Mountain Gorilla trekking in Africa is only possible in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo but the most outstanding is Uganda and Rwanda. Uganda and Rwanda share a common border on the south western corner of Uganda and North eastern side of Rwanda.
Two entry border points provide access to either Volcanoes National Park or Bwindi impenetrable National Park that is to say Gatuna border or Cyanika Border. From Kigali airport to Bwindi impenetrable forest in Uganda one may take about 6 to 7 hours on the road.
Ensure to book the East African Visa in advance to give you easy entry to either countries with little disturbance. Sometimes the immigration procedures at the borders are lengthy prolonging your journey time but you can cut this short with advance visa purchase.
Game Drive and Launch trip In Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
Kigali City tour
Day 1 Drive To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from Rwanda
Early in the morning your driver guide picks you from your overnight hotel in Rwanda or Kigali Airport and take you to Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Enjoy the unbelievable view of the mountainous Rwanda country side from which it acquires its name land of a thousand hills.
Cross into Uganda driving through the rich vegetation cover that cements the huge rocks looking over incredible winding roads.
Arrive late afternoon and check into your accommodation.
After breakfast, head to the ranger guide station for briefing carrying your gorilla tracking gears. Do not forget your handsanitiser and masks as these are currently essentials for anyone to participate in gorilla trekking.
The ranger guide accompanies you into the forest with other trekkers following some of the hidden trail points. Each day a group of rangers has to visit and asses the condition of the gorilla families to be trekked and report to headquarters.
This is because just like any other wild animals although the gorillas are serene creatures and habituated to be in the presence of humans, the prevailing conditions in the forest may change there mood.
Look out for other interesting forest occupants like troupes of enchanting monkeys, excited busy birds, numerous butterflies, huge ancient trees with trunks that have witnessed decades.
The forest is the water catchment center for this area so expect to cross numerous rivers and walk over walking boards. There are spectacular water falls that your eyes must not miss out on because of there unique splash water display.
Finally when you get face to face with the mountain gorillas stand 8 meters apart from them and watch. Take photos but try not to surround the gorillas because this makes them feel ambushed.
After an hour, return to the lodge to relax or you may opt for a community walk to the Batwa pygmies. These are some of the former occupants of the Bwindi forest and it was there sole provider. They have interesting local activities including folk songs, dances, storytelling and a lot of there former life is demonstrated to visitors.
Having had the gorilla trekking adventure in the ancient Bwindi forest, drive to queen Elizabeth national park the haven for tree climbing lions. Enjoy a game drive as you enter the park but going through Ishasha gate depends on the condition of the bridge.
Day 4 Game Drive And Launch Trip
Get ready for a game drive on the northern side of the park. Going through the crater lakes region gives you a spectacular view of numerous wet and dry crater lakes.
Continue to the Kasenyi where you have chances of spotting lions sneaking out on numerous Uganda Kobs that spend the biggest part of day grazing here. Look out for leopards, herds of buffaloes, elephants, Topis, water bucks, bush bucks, hyenas and so much more.
Later in the afternoon, head to the pier for a lovely launch trip on Kazinga channel. This 40 km long channel connects Lake Edward to Lake George. Its banks are often graced with numerous birds like greater and lesser flamingos, Egyptian geese, skimmers, kingfisher, the swamps host the shoe bill and so much more.
Numerous wild animals also enjoy cooling off the day’s heat from the banks of the channel and others like schools of granting hippos and crocodiles swim in the water.
From the boat, you get a clearer view of the rift valley floor and most of its content. The elevated Rwenzori ranges provide a lovely view and on a clear day you can see the snowcapped Margheritah peak.
Day 5 Return to Rwanda
Following your experience on a gorilla trekking safari and game tour in Uganda, drive back to Rwanda. This road trip may take about 7 hours. Check into your hotel to relax
Day 6 Kigali City tour and Departure
Enjoy the incredible history of Rwanda that is still nursing the scars of the genocide of 1994. This has not actually hindered Rwanda from developing into an admirable African country.
Visit the genocide memorial, the incredible shopping center, the Rwanda museums. Later get to Kigali airport to catch up with your flight back home.
Booking uganda gorilla trekking permit starts with you having a date when you expect to do gorilla trekking. This date may be confirmed or tentative so this makes it easy to tailor even your gorilla safari itinerary.
After receiving your Enquiry, our safari consultant checks availability from Uganda Wildlife Authority. The Telephone que at the authority is quite busy but we keep checking and when we confirm availability, we get back to you as so as possible because of the limited number of permits released yet demand is over the top. Our turnaround time is 24 hours
We request you to purchase your gorilla permit as soon as you can because they get sold out quickly especially those for the peak season June to September and December to January.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
On the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National park the terrain is not as steep as the southern part. You however need to have some level of fitness because sometimes hiking to the slopes is required.
Just park the right gorilla trekking gears in order to enjoy the entire jungle experience. Moving in the forest to search for the mountain gorillas is such an enjoyable adventure especially if you are open minded to see other primates, wild animals and so much more
What Is the Age Limit For Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
15 years and above is the age limit for gorilla trekking in uganda as because you are not aware of the time when you are to locate the mountain gorillas. The nature of the terrain is quite steep and exhausting which may not be with stood by a child below this age.
Trekkers are advised not to delay their counterparts so that they do not get tired. The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker but do not use this as an excuse to delay others. A child below that age may not abide by such a recommendation as they breakdown easily.
Gorilla trekking is an all year round activity but June to September and December to January are the most visited times for gorilla trekking. the ground is dryer and forest is not so humid. The Rivers are not over flowing because lesser rains are received.
March to May and November receive more rains and ground more slippery but chances of spotting new babies are more common this season and prices of facilities are friendlier.
What Accommodation To Book For Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park is based on the area where your permit is booked. Bwindi forest is divided into for gorilla trekking area each with different accommodations.
Some of the accommodations you can book for overnight during gorilla trekking include
Gorilla forest Camps, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Buhoma lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Engage Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Lake Kitandara Camp and more.
How Safe Is Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
Gorilla Trekking In Uganda is safe as the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers and park wardens work with other security operatives to maintain law and order. Each gorilla trekking group is escorted by a tourism police officer, ranger guide all trained to ensure that everyone on there group is safe while in the jungle
Which Gorilla Family Is Best For Trekking In Uganda
All gorilla trekking families have varying traits so just relax on the family you are given. Gorillas have a DNA of about 96% human so expect some fun and mood swings according to prevailing forest conditions. If a gorilla family has lost a member, somber mood is expected, if the family has anew born, there is joy and excitement in the family. Be open minded to enjoy the gorilla family you are visiting.
What Food Do Mountain Gorillas eat?
Mountain gorillas are vegetarian with bamboo as there favorite delicacy. They feed on soft stems, fruits, leaves and can supplement there diet with ants if found.
Gorilla trekking takes about 2hours to about three quarters of the day in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda. This is dependent on the prevailing forest conditions like proximity of food, attacks from a wild gorilla family and so much more.
Patience is required during gorilla trekking because of the time you may spend in the forest. Gorillas are wild animals that must not be restricted on where they go to. This is the experience you need to go through that is different from the zoo where you expect to locate the primates from a particular place.
What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking In Uganda
A pair of binoculars to get clearer views of far ranging animals, birds, butterflies and so much more.
Tracking boots comfortable enough to withstand the slippery conditions in the forest.
Garden gloves for wearing especially when you want to support yourself on creeping plants.
Pajamas to wear in the night because it gets cold in the night
Medicated Insect repellant to protect your skin from stinging insects
Safari Long trouser and shirt to protect your body from stinging nettles and biting insects.
First Aid box with first treatment in case you get injured
Safari hat to wear when in the jungle.
A Flash less Camera to keep memories of the jungle and your gorilla trekking experience.
The Price for a Uganda gorilla trekking permits currently sold at $700
East African Visa
Gorilla trekking gears including tracking boots, garden gloves, a camera, camouflaged long sleeved wear Browse for more details
Accommodation for gorilla trekking in the area where your permit was booked but for the game park, you can make any choice of your preference.
Book 4×4 vehicle that can withstand the marram roads in the country side. Sometimes when it rains that roads become slippery and impassable
Park entry tickets for the time in the game park
Hire a guide driver who is experienced with both Uganda and Rwanda routes so that they he can trace the roads with roads easily and avoid delay.
Travel insurance to cover you up in case of any uncertainties while on an Africa safari.
Pack your travel documents for easy identification during your Africa holiday.