Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park : Bwindi Impenetrable National Park popularly known as the world’s best place to encounter endangered mountain gorillas thus declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. More so, the park has 22 habituated gorilla groups making it the best place to see the gorillas in the wild. However, Uganda is renowned as home to the largest and most closely monitored community of unique mountain gorillas split across two national parks; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. More to that, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to half of the world’s remaining endangered mountain gorillas in the wild and to encounter them requires one to purchase valid gorilla permits to access their natural inhabits.

Environmentalists estimate that in the year the 1980s there were only 254 mountain gorillas left in the world but today the number had increased to a total of 1065 individual species and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park houses half of the number over 650 mountain gorillas thus being the top visited gorilla destination among the three national parks, Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, Virunga National Park Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.

Many travelers may wonder how much does it cost to trek with gorillas? In Uganda, gorilla trekking permits cost USD700 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, USD600 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for East African members. This money excludes accommodation and meal rates, and transport costs.

Gorilla Trekking

The gorilla trekking starts early in the morning after your breakfast at the lodge and your safari driver guide drives you to the park headquarters for a briefing about dos and don’ts. The trek starts at 8:00 am with a limited group of eight this is because the number is being limited to keep to gorillas safe from any airborne diseases like flu, diarrhea, and cough as well as increase the chances of seeing the gorillas.

Note; One to be able to access the gorilla’s natural environment requires hiking through the thick tangles of vegetation, muddy hills, and down into craggy valleys.

The forest sits at a high altitude and testing terrain makes the journey tiresome but the rewards all are worth an encounter.

Gorilla trekking is a truly breathtaking experience where you are allowed to spend up to 4 hours with these gentle giants in the jungle.

After morning breakfast, you will carry packed lunch from the lodge and meet up with your driver guide to transfer to the park headquarters for a briefing. After the briefing, you will start trekking in the jungle in search of the mountain gorillas which takes about 30 minutes to 6 hours depending on where the gorillas are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking, you will be able to view other primate species such as L’Hoest monkeys, chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, different plant species, birds many others.

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Gorillas

Once the mountain gorillas are allocated you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which allows you to observe their habits, and behaviors, watch gorillas feed, breastfeed, groom young ones, take photos and record the breathtaking moments to show people back home after the safari.

After the one-hour encounter with the gentle giants, you will trek back to the park headquarters where you will be rewarded a certificate for participating in gorilla trekking and then meet up with your driver guide who drives you back to the lodge, Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

When to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi?

Gorillas can be tracked all year round, although the rainy season makes the trek more challenging. Therefore, Uganda has two rainy seasons one starts from March to May and another from October to November. There are benefits to visiting during the rainy seasons, accommodation rates turn low, and sometimes there are discounts on gorilla trekking permits.

All gorilla trekkers need to obtain a permit from the ‘’UWA’’ Uganda Wildlife Authority. The current rate for gorilla permits is USD700 per person. Despite this fact, Gorilla trekking in Uganda remains cheaper than in neighboring Rwanda where a permit costs USD1,500 per person.

What to carry with you on Gorilla safaris?

Pair of trousers and a long-sleeved shirt.

Longer socks

A pair of hiking gloves

A lightweight pair of waterproof hiking boots

Insect repellent

Comfortable hiking shoes

Warm clothes like waterproof rain jackets, ponchos, sweater

Wear a hat

Sturdy gardening gloves

What are the rules and regulations for gorillas trekking?

Wash hands before heading out into the forest because mountain gorillas are wild animals.

Do not litter rubber in the park

There is a limited number of people allowed to track the gorilla family.

Ill people are not permitted to track gorillas

Apart from doing gorilla trekking, you can decide to do Gorilla Habituation Experience; Gorilla Habituation Experience is a quite remarkable activity that can only be done in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park nowhere else. This activity gives a great chance to trekkers to spend 4 hours in the company of the Mountain Gorillas. These mountain gorillas are undertaken through a training experience of 2 to 3 years and when they are noticed by the park rangers that they are used face to face /eye contact with humans. After noticing that group of gorilla family is fully trained in eye contact with humans they open it for tourism.

Where to stay in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The park hosts a range of comfortable luxury, Mid-range, and Budget including; Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Buhoma haven lodge, Buhoma lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, and Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp among others.

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