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Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest park

The park is situated in the border area of Uganda and democratic republic of Congo in Kanungu district   and it was gazetted in 1991 as a national park purposely to protect the famous, rare endangered mountain gorilla species.

Bwindi impenetrable national park has been ranked as one of the world’s number one primary gorilla trekking destinations. The park has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1994 due to its great ecological biodiversity.

Bwindi will give a traveler an exception and unique experience of the mountain gorillas since the park has 35 known gorilla group although only 17 groups have been habituated for research and open for tourism.

Bwindi covers an area of 321 square kilometers and it has four sectors for gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation. These include Nkuringo sector, Buhoma, Rushaga and Ruhija, two groups are found in Nkuringo sector and gorilla habituation experience which is done in Rushaga sector as travelers are permitted to spend 4 hours with the gorilla family if found.

According to the gorilla rules and standards in Uganda for both Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mountain Mgahinga national park the law recommends a maximum of 8 people to stay with the mountain gorillas for one hour per gorilla family.


Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest national park that covers the smallest area as compared to Uganda national parks.  Although Mgahinga is the smallest national park in Uganda, it occupies a large extension of the Virunga massif and the conservation area. other parts of the

Virunga Massif are Virunga national park in Congo and volcanoes national park in Rwanda. All these three national parks are known for the famous endangered species, however each country controls its own portion of the Virunga massif part and they have been conserved purposely to protect the mountain gorillas

Out of the 18 habituated groups in Uganda, 17 groups are found in Bwindi and only one group has been habituated in Mgahinga national park and it called Nyakagezi group which is much easier to trek since it has now settled in the park though it has been having notorious movements crossing to Rwanda and Congo.

It is important to note that the mountain gorilla trekking might be a bit difficult especially Bwindi impenetrable national park as it will require to hike, climb through rough steep terrain hills and you will have to go deeper into the forest so as to locate and trek these gorilla groups in the wild as the trekking becomes fascinating and adventurous activity in the African wild

On the hand, some gorilla families in Bwindi have settled near to the headquarters thus it may take you less than two hours to sight them, so it not a must for every group you will need to a lot of hiking and for Mgahinga it granted that can easily be located it will not require only physically feet people to participate in the activity.

The Gorilla Trekking Experience in Uganda

The Gorilla Trekking in Uganda will always start with briefing at 8:00 at the headquarters to take you through about the dos and don’ts before you begin the trekking. At the same gorilla trekking permits have to be booked in advance before you start the tour. It always advisable to organize your gorilla trekking tour with a tour operate to assist you planning and have a perfect gorilla safari.

Although the two parks are known for the famous mountain gorilla trekking, there as unique activity a traveler can choose to include on their Uganda gorilla trekking tour. Bwindi and Mgahinga are known also to be habitants for the golden monkeys which a may not found elsewhere in Uganda national parks.

The surrounding areas are occupied by the Batwa local people who originally used to start in park forest but later they were forced to leave the national park and the government settled them around the park as they adopt the life of a normal human being. The Batwa are the shortest people(pygmies) in the world, these were fruit gatherers, hunters in the forest before they left. Their traditional lifestyle is so amazing that you can’t choose to miss a visit to the Batwa community while on your gorilla tour.

There are also other activities like mountain climbing, exploring the Batwa caves, bird watching, waterfall Hikes, Mountain Hikings and will be in position to spot other forest mammals.

The cost of gorilla trekking is the same for both national parks as a gorilla permit will cost you $ 600 US dollars per person. The permit is inclusive of entrance fees and gorilla trekking activity. However, if you are planning to travel next year 2020, there is an increase on a gorilla permit from $600 US dollars to $700 US dollars per person by the month of July 2020.

Where to stay while on a Gorilla Trekking Safari

There are different Startup sectors in Bwindi impenetrable national park, and all have various accommodation facilities ranging from budget lodges to mid-range lodges and luxury lodges where you can choose to stay while on gorilla trekking tour in Uganda.

Some of these lodges include; Gorilla Safari Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Trekkers Tavern, Rushaga Gorilla Haven lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp and So much more that are left out as well as still coming up.

There is a Few number of Lodges that can let you access Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; Say Travelers Rest Hotel, Mutanda Lake Resort, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Mucha Hotel, Chameleon Hill and much more.

How to access the Gorilla Trekking National Parks in Uganda?

From Kampala via Mbarara to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, it is a drive of 8-9 hours’ drive  park. From Queen Elizabeth National Park via Ishasha Sector it is a drive of 3-4 hours. all using a 4×4 Road Transportation. To access Mgahinga national from Kampala via kabale-kisoro it is a distance of about 510km and it an 8 hours’ drive.

However, a traveler can also choose using Air Transportation (Aerolink Uganda) from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi via Kihihi Airstrip or Kisoro Airstrip.

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Michael T 06/June/2021

Above & Beyond
Review of: 3-Day Gorillas trekking and Batwa Experience
Sedrick went above and beyond to accomodate our request for an itinerary alteration due to our compressed time in Uganda. He also compeltely took care of scheduling our covid 19 testing and drove us to the site on arrival.

Our driver/guide Ben was also outstanding!

**We highly recommend using a porter during gorilla trekking as their are some complex parts to the trail/terrain. This also benefits the local people by providing them work.**

David 24/June/2021

Seeing Lots of Animals and Uganda
The schedule suited my time in Uganda exactly and was a great opportunity to view some of the top wildlife and natural wonders of the country. Lodgings range from mid-range to near upscale and are in beautiful locations. Food is good and ample. My driver, Stanley, was expert at spotting wildlife and, very importantly on the Ugandan roads, a careful and skilled driver. You see various parts of the country on this tour, and due to distances, be aware you'll spend quite a few hours on the road. One thing they might add is an itinerary going into more detail ahead of time on each day's activity and suggested things to bring. I was concerned about the needed COVID test for return home, but they took care of arranging that, and it turned out successfully. Overall the tour was a real highlight and is highly recommended.

Justo Nov 18, 2019

I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .