How to choose a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda
How to choose a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda? Are you planning a Uganda gorilla trek? We have got you covered. As you read through this blog, you will know what to expect, the convenient time to trek, costs as well as how to choose a suitable safari company to arrange your gorilla trekking safari to Africa. The impenetrable forest of Bwindi national park is enthralling, and it brings sights of green hills and mountains, as well as low-lying mists and the reverberating sounds of mysterious wild species off in the distance. While in Bwindi Forest, you will be charmed to have a view of the rarest giant family of the great apes (the gorilla families) in the world.
A tour of Africa without visiting the mountain gorillas of Uganda is incomplete. Therefore, you should not miss out on doing gorilla trekking in Uganda because of the following:
Uganda has had its share of problems in the past, but the country is currently on the road to recovery. It is more stable, there are fewer threats of violence, and a resurgence in tourism has greatly contributed to the country’s infrastructure.
One of the biggest draws to Uganda is the remote area home to the country’s rare mountain gorilla families. While gorilla safaris in Uganda aren’t the cheapest or easiest trips to take, they are well worth the time and expense.
What you should expect on a Uganda gorilla safari.
While on a gorilla trekking safari, mountain gorillas are not always easy to spot, although tour companies are well equipped with highly experienced experts who know how to give you the best chance to see them.
Choosing a Uganda gorilla safari
Upon reaching the trekking day, the activity commences at an identified meeting point. While some gorilla treks commence directly from here, others meet up at a spot further away. Nevertheless, you won’t be able to tell which your tour could be.
Tour groups get together at the starting point for a briefing, and park rangers share with them what to do and what to expect during the activity. They are split into small groups of 8 people.
Mountain gorillas live in families and in different parts of the forest. The trekkers normally trek one of the popular gorilla families through the mountains. Each group is led by a ranger guide who helps to locate the families as well as an armed guard for security purposes.
It may take 1-6 hours to meet a gorilla family, but this depends on the assigned gorilla family and the speed of the trekkers. Mountain gorillas are mobile because they usually move deep into the forest searching for food.
Know more about mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda.
After meeting a gorilla family, you are given one hour to interact with mountain gorillas. While watching from a distance of seven meters, You’re not even allowed to eat anything in front of gorillas, and it’s not accepted to feed any gorillas. Avoid flash photography.
If the instructions are put into place, you will be able to enjoy one hour of observation and interaction with each other. If you are lucky enough on your day of trekking, you might come under the watchful eye of your ranger guide.
Your ranger will take you back to the starting point or park offices in appreciation for helping protect the few remaining mountain gorillas on earth. Then you can go to the reserved lodge or do another activity.
Permission to gorilla
Everyone who is dreaming of visiting Ugandan mountain gorillas must have a gorilla permit which allows him/her to access the part of the forest where gorilla families stay. A gorilla permit is issued for that forest and it is good for only one day. If you’re interested in any group or gorilla trekking sector, ensure that you book a group tour.
The price of a gorilla permit in Uganda
For foreign nonresidents, per person per trek, for foreign residents it is $600, and for East African citizens, it is 250,000 Ugandan shillings. During the high season, gorilla permits are used to sell on first come, first served. While planning to see the mountain gorillas of Uganda, mostly in the dry season, you are advised to book your gorilla permit in advance. During the dry season, there are tourists and it is easy to secure gorilla permits. Though you may be disturbed by the rain, Therefore, if you want to see the mountain gorillas of Uganda, do not worry about the weather but focus on your interest because the weather in Ugandan gorilla destinations is unpredictable.
How to access Bwindi Forest.
It takes about 9-10 hours to reach Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park from the capital city, Kampala, and covers a distance of over 550 kilometers. You are advised to use 4×4 vehicles as you pass through a dirty marram road. You may hire a car and drive by yourself, or if you are not comfortable, book with Africa Adventure Vacations and we will give you our driver guide for the whole round trip.
Domestic and charter flights in Uganda are arranged by Aerolink from Entebbe international Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Kisoro and Kihihi airfields. You will need to use ground transport from the airport to get to your reserved area. This helps tourists with limited time or those who do not want to drive for long hours.
Accommodation and lodges.
The development of tourism in Uganda has influenced the construction of many safari lodges and camps in all national parks, including the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park. Accommodation facilities in and outside Bwindi Forest offer high-quality services through friendly staff, en-suite bathrooms, and beautiful views of the forest.
Due to the many safari lodges and hotels in Bwindi Forest, every tourist has a chance to book accommodations where he/she will get a good night’s sleep before or after their gorilla trekking experience. Some of the safari lodges around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park are; Mahogany Springs lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Lake Kitandara Camp, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Karungi Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Friends Lodge
When to visit the mountain gorillas of Uganda?
You can visit the mountain gorillas of Uganda at any time you want, but the most recommended time to go for trekking is during the high season, which is from June to October and December to February. The disadvantage of trekking mountain gorillas in this season is that gorilla permits are in high demand and one needs to book his/her permit in advance to avoid inconveniences.
The months of March, April and May are known as the rainy season months. But many tour groups are traveling to see the mountain gorillas of Bwindi. There are many gorilla permits available every day during this period, whereby you can even book your permit by yourself. However, you may be disturbed by rain. You are also advised to carry a water-proof rain jacket, hiking boots, long sleeved clothes, and so on.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda.
Do you ask yourself where to do gorilla trekking? Rwanda and Uganda have got your answers. The comparison between Uganda and Rwanda on gorilla trekking has never ended, and the difference comes with the price of gorilla trekking.
Rwanda has got a high-priced gorilla trekking permit and it goes up to USD 1500 per person for each trek. For the Uganda gorilla trek, the permit goes up to USD 700 per person. You will see that Rwanda’s gorilla permit is expensive, but in the end, you will find the cost of your trip in all 3 countries is the same.
If you want to visit the two countries, it is good if you make your first stop in Rwanda and later you take a car that will last for 2-3 hours to reach Volcanoes National Park and Ruhengeri. To cross the border to Uganda, it will take you four hours by car to reach Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The two countries will provide you a chance to see the mountain gorillas. Every trek you take has experienced trekkers who will help you spot the mountain gorilla families. Most of these families stay in Uganda. Rwanda and Uganda provide budget and luxury accommodation in and around the National Parks.
The best national park choose a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda
If you want to go where adventure starts from, doing your safari in Uganda is the best place to go. Uganda has got the best national park to do your safari because it offers amazing views. And yes, Mgahinga gorilla national park is the best national park to choose a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda because the gorilla family is close to the starting point and visitors are not so much disrupted by thick forest cover to see a gorilla family.
It is known as the best track and even during the period that is high, you have personal feelings about the Uganda gorilla trip. You can also spend some time at Lake Victoria, which is among the most amazing natural sites. Most expeditions take place on Lake Victoria and will take place alongside Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Uganda as a tourism destination
Uganda is among the best places in Africa that visitors desire to visit due to its amazing geography and history. Taking a tour in Uganda is wonderful and this enables you to understand the culture of the people of Uganda and trust me that you will be able to tell the amazing stories that you will encounter.
You should know that the Ugandan gorilla trek is not cheap, but you should also know that passing your time and being with the world’s rarest primate species is something that is not regrettable.
This is the best chance for you to see and spend time with the endangered mountain gorillas that are found in the mist, and you will be able to enjoy the amazing experience that a few individuals have been able to watch.
Reasons for booking with Africa Adventure Vacations.
Traveling to a new place is so exciting and it is one of the greatest experiences one can ever encounter. You get a chance to encounter the food, culture, and natural resources of the area. Africa Adventure Vacations is the best tour operator that can help you experience all the amazing cultures in Africa plus the authentic wildlife. Africa Adventure Vacations can help you to save money and restless nights trying to look for where to go. We are experienced, well-informed, and passionate about what we do. Africa Adventure Vacations is locally raised and has got a business license. We are quick to respond to any kind of question from our clients. We have got the best tour packages and pricing. Our company can afford the group size that you would like to come along with.