, due to expectations where things fall into places at the last minute. So safari vacations and travel services always advise clients to plan and book in advance a gorilla trek during the peak seasons of June to September and December to February for the best experience.
Top gorilla trekking locations in east Africa are Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga And Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda but you need to plan better your trek in time and you will have all the permits needed at hand even during the high season for Uganda and Rwanda that are best and safest countries for trekking in the natural setting along with the mountain gorillas.
For the love of adventure and experience, you can decide to trek the mountain gorillas in Rwanda in the Virunga Volcanoes Massif and in Uganda in the ancient. RAMSAR site of Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Gorilla trekking safari can start from Entebbe Kampala Uganda or from Rwanda Kigali, either by road or you can take a domestic flight contact safari vacations and travel services for details.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, popular for gorilla trekking in Uganda. The popular and ancient forest which survived the massive plate shift of the earth that created the western rift valley is the most amazing. In the local Bakiga language, Bwindi means a dark, difficult, fearful place, so actually one could say impenetrable forest. In another place of Bwindi, the canopy of the trees is so thick that no light gets through. There is also a large swamp deep in the forest called. “Mubwindi Swamp”. Thankfully the mystical Bwindi impenetrable forest is not so impenetrable and in fact, it is quite accessible and it is the best place to see mountain gorillas in east Africa.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the only place in East Africa with almost half of the world’s wild mountain gorilla in a natural habitat with approximately 550 individuals (last census). Also, a place of tremendous biodiversity rarely found. 310 species of trees 100 species..scious fauns over 310 species of butterflies. 346 identified species of birds. See the checklist that is found in the western rift valley, with other big wildlife like elephants. Antelopes are many others.
The Buhoma region is the less strenuous gorilla tracking area in Bwindi because of its lowest altitude. Making the terrain easily accessible as compared to other trekking locations. the region has the most lodging facilities from budget to luxurious make-ups with splendid views of the incredible forest.
With five habituated gorilla family groups in the Buhoma region of Bwindi; namely the Mubare group, Habinyanja group, Binyindo group, Katwe group, and Rushagura group and actually sometimes some lodges even have a visit from a gorilla group guaranteeing you an added chance of staying in Buhoma region. You can also stay in Buhoma lodges and trek mountain gorillas in the Ruhija region which is the next region with just two hours drive to the gorilla trekking start point.
There are a variety of other activities that happen at Buhoma like village and nature walks, waterfall walks, visiting community hospital and Batwa community experience not forgetting mountain bike rides and all other guided activities.
This Ruhija region is a wide area of the park and if you are trekking a gorilla family group like Kyaguriro group, Ukiza group, Oruzogo group, and Bitukura group. Safari vacations and travel services advise that you stay in any of the lodging facilities in the Ruhija sector unless you would like to take that two-hour drive on the road from Buhoma to Ruhija in order to meet your trekking experience.
The Ruhija area has been a birders destination for a long because with an elevation of 2350m, which is 100m higher than Buhoma and now there are four gorilla family groups that can ably trek. For birders, you need to walk to the Mubwindi Swamp or the bamboo trait which has most of the Albertine endemics in the Bwindi forest
The Rushanga region is located in the upper southern part of the impenetrable forest and has a variety of lodges and the region has the highest number of mountain gorilla family groups namely; Kahungye group, Busingye, Nshongi group, Bweza group, Muchunguzi group, Bushaho group, and Mishaya group. You can as well make birding trips, Batwa experience, and hiking the trails around the area. This makes Bwindi the best place for gorilla trekking Bwindi. You can stay in the area before gorilla trekking or Nkuringo’s side since they are so close to each other. Rushaga region is proximately located from Kigali, Rwanda, and having the highest number of Gorilla permits due to the high number of Gorilla families in Bwindi.
Rushango is the only location where you can spend more time with mountain gorillas with researchers and rangers as they take through the whole gorilla habituation process and this activity is called the Gorilla habituation process which can last for four hours with mountain gorillas.
The Nkuringo region is one of the most dramatic areas of Bwindi forest though it is also an area where you are going to burn calories gorilla trekking more so as you return from the gorilla trek no one complains about this experience of visiting the Nkuringo group and Christmas group is totally worth the efforts.
There is also the top of world walk with stunning panoramic views of the Virunga Volcano Massif, simply amazing and at times you can see the fire and smoke from a volcano in the DRC. All these combined make Bwindi and Uganda the best gorilla trekking places in east Africa.
There are over 80 mountain gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. However, there is one habituated family group that is tracked within the park and one gorilla group that crosses from Rwanda to Bwindi called the SUSA group but its crossing is occasional.
Gorilla permits are available and can be obtained every day from the Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) through a licensed and trusted operator like safari vacations and travel services and can be obtained any time even at the last minute. You can stay between Nkunngo which is the south of Bwindi and Lake Mutanda around KIsoro and Mgahinga has some lodges now from budget to Luxury all for your services.
Volcanoes national park – Rwanda
Rwanda has ten habituated gorilla family groups that can be visited and tracked by the tourists in volcanoes national park that translates eight permits daily availed to the tourists at 1500 per person per trek. The families range in size from the number and your fitness level helps to match you with the gorilla group that is right for you to visit on the day of trekking in Rwanda.
Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is different from Bwindi impenetrable forest in Uganda and all are rewarding equally but Rwanda tracking is on the slopes of the Virunga Massif and in Uganda, in the ancient Bwindi forest the difference makes Uganda and Rwanda the Top locations for gorilla trekking in East Africa.
Gorilla tracking permits in east Africa
Both Uganda and Rwanda other safe and accessible trekking experiences annually and the only difference between Uganda and Rwanda is the price and cost of the permits that is USD 1500 in Rwanda and us too in Uganda.
And if you are planning for Uganda or Rwanda gorilla safari in east Africa. Feel free to contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or Rwanda development board to book your permits. You can book via e-mail or phone call but is advisable to use a tour operator to book your permits like safari vacations and travel services as may require a lot of time to be responded to. But when you use operators, they will travel to head offices and book permits directly with less or no hustle.
It is always recommended for travelers to book gorilla permits in advance like three to four months before the actual gorilla trekking date. Safari vacations and travel services feds you with reliable information and help you arrange a gorilla trekking safari in East Africa.