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.