Uganda Gorilla Trekking

GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA

Gorilla trekking is an activity that gives the trackers an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the great beautiful and giant mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorillas live in a group called a troop which is headed by the male dominant silver back. These endangered species are so interesting and exciting to see while in their natural habitat.

To engage in the gorilla trekking activity in Uganda, you must have a gorilla permit. The permit was increased from $600 to $700 for foreign non residents (FNR) and $500 to $600 for Foreign residents (FR) effective 1st July 2020. East African residents pay UGX 250,000. The permit can be booked through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or your esteemed tour operator Engagi Safaris.

Uganda has ten national parks and 12 national reserves, gorillas can  only be found in two national parks, bwindi impenetrable national park and mgahinga National Park, which are all located in south western Uganda. Besides Uganda,  gorillas also found in the volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Congo.

What to carry when going for gorilla trekking .

 Packed lunch, walking stick, insect repellent, cameras, binoculars and a porter for tourists who cannot manage to carry their luggage can hire porters to carry luggage for them at a certain fee.

What to wear when going for gorilla trekking.

Comfortable hiking boots, long sleeved shirts/blouses, long trousers, jackets, hats, gloves,  and  sun glasses

Rules and regulation to follow before and during gorilla trekking

Before:

  • Do not visit the gorillas if you have a cold or other infectious illness.
  • Human waste should be buried 30 cm deep
  • Minimum tracking age is 15 years above
  • Maximum number of visitors is eight persons per gorilla group.

During:

  • Maintain a 7 m distance from the gorillas
  • Smoking , eating and drinking are not permitted during the trek.
  • If you must sneeze or cough cover your face or turn away from the gorillas, as they can catch coughs annd colds from humans.
  • Visits are limited to one hour per gorilla group per day.
  • Do not use flash photography.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park.

Bwindi national park is one of the two national parks that accommodates the biggest percentage of the great giants, about 600 gorilla almost half of the world’s population. It is located in south western Uganda covering 2 districts; Kanungu and Kabale. 8h 25min approximately 456.8 km from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. 4×4 Wheel drive vehicles are used since the roads are not step and marrum. The  is endowed with glamorous flora and fauna. It was declared as a national park in 1991 and a world’s heritage site  by the United Nations educational scientific and cultural organisation by 1994. 

Bwindi is divided into sectors where you can choose to track a particular gorilla family  these include, Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo and  Rushaga.

               RUHIJA; – It’s located in the eastern part of  Bwindi, and a home to three endangered gorilla families; 

Bitukura , Kyaguriro , Oruzogo. 

Other activities in this sector includes, community tours, the Batwa community experience, nature walk, bird watching. Tour to this beautiful sector will give you tremendous experience in Ruhija because it’s full of fun and adventurous.

Accommodations in this sector include; Silver back lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Ruhija gorilla lodge just to mention a few.

             NKURINGO; – It’s  one of the best destinations for gorilla tracking in Uganda because of the fact that it accommodates a good number of gorilla its located in the southern part of bwindi 10 km from buhoma to the kisoro district. There are other activities in the area like nature walks, bird watching community walk which can be combined with gorilla trekking.

Accommodation where you will get great experiences while tracking in nkuringo include, Nkuringo gorilla camp, Nkuringo gorilla lodge and, Hammerkop bunkhouse just to mention but a few. 

             BUHOMA; – , This is located in the north part of the bwindi impenetrable national park, It is the most visited sector because of its terrain which eases the trek. It has the first gorilla family  Mubare that was habituated in 1992 other families are habinyanja and rushegura. There are also other activities  done in the area which  include, bird watching, community walks, nature walk, batwa trails, camping.

Accommodations: Engagi safaris Lodge, Buhoma Lodge,  Bwindi Forest Lodge, Buhoma community rest camp, Sanctuary gorilla forest camp, Lake Kitandara bwindi camp.

             RUSHAGA; – It is located in  the southern part of bwindi. It has four gorilla families; Nsongi, mishaya, kahungye and busingye.Other activities done while here include; gorilla habituation experience, birding, nature walks, cultural encounter.

Accommodation facilities include: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla lodge, Rushaga gorilla haven, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Clouds Lodge.

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

 Mgahinga is also another beautiful gorilla park situated in the south western part of Uganda, Kisoro district. It is also known as where silver meets gold, it’s a place where you get a chance to see the gorillas and golden monkeys at the same time. The park is part of the Great Virunga Conservation Area which covers Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo along with the volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. It was created in 1991 and it covers an area of 33.7sq km {13.1 sq. mi} surrounded by 3 dormant volcanoes ;mount Mgahinga, sabinyo and muhabura. Lying on an altitude ranging from 2227 to 4127m, Its vegetation comprises of bamboo, albertine rift montane forest, montane moorland. The climate is favorable it  experiences two rainy seasons in February and may.,

 Mgahinga has one habituated gorilla group Nyakagezi consisting of 9 family members; 4 silverbacks, 2 infants, 2 adults females, 1 juvenile, this family is headed by a dominant silver back called Mark who took over power from his father bujingo. Mathew, Mafia, Nyiramwiza, nshuti, bujingo, rukundo, mutagamba and nkanda,

How to Access Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

540km distance using roard transport from Kampala to mbarara via masaka then to kanungu via rukungiri then kisoro.

By air there are available chartered flight from Entebbe International Airport/kajansi Airstip  to kisoro airstrip, then travel by road to the park headquarters which takes about 2hrs and 30 mins. 

Other activities done in the park include; hiking mount Mgahinga, sabinyo, muhabura which gives an interesting experience ,bird watching, Golden monkey tracking, Batwa trail, and community walk.

Accommodation facilities in and around the park: Mgahinga gorilla lodge, traveler’s rest hotel, amajembere iwacu community camp, golden monkey guest house, Muhabura motel and mt. Muhabura climbers rest camp

 

Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity with the great and beautiful giants. For reservations and bookings just contact us to get the best fun filled guided experience in Bwindi impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. You can also book a double trekking safari in the two parks and get a double experience of the gorillas.