Gorilla Trekking is one of the most thrilling adventures you can enjoy while in Uganda. This rare wildlife experience can be carried out in two national parks; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Mountain gorilla trekking is the most popular thing to do in Uganda attracting thousands of travelers year after year! Uganda is blessed to have nearly a half of the remaining world population of the mountain gorillas within two national parks; Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park.
Where to Go Gorilla Trekking
Imagine visiting Uganda for gorilla tracking and you are probably wondering where best you can go gorilla trekking as well as combining it with your favorite tour activities like wildlife viewing, golden monkey trekking and volcano hikes. Uganda is blessed with lush thick forests, fauna flora, multiple tree species, primates which make the country one of the top safari travel destination in Africa full of multiple tour adventures that make your travel experience one in a million for your Africa safari tour.
From the famous islands ,lakes, rivers, mountains, landscape and vegetation, Uganda ‘s beauty is one you can easily combine for a thrilling gorilla safari with one extra day chilling on the beautiful Islands, hiking volcanoes, exploring the ancient traditional culture , golden monkey trek or walk through the beautiful forest on a nature walk trip. The best time to visit Uganda for gorilla tracking is all year January – December with no disappointment but only memorable safari tours.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
In Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable forest is perhaps the most famous gorilla trekking destination known for superb gorilla safari experience and excellent for cultural excisions, bird watching and community retreat programs. Are you looking for a Uganda safari tour to see gorillas, chimpanzee and wildlife?.Bwindi forest is your perfect choice destination combined with Queen Elizabeth National Park in a duration of only 4-5 days. The park offers great opportunities of seeing mountain gorillas, traditional cultural trends of Batwa, other primates, and many forest habitants. Being a home to the largest mountain gorilla population living in the four sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo, its beyond doubt that Bwindi forest is the best gorilla tracking destination in Africa. Despite the highest demand of gorilla tourism in Uganda, travelers hardly miss gorilla tracking due to gorilla permit availability. However, prior booking is always the best thing to do if you want to track gorillas soon in Africa.
There are now several habituated groups of gorillas where gorilla trekking is taken. Within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: there are ten habituated gorilla groups; three of these groups are located within a walking distance of Buhoma, three in Ruhija and one in Nkuringo group and four from Rushaga within the south of the park and accessible only from Kisoro.
- Mubare group
- Habinyanja group
- Rushegura group
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
For the ultimate gorilla safari combined with volcano hiking tour, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also known for golden monkey trekking and exciting Batwa cultural trail, is a perfect place to be for your upcoming Uganda gorilla tracking safari. The park is well conserved and a home to five volcanoes . Imagine yourself tracking mountain gorillas in their home as well as hiking the lovely rewarding volcanoes of Mgahinga in just 4 days. If time permits, its not bad to explore the twenty nine islands of Lake Bunyonyi before embarking on the return journey back to Kampala OR Entebbe international airport for your flight back home. There is a wide range of incredible lodges and campsites just in case you want to stay a little longer. For amazing gorilla and volcanoes’ hike safaris, we do recommend Mgahinga National park in Uganda.
When to Go Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking can be done any time of the year. This is due to the fact that Uganda is an all year tourism destination.
The Gorilla Trekking Etuquette
Before Gorilla Tracking
It’s a must in all gorilla trekking parks that visitors gather at the park head quarters early morning for briefing from the park rangers .Its during this session that they are grouped in groups of eight a maximum number allowed to visit a particular habituated gorilla family. Age verification is done with presentation of valid passports and gorilla permits for the day followed by washing hands before heading into the forest to search for the gorillas.
During Gorilla Search
While in the forest on a nature walk and hiking adventure in search of the giant rare creatures, every tourist must speak in a low tone voice in order not to scare other amazing forest habitants that you may come across. Keep in touch with others all through the trek and carry all your rubbish back to your lodge after the trek because they may contaminate the forest .Remember every trek starts from where gorillas spent a night before your trek and park all the forest hikes and walks depend on the walking trail that rangers pave to where the gorillas are. As you get close to the gorilla encounter point the park ranger’s alert you to get ready for the 60 minutes duration of photography and observation.
With the Gorillas
Tourists must keep a seven meter distance while with gorillas, be close to other gorilla visitors, the voice tone must be low, eating and drinking is prohibited, look at gorillas but dodge the silver back eyes, don’t touch them because they are wild animals. Taking photos is a must but move slowly and careful after putting off the flash light of your camera. Make the best use of the full hour with the gorillas and move quietly or in a low voice tone for a few meters before returning back to the park head quarters for your certificates that marks the end of the trek.
What to bring on a Gorilla Safari
Better to head out for your gorilla safari tour adventure smart and ready and then put all the rules and regulations in consideration. Wear long sleeved T-shirts, and trousers, comfortable walking boots good for steep muddy slopes, drinking water and packed lunch is a must since the trek may take between 2-8 hours. I highly recommend a good camera to capture memories and amazing moments with the gorillas.