When you go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda be sure your gorilla permit is going to be booked according to Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo areas. Bwindi impenetrable national park is vast covering an area of about 327 square kilometers composed of mainly Afromontane forest vegetation.
No matter in which area your gorilla permit for Bwindi forest is booked, that moment when you stand face to face with the mountain gorillas creates an unfathomable connection that many tourists find profoundly moving. Each Bwindi gorilla trekking area has special traits and attractions that are different.
When you book gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest, you need to know in which area your permit is booked. Booking a gorilla safari is a remarkable wildlife encounter where you get face to face with magnificent primates only living in the Virunga area. Bwindi forest hosts almost half the total number of mountain gorillas.
To minimize disturbance only eight gorilla permits are reserved per day per family in order to protect food for the mountain gorillas that are vegetarian. Gorilla trekking too is restricted to one hour of viewership.
Buhoma Area Of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Buhoma area lies in the Northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The main headquarters of Bwindi Impenetrable national park are found in Buhoma. At the moment, Buhoma area has three gorilla families that is Mubare family which was first opened to public in 1993. Rushegura gorilla family is a break away from mubare family and was opened to the public in 2002 and Habinyanja gorilla family opened to public booking in 1998.
From Kampala or Entebbe airport, you drive to Kabale town for 414 kilometers for about 5 hour to 6 hours. Carry on to Kanungu and Kanyantorogo for 120 kilometers for 3 hours to 4 hours.
Alternatively, drive from Kampala to Ntungamo to Rukungiri to Kihihi to Buhoma. The drive from Kampala to Rukungiri takes about 390 kilometers then connect for 82 kilometers to Buhoma.
From Queen Elizabeth national park to Kihihi to Buhoma, you drive for 160 kilometers from Mweya peninsular and 64 kilometers to Buhoma area from Ishasha area.
You can fly from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi airstrip by the daily domestic flight take a transfer vehicle to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Charter flight services are available too from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airport.
Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany Springs, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Engage Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Silverback Lodge, Lake Kitandara Tented Camp
Ruhija Gorilla Trekking Area
Located in the eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Ruhija area where a number of gorilla families make home. Some of the so far opened gorilla families in Ruhija area include Bitukira Family, Oruzogo Family, Bitukira Family and Mukisa Family.
The road from Buhoma leading to this area is in poor condition making access quite challenging especially during the wet season when rains fall nonstop. The volcanic soils allows water to slowly sip through but when it logs, the road becomes slippery at times.
Kampala to Kabale to Ruhija. The distance from Kampala to Kabale is about 414 kilometers then connect to Ruhija area for about 42 kilometers. The road to Ruhija area is in a poor condition so you need a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle.
You can also overnight in Buhoma area but some of the Ruhija accommodations include Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Broadbill Camp
Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Area
Rushaga gorilla trekking area lies in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. At the moment, Rushaga area has 8 gorilla families that is Busingye Family, Kahungye Family, Rwigi Family, Nshongi Family, Mishaya Family, Mucunguzi Family, Bweza Family.
A number of accommodations are available in Rushaga area like Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Clouds Lodge, Icumbi Lodge, Trekker’s Tarven and others
Getting to Rushaga area you have to use the Nkuringo area route.
Nkuringo Gorilla Trekking Area
Nkuringo gorilla trekking area has one of the first gorilla trekking families opened to the public. At the moment, Nkuringo area has gorilla trekking families like Nkuringo family, Christmas family and Muhozi family.
The drive from Kampala to Kabale to Nkuringo area is rewarding as you drive through winding roads. The distance from Kampala to Kabale is about 414 kilometers then connect for 105 kilometers to Nkuringo area. You may overnight in Kisoro town, which is 80 kilometers from Kabale then connect to Nkuringo for 35 kilometers.
Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permits For Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
When searching for Uganda gorilla trekking permits, you can specify which park you wish to do gorilla trekking so that your permit is reserved accordingly.
Select a date when you hope to do gorilla trekking and the possible number of permits you hope to book.
Enquire from Arch Safaris And Tours about gorilla permit availability per your date of preference. Then our safari consultant checks from the list of Uganda Wildlife Authority. We are accredited safari company with access to the gorilla permit list.
When availability is positive, we request our clients to purchase there gorilla permits as soon as possible because they get sold out fast. They are limited to 8 permits per family yet Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has only 134 permits are open to public booking so far.
Forward some personal details like your full names as indicated on the passport, date of birth, nationality, passport expiry date. These details are included on your gorilla permit card and retrieved on the day of gorilla trekking.
The cost of gorilla permit is currently $700 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, 250,000shs for East African residents.
The price of the gorilla permits supports the conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas that were almost getting to the brim of extinction by 1980s.
What Is Included In The Cost Of Gorilla Permit For Uganda?
The cost of gorilla permits includes park entrance fee, security during gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla conservation support, ranger guide fee, local community support, one hour with the mountain gorillas, certificate after gorilla trekking.
What Is Excluded In The Gorilla Permit Cost?
The gorilla permit cost excludes porter fee, tips, transport, accommodation, snacks and any others items of personal nature.
You can contact us to reserve your accommodation, organize transport arrangements for you and other safari amenities.
Can I Purchase Gorilla Permits For Bwindi In Instalment?
Uganda wildlife authority accepts instalment purchase for gorilla permits in portions of 30% and 70% respectively. Purchasing your gorilla permit in full is the best decision as you do not have to worry about forgetting to top it up.
You need to have purchased the gorilla trekking permit atleast 90 days to gorilla trekking day. You must remember to top up before 90 days to gorilla trekking date or get a penalty.
When Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla Permits For Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is open all year around however the dry season which is normally June, July, August, September, December and January is most preferred.
The mountain gorillas are out in the open as plenty of food is available and easier to spot because the forest has less precipitation. Even other forest dwellers like monkeys, birds, butterflies, and others are full of life in the dry season. The trails are drier and less undergrowth fall over to block the way.
During the wet season which is March, April, May And November tourists may have an opportunity to do solo gorilla trekking experience as less people are booked. Even discounted safari amenities are more available in the wet season.
To avoid last minute panic as you search for gorilla permit availability, you need to purchase your permit as soon as possible. You can purchase your gorilla permit atleast 6 months to a year before gorilla trekking day or latest 3 months to the day of gorilla trekking. Peak season gorilla permits get sold out fast on first come first served basis.
Is Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Difficult?
The way to the mountain gorillas is quite challenging but manageable in case your body is in good shape. The topography of Bwindi forest is generally volcanic with ragged terrain which may require you to hike especially when the gorillas spend there time on the slopes. Sometimes the mountain gorillas feed from the ridges or plateaus, which are covered by tangled vegetation that has overgrown and drapes over.
You must have some level of fitness before gorilla trekking to protect yourself from getting muscle pulls. Sometimes the slopes are slippery and soggy from decomposing matter so you need to carry the right gorilla trekking gears.
In case you have some physical disability or elderly, no worries you can hire the sedan chair at a friendly cost. You need porter too so that they can carry you to the location where your gorilla family is spending the day.
Are Mountain Gorilla Aggressive?
Mountain gorillas are shy and serene primates in nature despite there huge body structure. Mountain gorillas have dark furred bodies and walk by knuckle locomotion. Mountain gorillas have never been reported to cause any harm to anyone in the history of gorilla trekking.
You need to pay intension to the rules and regulation of gorilla trekking so as not to go at logger heads with the mountain gorillas. They are very sensitive primates towards intruder in there space.
When angry mountain gorillas thump there chests hard, pull grass around them, walk on one leg and so much more.
Can I Reschedule My Gorilla Trekking Permit For Bwindi?
Rescheduling the gorilla permit is accepted by Uganda Wildlife Authority when you follow the procedure below.
Write to the reservation office of Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting to move your gorilla permit to a future date. State the date too, you can attach some evidence to back up your request and move the gorilla permit.
When approved, your gorilla permit is moved per your suggested date based on prevailing availability.
Note: Uganda allows two time free gorilla trekking permit reschedules however, the Uganda wildlife authority executive director can only permit the third time.
The time of locating the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park different from the prevailing conditions in the wilderness. Some tourists have met the mountain gorillas after two hours of starting the trek while others have spent more than three quarters of the day.
Some of the factors that determine when to locate the mountain gorillas include:
The proximity of there food where by the closer the feeding area of the mountain gorillas, faster the chance to locating them and the futhers the feeding point for the gorilla family, the longer the trek.
The prevailing weather conditions on the day of trekking where during the wet day gorilla trekking takes long as you have to walk over slippery surfaces and decomposing matter at times. The mountain gorillas sometimes feed from the slopes so you need to hike in order to find them.
Pace of other trekkers where by in case you are allocated to do gorilla trekking with a slow group, you may take long to find the mountain gorillas. The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker.
When you are allocated to trek a gorilla family with an adventurous silverback, the rest of the members follows his hobby so locating such a family may take some time.
In case the gorilla family you are allocated to do gorilla trekking with loses a member, they may go into hiding to mourn or in case a family feud happens, the gorilla family may split and others members may so assimilated into another family. Locating the leftover family members may be challenging