GUIDE TO GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA

Travelers are more likely than ever to choose gorilla trekking in Uganda as the highlight of their eagerly awaited Africa safari tour. Mountain gorillas are an endangered species of primate that can only be found in four places: the mountainous and rain forest regions of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Virunga National Park, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Therefore, gorilla trekking is an activity that entails tourists hiking through thick forest cover in search of the gorillas. As previously mentioned, one of the most amazing and fascinating things that tourists can do while on a Uganda safari tour is gorilla trekking in Uganda.

Where can I trek mountain gorillas in Uganda? 

Mountain Gorilla trekking tour can be done in the celebrated Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is undoubtedly the first place that comes to mind when the subject of gorilla trekking is brought up. Of all the tourist activities offered in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, gorilla trekking is the one that attracts the most visitors. Travelers can go gorilla trekking in Bwindi, which entails hiking through the park’s jungles searching for the critically endangered mountain gorillas surviving there. Mountain gorillas live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its rich biodiversity.

Bwindi impenetrable forest hosts over half of the mountain gorilla population in the world, where tourists can trek mountain gorillas on their primate safari and get up close with 19 habituated mountain gorilla families in any of the park’s four gorilla sectors, including Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Ruhija. One of the best and most sought-after gorilla families for travelers to visit for a gorilla trekking encounter is the Mubare gorilla family, which was the first habituated gorilla family in Uganda. This gorilla family can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park 

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park comes to travelers’ minds when talking about gorilla trekking. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park protects the Nyakagezi gorilla family, which is the only fully habituated gorilla family in the park, and tourists who go gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park have the chance to meet them. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is smaller, covering only 33.7 square kilometers. The only difference between Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is that Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers some degree of privacy and exclusivity to visitors, particularly during the peak season. Gorilla trekking is best done from June through September and from December to February.

What to bring when trekking with gorillas in Uganda?

It is advised for travelers to only bring the essentials. Weight restrictions do apply for passengers connecting from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrips, but if you’re taking a Uganda safari that includes flying gorilla trekking, your tour operator can help with getting your luggage from the airport to your lodging in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. You can pack waterproof hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts and pants, a rain jacket or poncho, socks, a hat, garden gloves, insect repellent creams, sunglasses, and sunscreen are just a few examples of what to wear when going on an adventure with gorillas. A hiking stick and other necessary gorilla trekking equipment may be provided at your lodge.

How Much Does a Gorilla Trekking Permit Cost? 

The cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is only UGX250000 for East African citizens, $700 for foreign non-residents, and $600 for foreign residents. The cost of the Uganda gorilla trekking permit is per person, per day, with a one-hour maximum visitation time with the gorillas.

Travelers arrive at the park’s starting points as early as 7 a.m. to begin their gorilla habituation experience. After that, visitors attend a briefing where park rangers tell you about the various guidelines that must be followed while gorilla trekking as well as what to anticipate. After that, trekkers are divided into groups of eight, given a gorilla family to visit, and then start their actual gorilla trekking adventure. While on the gorilla trekking adventure, keep an eye out for other animals and park features. When you do come across mountain gorillas, take your time admiring their beauty for no longer than an hour before returning to the park’s main office by foot. Uganda only allows people over 15 to go gorilla trekking.

When is the best time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda? 

Due to the climate and the nation’s proximity to the equator, Uganda is a year-round safari destination. The best time to go gorilla trekking is during the dry season, even though the country still experiences both the rainy and dry seasons. The misty mountainous rainforests of Uganda, which are home to gorillas, receive rainfall throughout the year, so even during the dry season, rain may still occur, albeit less frequently and intensely than during the wet season.

However, there are some sunny days during the wet season in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Most mornings are sunny, and rain typically doesn’t start until later in the afternoon, giving visitors plenty of time to take part in gorilla activities like gorilla habituation experiences and other activities. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the dry season coincides with the busiest travel period, which causes Uganda gorilla permits to sell out more quickly. It is crucial to make reservations in advance to ensure that you get your preferred gorilla trekking date.

Tourists should go gorilla trekking because it is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime safari experience in Africa. A mountain gorilla trekking Uganda safari can be combined with a number of other incredible destinations, including Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Kibale Forest National Park for chimpanzee tracking, among so many other attractions and activities that Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, has to offer.