The Gorilla Trekking Uganda is one of the most thrilling, lifetime adventures you should include on your bucket list. No one can fully describe the joy and wonderful moment attached to the first setting eyes on a wild mountain gorilla.
You must, however, prepare for some hustle up and down the steep rocky hills in the forest, sometimes on a rainy and muddy day. But when you meet this huge yet humble primate in their territory, it will be worth your effort. You will spend approximately one hour with this endangered great ape and get any details you have been wishing to know about them. But to do this, you have to reserve a gorilla tracking permit well in advance. You can book it yourself, but we advise that you use a tour company to organize for you 3 Days Gorilla Trekking packages. A maximum of 8 persons can visit a given gorilla family per day.
Meanwhile, 480 Mountain gorillas are in Virunga Mastiff, shared between 3 countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC, there are additional 400 mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. If combined, there are 880 mountain gorillas remaining in the world in the three countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC. Mountain gorillas live in age-graded group’s families similar to those of humans, but only habituated groups are available for tourism (10 of the habituated families live in Rwanda and 18 in Uganda).
Prices Of The Gorilla Trekking
The current gorilla habituation permit in Uganda is 1500USD per permit. Gorilla habituation permit in Uganda gives 4 hours of time to Track the Gorillas Group. The maximum of a group of 8 tourists can track the Mountain Gorillas. The money paid is a conservation fund to support the gorilla conservation and the communities around the gorilla habitat. If you consider the gorilla trekking permit as an important factor in choosing a country to track from, then you would consider Uganda, but if this is not the case, any can work for you.
Gorilla Trekking Experience Difficulty and Altitude Variations
Gorilla Trekking In Uganda can be as short as 1 hour or as long as 4 hours depending on where the gorillas spent the night and which group you are tracking. But on average, it takes you about 2 hours hiking to see the gorillas in Uganda.
Another important point to consider is the variation in altitude. In Uganda, tracking takes place 4000-8,000 feet above sea level. Visitors who have flown from a low altitude country should, therefore, think of acclimatizing before tracking in Uganda If you are from a low altitude country, it is therefore important to acclimatize in Rwanda before tracking the gorillas or tracking the Uganda groups.
Other In-Country Wildlife Benefits Other Than Trekking Gorillas
The long drive to Bwindi/Mgahinga is quite enchanting with great sceneries all through like the Equator, abundant wildlife in Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, terraced mountains with flowing rivers, and a lot of rural Africa and small towns. This is not the case for the drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park. You will certainly need to spend more on transport and time to track the mountain gorillas in Uganda than it is for Rwanda although this cost is compensated for by a cheaper gorilla permit.
Gorilla Tracking Experience For Better Gorillas
There are no better gorillas between countries. If you go to Uganda, you will find 18 Habituated Mountain Gorilla Families, meanwhile in Uganda, there are currently 18 Gorilla groups. The mode and system of tracking gorilla in both Uganda and Rwanda are very similar. Gorillas are followed on a daily basis, therefore; the locations are virtually guaranteed.
The gorilla tracking experience may vary due to:
- Someone may be interested in a particular gorilla behavior,
- Someone may be interested in gorilla numbers, dynamics, and group composition,
- Someone may be interested in the length and toughness of tracking,
- Someone may be interested in the customer care given by the park staff.
Before Gorilla Trekking
You need to start planning for your gorilla trekking trip way in advance. Gorilla permits which are sold through Uganda Wildlife Authority Head offices in Kampala tend to sell out quickly so we advise that you contact us at least 5-6 months or even a year in advance so that we check the availability of gorilla permits for the particular dates you are interested in and if we agree, we will pre-purchase them for you and send you scanned copies for your records. The price for gorilla permits keeps changing year in and year out and it is different in Uganda and Rwanda. Once we manage to secure your gorilla permit, you will let us know your preferred accommodation choice (upmarket, mid-range, and or budget) and then we will send you a quote for a fully inclusive tour since we only buy gorilla permits for those clients that book a whole tour with Saso Uganda Safaris.
During Gorilla Trekking
Every day, an advanced team of trekkers sets off into the forest to find where the gorillas are. They normally start from where they slept last night following their footsteps until they find them. The reason for doing this is to make it easier for tourists to find them. Habituated Gorillas can move for long-distance especially if they are searching for food or water. Sometimes, if there is a fight between habituated and non-habituated gorillas, they will tend to move far and sometimes become hostile. The work of this advanced team is to establish the state in which these gorillas will be and then, they will communicate to the Park Head Quarters to tell them where the gorillas are. Because of this, the chances of seeing gorillas stand at 95%.
Early in the morning, you will wake up, most lodges in Bwindi and Rwanda provide packed lunch, enough drinking water, and walking sticks to facilitate your gorilla trek. You will then walk or be driven to the park headquarters for a briefing about the do’s and don’ts while you are with the gorillas. At the Park headquarters, you will be divided into a group of eight people since the maximum number of people to trek a give gorilla family is eight. Uganda wildlife Authority Guide will take you through a session of briefing and if you have any questions, this is the time you need to ask them. Please note that our office staff will meet you on arrival for a briefing but our briefing is all about making sure that what you booked is what we have and also to make sure that you have all that is needed for gorilla trekking. After the briefing, you will then be driven to the starting point and off you will start your trek. Gorilla trekking can be fairly strenuous so a certain level of fitness is always required. We encourage our clients to do gym work, and some jogging before coming for their trek. Gorilla treks can take from 30 minutes to 8 hours to find the gorillas. Once you find these mountain gorillas, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them and then return to your lodge for relaxation and other activities of the day.
After Gorilla Trekking
Uganda has many national Parks of Interest where you could extend your holiday. These include Queen Elizabeth National Park popular for its boat cruise on Kazinga Channel and game drives, Kibale Forest National Park for chimpanzee trekking, Murchison Falls National Park, and other parks which in total are 10. We can combine wildlife viewing with culture, community visits, and volunteer work to make your holiday truly authentic and memorable.
However, the drive from Kampala to Bwindi is a very fabulous one traversing at least another national park (either Kibale or Queen Elizabeth National Park, famous for tree-climbing lions and many other big mammals, or Lake Mburo National Park) and not to miss- the Equator. In a way, even before you arrive at Bwindi you have had a bit of the ‘Pearl of Africa’ as is fondly known. To many, driving along paved eucalyptus avenues to the gorillas is not the best deal.
General Cost involved in Gorilla Package:
Because of the long drive, one endures from Kampala to Bwindi/Mgahinga, the general cost is normally higher. Due to high demand, Uganda has removed the low season fee to compete favorably in the market, so the cost is USD 600. Rwanda increased to USD 1500. Because of this dynamic, most tour companies now charge apparently the same amount as a package. The costs involved are mainly transport, gorilla permit, and accommodation). The cost variation in the cost is therefore heavily reliant on the transport means you use, and accommodation selected. All these can be chosen by either you or the tour company.
Our customized Gorilla Trekking Uganda leads you deep into Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks in Uganda; the Virunga wilderness in DR Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda for the most incredible and affordable Uganda Experiential Safaris in the East and Central Africa. Our professional driver guides guarantee travelers safe and comfortable transfers to all tourist spots all over Africa.
For the best Uganda Safari Experience, Saso Uganda Safaris is the best tour operator in Uganda organizing affordable Uganda Safari Tours in different destinations. Our Uganda Travel Tips that we provide are well articulated and you won’t miss any necessary things or equipment on your trip.
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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.