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Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Going on a gorilla trek in Uganda is a special wildlife adventure where you get to see amazing African apes in their home. Uganda is amazing in every way. From the powerful mountain gorilla ruling the dense forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park. If you're on a safari in Uganda, you really shouldn't skip the thrilling experience of Gorilla Tracking.

Uganda is full of beautiful green landscapes, deep lakes, tall mountains, and one of the world’s biggest treasures - half of all the remaining mountain gorillas. With Afrika Panthera Safaris, you can journey deep into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and get closer to these amazing endangered creatures than you ever imagined.

Where can I go to see gorillas in Uganda?

You can see gorillas in two places in Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi is more popular because it has more gorillas, is easier to get to by plane, and has more places to stay.

Which park you choose depends on your travel plans and how much time you have. Both parks cost the same for permits and have the same chance of seeing gorillas.

Both Bwindi and Mgahinga are in the southwest corner of Uganda, near Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many of Uganda's safari destinations are also in the southwest. You can easily combine a safari with gorilla trekking for an unforgettable trip.

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi is the top place in Uganda for gorilla trekking. You can find habituated gorilla families at four starting points: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. Each starting point is different, with its own gorilla families and difficulty levels.

Starting from one of these points, you'll join a small group of up to 8 people for a guided hike into the forest. The goal? Finding one of the 11 habituated gorilla families.

Experienced guides from the Uganda Wildlife Authority lead the way. They'll teach you about the forest and its changing landscape as you search for the gorillas. The guides stay in touch with trackers who've been following the gorillas since dawn. These trackers help the guides lead you to the gorillas.

Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park

Near the border with Rwanda, Mgahinga National Park is a good choice for trips that go between there and Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. It's the only place in Uganda where you can go trekking to see Golden Monkeys. Many people like to combine gorilla trekking in Nkuringo (Bwindi) with a gorilla trek in Mgahinga.

Mgahinga is quieter than Bwindi, and the treks are easier. There are not as many permits available here. Even though gorilla families often move between Rwanda and Uganda, only one family in Mgahinga is used to people. This family is called the Nyakagazi group, and it has five adult males, two adult females, and three young gorillas.

  • FAQs

Gorilla Trekking Safaris Frequently Asked Questions

What is gorilla trekking?

Gorilla trekking lets tourists see mountain gorillas for an hour in their natural habitat. It involves walking through the forest with a ranger after a briefing on safety rules.

When is the best time for gorilla trekking?

It's best to go gorilla trekking during the drier months from June to September and December to February when trails are less slippery. But be ready for rain anytime since it's a tropical forest.

How much does a gorilla trekking permit cost?

The cost varies: in Uganda, it's US$700 for non-foreign residents and US$600 for foreign residents. In Rwanda, it's US$1500. In the East African Community, it's UGX 250,000. Uganda also offers a habituation experience permit for US$1500.

Where can I go gorilla trekking?

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas. It has four tracking sectors and 22 habituated gorilla families.

When should I book a Gorilla Permit?

Book your permit 3 to 5 months in advance to secure it, as there's high demand.

What is included in the gorilla permit?

The permit includes park entrance fees, ranger guide fees, and tracking fees, allowing you one hour with the gorillas.

What is gorilla habituation experience?

It's a process where tourists spend four hours with mountain gorillas. This only happens in Uganda's Rushaga sector.

What are the chances of seeing a mountain gorilla?

Chances are high, around 99%, as trackers observe gorilla movements early in the morning and guide tourists to them.

What should I pack for gorilla trekking?

Pack long-sleeved shirts, jackets, waterproof trousers, hiking boots, sunglasses, hats, insect repellent, binoculars, packed lunch, and water.

What is the age limit for tracking gorillas?

The age limit is 15 years due to safety reasons and the challenging terrain.

How many people can visit a gorilla group?

Only 8 people per day can visit a gorilla group, and for habituation, only 4 people are allowed. This limit reduces exposure and disease risk.