5 Reasons Why You Need to See Gorillas in Uganda
It is a special thing to see Gorillas in Uganda in their natural habitat. There are fewer than 900 mountain gorillas in existence, and gorilla trekking provides a rare opportunity to observe the everyday interactions of these gentle, mysterious primates. Here are 5 Reasons Why You Need to See Gorillas in Uganda.
Easy Access Location
There are two gorilla trekking spots in Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Mountain gorillas live only in the thick forests and around the Virunga mountains in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the Virunga Mountains and encompasses three inactive volcanoes, namely Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo.
Give Back to Community
You Can Fight Habitat Destruction by Supporting Community Enrichment.
Habitat destruction is the main threat to mountain gorillas. Communities around the parks are heavily populated, and residents have traditionally used the land around national park boundaries for farming or logging.
Since tourism is now Uganda’s most lucrative industry, and the majority of tourists come to see the mountain gorillas, trekkers are encouraged to seek out ways to give back to the communities they visit. One popular option is to hire a porter, who is always a resident and occasionally a reformed poacher.
Affordable Trekking Permits
Daily viewings of each gorilla group are extremely limited, so visitors should apply well before their desired dates. Most trekking in Uganda takes place in Bwindi, where there are several gorilla families to track. Visits are led by park rangers and groups of eight are allowed to observe the gorillas for one hour, in silence and at a safe distance.
A Gorilla permit in Uganda for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park costs around $600 per person. In contrast, permits in Rwanda now cost $1,500.
Hiking the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in search of the mountain gorillas will sure be an adventure of a lifetime. The gorillas are only accessible by foot, but what makes it interesting… there are no paths, no signs, and no directions. You will have to walk for an hour or so, on the challenging terrain to reach the place where the gorillas are currently resting. But the walk itself will provide you with excitement, beauty, and desire.
In addition to mountain gorillas, Mgahinga is home to another endangered species: the golden monkey. You can visit these furry, comical monkeys on your way to Rwanda. They live high up in bamboo forests. Tracking golden monkeys is very similar to tracking gorillas, but the trek itself is not quite as challenging.
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All photos are courtesy of Our World Travel Selfies.