Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is the most thrilling and sought after tourist activity in Uganda done by a number of tourists who do visit Uganda for Uganda safari tours. Uganda is a country that is simply gifted by nature with so much to offer to all kinds of travellers, ranging from adventure activities like mountain climbing and white water rafting, to more relaxing activities like beach walks in the various islands that Uganda has. The most sought after activity however that tourists do look out for in Uganda is gorilla trekking.

Gorilla trekking is an activity that involves hiking through the jungles in search of the gorillas. Gorillas in Uganda that travellers do visit are the endangered mountain gorilla species which can only be found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas, which travellers can encounter on gorilla trekking in Uganda safaris are found in the much celebrated Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Mountain gorillas dwell in the tropical rainforests, mountainous in nature with high altitudes. Uganda is the one country that hosts the highest population of mountain gorillas in the world, with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park alone hosting about half the total world population of mountain gorillas.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the best place for gorilla trekking in Uganda. When gorilla trekking is mentioned, most travellers thoughts run to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, probably because it is where the first habituated gorilla family in Uganda was, and also has the highest number of habituated gorilla families. Travellers get to encounter only the habituated gorilla families, which are trained over time to accommodate human presence for a particular time. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has about 19 habituated gorilla families that travellers can trek in a day, distributed in the four gorilla sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park namely Buhoma sector, Nkuringo, Ruhija and Rushaga gorilla sectors. The first habituated gorilla families availed for gorilla trekking in Uganda was the Mubare gorilla family, found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park takes travellers to encounter the gorillas in the serene and tranquil Mgahinga Forest, which makes part of the Virunga Massifs including Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park of the Congo. Though gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is not the first to come to mind when gorilla trekking is mentioned, the park equally gives a fulfilling gorilla trekking experience. The only habituated gorilla family in Mgahinga Gorilla national Park is the Nyakagezi gorilla family, thereby allowing only 8 trekkers per day to see the gorilla family on a gorilla trekking in Uganda safari, thereby allowing travellers a bit of exclusivity. To travellers after a bit of exclusivity and privacy especially during the peak season of travel in the months of June through September and December through February.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is only for persons that are 15 years and above, allowing only 8 persons per gorilla family. Given that mountain gorillas are an endangered species, there are rules and regulations that ought to be followed while gorilla trekking say maintaining a 7 meter distance away from the gorillas, not trekking the gorillas while sick, among others.

To be able to enjoy gorilla trekking, travellers need to purchase gorilla trekking permits which can be purchased from the Uganda Wildlife Authority online platform, or through a reputable tour operator. Uganda gorilla trekking permits cost only $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and ugx250000 for East African citizens. The Uganda gorilla trekking permit price is per person per trek.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda experience

Gorilla trekking in Uganda experience typically starts with travellers waking up early to breakfast, and then be transferred to the starting point of your gorilla trekking adventure, from where you shall meet other gorilla trekkers and park officials who shall brief you about what to expect, as well as the dos and don’ts while gorilla trekking. After, you shall be paced in groups of 8 and allocated a gorilla family to trek. Once you do set out gorilla trekking, look out for other wildlife in the park, which your guide shall surely point out every now and then. Once you do encounter the gorillas, you shall be allowed one hour with the gorillas watching them and their behaviors and you can choose to take pictures and make videos for your keeps. Thereafter, you shall trek back to the starting point of your gorilla trekking adventure. Gorilla trekking can take anything from 30 minutes to 6 hours or more depending on the location of the gorillas and terrain.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Mgahinga Gorillas

When to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done all throughout the year, given the country is a tropical climate area. The dry season is however the best time to visit for gorilla trekking because the roads are not slippery and muddy, especially in the paths during the trek. Even though it is a dry season however, rains still fall given that the parks are rainforest and mountainous areas. The wet season is a good time to visit for gorilla trekking for those travelers after some bit of a challenge. Even if it is a rainy season in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, it doesn’t rain all throughout the day giving travelers an opportunity to do a number of activities in the park.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a great and very adventurous activity that has you encountering the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. There are a number of accommodation you can stay in while on your gorilla trekking in Uganda safari, ranging from luxury to basic or budget options thereby catering for all kinds of travellers. Gorilla trekking is a great activity to do solely, or as a climax to your much anticipated Africa safari tour. Take time to plan out an amazing and memorable Africa safari and include gorilla trekking for an opportunity to encounter the endangered mountain gorillas.