Gorilla Trekking Safaris Uganda - The Ultimate Wildlife Encounter
Gorilla trekking Safaris Uganda: There’s absolutely no mistaking the bond between man and a Mountain Gorilla, the great apes when you go gorilla trekking in Bwindi or the Virungas. The Gorillas are the world great apes and only half of these remaining gentle giants are found only in Uganda. It is estimated that about and only 1070 of these mountain Gorillas are left in the world.
A mountain gorilla having a scientific name Gorilla beringei beringei is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla Standing at averagely 4-6 ft tall and averagely weighing about 300-485 lbs (136 to 220 Kgs). Africa has a total of 1070 individuals occupying the montane and bamboo forest jungles of Central & East Africa’s volcanic mountain slopes ranging from an altitude of 2,200–4,300m above sea Level (7,200–14,100 ft), mountain gorillas are listed on the ICUN Red List as endangered species.
Mountain Gorillas live in the most extreme harsh environment with two populations found in protected areas of central eastern Virunga ranges along the chain of the Virunga Volcanoes and the 331 sq.km protected Bwindi impenetrable rainforest national park. Mountain Gorillas can be seen in Bwindi and Mghinga Uganda, in Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo.
Uganda, Rwanda and Congo through respective Wildlife conservation bodies, have agreed to habituate some gorilla families (Not all) for Tourism purposes. A Gorilla permit purchased in each or either respective country, being above 15years of age with a ranger guide leads tourists into the jungles spending time with these endangered gentle giants on either Gorilla Trekking or Gorilla Habituation Experience.
Gorilla Trekking Fast Facts
100% HUMAN DNA
A MUST SEE IN UGANDA
Gorillas are Herbivores
What Is Gorilla Tracking?
Gorilla trekking or tracking is an ultimate Gorilla encounter that involves visiting a particular family of Gorillas and spending an hour with the Gorillas. This activity starts at 8 am with a briefing, you are joined with other guests for a maximum of 8 persons as a requirement by Uganda wildlife authority. Gorilla Tracking or trekking apparently costs USD 700 per person and to only adults above 15years of age. When you finally arrive to the gorilla family, you are allowed one hour with the Gorilla family before heading back.
Time for Gorilla tracking depends on where the gorillas were last seen the previous day. Roughly this experience would take -/+ 5 hours including the walk to, time with the Gorillas, lunch breaks in the forest and time getting back. IF you have travelled with Children below 15 years, unfortunately they won’t be allowed to track the mountain Gorillas as pre- requirement.
Gorilla trekking is not a seemingly easy walk to heaven, Gorilla trekking or tracking involves penetrating the forest, sometimes cutting way through shrubs and trees to find a way. There is no GPS, there are no gazetted paths, sometimes a slippery small path through elephant footpaths, steep slopes up and down to find the gorillas. It is very important to Know what to wear while preparing your self for this awesome experience. You definitely need to be able to walk or have a certain level of fitness for the Gorilla trekking experience. It sometimes feels like a road to hell inside there (Especially when it rains) but is 100% a way to paradise and absolutely a must do or recommended tailor made on any Uganda Safari
As you get closer to the Gorillas, your head guide will notify you last minute to encounter. In the current world of the pandemic, you will require to have your mask on all the time, keep and maintain a 10 meters distance as you see the Gorillas to protect them from catching Human diseases and so We are ready. At First sight it will be some black kind of round “Things” and when you get closer it will be the gentle giants, The Mountain Gorillas: Black fur with Colourful eyes, turn looking at you and go on with their daily activity. The rest is a 1 hour magical experience.
What is Gorilla Habituation Experience?
Gorilla Habituation experience is a slow process where wild mountain gorilla get used to the presence of human. Gorilla habituation is a gradual process of preparing a family of wild mountain gorilla for human presence in the forest. This is a gradual process done keeping distance and reduce as time goes by, A period that takes roughly 5 years so the wild Gorillas are accustomed to human presence. This is done with the help of Rangers, porters, Gorilla Doctors and researchers following the gorilla family daily so they can get accustomed to their presence.
In July 2014, The Uganda wildlife Authority introduced a Gorilla habituation experience, giving paying participants a chance to partake in this activity with the Gorilla doctors, researchers, porters and Rangers. A fee of $1500 was attached to the experience while spending maximum 4 hours following and monitoring the Gorilla Family unlike the1 hours viewing Gorilla tracking experience. Gorilla Habituation starts as early as 6am when the gorillas start their day activities.
Gorilla habituation Experience is apparently done in Rushaga sector where 2 groups are being monitored for human presence. Bikingi & Bushaho are the two families currently being monitored and being habituated. Because of the dangers and high adrenaline involved in the gorilla habituation experience, the price tag has been doubled to USD 1500.
What Are The Chances Of Seeing Mountain Gorillas In Uganda?
Chances of seeing mountain gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda either in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park or volcanoes are 98%. Most of the tourists visiting Uganda tend to book two or more gorilla treks in the fear that they may fail to see gorillas on the first trek. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Mgahinga and Volcanoes in Rwanda is so organized in a way that there is an advance team of trackers who wake up early morning to find where these gorillas are, starting from where they were last seen the previous day. Once they find them, they will then communicate to the park quarters or head ranger of the day with two escort armed rangers guiding you into the forest. You will start trekking from where the gorillas would have slept the previous night until you find them.
Gorilla trekking is done by the help of UWA Rangers that decide where to trek the mountain gorillas. Since there is already a monitoring advance team of finding the gorillas, chances are 98% -100% seeing the Gorillas.
On Very rare occasions (*but normally not) Sometimes Gorillas move far away or split due to in family fights. In instances that the Gorillas can’t be found, An extra chance is given to track another family the next day.
When Is The Best Time Of The Year To See Mountain Gorillas In Uganda And Rwanda?
The weather forecast of the day decides when the best time to see the gorillas since it rains most of the days in the rain forest. The rains may not be heavy but there will be low lying mist and vegetation. The rainy seasons are March and April and October and November. Mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda can be trekked throughout the year; drier months of June, July, and early August then December up to February are most preferred to see mountain gorillas in Mgahinga or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park. The timing of your visit to East Africa may be important as you planning a safari as part of your travel to Uganda. Gorilla tracking Uganda safaris can be done by first acquiring a gorilla permit that cost USD700.00 per person.
Important to note the Rain and dry seasons as mentioned: Since it involves penetrating the forest through small or no paths, The way in the forest may be wet and slippery in wet seasons and more drier in the dry seasons.
How Much Is a Gorilla Permit In Uganda And Rwanda?
A gorilla permit is a card that is obtained from Uganda wildlife Authority to allow you spend one hour with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest and volcanoes National park. Currently Uganda gorilla permits to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi National park and Mgahinga cost USD700 (Non-residents), USD500 for Foreign residents, Uganda Resident Nationals UGx 250. Rwanda gorilla permits costs USD 1500 for Non Residents
TAILOR MADE GORILLA SAFARIS
4 Days Gorilla Safari Uganda
The 4 days gorilla safari starts From Kigali Rwanda and ends in Kigali Rwanda but trek the mountain gorillas in Uganda. This Gorilla Uganda Safari is an ultimate short trip for those that want to have the gorillas off the bucket list and prefer to do it in style. It also presents an opportunity for authentic local encounters.
6 Days Gorillas & Classic Uganda Safari
Embark on a journey towards Bwindi forest treking the mountain Gorilla. The Gorillas and Uganda Safari presents a chance to Trek Gorilla but also see more wildlife in the awesome Queen Elizabeth National Park including the Kazinga Boat cruise. You can also Trek chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge if you so like.
11 Days Fly-in Luxury Gorilla Safari
Would you like to treat yourself a little more and see Uganda’s highlights including the mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Forest? Fly from One destination to the other with the best aerial views on your domestic flight. Fly till the gorilla in bwindi and fly-out to kampala for an awesome luxury Uganda Safari.
How Long Is A Gorilla trek In Uganda?
Mountain gorilla trekking can take from 20 minutes to quarters of the day. This depends on several factors that include mountain gorilla movements, where the gorilla stayed the previous night and the mood of the gorillas. It may also depend on the group since the guides/rangers move following the slowest person in the group. Gorilla walking safaris is happy to provide all relevant advice on gorilla trekking.
What Is The Age Limit For Trekking Mountain Gorillas?
The age limit for trekking gorillas and golden monkey trekking in Uganda is 15years. Children bellow the ages of 15years are not allowed to trek by the UWA authorities. Before you book our gorilla tracking Uganda safari holidays, you should have all the details concerning the age.
Trekking Chimpanzees in Uganda is 12 years old and children below 10years are allowed to trek golden monkeys in Rwanda as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Children under 15 years are allowed to Dian Fosseys Tomb. For more information contact Gorilla walking safaris
What Is the Price Of A Gorilla Tour In Uganda?
There are three main components you need to consider when looking at the price of a gorilla tour in Uganda and Rwanda. The Accommodation, gorilla permit and transport to and from the Park. A budget gorilla trekking permit price in Uganda costs USD 600, in Rwanda it is USD1500 and then gorilla habituation experience permits cost USD 1500 for four hours gorilla habituation experience. Accommodation rates range from USD500 for luxury lodges per person to USD50 for budget per person. There are chances of driving or Flying to Bwindi National park with the help of Gorilla walking safaris team who can guide you on gorilla trekking Uganda price or costs. You can leave an inquiry about gorilla tours Uganda or Rwanda or contact us.
TAILOR MADE LUXURY GORILLA & WILDLIFE SAFARI
Fly In Double Gorilla Trekking
4 Days | 3 Nights
Charter a plane to & from a Gorilla safari while getting up close and personal with the gentle giants. 4 Days of Double Gorilla Safari Uganda are very extraordinary rewarding
Fly In Style Safari
12 Days | 11 Nights
Fly from one famous destination to the other in search for big cats with vibrant wildlife. Fly above with the spectacular Aerial scenic views to the home of mountain Gorillas of Uganda , staying at Uganda’s best lodges and be rewarded to an inspirational journey.
When do I Book My Gorilla permit?
Gorilla walking safaris advises that you book your gorilla permits 4 months in advance to avoid short notice disappointment because gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly. Gorilla permits tend to run out during the high seasons of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. Send Us an email about the availability of gorilla permits from UWA.
How Many People per gorilla Trek?
Only a maximum of 8 people are allowed to visit a given gorilla family in Bwindi Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Bwindi Forest has 19 habituated gorilla families and thus each family is allowed only 8 people per day per hour. There are some times when the park management accepts more than 8 people depending on circumstances on ground. Only 4 people are allowed to spend 4hours with mountain gorillas under Gorilla habituation in Bwindi forest national park.
What Do I Need To Bring To See Mountain Gorillas In Uganda?
Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda is so lovely but it involves hiking in the forest, you will need the following.
You will need long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect you from insect bites, hot vegetation and thorny trees.
Insect repellent is a must have if you’re travelling in Africa because impenetrable forests apart from being home to the gentle giants the mountain gorillas, is home of different insects and bugs. See more on Safari Packing List.
You will need a walking stick which will help when tracking up and down the forest.
Drinking water and a packed lunch which provided by the lodge you spent the previous night. You can’t afford missing out on drinking water and packed lunch because you can’t tell how long your trekking will last so food is a must.
Walking/Hiking boots will be walking forest that is muddy and wet you need a water proof hiking boots which are important during your Trekking.
You may need some warm sweater because in the evenings and mornings sometimes Bwindi Forest can be cool, so it’s always nice having a warm sweater with you.
We also recommend that you bring a rain jacket because gorilla tracking is done in the rain forest which means it can rain at any time of the day.
Sunglasses, sun screen and hat are also nice to bring along protection you from Strong sun. Minimal chances
Mountain Gorilla Groups & Families
Uganda is blessed to be home of two mountain gorilla habitats; The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park south of Uganda and the Virunga Forest extreme south of Uganda boardering Rwanda and Congo.Other Gorilla call Mgahinga National Park which is part of the Virungas home and same time shared with Rwanda and DRC. Basically there are more than half the world’s Mountain gorilla population on both Ugandan habitats.
Last updated information by Uganda wildlife Authority, Update as of December 2020, The two Gorilla habitants host 18 habituated gorilla families for human presence and while one group is reserved for research. Mountain Gorilla Families in Uganda include Mubare, Katwe, Habinyanja, Oruzongo, Kyaguriro, Rushegura, Bitukura, Muzika, Nshongi, Mishaya, Busingye, Kutu, Kahungye, Bikingi, Nkuringo, Christmas, Bushaho, Bweza, and Nyakagezi found in Mgahinga National Park.
On the other hand, Uganda’s neighbour Rwanda has one mountain gorilla habitat that is shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC. The Volcanoes National Park, is found on the lower slopes of five of the eight chain of volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains. Last Update as of December 2020, Rwanda is home to 12 habituated gorilla families for human presence/ tourism. Mountain Gorilla groups include Susa (24 members), Hirwa (17 members),Amahoro (24 members), Igishya (32 members), Umubano (14 members), Pablo (25 members)Ntambara (14 members), Sabinyo (20 members), Kwitonda (34 members), Agasha (25 members), Isimbi (20 members), Muhoza (13 members)
Bwindi Forest & Virunga Ranges Location
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Or Rwanda?
Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda may be a hard decision considering all locations offer an amazing once in a lifetime gorilla trekking experience. What matters for choice are factors out of the real encounter. Requires a lot of research, preference, time and comfortability before making final decisions on where to see these gentle giants.
Mountain Gorillas are very much endangered with a few thousands remaining in the whole world. Uganda in particular is proudly home to half of the world’s remaining Mountain gorillas found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and the rest being harbored in the mountains of Virunga ranges.
The virunga ranges are shared mountains between Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo. In Rwanda the gorillas are found in the volcanoes national park that is so near the Mgahinga national park of Uganda Which is the other end of the volcanoe range while mostly the gorillas share their space in these two countries.
So, What do you need to know while making this decision. What choice suits you better?
Gorilla Tours Uganda
Gorilla Walking Safaris has for the past 10 Years Mastered the art Of Gorilla safari tours, we absolutely understand that an inspirational journey isn’t just about the Uganda Safari, we understand it’s also about comfort and style not loosing any and taking into detail of every trip.
From Spectacular savannahs teemed with immense herds of game, snow capped mountains to the famous and finest ultimate wildlife encounters In Africa’s Thick forests, Our Team has put together some inspirational Trips with a combination of awesome top-notch safari Lodges
Whether you prefer luxury, slumbering in Africa’s iconic lodges, our Professional staff will create Journeys to Match Your Interests ready at any time to provide you with everything you need for an ultimate tailor made inspirational journey and Gorilla Trekking Experience.
Our Most Selling Tailor Made Gorilla safari Trips
9 Days Primates in-style Uganda Safari:
9 Days | 8 Nights
Discover yourself and exclusively follow on foot the Chimpanzees of Kibale National Park. Descend into the jungles on a uganda safari deep in the Bwindi forest for GORILLA TREKKING UGANDA; Double the adventure with Inspiring but yet adventurous authentic local experience including speculating at the vibrant but yet spectacular wildlife encounters.
12 Days Best Of Uganda Impressions Safari
12 Days | 11 Nights
Will take you through the vast savannah & wildlife scenic treasures_Uganda’s pride and absolutely get you up-close and personal with the mountain Gorilla, Chimpanzees doubled with spectacular Wildlife encounters while slumbering in some of Uganda’s Top-notch_ fine Lodges
14 Days Fly-to Kidepo Uganda Safari
14 Days | 13 Nights
Fly to Kidepo valley National park, on the northern boundaries in the hidden treasures of the wilderness to start an authentic Uganda Safari and end it in Rwanda. Embark on a journey in style through the pearl of Africa