GORILLA TREKKING IN BWINDI IMPENATRABLE NATIONAL PARK
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park : Mountain Gorilla trekking is one of the major conducted tourist activity done in south western part of Uganda the pearl of Africa within the rain forest of Bwindi. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is one of the most visited destinations and gorilla trekking safaris are the most selling itineraries in Uganda that enables tourists to spend ample time with the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. However, Bwindi Impenetrable national park is not only a home to the endangered mountain gorillas but harbors other animals including some primates like L’Hoest’s monkey, over 120 mammals like Elephants, Forest hogs, Bush pigs and several species of birds among others.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park is considered to be a walk in the forest up and down following up the mountain gorillas that have already been habituated and used to humans and upon finding them, trekkers are allowed only 1 hour of close interaction with the Gorillas.
Bwindi impenetrable national park thrills with the largest number of habituated gorilla families over 21 that are available for trekking on a daily basis by a maximum number of 8 persons aged 15 years and above.
Since Gorilla trekking is the major activity done in Uganda, it has greatly contributed a lot to the tourism industry of Uganda and with over 21 habituated gorilla family, Uganda is always ready to receive 168 people for gorilla trekking on a daily basis which makes up 168 gorilla trekking permits as issued out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. These 21 habituated gorilla families are distributed within 4 sectors of Bwindi impenetrable national park including Buhoma sector, Nkuringo sector, Ruhija sector and Rushaga sector.
Each Gorilla trekking permit for Bwindi impenetrable national park costs $700 for the Foreign Non Residents, $600 for Foreign Residents and Ugandan shillings 250,000 for Ugandans and other Member state countries of East Africa.
These Gorilla trekking permits are only authorized by the Uganda Wildlife Authority whose offices are situated in Kamwokya thus one may choose to head there and buy the permits in person or use a trusted tour operator to handle the entire process of obtaining the gorilla permits and as well organize the entire Gorilla safari including transportation and accommodation.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park is a full day adventure since no one knows how long the gorillas will move thus the time spent on a gorilla trekking safari depends on the movement of Gorillas and the trekking speed of the slowest person in the group of trekkers.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park can be done all year round since the climatic conditions in Uganda are favorable all year round be it in dry or wet season. However, the best time to visit Uganda for Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park is during the dry months of June to August and December to March when Uganda receives little or no rainfall making the walking trails passable and viewing of the gorillas very easy. The remaining months of April, May, September, October and November are the considered wet season when Uganda receives rainfall and sometimes when the rain becomes too much, it affects the accommodations leading to closure of some of these accommodations.
However, each season comes with both advantages and disadvantages. For instance during dry season which are sometimes considered very busy when Uganda receives several tourists thus permits tend to be sold out, accommodations fully booked and parks very congested in that all 8 person be available per gorilla family.
On the other hand, during the wet season, the park trails tend to be impassable, some of the accommodation shut down though some that remain open offer discounts. Another advantage with Gorilla trekking during low season is that the permits are always available, the parks are less congested and the gorillas tend to thrill at the edge of the forest in the lower altitude so even if you walk through the muddy trails, you will get to gorillas at a shortest time possible unlike during dry season when the Gorilla tend to climb up the hills and canopy.
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations
- The minimum age limit for gorilla trekking in is 15 years
- Each particular gorilla family is trekked by maximum number of 8 person
- No littering the park
- In case of going for a short call, ensure that you burry your waste at least 30cm under the ground
- Sick people with Flue, cough or any other communicable disease aren’t allowed to trek mountain gorillas
- Do not eat, drink or smoke while with gorillas
- A distance of about 7M must be kept away from you and the Gorillas
- Never use a flash light while taking photos of the Gorillas
- Keep your voice as low as possible will with Gorillas
- In case a gorilla charges, do not panic, keep calm and try to follow all the guidelines from your rangers.
- In case you want to sneeze or cough, turn your back away from the gorillas avoid spreading communicable diseases since primates share human DNA.
Packing list for Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park
- A gorilla trekking permit
- A camera
- Waterproof hiking boats
- Long sleeved attire
- A rain jacket
- Garden gloves
- A cap
- Sun glasses
- Insect repellant
- Pack enough snacks and drinking water
- A hiking stick is usually provided at the briefing grounds
A Uganda safari is incomplete not until you make an encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park. It is very easy to trek mountain gorillas and as well visit the wildlife in some savanna parks.