Gorilla Trekking Uganda

Gorilla trekking Uganda

Gorilla trekking Uganda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a life changing journey to see the incredible and endangered mountain gorillas only found in the rainforests of East Africa on the slopes of Central Africa on the slopes of Virunga Mountains and in Bwindi impenetrable National Park.

According to travelers who have visited Uganda for gorilla trekking, they say no other wildlife encounter in the Africa compares to coming face to face with mountain gorillas in their natural setting. Mountain gorillas are found in two populations that is in the Virunga Conservation Area comprising of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Virunga National Park in DR.Congo and Volcanoes national Park in Rwanda and Bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda which hosts the biggest gorilla population in the whole world.

Uganda is arguably the best gorilla trekking destination, this article offers you a guide to gorilla trekking in Uganda.

Where can I see mountain gorillas in Uganda?

Uganda has two gorilla trekking destinations where you can see mountain gorillas that are Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park both found in the South western region of the country.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi impenetrable national park is the best destination to see mountain gorillas in Uganda as it hosts half of the world’s total population, Bwindi is a prehistoric, Montane and lowland forest spanning 131 square kilometers with 4 gorilla trekking sectors that are Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija and Nkuringo.

Bwindi impenetrable National Park and its jungle are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its incredible biodiversity and many endangered species inhabiting in its protected boundaries.

Mgahiga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the second gorilla park in Uganda with a size of 33.7 square kilometers, Mgahinga is an extension of the more extensive Virunga habitat stretching 168 square miles into Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park comprises of 3 of the 8 major Virunga Volcanoes including MOUNT Gahinga, Mount Muhabura and Mount Sabinyo.

Because of the many habituated gorilla families available for tourism, Bwindi impenetrable national park is the best gorilla trekking destination in Uganda. Bwindi also offer several other activities including birding, nature walking safaris, and community visit and gorilla habituation experience.

What is gorilla trekking?

Gorilla trekking is defined as the guided hike into the rainforest jungle of the Virunga volcanoes and Bwindi highlands, the hike takes you through tall, tangled scrubs and ancient trees which are cleared with a machete, heavy boots and thick trousers. The terrain is rugged, steep and the jungles are misty and thick reaching 14,763 feet above the sea level.

The daily gorilla treks begin at the five center locations (headquarters) in Bwindi and Mgahinga at 08:00 am with briefing about the rules and regulations to follow, in small groups of 8 tourists accompanied by an expert tracker and two armed rangers. You will hike in untamed territory where anything could be dangerous, armed rangers are for your security from dangerous animals and anything than can cause harm to the visitors.

The tracker will also be carrying a fine edged machete for clear your path and a walkie – talkie to communicate with other rangers and trackers, your tracker guide will be communicating with another group of rangers who go out at dawn to find the gorillas before they leave their nests and stay with them throughout the day. They then send coordinates to your tracker and make the trekking less challenging.

When you find locate the gorilla family assigned to you, you will observe them in silence for one hour at a safe distance of about 32ft, visitors usually find the gorillas at their mid – morning break so there is less movement during the experience.

Mountain gorillas a gentle animals with a calm demeanor and graciously ignore your presence unless you get out of line with the regulations and they feel threatened.

Staying in silence in the presence of mountain gorillas is one of the greatest privileges in life.

How difficult is gorilla trekking in Uganda?

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is difficult because of its challenging terrain, impenetrable jungles, unpredictable weather and hiking at high altitudes of about 2,600 m. The southwestern Uganda is dominated by terraced hills and rugged landscape which makes it clear that this area is not for faint hearted. It is touch work to reach the mountain gorillas and it requires navigating uphill or downhill through thick tangles of jungle vines, roots and thorns.

To most travelers, hiking in the high altitude and the challenging terrain in the gorilla parks of Uganda during gorilla trekking is an adventure of a lifetime.

At the trailhead, you will find a group of young uniformed men and women offering their services as porters, it is highly recommended you use their services especially if you feel you are not fit enough to cope with the terrain while carrying your daypack. Porters offer their services for a fair price of US$ 20, these porters are normally people from the local community and by hiring them you will be providing a live hood to them. They are also former poachers or people who would looked at the protected forest for livelihood.

Is it safe to trek gorillas in Uganda?

Getting close to mountain gorilla – huge creatures is a terrifying which makes most people to believe that gorilla trekking is not safe, to put you at peace, gorilla trekking in Uganda is a safe activity.

Gorillas which are trekked on gorilla trekking experience in Uganda, they have been habituated by primatologist which has made them used to human presence, and also there are several rules and regulations put to govern the activity for the safety of both trekkers and mountain gorillas.

Note: even if the gorillas are habituated and they are calm in nature, they can become aggressive and a silverback can rip you into pieces if the dictate danger.

Is Gorilla Trekking worth the money?

An encounter with mountain gorillas – huge animals weighing up to 4 hundred pound that is the silverback in its natural domain is a priceless experience, yes gorilla trekking is worth the money as you will not only have an experience of a lifetime but also generously contribute to the conservation of the endangered ape and their natural habitat.

How much is gorilla trekking in Uganda?

A gorilla permit in Uganda costs US$ 700 for Non – Foreign residents, US$ 600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African Citizens. For a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, you will need more than just gorilla permits. Other factors which will influence the cost of your gorilla trekking experience are accommodation, transportation and other extra activities you might be interested in doing.

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

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a year round, however the best time to see mountain gorillas is during dry seasons of June to August and December to February. During the dry season, the forest floor is drier and less slippery, also there is a lesser chance of a downpour during the trekking experience and photography will be more rewarding.

Back To Top