Uganda Gorilla Trekking Information

Uganda Gorilla Trekking Information, Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris, Uganda Gorilla Safaris, Uganda Gorilla Safari, Uganda Gorilla Tour, Uganda Safaris Tours, Gorilla Trekking Permit, Rules for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Mountain gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. The total number of the world endangered species of mountain gorillas has increased to 1004, this comes after a pain sticking work of undertaking a gorilla census in the Virunga massif indicated that the gorilla numbers in this region had reached a tally of 680 individuals. As of now the official gorilla count of these majestic creatures in the Bwindi sector remains at 400 individuals but all this is about to change as we patiently wait for new gorilla census results for the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park gorillas that have just been concluded. The critically endangered Apes live only in two locations, Bwindi Impenetrable and the Virunga Massif area, which covers the parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the Virunga National Park, Uganda in Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

What Are Mountain Gorillas?

Scientifically termed as Gorilla beringei beringei, mountain gorillas are typically gentle and amazingly shy and calm animals that have thick and long fur and this enables them to live in cooler temperature climatic zones, each gorilla can be identified basing on its nose print which is unique to each individual, adult males can weigh as much as 195 kg with a standing height of 168cm or 66 inches while their female counterpart can weigh 100kg with a height of 140 cm or 55inches. Mountain gorillas are diurnal animals as they are very active in the early morning and evening hours which they use for foraging or eating, they maintain an herbivorous diet which consists of leaves, fruits, tree branches, and bamboo shoots. these gentle mountain giants are Bwindi impenetrable national park’s tourism signature symbol and as well as Uganda’s. This park serves as a habitat to about 400 of these mountain giants and this number constitutes about half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.

Mountain Gorillas in Numbers

A total of 400 mountain gorillas have been confirmed to be living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and many mountain gorilla groups have been habituated for tourism and research purposes. Currently, Mountain Gorilla Trekking within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga is a highlight of all visits done in Uganda and mountain gorillas are the unique tourism product attracting many travelers from different parts of the world to undertake safaris to Uganda.  On the other hand, Uganda is recognized as a very safe and more so secure country in which tourists from all over the world can see these Gorillas in serene surroundings. Find information about gorilla trekking, how to acquire a permit, as well as other relevant information on how gorilla trekking is done is very important to any traveler planning to have an encounter with the mountain gorillas in Africa.

How Do Mountain Gorillas Feed?

Typically, the daily meal of Mountain Gorillas mainly consists of large quantities of flowers, leaves, fruit, and bamboo roots, shoots vines, shrub. Adults can consume up to 75 pounds each day and due to the fact that gorillas receive a large quantity of water from its diet, they rarely take water.

When Are Gorillas Active?

Mountain gorillas are diurnal primates hence their normal day starts at 6:00 am local time up to 6:00 pm with a snooze around lunchtime. Uganda receives Light just past 6:00 am and darkness falls around 7:00 pm.

Most of the time mountain gorilla spend an estimated 30% of the day while looking for food and 30% traveling and 40% resting. Mountain gorillas move every day to different locations looking for food and where they make nests using twigs plus leaves and spend their night.

Reproduction among mountain gorillas

There is no specific mating season while babies are born through the year. The Males begin breeding at around 15 years while the females start giving birth between 10 and 12 years. Females can give birth after every 2 to 3 years giving birth to 4 – 6 offspring through their lifetime.

Males leave their group at about 11 years of age, while a little over half of the females will leave their group.

Mountain gorillas communicate through sounds like roars, grunts, and shouts, and 25 sounds currently have been documented by researchers

Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Mountain gorillas in Uganda can be found in the forests of Mgahinga gorilla national park Uganda and Bwindi impenetrable national park Uganda which serves as a habitat to about 400 of these mountain giants and this number constitutes about half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. These gorillas live in families of about 5 to 30 and are headed by a predominant male called a silverback due to its silver-like lining on its back. It should be noted that not all gorilla families that habituate in Bwindi can be viewed by tourists because not all of them have been habituated for human interaction and also there is a high risk of passing diseases between humans and gorillas. In Bwindi, there are 16(fifteen) gorilla families that have been habituated for tourism and1(one) for research purposes taking the tally to 17 gorilla families in Bwindi. These families are found in the park sector regions of Ruhija, Nkuringo, Buhoma, and Rushaga.

What Is the Best Time to Track Gorillas in Uganda?

What Is the Best Time to Track Gorillas in Uganda?

In order to experience the thrill of tracking these adorable giant but shy mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National Park Uganda or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda, visit during the dry season months June- October and January – February. The dry season is the best time to track gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National Park Uganda because accessibility is quite easy during this time of the year and the trails for gorilla tracking are also navigable. During these dry months, the weather is very fine with temperatures ranging in the mid 20s and there are low chances of rain though it may occasionally rain especially in the afternoon hours. You can also track gorillas during the wet months, as gorilla families tend to stay nearer in the lower slopes of these ranges due to abundance of food in these lower slopes of the ranges hence making the trekking time shorter and quite easy for you but still loaded with a multitude of unimaginable experience. During the rainy season you should come with some rain gear as it can shower anytime of the day but it doesn’t rain for the whole day. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is at its pick during the months of June to September as well as February- march hence if you would like to do your gorilla trek when the crowds are less take advantage of Uganda’s low tourism season which comes around in the months of April- May and November and January. This comes with a lot of advantages to any one wishes to use this opportunity as gorilla trekking permits are quite easy to get hold of accommodation facilities are similarly not so busy during this time as well hence you can easily find a lodge to spend your nights at while enjoying the thrill of a spectacular gorilla trekking session.

How and Where to Get Gorilla Permits in Uganda?

How and Where to Get Gorilla Permits in Uganda?

Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda can be gotten only and only from one place and that is Uganda wildlife authority. Uganda Wildlife Authority is the only mandated agency to issue out gorilla trekking permits in Uganda. You can access these permits by visiting the offices of Uganda wildlife authority located in Kampala city in Kamwokya suburb. You can also contact any tour operator in Uganda and any of these tour operators can easily get for you gorilla tracking permits hence saving you the hustle of looking for Uganda Wildlife Authority offices in order to get the gorilla tracking permits.

When Should I Book A Gorilla Trekking Permit In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda?

When Should I Book A Gorilla Trekking Permit In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda?

A gorilla trekking permit in National Park should be booked at least 3 months, this is because Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are only 17 gorilla families that can be visited each day hence there is a lot of competition for gorilla trekking permits to track any of these families in Bwindi impenetrable national park

Cost Gorilla Trekking in Uganda?

Gorilla trekking activities in Uganda are conducted in the two protected parks of Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In Uganda, each and every gorilla permit is sold at US$600. However, its equally important to note that Uganda no longer has discounted gorilla permits hence the standard price of 600USD is charged on each gorilla trekking permit throughout the year in Uganda. As of today, Uganda is home to 18 gorilla families in both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is has 17 gorilla families and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has 1 gorilla family.  This means Uganda has the capacity to issue out 144 gorilla permits on a particular day.

Booking Gorilla permit through tour operator is best option and usually tour operators charge an extra fee on top of US$600 and this happens when you only need a permit from them. The fee charged on your gorilla permit is attached to help the tour operator with offsetting the administrative costs like make calls to UWA, picking the gorilla permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority where the permits are sold officially and then deliver it to you.

What Is Included in A Gorilla Trekking Permit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

A gorilla trekking permit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park comes along with services which include entry fees to the park, services of a guide/ranger that will accompany you as track a gorilla family and it also gets you an hour with the gorilla family after successfully tracking and finding its current location.

How many people can track a gorilla family?

How many people can track a gorilla family?

Each gorilla family in Bwindi impenetrable National Park can be tracked by a group of people between 1-8 individuals. This means that if you come in a group of more than 8 people you will be divided in groups of not more than 8 individuals and each group will track a different gorilla family at the same time. However there are times when adjustments can be made so as to create for you a smooth and spectacular gorilla trekking experience for example if you are in a group of 9 or 10 people and visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking, the park warden reserves the right to allow all of you to track the same gorilla family if he believes that you wont pose a risk to the gorillas as a result of the increased number of people visiting this particular gorilla family.

What Is the Minimum Age of Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda?

All people of all ages are welcome to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. However, the gorilla tracking experience is only available to visitors who are aged 15 years and above. This so because of the greater challenges that might be involved like tracking gorillas for a long time or getting scared on seeing the gorillas themselves as they are huge animals. Children below 15 years shouldn’t be left behind on a visit to Bwindi impenetrable National Park as there are other activities they engage in such as birding.

How Long Is Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda?

How Long Is Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda?

Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can take anywhere between 1 hour to possibly 8 hours before finding the gorilla family you have tracked. The tracking time will majorly depend on the location of gorilla family whether it is near or very far away, it will also depend on the moods of the gorillas you have tracked, if they seem to be agitated, your ranger guide will cut short your time with the gorillas so as to ensure that you are safe because these animals are wild and can sometimes be aggressive though this is a rare occurrence because before gorilla families are open for tourism purposes, they go through a rigorous habituation process in which they get to acclimatize to human presence near them so rest assured that you will be safe.

What Are the Chances of Seeing a Gorilla Family in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda?

Your chances of seeing a gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are high definitely over 95% because before you track a gorilla family, park rangers track it very early in the morning and will radio to your ranger guide about the current location of the gorilla family you are to track so that you have prior knowledge of their location before you set out to track that family. The only challenge that might raise is that of the gorilla family to keep changing its location hence making it somewhat hard to locate this particular gorilla family.

Where to Stay While On Gorilla Safari in Uganda.

Choosing the best safari lodge or accommodation to stay while on your Uganda Safari will entire depend on how much you can afford or the cost of your Uganda gorilla trekking safari package. Some luxury lodges charge as high as, $900 while the budget ones can pocket as low as $ 70 for a double room. The choice of the lodge will also depend on the tourist facilities, location, food, services and so much more.

Among the luxury include Clouds Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp and Mahogany Springs. For the budget traveler, Nshongi Gorilla Resort, Bwindi View Bands, Buhoma Community Rest Camp. The most Common blunder which travelers make is booking a Habituated gorilla family which is located far distance from their choice of lodging facility. What you should note is that the road network to Bwindi Impenetrable and its different gorilla trekking regions is mostly on bumpy murram road since this is a remote area hilly area and hence if you book a lodge located far away from the gorilla family you are going to trek, it becomes hard to catch up with trekking activity which starts very early in the morning. For travelers who would wish to plan and do gorilla trekking safari to Uganda on their own in order to save costs, they might end up spending more on their safari compared to if they used Ugandan based safari tour operators.

What to Wear On Gorilla Trekking, Gear, And Clothes for Gorilla Safari in Uganda

What to Wear On Gorilla Trekking, Gear, And Clothes for Gorilla Safari in Uganda

Knowing the right clothes suitable for gorilla trekking safari in Uganda is equally very important. What you should put in mind is that gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in the ancient Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and hilly Mgahinga gorilla national park where the weather is very unforeseeable and this implies it can rain any time. When it rains, the trekking trails become very slippery, muddy and hence require travellers on Uganda trekking safaris to be aware of the what to wear on gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda.

The following are the recommended clothes to carry for gorilla trekking in Uganda.

  • Long sleeved shirt or T-shirt on gorilla trekking is quite handy as it can quickly dry up just in case of rain, it can cover your arms from wild plants, anticipated bush thorns.
  • A light Rain Jacket or fleece or cheap poncho should be carried on your gorilla safaris just in case the skies decide to open up and let it rain while you undertake this gorilla trekking adventure in Bwindi and Mgahinga where mountain gorilla trekking is done.
  • The Long Pants or Trousers on your Uganda Gorilla Trek are the best because in case it rains, they quickly dry up and they also offer an assured protection from the thorns, nettles and branches.
  • Hand gloves. Since gorilla trekking is done in the slippery trails, travellers are highly argued to use building gloves to cover their hands when trekking the mountain gorillas. These can help you to protect your hands from the injuries in case you slide in the muddy and slippery trails. Trekker can as well bring gardening gloves particularly the ones made out of cotton. Tourists should note that the gloves must be padded on the fingers and palms.

What Shoes to Put On While On a Gorilla Trek in Uganda.

We strongly recommend travellers on their gorilla trekking safaris to come with a good pair of jungle/ankle boots with good grooves or threads for foot wear, because you can easily find yourself in a muddy hole so this nice long pair of boots will keep your feet nice and dry regardless of what you find yourself stepping in as you walk along the gorilla trekking trails in the Impenetrable forest.as earlier said, Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in a hilly area so you need this well grooved boot to keep you from back sliding as you hike high up in the Bwindi hills. While in Uganda, you can look for knee-high rubber wellies, famously called gum boots. Hiking boots are best for the steep terrain of Bwindi Impentrable and Mgahinga National Parks. Potential travellers planning for an ultimate gorilla trekking experience in Uganda should not think about wearing sandals or cool white sneakers because these will automatically not survive the slippery and muddy trails in the dark Impenetrable forest and the mountainous areas of Mgahinga park. Most importantly to note is that, the boots should be light weight boots which can offer support and traction in the steep hills and slipper trails.

Packing List Summary for Gorilla Tracking

  • Long Sleeved Shirts/Blouses
  • Trousers
  • Pair of Well Grooved Ankle Boots
  • Insect Repellent
  • Lightweight Raincoat
  • Hiking Boots
  • Cap/Hat
  • Sweater (Chilly Evenings)
  • Camera (No Flash)
  • Back Pack/Waterproof Plastic Bag (To Wrap Your Camera and Film In)
  • Snacks or Bites and fluids like bottled mineral water

Gorilla Trekking Rules in Uganda

Gorilla Trekking Rules in Uganda

For travellers who are planning to have a memorable gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, there are number of etiquettes one is supposed to follow when starting to trek, when spending the one magical hour with the stunning mountain gorillas in the ancient forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Rules Observed Before Starting Gorilla Trekking in Uganda:

  • Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas on the way to the gorillas:
  • Please always keep your voices low. you will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
  • Do not leave rubbish in the park. whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
  • You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. from there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
  • When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.

Rules observed when you encounter the gorillas in Uganda:

  • A 7-meter (21 feet) distance should tried to be observed at all times from the gorillas. the further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
  • You must stay in tight group whey you are near the gorillas.
  • Keep your voices down at all times. however, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
  • Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
  • Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
  • Flash photography is not permitted! when taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
  • Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
  • The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. however, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.

After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.

General Health Rules to Be Observed During the Gorilla Trekking Process in Uganda

General Health Rules to Be Observed During the Gorilla Trekking Process in Uganda

  • Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. the following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might poses to them:
  • Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. this minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
  • If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. an alternate visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
  • If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.
  • Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. this is to protect them from catching human diseases.
  • Do not leave any rubbish (eg. food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
  • If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.

Planing for A Gorilla Trekking Trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Planing for A Gorilla Trekking Trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Before you embark on a gorilla trekking safari you need to ensure that the following things are well taken care of.

Gorilla trekking permit costs

Gorilla trekking activities in Uganda are conducted in the two protected parks of Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National park Uganda Wildlife Authority are for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In Uganda, each and every gorilla permit is sold at US$600. However, its equally important to note that Uganda no longer has discounted gorilla permits hence the standard price of 600USD is charged on each gorilla trekking permit throughout the year in Uganda.

Transport to The Trekking Destination

You need to budget and plan for transport from Kampala/Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where gorilla trekking is done. The minimum days to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by road are three days. Therefore, you need to budget for three days. The first day is for transferring from Entebbe/Kampala to Bwindi and the next day is for moving around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You need Vehicle to transfer you to and from the starting head trails of your gorilla trek in Bwindi and the third day is to drive back to Entebbe/Kampala. Hence if you intend on visiting Bwindi impenetrable national park, you need to budget for a tourist vehicle with guide per day and then fuel to cater for the long drive distance from of 527kilometres from Kampala to and from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Please kindly contact prime Uganda Safaris and Tours for the best rates of Tourist vehicles for hire. Travellers can as well opt to fly to and from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. this has been made possible by the presence of quite a number of chartered flight companies that operate chartered flights to Bwindi impenetrable national park such as Aerolink Uganda operates scheduled flights to and from Kihihi which is the nearest Air Field and as such, you need drive transfers from the Air strip to your choice lodge. Fly Uganda is another chartered flight company that organize for you a flight to Bwindi impenetrable national park

Cost of Accommodation

You need to budget and plan for your accommodation for at least two nights. The first night is when you arrive in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the second night is after your gorilla trekking experience. It is possible to trek mountain gorillas and depart Bwindi to Kampala on the same day but it is highly recommended that tourists on Uganda Gorilla trekking safaris to Bwindi budget for additional night after trekking the gorillas as they will never tell whether they will encounter the gorillas after what period of time. The price of the accommodation will depend on the type of lodging facility because all the four gorilla trekking regions of Bwindi Impenetrable National have Luxury lodges, Mid-Range and budget. Hence the choice of lodge to stay will depend on you.

Tipping costs

Tips is an appreciation of good service rendered to you by your safari guide, gorilla trekking guide, waiters. It’s not a must that you have to do this. But as a sign of a good will and appreciation of the service that has been rendered, you can decide to tip that person who has helped in making your entire stay in this tropical paradise a perfect blissful moment.

In nut shell, total gorilla safari cost will require you to budget and plan for gorilla permit, book and pay for you choice accommodation, pay for your transport to and from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, among other requirements. In order to make your Uganda gorilla trekking safaris success, you need to contact us the number one gorilla trekking safari planners in Uganda the pearl of Africa.

The procedure is almost similar as above, except that the tour agencies tend to speed-up the process and most likely you will get you gorilla permit confirmation faster.

Book Your Gorilla Trekking Adventure to Bwindi with Prime Safaris

Follow the Few Steps Below for A Unique, Smooth and Memorable Gorilla Adventure

  • Contact us and let us know of the dates you want to tour Uganda with the days you want to see the gorilla permits.
  • Afterwards we shall let you know if the days you want for your gorilla tour are available for gorilla tracking and tentatively book them for you (but with no guarantee).
  • We send you our bank details for you to send the money for gorilla permits.
  • It takes about 16 hours for us to receive the money from your bank and pay for your permits. We shall send you acknowledgement for the money and the official Uganda Wildlife Authority Receipt (by scan and email). Please ensure you pay the bank charges when authorizing the transaction.
  • We do not charge any fee for gorilla permits buying/booking if you are booking the rest of the tour (or a part of it) with us. In case we do charge, this is to cater for any costs like telephony, transport, etc. we incur to get you the permit.
  • Send us your passport details to register your gorilla permits. Usually, we only need the Full names, passport number, and nationality.
  • Let us help you book you Gorilla Permit and Safari (no fees on permits)
  • We register your names and get the gorilla permits. We send you scanned copies of your gorilla permit.
  • As soon as the payment has been received, the permits for gorilla tracking will be purchased. Getting a gorilla permit is not a guarantee of seeing a gorilla. However, the chances of seeing them are 98%.
  • Please ensure you pay the bank charges when authorizing the transaction.
  • We do not charge any fee for gorilla permits buying/booking if you are booking the rest of the tour (or a part of it) with us. In case we do charge, this is to cater for any costs like telephony, transport, etc. we incur to get you the permit.

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