Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; Gorilla Trekking is quite an astonishing memorable experience done in the dense thick tropical forests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and also gorilla trekking can be done in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda and Virunga National Park Congo. However, in Uganda safaris, Gorilla trekking experience is the most popular activity and can be conducted in two national parks Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. More so, Uganda is home to the largest population of endangered mountain gorillas which are monitored and split across two national parks; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. However, Bwindi alone harbors half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world and hosts over 22 habituated gorilla groups which are splinted into four gorilla trekking sectors that are; Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo. Each gorilla family allows 8 people to meet up with species with help of park guides. Gorilla trekking is an exceptional experience and getting up close to these great species in the wild thus makes it an incredible life experience.
Note, in the 1980’s environmentalists showed that there was an estimate of about 254 mountain gorillas left in the world but thanks to conservation efforts lead to the increase of mountain gorillas. Today the number of great mountain gorillas has increased from 245 to 1065 individuals, of which half of the total population of gorillas are found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla trekking experience is done for a limited number of people to keep gorillas safe from any airborne diseases but also to increase the chances of sightings. This is because larger groups often scare off these unique species. More so, encountering the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, the verdant forest provides a rewardable backdrop which is a truly breathtaking experience.
The activity starts with a briefing about the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking at the park’s headquarters. Then after be grouped into 8 individuals before you set out for the activity. You will be accompanied by the park rangers which can take about 30 to 7 hours depending on their movements. Once contact is made, you’re given one hour to spend with the gorillas, learn about their lifestyle, and behavior, feed and play as well as take photography. If you wish to spend longer with gorillas in their natural habitat, you can take part in a Gorilla Habituation Experience and spend up to 4 hours with the rare primate species.
What is the Cost of Gorilla Trekking Permits in Uganda?
One to be able to engage in gorilla trekking tours in Uganda, one needs to obtain a permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The current rates for permits are USD700 per person for foreign nonresidents, USD600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for East African members per person per day.
Rwanda gorilla trekking permits cost USD1,500 per person per day and Congo costs USD400 per person per day.
Gorilla Habituation Experience
There is also gorilla habituation experience in Uganda and only done in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Gorilla Habituation Experience costs USD1,500 per person per day. It is a fully done experience in the Rushaga gorilla sector one of the four gorilla sectors in Bwindi. The Gorilla Habituation experience allows four hours to spend with habituated gorillas and gorilla trekking allows only 1 hour to experience the incredible lifestyle of gorillas. Other activities to do in Bwindi National Park includes; Nature walk, Bird watching, Batwa visit, and Community visit among others.
Rules and Regulations for Gorilla Trekking;
Trackers must be 15 years and above to get a gorilla trekking permit.
Gorilla trekking experience is limited to only 8 people and the number is limited because gorillas are said to be 98% DNA to humans meaning they can be easily affected by human diseases like diarrhea, flu, and cough.
Ill trackers are not allowed to trek gorillas
To keep a distance of about 5 to 7 meters away from gorillas.
Do not touch on gorillas are wild animals.
Do not litter the rubbish in the park
If you feel you want the long hole, ask the guide to dig you a hole and after cover it.
Do not eat drink or smoke before gorillas.
Stay calm and avoid sudden movements.
Do not use your flash to avoid irritating the gorillas.
Bright colors are not advised to wear because they attract the attention of the gorillas.
Stay in a group and always follow the instruction given by the park rangers.
When is the Best Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi?
Uganda Gorilla safaris are all year round although the best time to do gorilla tours starts from June to Mid- September and December to February. But still, you can visit the park on Gorilla holiday tours, you can visit it during the wet season and Uganda has two rainy seasons one starting from March to May and October to November.
Where to stay in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most popular visited travel destination in Uganda, it boasts perfect and comfortable accommodation facilities options that range from Luxury, Mid-range, and Budget. They include; Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge among others.