Apart from Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda is another tourist destination that offers gorilla trekking safari experience in Africa. Uganda is also the only country where mountain gorillas can be found. Half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the whole world are being homed in Bwindi Impenetrable forest in Bwindi Park.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda involves tracking the gorillas in their natural habitats while spending time with them. In Uganda, gorilla trekking can be done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda in Kisoro District.
Another spot for gorilla trekking in the country is Mgahinga, the smallest park in Uganda. Gorilla trekking is the most rewarding and satisfying safari experience as visitors get to spend time with gorillas while learning their behaviors and feeding habits.
Visitors are divided into groups of eight members per group tracking one particular gorilla group family. This interesting safari experience also involves hiking steep slopes in dense forests in search of gorillas while visitors can always have a glance at the beautiful wildlife of Uganda including various mammal, bird and butterfly species.
Once the gorillas are tracked, visitors are given one full hour to spend with these fancy primates, maintaining a minimum distance of seven meters. This is to suppress the spread of airborne diseases to the primates.
The park has about four gorilla sectors; Rushaga, Ruhija, Buhoma and Nkuringo. There are 5 habituated gorilla family groups in the Buhoma gorilla sector alone found in the Northern part of the Bwindi impenetrable national park. So visitors can anticipate having a lifetime experience with these Mountain gorillas in Uganda.
Mgahinga gorilla National park located in south western Uganda bordering Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo lies in the Virunga mountains, a famous shelter for mountain gorillas. There is only one gorilla habituated family group in Mgahinga and it is widely known as “Nyakagezi gorilla group”. Only a group of eight members are allowed to track this family per day which takes about 8 hours of trekking. Just like most of the treks, gorilla trekking in Mgahinga also commence at 8:00 am in the morning at the park’s main entrance “Ntebeko”.
HOW TOURISTS CAN TREK GORILLAS IN UGANDA VIA KIGALI AND GORILLA TREKKING PERMIT COSTS.
Uganda Gorilla trekking from Kigali is actually less costly and affordable with shorter distance according to dedicated visitors. Choosing Uganda gorilla safaris from Kigali is the best decision any traveler or guest would make.
The fact that the Rwanda Development board through the Rwandan Government hiked gorilla trekking permit prices from $750 USD to $1500 USD in 2017 aiming at promoting its luxury tourism, a wide range of visitors prefer landing at Kigali then head to Uganda for gorilla trekking. This is because of the affordability of the journey and the whole gorilla trekking process. Uganda gorilla trekking permits go for $700 USD unlike the expensive ones in Rwanda that go for $1500 USD. Compared to eight hours of drive from Entebbe International Airport to
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, it is actually just four hours of drive from Kigali to Bwindi so it saves the visitors a lot of time. Visitors are also advised that there are no direct flights from Kigali to Bwindi and only road means of transport can be used and yet they are still affordable. It is also much easier to go gorilla trekking in Mgahinga from Kigali City for travelers who prefer Mgahinga to Bwindi and the journey takes only 4 hours of driving to reach the park via the Cyanika border.
GORILLA TREKKING PACKING LIST.
Travelers are advised to carry some of the most vital and required items in preparation for gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Hiking shoes or boots.
Visitors are advised to carry comfortable hiking genuine boots since sometimes gorilla trekking involves hiking steep slopes and getting through muddy trails.
Jackets, sweaters, gloves and stockings.
This is because of the unpredictability of weather and sometimes it might get insanely cold so visitors are also advised to carry their warm clothing.
Passport and trekking permits.
This is very essential and these documents should be presented at the park office because no guest will have access to gorillas without a legal gorilla trekking permit.
GORILLA TREKKING RULES AND REGULATIONS.
Guests are not allowed to carry any food in the presence of gorillas as human diseases can easily be transmitted through food to gorillas.
Viewing time to these beautiful apes is also limited to only 1 hour and no visitor can go beyond that. This is to prevent high exposure between humans and gorillas so as to suppress the transmission of diseases.