What is the population of mountain gorillas in Uganda?
What is the population of mountain gorillas in Uganda? Mountain gorillas are endangered species of primates according to the IUCN red list. In the world, the endangered mountain gorillas are found in the forests of Virunga national park DR Congo, Volcanoes national park Rwanda, and Mgahinga gorilla national park together with Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda. All the gorilla national parks are close to each other in fact the gorilla family in Mgahinga national parks used to move to Rwanda but with time it settled in Mgahinga national park as of now.
As of today, there are over 1071 mountain gorillas surviving in the world. About 80 are in Mgahinga gorilla national park, more than a half is found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and the rest are shared between volcanoes national park and Virunga national park.
Where to see mountain gorillas in Uganda
Looking for where to see mountain gorillas in Uganda? Well, Uganda is lucky to have mountain gorillas distributed in two national parks of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park both located in the southwestern part of the country. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world distributed in 4 sectors of the park namely Nkuringo in the south, Rushaga in the south, Buhoma in the north, and Ruhija in the east. All the sectors of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park have over 19 habituated gorilla families that are open for trekking and 2 families in Nkuringo and Rushaga sector are open for habituation. Mgahinga gorilla national park has only one habituation gorilla family believed to have the highest number of silverbacks and this is called Nyakagezi.
Sectors of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
This is the oldest sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park where gorilla habituation took place in 1992 and this was the Mubare gorilla family. It is one of the most sectors of Bwindi located on the northern side of the park. the gorilla families in the Buhoma sector include the Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla family, Katwe gorilla family, Muyambi gorilla family, and Rushengura gorilla family.
This is located in the eastern sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park with habituated gorilla families such as the Mukiza gorilla family, Kyaguriro gorilla family, Orugozo gorilla family, and Bitukura gorilla family.
This is located in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and has gorilla families such as the Busingye gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Mucunguzi gorilla family, and Nshongi gorilla family among. Rushaga is the only place in the world offering gorilla habituation which allows you to stay around mountain gorillas for a maximum of 4 hours.
This is located in the southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. the sector is home to the Nkuringo gorilla family, Christmas gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, and Bushasho gorilla family.
What is the best national park to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda
There are two national parks in Uganda and these are Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in the southwest both hosting mountain gorillas. The best place to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda would be Bwindi impenetrable forest national park the fact that it’s home to more than half of the mountain gorilla population. Trekking mountain gorillas and locating them is 98% in both Mgahinga gorilla national park and Mgahinga gorilla park. what makes these national parks differ is that Mgahinga national park is made up of more bamboo shoots making mountain gorillas be easily seen while Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is made up of tropical and sub-tropical rain forests.
How much is a gorilla permit in Uganda?
For anyone to take part in the gorilla trekking activity, they must have a gorilla trekking permit which can be obtained by only persons above 15 years of age from the Uganda wildlife authority. Mountain gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 in the Rushaga and Nkuringo sector per person per trek allowing you 4hrs around mountain gorillas as you learn about their habits and take pictures. A gorilla trekking permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 foreign residents, and shs250,000 east African citizens giving you an opportunity to be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour as you learn about their behaviors and take pictures.
How much time does gorilla trekking take in Uganda?
Gorilla trekking time is unpredicted in Uganda but it takes 2-7 hours or more depending on the season, nature of the terrain that day, and the location of mountain gorillas on the day of trekking. Trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla park starts early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters where trekkers are taught about the dos and don’ts of the trekking as an activity. after briefing a ranger is given to you to lead you into the forest where you start to look for these mountain gorillas and once you have located them you will be allowed to spend a maximum of 1 hour around them.
What is a gorilla permit?
When it comes to Uganda, a gorilla permit is a document that is issued out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to allow a person to trek mountain gorilla for a maximum of 1 hour or habituate for 4 hours. A gorilla permit is done for one person and it’s used for a single day.
In Uganda mountain gorillas are only found in two parks and these are Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. both national parks are found in the southwestern part of the country on the borders of DR Congo and Rwanda. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park alone is home to about 19 habituated gorilla families that live in the 4 sectors of the park namely Nkuringo, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Buhoma. It’s also in Bwindi where mountain gorilla habituation is done in Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors.
Mgahinga gorilla national park on the other hand is located in the southwestern part of the country on the borders with Virunga national park of DR Congo and volcanoes national park of Rwanda. Mgahinga national park is home to only 1 habituated gorilla called Nyakagezi which is open for trekking at any time of the year.
What is the number of people allowed to visit a gorilla family in Uganda?
The maximum number of people allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Mgahinga national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is 8 and 4 are allowed to habituate a single gorilla family. The number of people allowed to be around mountain gorillas is limited in order to reduce the behavioral disturbance to mountain gorillas, minimize the risk of gorilla exposure to human borne diseases, and conserve other forest creatures by reducing the damage to the forest.
Where to buy a gorilla permit in Uganda?
Gorilla trekking and habituation permits in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla park can be bought directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour operator. Getting a trusted tour operator in Uganda is not easy but you can easily know if a tour operator is trustworthy by checking if they are registered under the Association of Uganda tour operators and Uganda tourism board. If you use us to book for you a gorilla permit, we shall ask you for the travel dates then check for the availability of permits with the Uganda wildlife authority. After confirming the availability, we shall send a voucher to pay, and later after receiving the payment we shall secure you a permit.
The minimum age for gorilla trekking or habituation in Uganda?
The minimum age for gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga gorilla park is 15 years. And there is no maximum age for trekking as long as you are fit you can trek the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Young children are not allowed to trek mountain gorillas because they can get lost in the forest, can easily get tired and it’s hard for them to keep the rules and regulations.
Are elderly people allowed to trek mountain gorillas?
The minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years but there is no maximum age meaning that elderly people can also be allowed to trek mountain gorillas. gorilla trekking by elderly people has been made possible in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park by introducing the sedan chairs. The sedan chairs are hired to carry people who are not physically fit and those unable to walk in the jungle. Sedan chairs are carried by a group of 4 people who move you around the forest to make your dream come true of meeting mountain gorillas. if you need a sedan chair you need to inform your tour operator in advance. Sedan chairs come at a fee of $400-500.
Best time to see mountain gorillas in Uganda
Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can be visited at any time of the year for trekking but the best time is the drier season. The dry season in Uganda happens in June to September and December to January when there is little or no rainfall, thin vegetation for clear views of animals, roads leading to the parks passable, and the trekking trails are less slippery and not muddy. The rainy season that happens in October to November and December to February is not good for trekking the fact that the rainfall is much, the vegetation is thick and the trekking trails are muddy and slippery.
Packing list for a gorilla safari in Uganda
When planning a gorilla safari, you need to pack good long-sleeved clothes, waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, insect repellents, a hat, sunscreen, hiking gloves, rainy jackets, face masks and sanitizers, a camera and batteries, a pair of binoculars, enough drinking water and energy-giving snacks.