About Mountain Gorillas in Uganda
Uganda Gorillas are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwestern Uganda. Bwindi has half the number of mountain gorillas remaining in the whole world. Bwindi is the only national park in the world where chimps co-exist with mountain Gorillas. To visit Uganda gorillas, one needs a gorilla permit that costs USD700.00 per trek.
Mgahinga National Park is the other Park where Uganda gorillas are found. It is one of the parks in the Virunga ranges shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC.
Gorilla tracking is a captivation and unforgettable experience which more than repays the effort needed to reach Bwindi and to trek through the forest. Bwindi has thirteen habituated gorilla groups that are tracked by tourists. Three of these are in the vicinity of Buhoma and one at Nkuringo. Uganda gorillas can also be visited in Ruhija and Rushaga regions of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Gorilla habituation experience is another way of spending more time with Uganda gorillas. Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an initiative aimed at giving more time with gorillas to those who can afford it. Gorilla habituation experience permits cost USD1500.00 per trek in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and each gorilla family under habituation is visited by a maximum number of 4 people. Contact Encounter Africa safaris about gorilla habituation experience safaris to visit Uganda gorillas mountain gorilla in Bwindi, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Impenetrable Forest Reserve was gazetted in 1942, upgraded to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in 1992, and recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1994. in the local Rukiga language, Bwindi actually means ‘Impenetrable.’ This double warning is apt, for Bwindi is all but impenetrable; 327km2 of tangled vegetation draped over a deeply fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys and high, draughty ridges. But if the terrain is far from easy to negotiate, it is well worth the effort. Trek through this, one of Africa’s most ancient rainforests, in search of the endangered Mountain Gorillas, ranks among the world’s premier wildlife encounters.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi can be cold especially in the morning and at night, the annual average temperature range is 70C-200C with the coldest period being June and July. Warm clothing is required plus wet weather gear since Bwindi receives up to 2390mm of rain/year. This is concentrated during two wet seasons, short rains in March-May and heavy rains in September-November. Instead of short tropical deluges, rain in Bwindi often falls as long hours of soft drizzle.
For those who are planning to do a gorilla tracking safari in Uganda, the following information would apply (as set out in the printed leaflet by the Uganda Wildlife Authority ‘Gorilla Rules’).
Mountain gorillas in Uganda
Before departing for Gorilla Tracking, In Uganda, a maximum of 8 tourists may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This is done to ensure minimal behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases. Make sure that you wash your hands before your tracking exercise, Hiking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, On the way to the Uganda gorillas:
Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great birdlife and other wildlife in the forest.
DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.
Guide to Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is among the most prominent Parks that invite a plethora of travelers from different parts of the World per year.
You won’t believe the ever praised charms and natural wonders in Bwindi until you reach there while on an Uganda Gorilla Safari.
This pristine destination hides just in the Western part of Uganda on Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For a couple of years, Bwindi is one of the reasons why tourists visit Uganda several time during their vacation holidays in Africa.
The Park’s name was derived from the grand and outstanding forest in Uganda “Bwindi Impenetrable Forest”.
This Forest occupies part of the Park’s area and a major habitat for different wildlife species including the rarely seen Mountain Gorillas.
How to get there. Traveling from Kampala, you can get to this Park by two options including road and air transport means.
By road, you will drive for about 8-9 hours from Kampala up to Bwindi via Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway. It includes a stopover at the equator and in Mbarara to have some lunch.
If not road- there is an option of using an airplane, private charters are arranged from Entebbe up to Kisoro airstrip and from here you will be transported by driver guide up to Bwindi suburbs.
Gorillas in Bwindi. Without a doubt, these apes are the main draw for the traveler visiting the naturally endowed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Uganda ranks to be homing the highest percentage of Gorillas remaining in the all World, almost half of it. The biggest percentage of Uganda’s Gorillas is found in Uganda. Travelers mostly consider this Park because of the variety of Gorilla species.
Bwindi is only inhabited by the species of Mountain Gorillas; don’t expect to meet other species like Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Western Gorillas, and more.
These Gorillas usually live in areas of higher altitudes and bamboo forested areas. They live in groups that are termed as Gorillas families and each family is led by a male-dominated Silverback.
Because of variety, Bwindi is a destination where you go 100 percent sure of seeing or meeting with the Gorillas. Physical fitness is a major requirement since some families tend to move deep into the valleys.
How many Gorilla families. Among all Gorilla hosting destinations, Bwindi tops with the highest numbers of Gorilla families that are habituated and open to trekking excursions.
It is currently recorded with over eighteen Gorilla families that are distributed in its four sectors. The park houses the families that are used for habituation experience.
The four sectors. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is offered in its four sectors including the Buhoma sector, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo sector.
The Buhoma sector is located in the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It has four habituated Gorilla families including Mubare the oldest, Habinyanja, Rushegura, and Katwe Gorilla family.
Rushaga Sector is placed in the southern part of the Park. It is recorded with the highest number of families. The list embodies Bweza, Busingye, Kahungye, Nshongi, Bikini, and Mishaya.
Ruhija Sector lies in the Eastern part of Bwindi standing at an altitude of 2350m above sea level. It shelters three Gorilla families including Bitukura, Kyaguriro, and Oruzogo Gorilla family
Nkuringo Sector hides in the southwestern part of Uganda just 40km north of Kisoro town. It is home to three Gorilla families that include Bushaho, Christmas, and Nkuringo Gorilla family.
Which Sector to choose. All sectors in Bwindi are good to trek Gorillas but if you are after variety, then Rushaga should be your best choice.
Then for those combining Gorilla trek in Bwindi with a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park, you must trek in the Buhoma sector.
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi. This experience is breathtaking and a lifetime adventure for most travelers who consider Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
It is usually done in a group – only eight tourists are allowed for a Gorilla family per day. The time is taken and distance moved in the Jungles of Bwindi depends on where these apes spent their last night.
After locating them, you are allowed to stay in their presence for only one hour. You will see them feeding, laughing, and wandering around. You are free to take plenty of photos and Videos but a flush camera is not allowed for use.
Best time to Trek Gorillas in Bwindi. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is feasible all year round but it’s more peculiar in the dry season when there are low rainfall drops.
In the rainy season, you may be interrupted with heavy rainfalls, and trails in the Jungle are muddy and slippery.
For those who fancy crowd-free adventures, then consider doing the trek in the low season of traveling (March – June & October – November)
What’s required to trek Gorillas. In order to trek, you must buy a Gorilla permit, this permit costs $700 USD per person in Uganda. Additionally, for anyone to trek, you must be fifteen years and above.
Where to Stay. Bwindi Impenetrable National park is reserved with plenty of accommodation facilities that range from budget, mid-range to luxury. There are all well-facilitated to fit the traveler’s needs. Each sector has its own accommodation, therefore when booking you have to consider first the sector you booked for Gorilla trek.