Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park in Uganda
Uganda has two places where Mountain Gorillas may be seen. One is Mgahinga Gorilla Park and the other is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, National Park. Most of the hikes are made in Bwindi National Park because it has a larger population of Mountain Gorillas.
Bwindi National Park in Uganda
Bwindi National Park is an ancient forest also called the “Place of Darkness” due to its dense treetops. The forest’s altitudes are between 1,160m and 2,607m above sea level. The region was named a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its incredible biodiversity and a large number of endangered species.
How to get to Bwindi National Park In Uganda?
The easiest way is to fly to Entebbe in Uganda or Kigali in Rwanda and drive to the Bwindi National Park. Along the way, you will see many villages, friendly local people and beautiful landscape.
When to visit Bwindi National Park in Uganda?
You can visit the Bwindi National Park in Uganda at any time of the year. But the best time would be between June and September and December to February.
Where to stay in Bwindi National Park in Uganda?
Choosing the best safari lodge or accommodation will depend on how much you are willing to pay for it. Its all about the facilities, location, and the food. We spend the night at the Bakia Lodge in Bwindi National Park.
Bakia Lodge is located on the top of a beautiful valley overlooking Bwindi forest with unobstructed views. It will take just a few minutes to reach the Gorilla Trekking point. The Lodge offers 6 family cabins with ensuite bathrooms and private balconies with spectacular views of the forest.
Uganda’s thick forests are home to over half the world’s mountain gorillas. The rest live in neighboring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As they do not survive in captivity, preservation of these fragile habitats is essential for their survival.
The Males are two times the size of the females, they may grow up to two meters tall and weigh around 150 kg. The males are referred to as the silverback because as they mature the hair on their back turns slightly silver. Their lifespan is between 40 and 50 years. Typically mountain gorillas eat large quantities of leaves, fruit, and roots. Adults can consume up to 30 kg each day.
Mountain gorillas mostly exist in groups of 10. The males begin breeding at around 15 years, while the females start giving birth between 10 and 12 years. Females can give birth after every 2 to 3 years and have 4 to 6 babies through their lifetime. A fascinating fact is that gorillas and humans share 98% of their genetic composition.
Where Can I See Mountain Gorillas in Africa?
Mountain gorillas live only in the dense forests in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are approximately 786 Mountain Gorillas remaining in the world with approximately half of them staying in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Which Company Should I use for Gorilla Trekking?
Be sure to choose the right company for the whole safari experience. We booked our trip with Africa Tours Adventure and had the best organization from the moment we stepped out of the airport in Uganda.
They picked us up and drove us all the way to Bwindi National Park where we spend our first night. The next day the adventure began and we went on a hike to see Mountain Gorillas of Uganda.
How To Get A Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda?
Within Uganda, Gorilla trekking is mostly conducted in Bwindi National Park and the permit costs around $600 per person. Be aware that only 8 people are allowed to see a gorilla family, so be sure to book your gorilla safari in advance. The best way to obtain the permit is to book the whole safari through tour operators as they will help you with the whole trek, accommodation and of course permits.
The Trek To The Mountain Gorillas
We started our day at 6 am with breakfast and a short drive to the meeting point. There we had a briefing regarding the regulations and we were introduced to our ranger. In Bwindi, you will find several gorilla families depending on your trek starting point. Only 8 people per group are allowed to visit a family of gorillas and you can stay there for one hour. The Gorillas move every day to a different location, therefore, you are led by the park ranger. The hike depends on the location of the gorillas, but it usually takes from one to five hours.
What To Wear to Gorilla Safari?
You will walk through the thick forest and even do some hiking along the way so be sure to wear good quality walking boots, warm layers of clothes and pack a rain jacket in case it gets wet at this high altitude.
How much does a Gorilla Safari Cost?
Different operators have different quotes but you should have in mind that the cheapest gorilla safari will be around $1000 and the prices can go up to $2000 per person.
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park in Uganda is definitely one of the most memorable experiences ever. It is ones in a lifetime adventure and thanks to the Africa Tours Adventure it will stay unforgettable forever.
You can book your own Gorilla adventure here!
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Photos are courtesy of Our World Travel Selfies. We would like to thank Africa Tours Adventure for welcoming this review.