Uganda is a land of contrasts and so is the diversity that comes with visiting the famous pearl Of Africa with its undulating endangered wildlife species. When you list the attractions Uganda can offer to enthusiastic travellers, you will realize and confirm its awesomely gifted by Nature. Other than being a land locked country doesn’t mean it’s a boring country, its Paradise and that’s for sure. There are many attractions in different destinations in the country including wildlife dotted national parks coupled with jaw dropping scenery with backdrop of mountain ranges. Uganda’s culture and the people of Uganda remain a captivating factor for many travelers in these beautiful lands. Its with No doubt that Uganda hosts the most friendliest people on the African Continent and who give you a smile and home felt traditional story memories to take back home.
Among attractions in national parks that Uganda has, there are endangered species, rarely seen elsewhere and vulnerable. Among the endangered species here in Uganda include, Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable national Park and Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga National Park
Endangered Mountain Gorillas.
Categorised under primate species and found in few places on this planet, The Mountain Gorillas are different from their relatives the low land gorillas who in bigger numbers are quite higher since they can be found in most of West African countries including the Democratic republic of Congo. Endangered Mountain gorillas can only be seen in three countries, Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo.
On record, Uganda is blessed to have two National parks where mountain Gorillas call home and roam the thick forests. Guests can track the mountain Gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national Park south of Uganda bordering Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo
Tracking mountain gorillas on foot in Bwindi thick forest is one of the pull factors that brings tourists to visit Uganda in combination with cross boarder safaris. After or before tracking mountain gorillas, visitors extend their visits to other Parks for more exciting adventures including Mountain Hiking, Wildlife safaris or cultural safaris
How To Secure Gorilla Permits in Uganda.
Gorilla permits can be secured from Uganda wildlife Authority – The body responsible for managing and protecting National and game reserves of Uganda. Mostly gorilla permits are secured through trusted Tour operators who are accredited to Uganda Tourism Board and the association of Uganda tour operators. It is a brilliant idea to secure the permit prior or in advance since the Demand for the Gorilla Permits exceeds supply in Peak season and that is between June and October or December to March of all years..
When securing the permit, you need to provide information about the date you prefer to trek the gorillas, the region in case its Bwindi forest, (Here the Tour Consultant can give you advise depending on the flow of the Itinerary), Sometimes it also depends on availability, Passport details are also crucial here for the booking proceess.
The current fee for a Gorilla permit in Uganda is 700 USD, This looks quite not little money but after the experience its absolutely worth it. Upon purchasing or securing the gorilla permit all is set for a memorable ultimate Gorilla Trekking Experience.
Tip: Make sure you secure your Gorilla Permit before purchasing your flight ticket. Without a Gorilla Permit, No guarantee of Gorilla trekking would be allowed.
Gorilla Family Groups In Uganda
Bwindi impenetrable national Park has 12 Gorilla families, that include, Habyiyanja, Mubare, Rushegura, Kyaguliro, Kahungye, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Nsongi, Mushaya, Bweza, Busingye, Nkuringo families found in Buhoma on the eastern part of the forest, Ruhijja group found on the northern sector, Rushaga and Nkuringo groups on the southern sectors and Nyakagezi found in Mgahinga National Park.
Each Mountain gorilla family is visited and restricted to 8 visitors per day. It takes a while and efforts for each Mountain Gorilla Family to be habituated for human presence before making it open for daily visits, so when you go for Mountain Gorilla tracking in Uganda, these primates are already familiar to humans being and all thanks goes to our team for
gorilla habituation and research. Even though they are fully habituated, It is not allowed to get closer to them because even if they are farmiliar with human presence, it doesn’t take a way the fact that they are wild animals and can protect their territories and space on the expense of your safety.
Related Story : A Guide To Planning A Gorilla Trek Safari In Uganda Or Rwanda
When is the best time to Go Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi
All Year throughout is a good time to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi and mgahinga. The best time is between June and October in the dry season when roads and accessibility is so easy. Trekking mountain Gorillas involves walking and hiking hills within the 330 square kilometer Rainforest, during dry season, The tracks are passable and less slippery. It is only in the rainy seasons that walking trails get wet and keep slippery. With Good walking shoes through, and right clothing, this is just a walk over.
The Months between march until may and October /November are basically the time of the year when rains are at high amounts. The best part of this time of year is that it is more authentic than it is in the peak season which is the dry season. More to this is that you are at chances for better accommodation rates as most accommodations have discounts, so you can be sure to stay at some of our well top-notch lodges at great discounts.
The Endagered Golden monkey
In The south on the boarder between Uganda and Rwanda lies the beautiful volcanoes while one of them is home to the endangered Golden monkeys as one of the Endangered primate species in Uganda. Golden Monkeys can only be seen in one place in Uganda – Mgahinga National Park or in Rwanda parc des volcanoes national Park. Guest can trek Golden monkeys in both countries at any time of the year, The Golden monkeys are incredible endangered species while good to look at, they have bright color, Golden hair with a blend of orange.
They live in troops of about 100 led by an Alpha male, found in Virunga’s while these beautiful primates mostly feed on bamboo shoots, wild fruits and leaves. Golden Monkey Tracking starts in the morning with briefing at the park headquarter about the do’s and don’ts while trekking. The activity is safe as you will be escorted by armed park rangers and informative guides.
The Golden Monkey Experience
This is a new product for visitors to the park that allows them to have an insight and a better understanding of what it means to research, conserve, and protect an endangered specie. After doing this activity, visitors will have understood why research is important and conservation. A visitor will learn about the primate life in the canopy, how they interact, feed, and much more information.
The Golden Monkey experience can be done in combination with Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National park or more in combination with Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park. The best part about Golden monkey trekking and Gorilla trekking in Uganda is that they are closer to each other and you do not need to transfer on long distances to other destinations.
It costs only USD 90 to trek Golden monkeys in Uganda’s mgahinga national park which can be done a day after or before the ultimate Gorilla Trekking Experience in either Bwindi impenetrable national Park or mgahinga National Park.
When is the best time to go Golden Monkey Trekking?
As it for Gorilla Trekking is so for Golden Monkey trekking in Uganda. It is very possible to do Golden monkey trekking all year throughout but the most best times are in the dry season which is between June to October and December to Feb. The Wet seasons are super cool months for those that love it more authentic, less crowds, great accommodation rate discounts and never mind the Wet grounds which are never a problem when you have the right clothing, Right gear and travelling with a 4×4 Safari offroad vehicle to maneuver through the roads.
Golden Monkey permits can also be secured from the Uganda wildlife authority. Apparently only accredited tour companies in Uganda like Gorilla walking safaris can help secure both Gorilla and Golden Monkey permits from Uganda wildlife Authority.
How do you arrange the Golden Monkey trekking? If Golden Monkey trekking Interests you and you would want to be part of the conservation of endangered wildlife species, you can mention this to your destination management company in Uganda handling your trip to add this activity. This will require an extra day on your planned days of trip to cater for a day activity of Golden Monkey trekking. This is so due to the uncerternity of time taken to see the golden monkey. Sometimes Golden monkey trekking can take up between 3 to 8 hours in the forest depending on where they were last seen the previous day.
Sometimes they move far in the mountains and you have to follow them up or sometimes come nearer the trail heads where you would easily find them. Whatever place or anyway you get to the golden monkeys (same applies to Mountain Gorillas) The best part is the effort put in to find them…. And when found it is heart warming and gorgeous to look at the beautiful Golden monkey endangered species
How can we protect The Endangered Wildlife Species In Uganda?
`protecting the remaining wildlife species in Uganda like the Mountain Gorillas and the Golden Monkeys is a journey for the world, Not only is it an effort in the hands of the rangers or the authorities but also in the hands of the travellers.
Moments when ones opt to travel to Uganda for the mountain Gorilla Trekking as an experience or Gold monkey trekking as a lifetime experience big chances are that one makes an effort to saving these endangered wildlife species.
Why is that so? A part of the Gorilla and golden Monkey species is channeled into the conservation of these endangered species. The gallant Soldiers that protect the Gorillas and golden monkeys from poachers roam the forest for safety purposes. Conservation initiatives are targeted in training and teaching the communities the importance of these wildlife species, Schools and hospitals are built, former porchers are given jobs and all this is made possible with the funds any traveller makes to have these wonderful experiences. The lodges at the boarders of these forest where these endangered mountain Gorillas call home are all involved in the conservation of the endangered species. Your stay at some of these properties absolutely adds to the conservation of the endangered wildlife species.
There are Organizations made or formed purposely to protect the endangered species in Uganda like The Gorilla Doctors, Friend a Gorilla and these can be supported with donations for their work well done and this is all possible with the decision to Travel and trek these primates