Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
Uganda is one of the countries in the east where you can see the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, due to the huge decline in the gorilla population Uganda currently has the world’s half population of mountain gorillas estimated to be 450 as of the 2019 gorilla census that took place in the Virunga massif region and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Apart from Uganda, there are only two other national parks in the world where you can see the mountain gorillas, one of the famous ones being the Volcanoes National Park located northwest of the Rwandan capital Kigali and the other destination is the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park which borders Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Though DR Congo has been hit by political problems it has left Uganda and Rwanda as the favorites however you can still take part in DR Congo safaris please contact Us before booking to check the security stability in the Eastern DR Congo.
Where to see Mountain gorillas in Uganda?
Uganda is home to two gorilla national parks one of the famous being Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which offers spectacular gorilla trekking adventures in East Africa with record 18 habituated gorilla families available for tourism all year round.
Safari vacation and Travel services are your pioneers Uganda-Rwanda gorilla tour operator specializing in arranging budget-friendly and Luxury safaris in east Africa to some of the top wildlife destinations.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in south-western Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 450 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.
This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 bird species hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
The neighboring towns of Buhoma located north of the park, Ruhija located in the east, Nkuringo located in the upper south and Rushaga Located in the Lower south both have an impressive range of luxury accommodation, Mid-range accommodation, and budget accommodation, as well as restaurants where you can grab local meals and interact with the local people, craft stalls for perfect African handmade crafts and local bird guiding services. Opportunities abound to discover the local Bakiga and the Batwa pygmies through performances, workshops, and village walks.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name suggests, it was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered Golden monkey that lives in the bamboo zone.
As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivaled.
Mgahinga’s most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes of Mount Gahinga, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo, and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.
All you need to know before booking Uganda gorilla trekking Safari
While planning your Uganda Gorilla Safari it’s important to know what it requires, what to bring and the actual encounter with the mountain gorillas first and this comes handy with which company to book with and at Safari vacation and travel services we guarantee you a trip of Lifetime in Uganda and East Africa
Uganda gorilla trekking permit
Gorilla permits are one of the thoughts of and key essentials while planning for encountering mountain gorillas in Uganda. A gorilla permit is a document that allows visitors to get access to trek gorillas in the defined tracking points. Therefore each visitor is supposed to purchase a gorilla trekking permit either through a trusted local tour operator or through Uganda wildlife authority the regulatory organ set up to issue and help in the conservation of the great apes in the jungle.
More so understanding the price of a gorilla permit is essential on a gorilla trekking guide, therefore the cost of a gorilla permit is $600 and gorilla habituation at $1500 but there has been an increase on the cost of trekking by $100 effective 1st JULY 2020.
Gorilla trekking areas are also part of our safari gorilla trekking guide whereby being knowledgeable about the gorilla trekking destinations with knowledge on the gorilla families is also vital as your planning for your safari, therefore Uganda hosts half of the world’s total mountain gorillas which is 480, 400 occupy the Afromontane area of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and 80 living in Mgahinga gorilla national park. The stated places host approximately 20 habituated gorilla families open for visitors, 19 gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest, and one gorilla family is Mgahinga forest.
The Habituated gorilla families in Bwindi are found in four different sectors namely; the Rushaga sector in the south where there is both gorilla trekking and habituation experience, the Buhoma sector in the north, Ruhija sector in the east, and the Nkuringo sector in the south. The named sectors have different gorilla families that are open to visitors annually with each family visited by a group of 8 individuals per day.
Uganda gorilla trekking fitness
Mountain gorillas occupy high altitude areas of between 1160m-2607m above sea level. different Gorilla families/ groups require different fitness levels at times, some gorilla groups/families are easier to take, if you are not very fit, or old age, we advise you to go tracking in Rwanda, in Rwanda all gorilla tracking visitors leave from the same point, where rangers will select easier and more difficult tracking according to your fitness level. Therefore you have to be prepared for anything on your trekking safari as part of your gorilla trekking guide.
What to wear on your gorilla trekking experience?
Gorilla trekking guide as well provides you with precautions upon which equipment and best dress code for your safari which can give you enough comfort on your trip.
We, therefore, recommend travelers to wear eco-friendly colored clothing such as grey, brown which are not so bright, strong waterproof and comfortable hiking boots fitting enough to enhance the movement on wet and slippery grounds, carry a rain jacket whether it’s raining or not If you are traveling during the low season, a rain jacket is a must-have, Also, gardening gloves protect your hand no be hurt when you grab forest trees and bushes for support in steep hikes, Remember to carry and apply insect repellents to prevent against insect bites some of which can be dangerous. Long pants and trousers are as well recommended not forgetting long-sleeved shirts/ blouses which offer protection to arms from scratches of thorny bushes, bites by mosquitos, and other forest insects. Also, the long-sleeved shirts keep you warm in cool forests and as well hats to protect you from direct sunlight or rain thus protecting your head.
When to book the Uganda gorilla tour?
With the limited number of gorilla permits sold everyday travelers are advised to book their gorilla permits at least 3 months in advance but being a specialist in Uganda Gorilla Safaris, you can still contact Safari vacation and Travel services for last-minute gorilla tours.
How to get to Bwindi or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks?
How to get there is one of the essential parts of planning your safari to Uganda to see the mountain gorillas in the countries two forests of Mgahinga and Bwindi both located southwestern Uganda.
Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national parks are located about 9-10 hours from the main business center Kampala and the international airport in Entebbe and 4 hours from the main capital Kigali via Katuna border before proceeding through the shores of Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale town and about 5 hours via Cyanika border and using 4×4 safari vehicles.
Travelers can take advantage of the scheduled flights operated by a domestic airliner the Aerolink which operates daily flights to Kihihi airstrip for clients trekking in the north and east of Bwindi and also wanting to visit Queen Elizabeth national park for the specious tree-climbing lions and Kisoro airstrip for clients trekking in the south and wanting to explore Lake Mutanda and trek the chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park or enjoy a walking safari in Lake Mburo national park after gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi Forest.
Best time for Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Uganda has two seasons of the year with annual temperatures of about 26 degrees Celsius and thus seasons vary whereby the rainy season is from March till May and October till November. Light rain season falls in November and December. Dry seasons are from December to February and June to August. Gorilla trekking experience is done annually but however the best time, the best months of the year would be December to late February and from June to September where the area is less muddy and less slippery on hikes while tracking the gorillas in the jungle but never the less hiking during the wet season is as well adventurous especially to visitors who are physically fit for the trails.