Gorilla trekking tours in Uganda: Encounter mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga N parks

Gorilla trekking tours are Africa’s safari highlight and Uganda’s most popular tourist activity for all types of travelers.

It is such an exceptional and thrilling moment, getting to see eye to eye with one of the last remaining mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is truly an experience like no other.

A Gorilla trekking tour Uganda Safari is carefully organized with conservation efforts in place because is one single most profitable tourism activity for this small East African country. The thrilling encounter experience Gorilla trekking tours in Uganda start as early as 8:00 o’clock at a ranger station where tourists report for a briefing from the head guide about gorilla trekking etiquette.

After being assigned a gorilla family to trek, you join other tourists to make a group of eight tourists allowed to visit each gorilla group per day. With armed rangers you will enter the thick rain forest passing through creeping vegetation, steep and muddy slopes and the trek can take between 30 minutes to up to 7 hours, the search may be arduous but on finding these gentle giants, the difficulty went through is all forgotten as the eye contact clearly indicates that the gorilla wants to communicate something.

You will make use of the allocated one hour with them to take as many photos and video clips as possible, marvel at the sheer size of the dominant silverback as well as watch the young ones play in tree branches they can as well approach you, pull your hair, but keep calm and follow the instructions of the ranger guide.

Where does gorilla trekking happen in Uganda?

Uganda is the only country in the world that has two gorilla national parks, gorilla trekking tours happens in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park- which are located in the southwestern part of Uganda.

The mountain gorilla census curried out in 2018 showed that Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park alone is home to more than half a total population of mountain gorillas in the world.

Uganda is the only country in the world where you can do double gorilla trekking tours in two different national parks, this means unique gorilla trekking experience and more gorilla permits and reasonably priced rates hence most favorable option for you to do gorilla trekking tour.

As Gorilla Hub Tours, gorilla trekking masters, we operate gorilla trekking tours to both Uganda’s gorilla national parks that is; Bwindi Impenetrable National park and the Virungas Subject to how ‘tough’ you would want your trek to be; our team of experts will organize your gorilla trekking tour to that part of the park that will match your interest and abilities.

Honestly speaking, gorilla trekking is not just a walk through the park, but most of the adventure routes are tough enough to make you lose your breath during the trekking activity.

When is the Best time to go gorilla trekking tours Uganda?

The best time to go gorilla trekking is, absolutely up to you because the gorillas and the mist are present all year round.

Probably it is more to do with permit availability but there is a great record of gorilla sightings throughout the year; the rain only serves to keep tourists away.

The dry seasons realistically the more comfortable for trekking in the forest, from mid-December through February, and then June to September.

The wet seasons that are characterized by rains are October – November, and March. May but you are likely to find fewer crowds and probably have a chance to enjoy the park of your own.

How to get to the gorilla parks in Uganda

Moving to parks where mountain gorillas live is the only way you can physically encounter these beautiful gentle giants in their natural habitat.

This pause a question, how do you get to this remotest magical place for the dream to come true?

This question is easier answered depending on where you will be starting your journey from. Most gorilla trekking tours Uganda starts from either Kampala/Entebbe in Uganda or Kigali in Rwanda.

This is very possible because both countries are East Africa member states and enjoy a single tourist Visa for tourists to East Africa.

Due to the fact that gorilla trekking tours are a highlight of any adventure activity in Africa, there is improved infrastructure in the area to help you comfortably reach either Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks with ease for your gorilla trekking adventure.

For tourists who don’t have time or don’t want to take long driving, hours can take domestic charter flights from in Entebbe Airport/Kampala to either Kihihi airstrip near Bwindi or Kisoro town near Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

The domestic flight can take you from one National Park of Uganda to another where the same flights land regularly. Your tour operator will arrange transport to pick you from the airfield to your lodge and back.

The most popular means to reach Bwindi and Mgahinga parks are by using the road much as one can use public transport, it is, however, hectic given the fact that you have to sit in the bus which increases the driving hours because it has to stop in order to offload and load passengers but still, you have to hire another vehicle from the bus stop to reach you to the park or your lodge of stay which maybe a little inconvenience.

However, we recommend using the services of a tour operator who will package for your items like transport, book your hotel/lodge room, and a gorilla trekking permit in advance.

Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permits

In order for one to do a Gorilla trekking tour in Uganda, you need prior booking of a gorilla permit through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). It’s highly recommended that Booking should be done at least three months to the trekking day to ensure that you get your slot and a gorilla group to be visited.

You can as well book a Gorilla permit through a reputable tour operator company like ‘Gorilla hub Tours’, you will be required to inform them your preferred gorilla park so that they can check the availability of the gorilla trekking permit for that day and reserve it for you.

Where to stay in Gorilla Parks

Your stay in the park is another important concern for your adventure holiday. Most lodges and hotels can be categorized as Budget, midrange, or Luxury/High-end based their services and how they charge for those services.

With many years of working with most of the accommodation facilities in Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks, we know the service level in different lodges you opt for, we also usually suggest the ones we have used and can trust their promise of serving you well. Again as we already established, this is an item with flexible prices and you should be aware of how it affects your gorilla tracking safari.

Mountain Gorilla trekking eligibility

Not everyone can get a chance to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

It’s sad but it’s true, the first limitation for any person to do gorilla trekking, they must be at least 15 years and older. Of course, this limits the idea of family vacations with young children who would the courage and chance to see these gentle giants.

Secondly, Mountain gorillas share 98% of human genes and can catch human diseases, so anyone with communicable diseases like diarrhea, flu, or cold cannot be allowed to participate in the trek.

Gorilla trekking is very strenuous and is really not a walk through the forest so, one’s health and fitness are a requirement.

What to pack for Gorilla trekking tours Uganda Safari.

There are obvious things that must not be left out such as your passports, phone, sunglasses, and camera. You must also pack in consideration of the weather, the terrain like steep slopes, the tropical sun and so much more.

Mountain gorilla parks like Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks are located in remotest parts of the world and far from the nearest towns and those towns are small enough to not have a lot of things.

Being in the rain forest means it can rain any time of the day, it could rain heavy enough to drench everyone in minutes, and preparing for this is essential.

The list is long but such items include dull-colored long-sleeved shirts, Pair of pants, a pair of binoculars, a light rain jacket, gloves, sunscreen, hut, sturdy walking/hiking boots, long stockings, your regular medication and a camera for your memorable footage.

Amazing Additional Adventure Activities

There are quite a number of interesting tourist activities that are often planned for visitors along with gorilla trekking adventure.

Wildlife safari in the nearby Queen Elizabeth national park and Lake Mburo national park is one compliment activity for tourists since these destinations are located near gorilla parks.

Local community visits to the popular Batwa pygmy people that once lived and depended so much on the gorilla forest for their survival. They were relocated and stay outside Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga National Parks. A visit to one of such communities will help to conserve this endangered tribe.

These local communities have a rich cultural heritage and play an important role in the conservation and protection of mountain gorillas in Uganda.

Besides mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga are Birding pots and rich with different bird species and you will see many of them during your gorilla trek.

Remember bird watchers usually stay more nights in Bwindi to enjoy over 350 sounds and sights of different bird species of which some are endemic to the Albertan rift.

White water rafting on the Nile River is another unique adventure activity and it happens in Jinja. Its always recommended after returning from the gorilla trek, it is usually interesting to participate in white water rafting on the Nile which not anywhere else in Africa.

Nature walks through the rain forest is another thrilling and special moment, there are walking trails that go through tall trees and waterfalls as the forest is a water catchment area. During the activity, you will encounter different monkey species including olive baboons, L’hoste, velvet, black and white colobus monkeys, and numerous bird species on top of the beautiful landscape.

For travelers who are planning to spend more time in the region and Uganda at large, you can actually combine your gorilla trekking tour Uganda with many other activities that are of interest to you. It is up to you what else interest you, we will tailor-make it.

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