Gorilla Safaris in Uganda
Gorilla Tracking in Uganda is a captivating and unforgettable experience. Gorilla Safaris are done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration on Dec 16 2019, announced an increase in gorilla population to 459 individuals, from 400 at the last census. The overall total of mountain gorillas is now 1,063.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has 12 habituated groups and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has 1 habituated group. There are 8 persons allocated to each gorilla group on a daily basis and the permit is valid for 24 hours. This translates to 104 gorilla trekking permits per day. There are also 2 gorilla research groups for gorilla habituation experience making it a total of 15 gorilla groups in Uganda. A gorilla permit costs USD 600 per person until June 2020, from July 2020 it’s USD 700 per person. A gorilla habituation experience permit is USD 1500 per person for 4-hour viewing.
The gorilla tracking groups are split into regions and these are:
Bwindi Region comprising of Buhoma Region (3 groups), Ruhija Region (3 groups) and Rushaga Region (5 groups), Nkuringo Region (1 group) and Mgahinga Region (1 group) Nyakagezi.
Rushaga has more gorilla families available hence making it the best place to have a gorilla safari in Uganda.
The gorilla parks are located in southwestern Uganda and are accessed by road and air.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is 10 hours’ drive from Entebbe and 1hr 45min flight out of Entebbe and it’s a 4 hours’ drive to Bwindi from Kigali.
It’s a 10 hours’ drive from Entebbe, 1 hr and 10 mins flight out of Entebbe and 3 hours’ drive from Kigali to Mgahinga.
If you are looking for a cost-effective gorilla safari and would prefer travelling for short distance, it is recommended to fly into Kigali to avoid the high internal flight costs to and fro Bwindi or Mgahinga through Entebbe. You can then fly out of Entebbe after visiting other add on parks to your gorilla safari.
The Ultimate Gorilla Trek
After an early breakfast, you transfer to the national park offices where you will be allocated a gorilla family in groups of 8 as well as a gorilla tracking guide. A pre-tracking briefing at 0730hrs about gorilla rules and regulations, your assigned gorilla family as well as appropriate safety precautions is done. Thereafter you drive to the trailhead for the start of a thrilling adventure, the highlight of your safari, an unforgettable encounter with the Gentle Giants!
Expect to walk between 2 to 8 hours in steep and slippery conditions at times with rain overhead, which can be quite challenging. You need to be reasonably fit as the treks depend on how far the families move in search for food and where they were last sighted the day before.
Upon the gorilla sighting, get your cameras ready, deactivate the flash mode though! You will spend 1 hour with these amazing and captivating apes. If 1 hour is not enough, you can always trek twice or have a gorilla habituation experience.
After heading back to the trailhead, you will receive a Gorilla Trekking Certificate, a document given to tourists after successfully trekking mountain gorillas. It will indicate your name, your gorilla group trekked as well as the park and country.
What to carry and wear on your gorilla safari in Uganda.
You need a small backpack for the gorilla trekking, this is where you will pack your water and packed lunch provided by the lodge.
Get comfortable long loose pants to keep bugs away accompanied with long thick socks that you can easily tuck the bottom of pants into.
Long-sleeved thin top as temperatures keep changing from warm to cold during the hikes and a hooded raincoat as chances of a downpour is high.
Good steady hiking boots (no trainers please), it is muddy, wet and slippery most times.
Gardening gloves (optional) but they come in handy for splinters you may get from gripping onto branches or your walking stick.
Insect repellent, wipes are recommended as well. Don’t forget your camera and extra batteries.
Where to stay in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Selecting the right lodges for your gorilla safari depends on the sector for the gorilla trailhead and below are the recommendations.
Buhoma Sector – The Haven Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Mahogany Springs and Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp and Volcanoes Lodge Bwindi.
Ruhijia Sector – Bakiga Lodge and Gorilla Mist Camp
Rushaga Sector – Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge and Chameleon Hill Lodge.
Nkuringo Sector – Nkuringo Safari Lodge and Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Mgahinga Gorilla Park – only one lodge – Mount Gahinga Lodge
Travelers Link Africa offers the best value-priced gorilla safaris in Uganda. We will book your gorilla permit and make accommodation reservations for your gorilla safari.
Our gorilla safaris range from 3 days onwards depending on how much time you prefer to spend in Uganda and your travel expectations.
Book your ultimate gorilla experience in Uganda with Travelers Link Africa. Request for a gorilla safari quote on firstname.lastname@example.org