To get to Bwindi Forest National park in Uganda, you need to use either road transport or Air Transport. To get to Mgahinga National Park in Uganda you use also road and Air transport.
A number of routes are used to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National park for gorilla trekking. You just need to be ready to enjoy the bumpy roads of the countryside that provide an African Massage.
Bwindi impenetrable National park is located in the south western park of Uganda occupying about 327 sq km of tangled vegetation. This ancient park which has existed for over 25000years is a biosphere reserve home to over 10 primates including the endemic mountain gorillas. Over 310 butterfly species, 51 reptiles, 88 months, 120 mammals and more are residents of Bwindi.
Mgahinga National Park may be the smallest National Park in Uganda occupying about 38 sq km but its no joke in wildlife content. Apart from the famous mountain gorillas, a number of rare primates like the golden monkeys, black and white colobus, olive baboons to mention but a few are residents here. Thus untamed forest park harbors over 115 bird species fir keen birders.
How To Get To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
No matter where you are coming from, the destination for gorilla trekking experience in Uganda is Bwindi National park but you need to go through the below routes. Using the google map to locate these routes may be challenging sometimes especially if you have never been there. There lots of features that exist in this area that may not be indicated on the map. If you are a first timer my advice is not to attempt self-drive. Bwindi impenetrable National Park is about 530 km from Kampala the capital city of Uganda
Kampala to Kabale to Kanungu to Buhoma is a 414 km route to Kabale going winding around the highlands of Kigezi lasting about 6hours. Continue with a marram road for about 120 km to Kanungu and Kanyantorogo lasting an additional 5 hours. The nature of the roads in the country side is bumpy and sometimes slippery delaying the vehicle movement to Bwindi Forest.
Kampala to Kabale to Ruhijah to Buhoma takes 414 km to Kabale then drive 95 km to Ruhijah then Buhoma but the road is at times impassable. This takes about 3 to 4 hours but you need a 4×4 wheeler to go through the muddy murram road to Bwindi impenetrable National Park
Kampala to Ntungamo to Rukungiri to Kihihi to Buhoma is the most direct route from Kampala to Buhoma taking about 390 km to Rukungiri connect with about 82 km on a murram road until you arrive in Buhoma
Kampala to Kabale to Nkuringo route takes you to the southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable National Park. From Kampala to Kabale, you take about 414 km then 105 km to Nkuringo. You may opt to overnight in Kisoro town which is 80km from Kabale and drive early morning for about 35 km to the briefing point of Nkuringo area. You may overnight in the lodges close by Nkuringo.
Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kihihi to Buhoma. After game drives in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park., you can drive in the southern sector called Ishasha. From the Bwindi impenetrable National Park, you drive a distance of 160 km from Mweya and 64 km from Ishasha.
Kibale National Park the African chimpanzee trekking haven has a distance of about 187 km from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Taking about 5 to 6 hours on a murram road.
From Rwanda Kigali to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park you drive through Katuna Border for about 4 hours taking a distance of about 170.8 km.
How to get to Mgahinga National Park in the far deep southern part of Uganda about 540 km from Kampala. From Kabale which is about 414 km from Kampala to Kisoro, you take about 80 km on a winding road overtaking mountainous drives on a murram road that takes about 2 hours. You ride for about 14km for about 30 km to arrive at Ntebeko the headquarters of the Park.
Flights to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park
Daily domestic flights operate from Kajjansi Airstrip or Entebbe Airport to Kihihi Airstrip or Kisoro Air Strip. You need to reserve a transfer vehicle from the airstrip to get to the headquarters in Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
Charter flight services are available but you need to reserve this in advance so that arrangements can be made before your gorilla trekking safari.
What Accommodation To Book for Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
A range of accommodation are available for you to book for gorilla trekking safari experience in Bwindi impenetrable National Park. These range from Luxury accommodations to Midrange facilities to Budget accommodations.
Some of the accommodations include
Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany Springs, Silverback lodge, Buhoma Community Bandas, Ruhija Safari Lodge, Trekkers Tarvern, Nkuringo Safari Lodge, Gorilla Resort to mention but a few.
What Accommodations To Book For Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park
You can overnight in Kisoro town before gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park or at the lodges within the Park. Some of the lodges you can book for overnight in Mgahinga National Park include Ntebeko Home stay, Gahinga Lodge, Mount Gahinga Rest Camp, Mutanda Island Lodge, Kisoro Travelers Lodge, Rugigana camp Site, Kisoro Tourists Hotel to mention but a few.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
You need a gorilla permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority which currently costs $700 per person per trek. Checking availability of the gorilla permit as per your tentative dates is the first step.
We need to know the possible number of people you are travelling with. Immediately we get availability, we get back to you.
To secure a gorilla permit and show commitment to being part of the gorilla trekking experience as per your date of preference.
After confirming positive gorilla permit availability, pay for your gorilla permit to secure it. No gorilla permit is reserved for anyone without payments. Gorilla permits are highly demanded yet just 8 gorilla permits are released per day.
The gorilla permits in Uganda Bwindi impenetrable National Park are reserved according to area to enable all the gorilla families to get accustomed to the presence of new people in there vicinity.
Mgahinga National park permits are reserved based on the only gorilla family that lives in the park called Nyakagezi. This family at times meanders into Rwanda. This is why they are booked according to availability.
What Is The Cost Of A Gorilla Trekking Safari Package in Uganda
A part from the costs of gorilla trekking permit in Uganda which is $700 per person per trek, the rest of the components of a gorilla safari package vary in the price.
Where to overnight during gorilla trekking contributes a lot to your gorilla package cost. Are you planning to overnight in Luxury facility, Mid Range or Budget facility. The choice of where to sleep contributes a lot to the average cost.
The number of people travelling with also speaks a lot about the total cost of gorilla trekking safari package. Most packages are tailored according to per person sharing or having a single supplement in case of a group. If you are all travelling together and each is paying there own cost, this works well.
The ages of people you are travelling with also determine the total cost too especially if travelling with children that are not allowed to do gorilla trekking. The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years and above so when costing these are excluded.
Choice of other activities to add to the itinerary of gorilla trekking like game safari, birding, white water rafting, chimpanzee trekking all contribute to the total cost of gorilla trekking package.
What Time Is Best To Visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Although the Bwindi Impenetrable National park is open all year round, July to September and December to January are the best time for visit. This is because there are less rain compared to March to May or November in this area. The ground is not so soggy and the gorillas are likely to be feeding closer to the ground. The severe wet seasons push them to the slopes to feed making it more strenuous to locate the gorillas.
Is Bwindi Forest National Park Safe
Yes Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is safe because of the good collaboration between the security operatives in Uganda and the ranger guide. The tourism police in Uganda does a lot to the stability of all conservation areas. Go gorilla trekking without fear.
Every morning a group of ranger guides wakes up earlier than the tourists to check out on the gorillas and there condition so that when tourists visit the family they are not disappointed.
Is Mgahinga National Park Safe For gorilla Trekking
Mgahinga National Park is safe for gorilla trekking despite its untamed nature, surrounding mountain backdrop and thicker vegetation cover. The security between Volcanoes National Park and Mgahinga National Park is tight and always monitored by both Uganda and Rwanda. The past Rebel group called the Intarahamwe that had occupied this area were pushed out and peace has prevailed in this area for a long time.
What To Pack For Gorilla trekking In Bwindi And Mgahinga National park In Uganda
A pair of Binoculars to catch an extra look at fur ranging primates
Tracking boots to use for hiking on the slope to go see the gorillas as they feed.
A pair of garden gloves to catch a tighter grip while trekking to locate the mountain gorillas.
Sun glasses to cover your eyes from flying insects.
Extra fully charge battery to exchange with when one runs low
Safari clothing long trousers and short to protect your body
Energy snacks to munch on while in the forest
Foldable water bottle to carry drinking water and quench thirst when you are in the wilderness.
Rules To follow During Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable And Mgahinga National Park
No dumping in the forest as it alters the nature of the forest
Keep a space of about 8 meters from the gorillas when you meet them
No feeding the gorillas during gorilla trekking they are wild animals that must look for own food.
Stay in a group and no surrounding the gorillas because this makes them feel ambushed.
Never chew while in front of the mountain gorillas they may grab what you are eating
If you have to defecate, ask the ranger guide to dig a hole of about 30 meters deep and cover up beyond recognition.
Wear a mask while infront of the gorillas to save them from catching any human infectious diseases.
Spitting on the vegetation is prohibited as this is food for the mountain gorillas.