A Guide To Trekking Gorillas In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
A Guide To Trekking Gorillas In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park- Uganda is the best destination when people talk about gorilla trekking mountain gorillas in Africa. Mountain gorilla trekking activities are mostly done in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park although there is also Mgahinga national park where mountain gorilla trekking is done among the Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a place where thousands of tourists have visited and spent 1 or 4 hours with mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Spending 1 or 4 hours with mountain gorillas helps tourists to learn about mountain gorilla behaviors the fact that they share 98% human DNA, watch them do daily activities as you take photos.
Although mountain gorillas were getting to extinction, when Dian Fossey an American primatologist came up and made people love mountain gorillas, the population has increased and there are over 1071 mountain gorillas left in the world. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in the southwestern part of Uganda alone has more than a half of the remaining population in its thick tropical and sub-tropical rain forests.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the south western Uganda in Kisoro, Kabale, and Kanungu districts. The park is not only home to mountain gorillas but also over 120 mammals, 350 bird species, and over 11 primate species. Mountain gorillas are the main reasons as to why tourists do visit this park because mountain gorilla trekking and habituation are the most done activities.
There are 19 fully habituated mountain gorilla families and 2 semi-habituated mountain gorilla families for tourists to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The 19 gorilla families are spread in 4 sectors of the park mainly Rushaga, Nkuringo, Buhoma, and Ruhija. The 2 for habituation do live in Nkuringo and Rushaga all found in the southern sector of the park. Trekking mountain gorillas means a person will be given 4 hours to be around mountain gorillas while habituation means that they will have 4 hours around these apes.
Spending time with mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park on a trekking tour
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is one of the places most visited for mountain gorilla trekking in the whole world. Its located in the southwestern part of the country harboring the highest population of mountain gorillas in the world. The park is open for mountain gorilla trekking at any time of the year and to be part of the trekking activity, you need to acquire a mountain gorilla trekking permit first which you can easily book with Africa Adventure Vacations or from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
In Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, mountain gorilla trekking is done among all the fully habituated mountain gorilla families at any time of the year. Trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi is the same as trekking those in Mgahinga, volcanoes, and Virunga national park because all starts with a briefing after which rangers lead the trekkers into the jungle to search for mountain gorillas with opportunities of seeing other park animals but on meeting the mountain gorilla family, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these primates learning about their behaviors, watching them do daily activities and take photos.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has 19 mountain gorilla families open for trekking in the 4 sectors of the park and 2 open for habituation in the 2 sectors of the south. The 19 fully habituated mountain gorillas in Bwindi include Orugozo gorilla family, Busingye gorilla family, Nshongi gorilla family, Nkuringo gorilla family, Bitukura gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Kyaguriro gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Mukiza gorilla family, Rushegura gorilla family, Muyambi gorilla family, Mucunguzi gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla family, Katwe gorilla family, Kutu gorilla family, and Mubare gorilla family.
Gorilla trekking permits prices for Bwindi impenetrable forest national park?
Mountain gorilla trekking permits of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are printed out by Uganda Wildlife Authority to all children above the age of 15 years at a fee of $700 foreign non-residents, $600 foreign resident, and shs250,000. Uganda has about 152 mountain gorilla trekking permits which are few compared to the number of trekkers so if you are out there planning to trek mountain gorillas in the dry season, you are advised to book your trekking permit in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences.
The appropriate time to trek gorillas Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is open for gorilla tourism at any time of the year but there are some months that are better than the rest and these are dry months. The dry months are June to September and December to February and during these months, there is little or no rainfall in the park, the trekking trails are dry, the vegetation in the park is thin giving clear views of the park animals, and the roads to the park are passable.
If you are out there and intending to visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in the dry season, we advise you to book your gorilla trekking permit in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences. Tourists can also visit Bwindi in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities but trekking in the rainy season comes with plenty of rainfall which makes the trekking trails slippery and muddy, the vegetation in the park is always thick giving unclear views of the mountain gorillas, and the roads to the park are impassable.
How to access mountain gorillas of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park?
Tourists who want to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can get to the park by air transport or road transport. By air transport, tourists can book chattered flights with their local tour operators and on the day of the safari, they can use AeroLink Uganda or Fly Uganda at Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Kihihi airstrip or Kisoro airstrip. Those going to Buhoma and Ruhija sectors will use Kihihi airstrip while those going to Nkuringo and Rushaga will use Kisoro airstrip taking only 2 hours.
By road transport, tourists from Kampala/Entebbe will use Masaka – Mbarara – Kabale or Kisoro road depending on the sector they are to trek mountain gorillas from while those from Kigali will enter Uganda through Cyanika and Katuna borders and drive to the park in just 4-5 hours.
Accommodation on a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi
So many accommodation facilities are built in and outside different sectors of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park so tourists don’t have to worry about where they will stay. These accommodation facilities range from budget to mid-range to luxury options so where to stay depends on your budget. Some of the accommodation facilities in Bwindi include Gorilla Safari Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Safari Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Cuckooland Tented Camp, Silverback Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi View Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, and Four Gorilla Lodge among others.
Things you need to pack for gorilla trekking in Bwindi
In order to have a successful and memorable mountain gorilla trekking safari, you need to be well prepared on the final day of trekking. On the day of gorilla trekking make sure you have things such as waterproof hiking boots, a pair of gaiters, long-sleeved clothes, a rain jacket, sunscreen, a hat, gardening gloves, a rain jacket, insect repellent, camera and accompanying equipment, energy-giving snacks, enough drinking water, a pair of binoculars, face mask and sanitizer.