Home » Gorilla Trekking in Uganda | Gorilla Safaris in Uganda, Gorilla Tours Bwindi
Gorilla trekking in Uganda on Uganda gorilla safaris/Uganda gorilla tours to see Uganda gorillas is always a popular interest of most travelers undertaking African safaris in Uganda.
Uganda gorilla trekking safari activity is a fascinating once-in-a-lifetime experience allowing you to go trekking with gorillas and visit these gentle giants (Mountain gorillas) in their charming misty natural habitat!
A Mountain gorilla is among the rarest primates in the world! Globally, there’re over 1,063 Mountain gorillas living in two populations.
The highest population lives in Uganda’s Bwindi national park. While the others are in Virunga Mountains in Uganda’s Mgahinga Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and Congo’s Virunga Park.
However, Uganda is the best destination for spotting gorillas in Africa as it holds over 50% of Mountain gorillas on earth.
Uganda gorilla safari tours are done in only 2 destinations: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, all managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
Bwindi national park offers the best gorilla tours in Uganda as well as East Africa. It’s a fascinating hilly and misty UNESCO site, home to over 459 Mountain gorillas which is half of the gorillas remaining on Earth!
All gorilla expeditions in Uganda to see Uganda gorillas are safe and you shouldn’t get worried about where to stay. There’re various classes of accommodation in all sites for gorilla trips in Uganda. These range from budget to midrange, and luxury. Therefore, Uganda welcomes every traveler!
For a memorable experience on your safari holiday in Africa, endeavor to include a gorilla tour Uganda trip!
For more about gorilla tracking in Uganda, let’s dig deeper!
Sites for Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Uganda- Where to Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Normally, people intending to have gorilla trips in Uganda are always inquisitive about where to see gorillas in Uganda!
Please note that gorilla tours in Uganda only take place in two (2) national parks namely:
1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Situated in southwestern Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the main area for all gorilla trekking tours in Uganda. Also, it’s the best area to go gorilla trekking in Africa!
Recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boats over 459 Mountain gorillas. This is almost 50% of the Mountain gorilla population (1,063) on Earth!
Gorilla tracking safaris in Bwindi are done on 19 habituated gorilla families. These are found in 4 sectors of the park counting Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga.
Often, Bwindi gorilla treks take place in the Buhoma sector since it has a fairly gently sloping relief. Due to the viable population of Mountain gorillas in Bwindi, visitors have over a 99.9% chance of spotting gorillas during the trek.
As you trek Mountain gorillas in the misty Bwindi, expect to encounter some wild animals such as:
- Forest Elephants
- Duikers like the Black-fronted and Yellow-backed Duikers.
- Forest Hogs as well as,
- The rare L’Hoest’s Monkeys, etc.
For bird lovers, endeavor to include bird watching on top of your gorilla tracking trip in Bwindi.
This park holds about 350 bird species counting over 23 Albert Endemic bird species and 14 are endemic counting the Grauers Broadbill and the Neumann’s Warbler. Some of these can be spotted on your gorilla trek.
2. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
This is another great site for gorilla expeditions in Uganda. Mountain gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park is only done on the Nyakagezi gorilla family which holds over 9 members.
This captivating family is prominently known for its amazing number of silverbacks living together (4 of them).
The Nyakagezi gorilla group holds an incredible world record of being the gorilla family in the world with many silverbacks!
While trekking Mountain gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, lucky visitors can encounter some wildlife in the park! Among these include Golden Monkeys, Bushbucks, Forest Elephants, & Buffalos.
For birders lovers, Mgahinga Gorilla NP is the best area in Africa to spot the Rwenzori Turaco, Shell’s Crimsonwing, etc.
Also, since Mgahinga Park boasts 3 striking volcanoes (Muhabura, Sabinyo, and Mgahinga), it’s an ideal site for Mountain hiking safaris in Uganda!
Golden monkey tracking is also possible here!
How Long Does Gorilla Trekking Take in Uganda
In all the national parks, gorilla treks in Uganda usually take about 2-8 hours.
The duration of the gorilla trek usually depends on the movement of Mountain gorillas in the jungle.
If lucky, while gorilla tracking in Bwindi some gorilla families can be spotted just within a 30-minute trek.
This is especially in the Buhoma sector in the north of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations to Follow During Your Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari-H2
The Mountain gorilla tracking rules and regulations help to secure your life as you visit the shy gentle giants in the jungle.
Also, these guidelines help to protect the health of endangered Mountain gorillas.
Below are the gorilla tracking rules to follow:
Gorilla Trekking Guidelines Before Departing Into the Jungle
1. Always ensure you carry your payment receipts and permits to the gorilla tracking briefing point (park headquarters). This shows proof of your payments.
2. The gorilla tracking Uganda age limit is 15 years.
3. If you feel like easing yourself on a gorilla trek, you must go off the track. After, cover the waste 30cm (12 inches) deep in the soil.
4. Only 8 visitors are allowed to visit a gorilla group per day. For the gorilla habituation experience, only 4 people are allowed to accompany the habituation.
5. You shouldn’t visit Mountain gorillas if you have a cold or other contagious illness. Gorillas can catch human infectious diseases!
Gorilla Tracking Guidelines When You Are With Gorillas:-
6. Maintain maximum silence while on a gorilla trek in the jungle. However, this shouldn’t stop you from asking some questions to the ranger.
7. Littering in the park is illegal. You must live the park with anything you came in with. There’re always bins at park headquarters to dispose of your rubbish.
8. Always maintain a 7-10m distance from the Mountain gorillas. It’s illegal to touch gorillas! They remain with some wild instincts despite their being habituated.
9. Smoking, eating as well as drinking around gorillas is strictly illegal!
10. If you’re to sneeze in the presence of gorillas, cover your face or turn away. Mountain gorillas can catch infectious diseases like a cough from humans and to them, they’re so fatal!
11. You must always follow the instructions of the ranger while on the gorilla trek.
12. On encountering gorillas, you’re limited to one hour. For those taking gorilla habituation experience, you’ll spend about 4 hours with these semi- wild Mountain gorillas.
13. You shouldn’t use flash cameras while taking photos. The light irritates and stresses these shy giants
What Is The Minimum Age For Gorilla Trekking in Uganda? | Can Children Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda?
According to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the age limit for gorilla trekking in Uganda is 15 years of age. Therefore, those below 15 years are not allowed to undertake a gorilla trek.
Please note that the gorilla tracking Uganda age limit is set at 15 years due to the following reasons:
1. Young chaps can’t contain it in case Mountain gorillas charge! Remember, screaming and running away, makes gorillas charge more!
2. Also, children are more likely not to follow the trekking rules and instructions of the park ranger.
3. Also, children might not be fit enough for this challenging hike into the misty &hilly jungle.
- In Uganda children below 15 years can be allowed to trek gorillas only in Uganda’s Bwindi Park due to its fairly good terrain. Children will always be allocated a gorilla family known to be closer.
- For children to trek gorillas in Uganda, their parents have to sign a consent form in case of any misadventure happening during the trek.
Packing List for Gorilla Trekking- What to Pack for Gorilla Trekking Uganda Tour
While planning to have a gorilla tour in Uganda, you’re advised to be well-equipped for a memorable experience:
Below is the packing list for a gorilla trip in Uganda:
1. A camera: with extra batteries as well as a good storage space to accommodate many photos.
2. Rain jacket with a hood: To safeguard yourself in case rain gets you in the jungle. Note that tropical rainforests are prone to rainfall.
3. Sturdy hiking boots: Are recommended since the experience involves hiking challenging hills and crossing some mud points in some areas.
4. Insect repellents: These are of great importance. They will protect you from biting bugs like Mosquitoes. Those with over 50% DEET are recommended.
5. Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts: These will help to protect your skin from cuts during the hike in the jungle.
6. Hardy cloves: Help to safeguard your hands as you hold tree branches as well as other vegetation during the hike.
7. Sunscreens, sunglasses as well as a sun hat: These are a must-have as they will protect you from the sun.
8. A backpack: This is so important on your gorilla Uganda tour. It helps to keep all your belongings safe like your camera, toiletries, documents, and extra clothes.
9. Packed lunch: Usually, energy-giving snacks are ideal.
10. Enough drinking water: This helps to keep yourself hydrated during the 2-8 hours strenuous hike.
What to Wear For Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Trip?
During your gorilla African safari in Uganda, you’re advised to put on eco-friendly clothes.
Gorilla tracking Uganda safari colors are khaki, brown, and grey.
a. Bright colors such as red and clothes with animal prints irritate gorillas. Therefore, they should be avoided as they make gorillas charge!
b. Black is not ideal as it absorbs much heat, especially during the dry season.
c. Waterproof hiking boots are of great importance as you might come across hilly and slippery muddy points along the trail.
d. Also, it’s ideal you put on long socks. Frequently, visitors tuck in their pants in socks to avoid safari ants that might be along the trail.
Other Amazing Safaris in Uganda to Accompany on Your Gorilla Trip
Usually, visitors accompany other captivating Uganda tours on top of their gorilla-watching trips for a wonderful experience.
And among these tours include:
1. Wildlife Safaris in Uganda
This is a thrilling experience allowing that allows you to spot most of the game animals in Uganda counting the incredible Big Five. Often, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park are visited.
A visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park gives you a golden opportunity to encounter the incredible tree-climbing Lions.
2. Chimpanzee Trekking Tour
A chimpanzee tracking tour is a charming adventure giving you a chance to visit the intelligent chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Kibale National Park offers the best Chimpanzee tracking experience in Uganda.
More Notable Holiday Tours in Uganda Include:-
- Boat cruise tours in Uganda
- Cultural encounters, for example, visiting the Batwa people.
- Golden Monkey trekking trips. This gives you a golden chance of encountering the dazzling Golden Monkeys.
Please note that:
For a rewarding experience, you can undertake double gorilla trekking:
- A visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo allows you to encounter the Lowland gorillas. In E. Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the only site to spot Lowland gorillas.
- Also, you can go for Rwanda gorillas. It’s wise to accompany Akagera National Park on your gorilla-watching tour in Rwanda.
Hotels in Uganda | Safari Lodges in Uganda to Use During Your Gorilla Vacation in Uganda
Uganda ranks as the best destination to spot gorillas in E. Africa with more affordable accommodation facilities than its rival neighbor “Rwanda”.
All sites for gorilla expeditions in Uganda hold a range of accommodations ranging from luxury, and midrange to budget.
Popular Luxury Safari Lodges to Use on Your Gorilla Vacation in Uganda
- Buhoma Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable NP
- Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi
- Mount Gahinga Lodge in Mgahinga Gorilla NP
- Mahogany Springs in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Recommended Midrange Lodges to Use while Trekking Gorillas in Uganda
- Haven Lodge Buhoma in Buhoma
- Traveller’s Rest Kisoro in Mgahinga Gorilla NP
- Gorilla Mist Camp in Bwindi Park in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi national park
- Lake Chahafi Resort in Mgahinga park
Best Budget Lodges on Your Gorilla Holiday in Uganda
- Buhoma Community Rest Camp in Bwindi impenetrable park
- Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Amajambera Iwachu Community Camp in Mgahinga Gorilla NP.
What Is the Best Time Of Year to See Gorillas in Uganda? | Which Month Is Best For Gorilla Trekking in Uganda?-H2
Visitors can have gorilla tours in Uganda all year round however, the best time to visit gorillas in Uganda is always in the dry months.
Dry months in Uganda include June-August and December-February. During these months, less rainfall is experienced in the rainforests and thus, the trails are relatively drier and mud free.
Please note that undertaking gorilla trips in Uganda during wet months is a blessing in disguise! During these months, food is much in the forest and gorillas rarely move to higher altitudes in search of food.
Therefore, tracking gorillas generally becomes easier (takes a shorter time). You just have to get ready for a fairly challenging mud along the trail!
Is Gorilla Trekking Safe in Uganda? | Is It Safe to Visit Gorillas in Uganda?
Is gorilla trekking in Uganda safe? Ideally, all gorilla expeditions in Uganda are safe and no accident has ever been recorded in past good years.
Below is how safe are gorilla trips in Uganda:
1. During your gorilla treks in Uganda, you’ll always be accompanied by armed ranger guides who ensure your safety.
2. Daily, rangers patrol the forest to keep away poachers from harming gorillas.
3. Gorilla trips in Uganda are done on fully habituated gorilla families which are familiar with human presence. Therefore, attacks from gorillas are hardly registered!
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda? | How Hard Is Gorilla Trekking Uganda?
Usually, most travelers are inquisitive about how difficult is the gorilla trek in Uganda! Gorilla trips in Uganda are fairly difficult, however, this depends on one’s physical level of fitness.
This memorable adventure involves walking through relatively challenging terrain, misty and hilly thick forest, as well as valleys.
However, the above shouldn’t discourage you from taking a gorilla adventure holiday in Uganda.
There’re always porters to assist you in any case. You can even be carried on a modern bamboo stretcher!
Travelers are advised to at least make some physical exercise before their gorilla trips. This helps to raise your body’s fitness level.
How Much Does It Cost to Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda? | How Much Does It Cost to See Gorillas in Uganda?
Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda varies according to nationality, for example:
- Foreign Non-Residents: 700 USD
- Foreign Residents: 600 USD
- East African Citizens: 250,000 UG shilling
Please note that:
- The above gorilla permit rate includes the park entrance fees
- There are no discounted gorilla permits in Uganda.
How Many Gorilla Permits Are in Uganda?-H2
Currently, Uganda boasts over 20 habituated gorilla family groups. Therefore, over 160 gorilla permits are available every day in Uganda.
19 habituated gorilla families are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park while one is in Mgahinga national park.
How Do You Book A Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda?
All, gorilla permits in Uganda are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). It’s a governmental body that’s responsible for tourism and all protected areas in Uganda.
Travelers can book their gorilla permits directly from UWA however, booking through a dependable safari company is more appropriate.
It’s advisable your book your gorilla permit 6 months before your safari due date. This is because gorilla permits are limited!
Remember, there are no discounted gorilla permits in Uganda!
Is Gorilla Trekking Worth It in Uganda? | Is Gorilla Trekking Worth the Money in Uganda?
Usually, travelers planning to have a gorilla vacation in Uganda often wonder whether the gorilla permit is worth the money!
Undeniably, the gorilla permit in Uganda is worth the money, and below is how:
1. A mountain gorilla can’t live in captivity! And thus, a big percentage of the revenue is channeled back into conserving their environment which is threatened by man.
2. Furthermore, lots of money is used in paying park rangers who help in monitoring these endangered creatures in their terrains.
3. Also, a percentage of the money is returned to develop the communities around. For instance, Batwa communities that initially inhabited these rainforests.
4. Encountering the gentle giants of the forest in their misty charming environment is worth the money. It ranks top among the most amazing adventure tours on the African continent a must not miss!
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Vs Rwanda- Is It Better to See Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?
Frequently, travelers intending to have gorilla adventures on top of their visit to Africa inquire whether to undertake a gorilla trip in Uganda or Rwanda!
Below is a comparison between gorilla expeditions in Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trek:
1. The Uganda gorilla permit costs 700 USD while that of Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park is 1500 USD. And therefore, gorilla trekking holidays in Uganda are relatively cheaper!
2. The Pearl of Africa- Uganda holds over 20 fully habituated gorilla families while Rwanda has 10. Therefore, there’re more gorilla permits in Uganda than in Rwanda’s only Volcanoes National Park.
3. Almost half of Mountain gorillas on earth dwell in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. And thus, visitors have over a 99.9% chance of spotting gorillas in Uganda!
4. Destination Uganda is the only place offering gorilla habituation experience in Africa. It’s done on the Bikingi gorilla family in Bwindi. The Gorilla habituation experience allows you to spend over 4 hours with gorillas.
5. Gorilla tours in Uganda can easily be combined with wildlife safaris unlike in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. The main gorilla site in Uganda (Bwindi) is close to Queen Elizabeth National Park which is one of the best parks for wildlife expeditions in Uganda.
Please note that:
- Travelers interested in double gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda should apply for an East African Tourist Visa. It allows you to cross the boundaries of E. African countries.
- Permits for trekking gorillas in Uganda are issued by UWA whereas, in Rwanda, it’s Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
How Much Does A Gorilla Safari Cost in Uganda | How Much Is Gorilla Safari in Uganda?
This is a common query among travelers intending to have gorilla vacations in Uganda! But, note that there’s no fixed price for a gorilla tour in Uganda as its cost is determined by various factors.
Below are the determinants of the price of your gorilla trip in Uganda:
1. Class of Accommodation You’ll Use on Your Gorilla Vacation
The price of a gorilla trip in Uganda is determined a lot by the accommodation class you wish to use. For instance, using luxury accommodations raises the safari cost while the budget minimizes it.
2. Number of Days You’ll Spend on Your Gorilla Trip
Often, short trips are relatively cheaper than long safaris. For example, a 3 days gorilla trip in Uganda is cheaper than a 5 days gorilla tour in Uganda.
Normally, the more days, the higher the expenses counting accommodation as well as transport costs.
3. The Vehicle You Are to Use on Your Safari
Also, this is among the key factors that determine the cost of your gorilla holiday trip in Uganda. Let’s say, using a safari van is relatively cheaper than using a 4×4 safari land cruiser.
This is because they have different fuel consumption rates.
4. Activities to Undertake During Your Gorilla Tour
The activities you’re to undertake on top of your gorilla holiday in Uganda also affect the cost of your trip. Often, the more safari activities the higher the price of your gorilla trip.
5. Number of People on a Gorilla Safari
Always, the price of a gorilla trip increases with the increase in the number of people undertaking a tour. This is so because every additional person calls for an extra expense for example a gorilla permit and accommodation.
However, many people on a trip encourage saving. For example, it leads to sharing of expenses like transport as well as accommodation.
List of the Top Tour Companies You Must Travel With On Your Gorilla Vacation in Uganda
Though there are many tour operators in Uganda, getting a reliable tour operator (tour company) online is not easy!
Below are some of the best safari companies in Uganda:
Below Are Some of the Best Gorilla Safari Packages in Uganda | Uganda Safari Gorilla Packages
There are different Gorilla safari packages in Uganda and some of the best tours in Uganda include:
Undertaking a gorilla trip in Uganda is one of the most fascinating experiences you shouldn’t miss out on your safari visit in Africa!
It’s a remarkable adventure giving you a golden opportunity to encounter the endangered Mountain gorillas in their attractive mist environment. Gorilla trips in Uganda are done mainly in Bwindi, a sanctuary for half of the Mountain gorillas on earth.
For a rewarding experience, it’s ideal to add wildlife as well as a cultural encounter on your gorilla holiday in Uganda. All gorilla expeditions in Uganda are safe and you shouldn’t get worried about your accommodation!
Book Now Your African Gorilla Holiday Trip in Uganda With Us For A Rewarding Experience. Always Feel Free To Email Us Any Inquiry About Your Holiday in Uganda!