Uganda is a wonderland in all senses from the mighty King Kong that rule the impenetrable forest of Bwindi to chimpanzees that are our closest cousins. Gorilla Tracking Uganda is such a thrilling experience that any visitor on Uganda Safaris shouldn’t miss out.
Uganda shines with stunning greenery, deep lakes, soaring mountains, and perhaps the greatest natural treasure of all – half of the world’s last remaining mountain gorilla population. On Saso Uganda Safaris, travel deep into the heart of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and see these incredible, endangered creatures from closer than you ever thought possible.
Best Time To Go For Gorilla Tracking In Uganda
Gorilla Tracking in Uganda can be done any time of the year. Uganda experiences two significant seasons; the dry and wet seasons. Visitors intending to trek mountain gorillas should put in mind that gorilla tracking is an intensive experience that can take the whole day. The guide leads you through the gorilla’s world, explaining aspects of their ecology and behavior along the way.
The dry season is the best time for Gorilla Tracking Uganda when the ground is dry. It starts in June, July, August, September, December, January, and February. During the dry season, the habitat is kept drier which makes it easier for trekkers to hike through dense vegetation and steep slopes to search for mountain gorillas unlike during the wet/rainy season when there is plenty of rainfall which makes the ground muddy and slippery.
The wet season is also considered the low season and starts in March, April, May, October, and November. The advantage of trekking mountain gorillas during the wet or rainy season is that there is plenty of forage for these great apes to depend on and visitors can take fewer hours since they do not move further distances to search for what to feed on in the course of the day.
Where To Go For Gorilla Tracking In Uganda
Uganda has 2 sections for gorilla safaris namely, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In total there are 18 gorilla groups or families and you can only track only one group a day.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has 17 gorilla groups making it the best place or park where you can see the gorillas in the wild. Bwindi an ancient forest has 90 mammal species, and 11 primates including the black and white colobus monkey.
Bwindi Gorilla Tracking Groups
Ruhija Trek : with gorilla families, Mukiza, Oruzogo, Bitukura and Kyaguliro
Buhoma Trek: Habinyanja, Katwe, Mubare, Rushegura
Nkuringo Trek: Christmas, Nkuringo, Bushaho
Rushaga Trek: Kutu, Bikingi, Mishaya, Bushigye, Kahungye, Rwigi, Bweza, Nshongi, Mucunguzi
Mgahinga Gorilla Family
In Mgahinga Park, you can track the Nyakagezi group which is surrounded by the Slopes of Virunga Volcanoes, Mt. Muhavura(4,127m) Mt Gahinga (3474m) Mt. Sabinyo(3645m),
How To Get A Gorilla Trekking Permit In Uganda
Within Uganda, Gorilla trekking is conducted in Bwindi National Park or in Mgahinga National Park. But because of the inconsistency of gorillas in Mgahinga, the majority of the sold permits are for Bwindi NP.
In Uganda, every gorilla permit goes for US$ 700. In the past years, April, May, and November used to cost US$ 450.Please note that these offers no longer exist. On a single day, nearly 72 people travel into Bwindi to see gorillas, and only 8 people are allowed to see a gorilla family.
We strongly encourage you to book your gorilla permit with a safari agent, the most prominent mistake is to book a gorilla family which is far away from your choice of accommodation! The routes to Bwindi and its various regions are often tricky; this is a remote area. If you would like to do the gorilla trek on your own so as to save costs, you might end up incurring more. Uganda Safari Guides have been trained to help you with this.
Gorilla Permit Price
- Uganda gorilla permit costs $ 700 (1 Hour with the gorillas)
- Uganda Gorilla Habituation Permit Costs $1500 ( A full Day Experience)
- Rwanda gorilla permit Costs $ 1500
- Congo Gorilla Trekking Permit Costs $ 400
- East African Citizen, pay 250,000 shillings for the permit
Pay Keen Attention During Briefing
Before embarking on the actual trek, you will be briefed on the set rules and regulations that you have to observe while on the gorilla trek. They include among others;
- Keep a distance of about 7 meters away from gorillas at all times. Mountain gorillas share about 98 percent of their DNA with humans making them our closest relatives and also to be very susceptible to human infectious diseases.
- Stand still in case the gorilla charges and avoid direct eye contact with gorillas.
- Do not use a flashlight camera and in case your camera has, please turn it off before you begin taking photos of these creatures.
- Only persons above 15 years are allowed to trek gorillas.
- Only one hour is given to you to have a magical encounter with gorillas.
- Do not go trekking mountain gorillas if you are sick-please cover your mouth in case you are coughing and your nose when sneezing.
- Leave the habitat the way you found-in case you wish to help yourself please bury human wastes at 30 centimeters deep.
Where to Stay?
Choosing the best safari lodge or Uganda Accommodation will depend on how much you can afford. Some lodges charge as high as, $2500 while the budget ones can pocket as low as $ 50 for a double room. It’s all about the facilities, location, food, services and so much more.
Average Cost of Hotels & Lodges
- $50 to 100 for budget accommodation
- $150 to $200 for midrange
- Luxury is from $300 to $2500 per night.
- Book close to the tracking point, ask your tour operator.
- Best 5 Gorilla Safari Lodges In Uganda
- Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge, from $760
- Gorilla Height Lodge from $ 700
- Mahogany Springs from $ 240
- Gorilla Safari Lodge from $ 233
- Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge from $ 173
Gorilla Tracking Rules For Post Covid Visitors
With these apes sharing 98% of our genes, it’s possible that gorillas can get coronavirus. Gorillas can catch flu and other airborne diseases making Covid 19 a big threat to the survival of the gorillas.
- Observe a distance of 7 meters away from the gorillas.
- Age limit of 15 years or more stands.
- You are allowed only 1 hour to see the gorillas
- Wearing masks is important
- Avoid sneezing.
- Sanitize and observe other SOP guidelines.
With the above Uganda Travel Tips, we wish you a memorable visit to see gorillas in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, and a country with lots of captivating experiences. It is important to put these tips in mind during the time of planning your next trip so that you can enjoy a truly African Experience not to be found anywhere else in the world!
For the best Uganda Safari Experience, Saso Uganda Safaris is the best tour operator in Uganda organizing affordable Uganda Safari Tours in different destinations. Let us show you a Gorilla Tracking Safari in Uganda.
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You need a visa to enter Uganda. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport, or before you travel. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. You can also apply for these, and other types of visa, at the Uganda High Commission in London.
The charge for the visa on arrival is US$50 in cash while the charge for processing the E-visa application yourself via the correct Uganda government website (http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html) is US$52.53 including credit card fee.
Single Entry Visa is allowed to USA,UK and other European countries travellers who wish to stay in Uganda for a short period. … Foreigners who travel to a Uganda for tourism purpose or business purpose or medical purpose. The applicant needs to mention the purpose of his visit. Uganda tourist visa and Uganda work visa are the single-entry visas.
The official processing duration for a Ugandan visa as per the official Ugandan Consulates’ site is 14 business days. However, this duration does vary between 2 and 15 days depending on the Embassy to be contacted.