Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Uganda is one of the exceptional fascinating tourist destination offering the amazing and exciting mountain gorilla trekking safari in the world, Uganda as a tourist destination is greatly gifted by supernatural powers to be among the few countries to habit the endangered mountain gorillas. Uganda is not just a home to mountain gorillas but a habitant to the biggest population of mountain gorillas which is estimated to be 400 individuals.

Uganda is blessed with abundant wildlife species including the big five mammals, different bird species, primates like chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, monkeys, baboons among others. Gorilla trekking is the most popular activity carried out that involves moving into the forest in search of the endangered mountain gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural environment. 

 Destinations for gorilla trekking in Uganda 

There are about 1063 mountain gorillas in the world and Uganda is one of the gorilla destinations harboring about 459 which is half of the worlds mountain gorilla population and the remaining mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two destinations that is Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. 

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park

Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in southwestern Uganda in Kanungu district and it’s the most visited gorilla destination in Uganda because it harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of about 19 habituated gorilla families which are found in four areas Buhoma sector in the north, Nkuringo sector in the south, Ruhija sector in the east and Rushaga sector in the south. Apart from gorilla trekking Bwindi impenetrable national park offers gorilla habituation experience an activity where wild gorillas are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. Gorilla habituation experience in the park is however carried out in Rushaga sector in the southern region.

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Mgahinga gorilla national park is the smallest national park situated in the southwestern part of Uganda in Kisoro district and gorilla trekking is one of the famous activities carried out.  Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home of one habituated gorilla family which is available for trekking on a daily basis.

Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda

Gorilla trekking permit is a legal document or card that is issued by Uganda wildlife Authority to any visitor above the age of 15 years allowing him or her to visit a habituated gorilla family in either Bwindi impenetrable national park or Mgahinga gorilla national park. A single gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs USD 700 per person for foreign non residents, USD 600 per person for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 per person for East African citizens. The gorilla trekking permit allows you to spend one hour with the mountain gorillas but the actual trek can take about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on where the gorillas are located. Visitors who want to engage in gorilla habituation experience the permit costs USD 1500 and allows you to spend four hours with the gorillas.

Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date because they are competitive and usually get sold out quickly especially during the dry season or peak season in the months of June to September and December to February therefore in order to avoid disappointments it’s advisable to book your gorilla trekking or habituation permits in advance.

Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda 

Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done anytime throughout the year though the best period is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February.  During the dry season there is less rainfall in the gorilla destinations therefore access roads to the parks will be passable, vegetation will be thin therefore mountain gorillas will be seen clearly and gorilla trekking trails will be passable compared to the wet season when the trails are muddy and slippery.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda can also be done in the wet season also known as the low season in the months of March to May and November. The wet season has a lot of rainfall which makes gorilla trekking difficult due to muddy and slippery trails but it also has some advantages for example there will be plenty of food for the mountain gorillas therefore they will be located faster than in the dry season when they move deep into the forest in search of food. Lodges in the gorilla destinations offer discounts to visitors in the wet season which favors budget travelers, gorilla trekking permits will be available and you will be able to enjoy the park with fewer crowds.

What to pack for your gorilla trekking safari

  • After acquiring a gorilla  trekking permit in Uganda the next thing you should know is what to pack or carry for your gorilla trekking safari and these requirements include
  • Hiking boots to keep your feet dry during trekking
  • Long sleeved shirt and trouser to keep your body warm and protect you from thorn scratches 
  • Garden gloves to protect your hands from germs
  • Rain jacket to protect you from rains because Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park are tropical rainforests therefore it can rain anytime of the day. 
  • Insect repellent to protect you from biting insects like tsetse flies or mosquitoes
  • Camera to take pictures and record the moments
  • A pair of binoculars to view mountain gorillas and bird species at a distance
  • Warm sweater to keep you warm especially in the wet season
  • Hut and sunglasses to protect you from direct sunlight
  • Energy giving snacks like drinking water and packed food to keep you hydrated.
  • Back pack to carry your equipment’s like camera, energy giving snacks, a pair of binoculars, insect repellent, rain jacket among others.

Gorilla trekking rules and regulations

  • Only persons above the age of 15 years are allowed to trek the endangered mountain gorillas
  • In case you are not feeling well you are not allowed to visit the gorillas because they are vulnerable to human diseases
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing when near the gorillas
  • You should keep a distance of about 7 meters away from the gorillas
  • Do not use cameras with flash lights when taking photos because they may get violent
  • You are allowed to spend one hour with the endangered gorillas in their environment
  • Do not feed or eat anything while in the presence of the gorillas
  • Do not throw rubbish in the forest
  • Do not make noise during trekking or while in the presence of the mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking Uganda
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Where to stay during your gorilla trekking safari

There are a range of accommodation facilities in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park where you can stay during your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda. The accommodations range from luxury, midrange and budget including Buhoma community rest camp, Sanctuary gorilla forest camp, CTPH gorilla conservation camp, Buhoma lodge, Lake Kitandara Bwindi lodge, Engagi lodge, Silverback lodge, Volcanoes safari Bwindi lodge, Bwindi view bandas, Bwindi guest house, Mahogany springs camp, Eco marvels gorilla resort, Jungle view lodge, Gorilla friends lodge, Nshongi camp, Nkuringo gorilla camp, Clouds mountain gorilla lodge, Trekkers Tavern cottages, Ruhija gorilla safari lodge, Ruhija gorilla mist camp, gorilla safari lodge, Mount Gahinga lodge, Mucha hotel Kisoro, Travelers rest house Kisoro, Kisoro tourist hotel, Amajambere Iwacu community camp, Mgahinga rest camp, Mutanda lake resort among others.

You can contact Achieve Global Safaris for more information about Uganda gorilla trekking guide or visit our website to check out gorilla trekking packages like 3 days Uganda gorilla safari, 4 Uganda double gorilla trekking, 4 days flying gorilla safari Uganda, 3 days gorilla habituation experience among others.