Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking has become the most attracting activity in Africa especially in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania. Many tourists prefer going to the deep tropical rainforests searching for these endangered gorillas and some even end up doing three times tracking after their experience. In these three countries, trekking is now the leading tourist attraction bringing in visitors from different countries all over the world.
Uganda is known for its unsurpassed biodiversity but gorilla trekking safaris are the most popular and are the prime reason many tourists visit Uganda. Mountain gorillas are scientifically known as Gorilla beringei beringei and in Uganda occupy the thick Tropical rain-forests of Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks found in the south-western corner of the country.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a one-of-a kind activity that leads enthusiastic primate lovers to the dense jungles to meet one of the 21 habituated gorilla families that call Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks home. With more than half the World’s population of surviving mountain gorillas calling these Park’s home, Uganda is definitely the best gorilla trekking destination.
Mgahinga is a home to only one habituated gorilla family known as Nyakagyezi while Bwindi Impenetrable offers shelter to 20 habituated gorilla families found within the four sectors of the Park thus 160 permits are available per day.
The habituated groups you will trek when you visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking safaris are Habinyanja, Mubare, Rushegura, Katwe, Nkuringo, Christmas, Bushaho, Bikingi, Mucunguzi, Kutu, Rwigi, Busingye, Bweza, Kahungye, Nshongi, Mishaya, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguliro and Mukiza. With a valid gorilla permit costing only $700, you will be able to trek the mentioned gorilla families and spend one hour with them.
Cost of gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda are relatively cheaper than in Rwanda and the cost depends on a number of factors that include the transport means chosen, the accommodation facility (whether its budget, midrange or luxury) and the time of the year (wet months are generally low seasons where most safari lodges/hotels offer discounts). However, some costs especially for gorilla permits remain constant at $700 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and Shs 250,000 for East African Community Residents.
What you need to carry for Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda are incomplete without a number of essential things that include a gorilla permit which you need to put first in your bag, gardening gloves that will protect your hands from getting hurt as you hold on tree branches, rain jacket, strong hiking boots with enough grip, toiletries, cameras with extra batteries and enough memory, long sleeved shirt/top, insect repellant, rainproof backpack, energy giving snacks, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, pair of binoculars, long trousers, long cotton socks and finally you will need to hire a porter on the day of trekking.
Best Time for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda are done all year round but gorilla permits are usually on high demand during the dry months of January, February, June, July, August, September and December because most tourists prefer trekking during the dry season when trails are drier and less muddy or slippery.
This however doesn’t mean that the Gorilla trekking destinations are avoided during the wet season but surprisingly, the months of March, April, May, October and November offer easier and faster trekking conditions given the fact that food for the mountain gorillas is in plenty and these primates don’t move to far places.
Where to go for Gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley is home to nearly half of the world’s population of the mountain gorillas. This ancient rainforest is one of the few forests in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age. The national park has 90 mammal species, including 11 primates, of which the black-and-white colobus, with its lovely flowing white tail, is prominent.
In Bwindi National Park, gorilla trekking starts from anyone of its 4 major trekking regions;
- Ruhija sector in the east which comprises of gorilla families such as Mukiza, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Kyaguliro;
- Buhoma region in the north and consists of gorilla groups like Habinyanja, Katwe, Mubare and Rushegura;
- Nkuringo area in the southern part has groups such as Christmas, Nkuringo and Bushaho
- RushagaRegion which has habituated families such as Kutu, Bikingi, Mishaya, Busingye, Kahungye, Rwigi, Bweza, Nshongi and Mucunguzi gorilla group.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is set in the extreme southwestern side of the country about 8-10 hours’ drive from Entebbe or Kampala. The Park covers the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m).
The Park is about 10 km south of Kisoro and is bordered to the south by the Republic of Rwanda and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rules and Regulations of Gorilla trekking in Uganda
- Keep a distance of about 7 meters away from gorillas at all times. Mountain gorillas share about 98 percent of their DNA with humans making them our closest relatives and also to be very susceptible to human infectious diseases.
- Stand still in case the gorilla charges and avoid direct eye contact with gorillas.
- Do not use flashlight camera and in case your camera has, please turn it off before you begin taking photos of these creatures.
- Only persons above 15 years are allowed to trek gorillas.
- Only one hour is given to you to have magical encounter with gorillas.
- Do not go to trek mountain gorillas if you are sick-please cover your mouth in case you are coughing and nose when sneezing.
- Leave the habitat the way you found-in case you wish to help yourself please burry human wastes at 30 centimeters deep.
Gorilla trekking is an amazing adventure you wouldn’t love to miss during Uganda safaris, seeing gorillas in the wild has a different feeling that you can only tell when you meet them your self . It all begins with us, for the best gorilla trekking experiences please book with Mond Safaris Uganda via Email; firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mondsafaris.com for more information.