The Gorilla is the largest primate in the world not found in any Zoo but only in the heart of Africa. If you’re feeling adventurous take on a gorilla trekking safari to Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and wind your way around the tropical rain forests. During the trek, you will learn about gorillas and the natural forests they inhabit. You will learn about conservation, challenges and pitfalls ahead. Interact the locals and get their own side of the story. Learn about the important and fascinating work different Government and Non Governmental Organisations are undertaking in Africa.
Venturing further into the tropical forests of Africa, you will come across a stunning kingdom of apes. Here you will see the majestic gorillas in their natural habitat and the different flora and fauna that is found in the areas visited.
An informative local guide will lead the way into the gorilla kingdom. Exploring the forest further you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the endangered gorillas as they move around their home.
Planning a Gorilla Trekking Tour
Where to Go
What to See and Where
Tips & Advice
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Uganda is a home to over half of the Mountain Gorillas in the world. The estimated population of the endangered mountain gorillas is about 480 individuals. Gorilla tracking is Uganda’s number one attraction and the major activity carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National parks.
With many people getting interested in gorilla tracking, there are several ecotourism measures that have been put in place to protect the gorilla habitat. Gorilla tracking is conducted within the habituated gorilla families in the four sectors of Bwindi; Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija and Rushaga. All these are interesting places where you can go gorilla tracking. On a gorilla safari in Uganda, you will spend up to 1 hour with a mountain gorilla family and there are two gorilla groups that have been set aside for a 4 hour experience with the mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest. All families have unique behaviors and characteristics, if you have enough time and resources you can track more than one group during your trip.
Within the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, there is only one group of Gorillas (Nyakagezi group). The tracking starts in the morning with well- informed and knowledgeable professional guides or park rangers to provide information to the trackers. You can also spend 4 hours with a gorilla family on an all-day trek during the Gorilla Habituation Experience costing 1,500 USD.
Gorilla Tourism Rules
A maximum of 8 people are allowed to track each gorilla family at any given time in order to conserve their natural habitat and keep them safe from infections. The duration of the trek depends on the family allocated in each sector. Tracking requires a permit to each person interested in the activity. Permits are purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority and a prior booking is highly recommended before the tracking day, each permit costs $600. The activity requires physical fitness since it is a bit tiresome when moving in the forest, steep slops and valleys. More so the length of tracking depends on the location of the Mountain Gorillas simply because they always move in search for food like any other living mammals.
Equipment needed for tracking include; light clothes, water proof cameras, packed lunch, enough drinking water, surgical masks for wearing while in the presence of gorillas. While participating in this activity in the forest, you will hear the sound of birds, monkeys and other mammals.
The best time to trek Mountain Gorillas
There has been an ongoing debate on what is the best time to trek or track the gorillas in Uganda. Many arguments and opinions have been voiced in different avenues including online forums like trip advisor, lonely planet among others. The fact is that be tracked throughout the year and the clients almost get the same satisfaction. This is so because the clients tend to avoid rainy season forgetting that Bwindi impenetrable National Park is located in an equatorial forest where chances of rain are very high daily.
The mountain gorillas that are among the most endangered species on planet earth are also located in bwindi impenetrable National Park and the Virunga range that are shared amongst three countries like Uganda, DRC and Rwanda. Since these primates are highly endangered, the clients pay highly to see or trek them. Because of the current price of the gorilla permits at $1500 in Rwanda and $600 in Uganda, the clients would love to maximize their experience when it comes to gorilla trekking and the best time to visit them.
Uganda being crossed by the equator has a modified equatorial climate with two rainy seasons and because of this people tend to associate these rainy seasons with the best times to trek gorillas. This is also true when it’s raining, it becomes hard to hike and trek in the impenetrable forest because of the heavy rains that make the trails too slippery. Some of the gorilla families need to drive for some time to reach at the beginning of the trail heads and because of this, if you don’t have a four wheel drive vehicle you might not make it to the gorillas. Besides that, vegetation tend to grow something that reduces chances of proper visibility and photography. All the above combined, the best time to visit the gorillas is to avoid the most rain seasons in Uganda.
This means that the best time is in June, July, August , September and part of October but because of the global warming even becoming hard to predict when it’s going to rain or not. You might also contact us in case of information about the best time to visit Uganda.