Guide to Uganda Gorilla Safari- Gorilla trekking 2017/2018
The main reason for many travelers visiting Uganda is to track the famous mountain gorillas, but though this is an undeniably wonderful experience, there is a great deal more to the country and it is well worth spending a few extra days to experience it all. A couple of days of gorilla tracking is ideal and can easily be combined with some time in kalinzu forest reserve for chimpanzee tracking.
Gorilla trekking adventures are some of the most adventurous tours you could ever take in Africa mainly visiting the three destinations that are home to the mountain gorillas as its well known that gorilla trekking is done in Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic republic of congo.
In Uganda, gorilla trekking is done in bwindi impenetrable forest, Mgahinga National Park all located in south western Uganda. Uganda Safaris cant be complete without seeing the big five and primates in the jungles that include chimpanzee and gorilla trekking. Close to 480 of the world’s mountain gorilla population is found in the virungas, the rest are found in Bwindi impenetrable forest .
it should be clearly noted that Uganda’s bwindi forest national park has more gorilla families and groups compared the volcanoes national park Rwanda.
There are 16 gorilla groups in Uganda’s national parks of Bwindi & Mgahinga where be Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park has 15 Gorilla Groups and Mgahinga has 1 gorilla group. These a habituated gorilla families that have been trained to tolerate human present making organized gorilla trekking possible and safe and this makes the entire experience as simply magical and definitely an adventure tour you can never forget.
Even if the gorilla trekking activity can be done throughout the year , the best time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda is during the drier months of June-September and December -February. Although rain in these parts of national Parks can fall at anytime of the year, these particular periods are drier than the rest of the year.
Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park is divided into four sections which is among the determinant of the gorilla group your likely to visit during the gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda on a Uganda Safari with Reliable Tour operator.
Buhoma section : This sections sits on the lowest altitude within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Additionally, it’s a less demanding gorilla trekking as it has a lot of safari lodges and hotels ranging from low budget to high-class facilities offering a beautiful view of the forest. Occasionally, some gorilla families visit some of the lodges like the Bwindi lodge. The region is a habitat to 4 habituated gorilla families/groups, and among them are the Mubare Group, the Rushegura Group and the Habinyanja Group. Buhoma has numerous extra activities like Nature walks.
Ruhija Section: in this area within the park you will track gorilla gropus like the Bitukura Group and the recently established Oruzogo Group, and will provide you with a variety of accommodation ranging from up-Market to low budget facilities. Ruhijja stands at a height of 2,350 meters, 1,000 meters above Buhoma. The Ruhija area for ages has been a favorite sport for bird watchers, and additionally at present day it has 2 Gorilla groups to track. Further more you can participate in a village walk just like on taken in Buhoma and offer support to the adjacent local communities, or take bird-watching walks, or visit the water falls.
Rushaga Section: this is found in the southern regions of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It is a newly developed establishment with expensive and low budget facilities for you. The Rushaga Area is a haven for the the Nshongi and Mishaya groups. The silverback Mishaya which separated from the Nshongi family and established its own family is the leader of the Mishaya group. The Nshongi family was an element in the “Friend a Gorilla” promotion that was recently launched and the was well attended by a number of celebrities.
Nkuringo Section: is one among the most spectacular places in the Bwindi Forest and it is an area where you will be able to burn down some calories as you trek the steep slope to track down the resident gorillas. The tedious trekking effort is well paid off by the wonderful experience you will have as you encounter the new gorilla family; Kahungye, and the Nkuringo family. The area has top- status accommodation facilities as well as moderately low budget facilities. Additional activities include a village walk that will enable you taste the locally-brewed sorghum “beer”, and the local foods together with interacting with the natives, trek to the top of the Virunga mountains to enjoy the wonderful view, and you may be lucky enough to view fire or smoke from one of the volcanoes in Congo. All these wonderful ventures will certainly make the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest the finest place to do gorilla trek in Africa.
Gorilla tracking is the main activity here in Uganda and its among the most expensive safari activity in the Ugandan tourism industry as the gorilla trekking permit costs USD 600 during the peak season and $ 450 during the low season but Still, it is worth it.
Which gorilla family should i select to visit on Gorilla trekking
There are several different groups of gorilla’s as the bwindi is divided into different sections. Inform yourself which of the groups are normally quiet close to the camp and which more far away. For the groups close to the camp is it normally quiet easy to get permits, the further away ones are more popular due to the nice walk through the rain forest. Tracking can take from anywhere between 15 minutes to a full day, depending on where the gorillas are.
They move often and far – one group of tourists can be back at the UWA camp within two hours on one day, while they next day, tracking the same group of gorillas can keep you walking until night falls. There is no way to say how easy or difficult it will be – elderly people should carefully consider how fit they are and how long they are willing to hike and climb: paths can be so steep you have to hold on to bushes and grass to prevent you from slipping, and climbing a hill can require hands and feet. There are no ‘exits’ while trekking, no shortcuts back home. Beware that refunds are only given in extraordinary circumstances (no gorillas seen, which is unusual), and are only partial refunds.
Which safari company to book with a gorilla trekking safari.
This is a difficult problem as how do you know which operators/ safari company offers great services to travelers by booking gorilla permit to Uganda or Rwanda for a gorilla trekking safari? There is no simple answer to this except to say that if an operator is charging significantly less than others then this is a sure sign that the service may be low standard as the price for the gorilla permit only is $$ 600 per person and then think of adding on the transportation and check even on the hotel website they might have mentioned in the travel plan to see if the services is nice , clean and recommended .
If you are concerned, we always recommend asking an operator directly about their gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda or Rwanda. You’ll usually get a good idea from the answer you receive, whether it be an open answer or a cagey one, although you will pay slightly more for this piece of mind. Click here for our recommended operator.