Uganda is one of the few places in the world where you can experience a face to face encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a unique adventure that offers a chance to immerse yourself in the unspoiled beauty of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. With its lush vegetation, mountainous terrain, and a variety of wildlife, Uganda is the perfect destination for gorilla trekking enthusiasts.
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to over half of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas, with approximately 480 gorillas inhabiting the park. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, on the other hand, is home to a smaller population of gorillas, but still provides an unforgettable experience for visitors.
However, it’s worth noting that gorilla trekking in Uganda can be a costly venture due to the park fees, gorilla trekking permits, and other associated costs. These costs vary depending on the season, demand, and the specific tour operator you choose.
In addition to gorilla trekking, Uganda also offers a range of other activities, including game drives, bird watching, cultural tours, and nature walks. The country is also home to other wildlife such as chimpanzees, elephants, lions, and more.
Ultimately, whether the gorilla trekking experience in Uganda is worth the money depends on your personal interests, budget, and priorities. If you’re passionate about wildlife and conservation, and have the means to afford the cost, then it’s an experience that could be well worth it.
Embark on an unforgettable journey to witness the majestic gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking in Uganda starts with a morning briefing at 7:00am, where you’ll learn about the do’s and don’ts while in the forest with these gentle giants. Accompanied by experienced park guides, rangers, and trackers, you’ll trek through the lush forest in search of the gorillas.
As you reach the gorillas, you’ll be allowed to spend one hour observing these fascinating creatures in their natural environment. It’s a surreal experience to see them up close, given that they share 95% of their DNA with humans. To ensure the gorillas’ conservation, only eight visitors per habituated family are allowed per day, as per the Uganda Wildlife Authority policy.
It’s worth noting that the minimum age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years to safeguard both the visitors and the gorillas. Trek Africa Expeditions are committed to sharing all the policies and guidelines with you as you plan your gorilla trekking trip in Uganda.
Upon completion of your trek, you’ll receive a certificate as a memento of your successful gorilla trekking experience in Uganda. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.
If you’re seeking a once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trekking experience in East Africa, Uganda should be at the top of your list. Uganda is home to two of the best gorilla trekking destinations in the world – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. This national park, located in southwestern Uganda, is the place where gorilla tourism began in Uganda back in 1993. It shares its border with Congo and is one of the only two national parks in Uganda where visitors can trek and observe the majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to more than half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, making it the best place in the world to trek and view these magnificent creatures. The park is also one of the oldest forests in Africa and has been declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is divided into four sectors: Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija, and Nkuringo. Each sector offers a unique experience, and visitors can choose which one to explore based on their preferences and interests. No matter which sector you choose, the experience of gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is sure to be unforgettable and enjoyable.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a hidden gem located in the southwestern part of Uganda. It is part of the Virunga volcanic mountain chain that stretches across Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda, and is renowned for its magnificent mountain gorilla trekking experiences. The park is situated in Kisoro district and shares borders with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
Despite being the smallest national park in Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to three majestic volcanoes – Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo, and Mountain Muhabura – all of which are part of the six Virunga Mountains. The park is home to an array of endangered wildlife species, including the mountain gorilla and the golden monkey.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has only one habituated gorilla group available for trekking, providing visitors with an intimate and exclusive experience with these amazing creatures. While trekking, visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the park’s lush forests, rolling hills, and breathtaking scenery.
Whether you’re an adventurous traveler or a nature lover, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a must-visit destination in Uganda. With its unique and unforgettable experiences, this park is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
In Uganda, there are a total of 19 habituated gorilla families available for gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga National park. Bwindi has 18 Habituated gorilla families, while Mgahinga has one. Every sector in Bwindi has gorilla families with designated days for visitors to trek. In the Buhoma sector, visitors can trek the Mubare Gorilla Family, Habinyanja Gorilla Family, Rushegura Gorilla Family, and Katwe Gorilla Group. The Ruhija sector offers Bitukura Gorilla Family, Oruzogo family, Mukiza gorilla family, and Kyaruguriro Gorilla Family. The Rushaga sector has Nshongi Gorilla Group, Mishaya Gorilla Group, Bweza Gorilla Group, Bikyingi gorilla family, Kahungye Gorilla Family, Busingye Gorilla Family, and Mucunguzi gorilla family. Finally, in the Nkuringo sector, visitors can trek the Nkuringo Gorilla Family, Bushaho Gorilla family, and Christmas Gorilla Family. Mgahinga national park only has one habituated gorilla group named Nyakagezi for gorilla trekking.
Uganda offers an affordable option for gorilla trekking with the gorilla trekking permits priced lower than those of Rwanda. Currently, there are about 176 gorilla trekking permits available per day for both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. The cost of the gorilla trekking permit is USD700 for Non-Foreign Residents, USD600 for Foreign Residents, and Shs.250,000 for East African Citizens. However, the permits sell out quickly during the high season which includes January, February, July, August, September, and December.
To secure your gorilla trekking permit, contact Trek Africa Expeditions with your preferred trekking date. They will check the availability of permits on the online system of Uganda Wildlife Authority. If permits are available, an invoice will be sent to you for payment. Once payment is made, your permits will be booked and secured, and a copy of the receipt with a booking ID will be sent to you for confirmation. Remember, only one hour of viewing the gorillas is allowed during the trek.
With Trek Africa Expeditions, the process of acquiring gorilla permits is easy, and Uganda offers a lifetime experience with the gorillas. Book your gorilla trekking permit today and be ready for an unforgettable experience.
The Best time to trek gorillas in Uganda is during the drier months from January to February and June to September. These months experience less rainfall, though weather patterns can vary. However, gorillas can be visited year-round. Some even consider the rainy season as a better time to see the gorillas since there is plenty of food growing, making them easier to spot. It’s important to note that gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly, so those interested in trekking during peak season should book their permits well in advance.
The main entry point is through Entebbe International Airport, where you can take a road trip of about 9-10 hours or a domestic flight to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrips, serving Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Another option is to fly into Kigali International Airport and drive to southwestern Uganda through the Cyanika or Katuna border, which takes only 4-5 hours, including the time spent at immigration.
We recommend acquiring the East African Visa, which costs USD 100 and allows multiple entries to Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, as it is more cost-effective than purchasing single-entry visas. However, single-entry visas are also available, with the Rwandan visa costing USD 30 and the Ugandan visa costing USD 50.
No matter your nationality, Uganda is easily accessible, and gorilla trekking should be a top activity on your list.
When planning a gorilla trekking trip in Uganda, one of the key factors to consider is where to stay. Fortunately, both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park offer a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences.
For those seeking luxury, Gahinga Lodge in Mgahinga National Park is an excellent choice, while mid-range options in the same park include Lake Chahafi Resort and Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge. In Bwindi, it is recommended to stay in the sector where you will be trekking for easy access to the park headquarters. Options in Rushaga sector include Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Four Gorilla Lodge, and Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, while Nkuringo offers Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge and Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.
Buhoma sector has several options, including Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, and Gorilla Forest Camp, while Ruhija sector offers Trekkers Tavern Lodge and Bakiga Lodge. Alternatively, you can stay at Lake Bunyonyi or in lodges located in Kabale town.
It is important to book your preferred accommodation in advance, especially during high season when lodges can be fully booked. At Trek Africa Expeditions, we ensure our clients’ safety and guarantee a standard of service that meets your expectations.
Trek Africa Expeditions is a locally owned and operated tour operator in Uganda, with its headquarters in Entebbe. They specialize in sustainable and life-changing tours and holidays to East African countries. As a member of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators and registered with the Uganda Tourism Board, they ensure professionalism and compliance with industry standards. With a good working relationship with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, they make it easy for you to book your gorilla permits and gorilla trekking safari.
Trek Africa Expeditions is highly rated on TripAdvisor and Safari Bookings, attesting to their quality service delivery. By choosing them, you are guaranteed a memorable and safe experience while trekking the gorillas in Uganda. Contact Trek Africa Expeditions to plan your visit and make your gorilla trekking dream a reality.