How many Mountains gorillas are there in the wild?
According to the 2019 gorilla census in the Virunga massif, over 1050 mountain gorilla are living the wild in one of the east dense rainforests in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
What to expect on a gorilla trek in Uganda?
In an honest opinion, gorilla trekking is physical and this is due to the habitat where mountain gorillas live, which is usually steep hills and deep valleys and that’s why they are called the Mountain gorillas, though depending on where the gorillas are some days can be easier only if the mountain gorillas are near trailheads and our experts will advise on where to go if you have issues with physical fitness contact Great adventure safaris for updated information about the current state of gorilla trekking in Uganda
Impact of Gorilla trekking in Uganda
It’s important to note that the national parks are property of the government of Uganda and all funds generated from tourism goes back to the national budget which is then budgeted for the whole country however a 10% is given to the communities neighboring the National parks
- 10% gorilla permits fee goes to the community
Each permit tourist purchases a 10 % deduction directly goes to the account of the community which is used to develop community project like clean water, hospitals and schools within the communities bordering the park
Many travellers that come to Uganda for gorilla trekking end up supporting school kids through sponsor kids and usually an annual sponsorship goes for about 500$ for more information about sponsorships contact us today
Most Lodge staff tent to come from the neighboring communities and through gorilla tourism, many lodges have come up along the edge of the Bwindi forest employing about 70% of the total labour force in Lodges
During gorillas trekking in Uganda, clients are advised to hire porters who usually come from the community and a fee of 20-30 is charged and paid directly to the porter who supports his family through paying school fees and providing family needs
There are many NGO around the gorilla trekking areas and some of them provide support services to the community mainly the orphans who have lost their parents through AIDS however contact Great adventure safaris for how to donate in Bwindi
The actual encounter with mountain gorillas of Uganda
Coming face to face with mountain gorillas in the wild is once in a lifetime experience that many people dream about, your day starts with a wakeup call in the dark with locally brewed coffee or tea, then that is followed by dressing code for gorilla trekking before heading in for full breakfast, after breakfast you will transfer to the park headquarters for gorilla briefing and this is key to the actual build-up of the gorilla trekking day
After gorilla briefing, you will be split into smaller units of 8 people per gorilla family after you will set off for the trek and the trek will depend on the location of the mountain gorillas upon arrival near the gorillas you will take your last sip of water and snack before viewing the mountain gorillas for 1 hour
Flash photography is not allowed as the gorillas translate it as fire and this can force the gorillas to charge and this can endanger your life and others so please don’t use flash photography
How long is the mountain gorilla trek Uganda?
Gorilla trekking is regarded as a full day activity however the times range between 2 hours to 9 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas are located so travelers need to be fit to take on gorilla trekking
Gorilla Permits in Uganda
Visitors are advised to purchase gorilla permits way in advance as there are limited gorilla permits and they are only guaranteed after payment and Uganda gorilla permits cost USD 700$, Resident citizens USD 600$ and east African residents go for USD 80$ and Ugandans pay USD 80$
Uganda Gorilla Trekking tour Prices
Uganda gorilla trekking tour prices are largely dependent on the means of transport and accommodation selection a budget gorilla trekking tour can go from 1400-2000 per person depending on the number of travellers and luxury Uganda gorilla trekking tour ranges from 2500-5000 USD depending on the number of travellers, however, contact Great adventure safaris for a tailor-made tour package and safari price
Refunds/Cancellations of Gorilla Permits in Uganda
Uganda gorilla permits can be refundable based on the state of the cancellation and the refund is not done by Great adventure safaris instead it’s done by Uganda wildlife Authority however contact us today on how the refunds are given
Age Restrictions for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Africa
Gorilla permits are issued to travelers of 15 years and above and they have submitted their travel documents like passport upon booking the gorilla permits however if the travelers are lower than 15 years but physically fit and energetic the parents can write an acknowledgement letter through Great adventure safaris which we will submit for permission from the Uganda wildlife authority
What to pack for a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda Africa?
What to pack for gorilla trekking is very important for how your day can be while trekking in the jungles and below is what you to bring along
The bag pack should have enough space to take in 2 litres of water, packed lunch, camera gear and rain jacket
- Long-sleeved nature-friendly shirt
Travelers should try and pack a dull coloured shirt or safari kaki as they blend well with nature and this is considered nature-friendly colour and it should belong sleeves as their stinging nettles and thorny bushes
Photographing Mountain gorillas in Uganda
Photographing mountain gorillas can be tricky and travellers should bring both short and long camera lenses with enough spear battery and memory card as these are hard to find in the rural parts of Uganda
In terms of the distance, you will be less than 7 meters from the gorilla family members and the green vegetation and the shady jungle trees bring in the darkness making it worth a job to get the light for photographing the gorillas
Tip: Aim for the faces of the mountain gorillas
Where to stay in Bwindi impenetrable national park?
There are many travel accommodation options near the Bwindi impenetrable national park and here are our peak lodges
Luxury option-Chameleon hill lodge or Buhoma lodge
Mid-range option-Ichumbi gorilla lodge or Buhoma havens lodge
Where to stay in Mgahinga gorilla national park?
With limited gorilla families in Mgahinga gorilla national park, there are limited accommodation options however clients in Lake Mutanda and drive to Mgahinga for gorilla trekking
Luxury options –MT Gahinga lodge
Mid-range options-Lake Mutanda resort
How to get to Bwindi impenetrable national park?
There are two ways you can travel to Bwindi impenetrable national park below are the options
Bwindi has located 470 km from the main capital Kampala and Entebbe the drive takes 9-10 hours and we recommend using a 4×4 safari vehicle via the Equator line but the best options are to fly into the Rwandan capital Kigali and drive 5 hours to Bwindi impenetrable national park
There are scheduled flights from Entebbe to either Kihihi for clients tracking gorillas in Buhoma or Ruhija and Kisoro for travellers tracking in Rushaga and Nkuringo respectively
How to get to Mgahinga gorilla national park?
Mgahinga is located at the border with Rwanda and DR Congo and it’s accessible from Uganda or Rwanda
The easiest way to get to Mgahinga gorilla national is to fly into Kigali international airport and take a 5-hour drive via Cyanika border and travellers in Entebbe and Kampala can take the 10-hour tarmac road transfer to the park headquarters
There are morning scheduled flights from Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airstrip and a transfer of 30 minutes to the park headquarters is arranged with our guide
Best time to visit Uganda for Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla tracking is regarded as all year activity but the best time is usually during the dry season from June to September and from December to February when the walking trails are tried and hiking is easier unlike March to Early May and Late September to end of November are rainy seasons and the trails are wet making hiking typically harder however it’s the best time for game viewing in Uganda as it is regarded as the green season
If you are interested in witnessing one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth, the Great wildebeest migration which involves millions of wildebeest and thousands of Zebras that migrate with the Masai mara and Serengeti Eco System, it is perfect to combine it with Gorilla trekking in July-August with the great migration.
Recommended Gorilla trekking safaris to Bwindi forest in Uganda