Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is the most popular tourist activity done in both countries. It is also referred to as Gorilla trekking and it is where the ranger guides try to find the given habituated gorilla group for the clients on their trekking date. The clients will be divided into a group of 8 people in the morning to be assigned to a specific Gorilla group or Gorilla family and escorted at exactly 8:00am by ranger guides into the forest to search for the rare Mountain Gorillas. It might take you 2-6 hours while in the forest depending on the time and the place where you will find the Mountain Gorillas. Upon finding the Gorillas, clients will spend only one (1) hour of interacting with these lovely primates. You will learn the Gorillas behavior, how they feed, and play, couple and how they associate with each other then you will realize that these are closest creatures to human beings.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla tracking tours is for everyone in the world apart from children below 15 years old and if you realize that you cannot walk into the forest then there are porters who can carry you to and from the forest using the stretchers. You have to agree the price for being carried on the stretcher with the porters and our safari guide will help you out.

The rare Mountain gorilla’s family or group is led by the Silverback which is the male Gorilla and it weighs over 200kgs.

The Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has over 20 Gorilla families but only 19 Gorilla groups are available for clients to track. The Gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include; Katwe, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Mubare group in Buhoma sector. Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguliro and Mukiza group in Ruhija sector. Nkuringo, Bushaho and Christmas family in Nkuringo sector. Mishaya, Kahungye, Busingye, Bweza, Nshongi, Mucunguzi, Bikingi and Kutu Gorilla family in Rushaga sector while Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also found in Uganda has only 1 (one) Gorilla family called Nyakagezi Gorilla family. This Park forms the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration as continuation of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo.

The one and only Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park known also for Gorilla trekking has 10 Gorilla families designated for tourists and they include Susa Gorilla Group (Susa A Family), Karisimbi Gorilla Group (Susa-B), Sabyinyo Gorilla Group, Amahoro Gorilla Group, Umubano Gorilla Group, Agashya Gorilla Group, Kwitonda Gorilla Group, Hirwa Gorilla Group, Bwenge Family Group and Ugenda Gorilla Family.

Trekking Mountain Gorillas on a Budget Friendly Plan

Even though gorilla trekking is known to be a life time experience, most trekkers have been left thinking that it’s only for the wealthy class and this is not right. A gorilla trek to see a group of endangered mountain gorillas in the thick tropical rain forests in Uganda and Rwanda is the most thrilling experience that comes once a life time. These are classified as the critically endangered apes by the IUCN and not more than 1,200 individuals still live in the whole world with half of them living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. To be able to view these species, there are about 20 habituated groups that are assigned to eight trekkers per day all of which belong to different trailhead. Some of these groups include; Katwe, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Mubare group in Buhoma sector. Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguliro and Mukiza group in Ruhija sector. Nkuringo, Bushaho and Christmas family in Nkuringo sector. Mishaya, Kahungye, Busingye, Bweza, Nshongi, Mucunguzi, Bikingi and Kutu Gorilla family in Rushaga sector.

Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda)

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a magnificent verdant swathe of forest across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley, these 331 km²ancient rains forest, one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age and it is a home to the rare Mountain Gorillas.

Gorilla Tracking In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda)

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest National Park in Uganda at just 33.7km2. It is located in the corner of south western Uganda in Kisoro District, 12.5km south of Kisoro town council. It makes up the northeastern part of the Virunga Volcano ranges which extends into DR Congo and Rwanda. This comprises of Mount Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo.

The summit of Mount Muhavura is the highest point of the park at 4,127 m and has a small crater lake that tourists may want to visit. The view from the summit is frequently obscured by the cloud. The vegetation in the park includes montane, alpine and sub-alpine flora at each of the different levels up the volcano, varying the altitude. It is possible to climb to the peaks of Gahinga, Sabinyo, and Muhavura, although the pace set by the ranger and armed escort may be exhausting unless you are fit. Climbs can be organised at the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park office in Kisoro.

Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)

Volcanoes National Park is the most visited national park in Rwanda and it harbours some of the worlds rare Mountain Gorillas and the rare Golden Monkeys only found in East Africa. It forms part of the Virunga Conservation Area covering more than 125km2, including five extinct volcanoes: Muhabura, Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Karisimbi and Bisoke. The Virunga conservation area is formed of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in DRC Congo and the Virunga Massif contains over 603 rare Mountain Gorillas to add on the ones in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

Volcanoes National Park has the fantastic scenic forest that is covered with mountains and diverse vegetation as well as the six volcanoes; this is why Rwanda is also known as the land of a thousand hills.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda.

Permit Cost

Uganda gorilla trekking permit = Cost US$ 700 per person and you will spend 1 hour with rare Mountain Gorillas upon meeting them.

Uganda Gorilla habituation permit = Costs US$ 1,500 per person and you will spend 4 hours with the rare Mountain Gorillas upon meeting them

Rwanda Gorilla trekking permit = Costs US$ 1,500 per person and you will spend 1 hour with the rare Mountain Gorillas upon meeting them.

DR Congo Gorilla trekking permit = Costs US$ 400 per person and you will spend 1 hour with the rare Mountain Gorillas upon meeting them.

Planning Your First Uganda Safari

Enjoying a Uganda safari is the most memorable and life-changing of leisure holidays. You’ll fall in love with safari life in Africa. The first time you go on a game drive, see an elephant, touch a rhino, giraffes, and watch lions climb trees, the moment will stay with you forever.

The Ultimate Guide To Planning Your First Uganda Safari

The most profound of all Uganda safari experiences is the close encounter with the higher apes. That little moment you’ll spend close to a mountain gorilla or band of chimpanzees will profoundly change your relationship with nature.

We live in this giant wildlife reserve and use every leisure time we can spare to inspect this destination’s treasure trove. We have been on countless Uganda safaris and work with numerous safari lodges. We have traveled extensively through the Pearl of Africa as travel bloggers. For us, anytime is safari time because our love for the wide-open spaces, the bush, and all the beautiful creatures in it reincarnates every single day.

Planning your first Uganda safari may be a daunting experience, but with a bit of research and local expert advice, it becomes the most memorable journey you ever make. We’ve written this first-timer’s guide to making planning your holiday in Uganda a great memory.

Why Go On A Uganda Safari

Your first Uganda safari will unwrap vast horizons, open skies, emerald landscapes, and rich tropical forests. Take more days on your first-time safari for a great memorable experience. A slow safari will allow you to immerse yourself in the raw wilderness, to get up close and personal with primates, meeting people of different cultures and ways of life, and contributing to the conservation of the very places and animals you’ve come to see.

You may have seen a lion or elephant in an enclosure at a zoo or in a wildlife documentary on the National Geographic channel. But there is a profound difference when you come upon a band of chimpanzees, a herd of elephants, or a pride of lions in their natural habitat with no fences between you and no commercial breaks to interrupt the action.

A longer Uganda safari allows you a chance to experience indigenous cultures. Whether through traditional foods that might appear on the menu or perhaps interacting with local tribespeople. Uganda Safaris can leave you with a new perspective on life as you witness different ways of living in the remote villages you walk through.

Most Uganda safari holidays are eco-friendly and contribute a big chunk to the conservation of wildlife resources. Uganda’s tourism generates much-needed income to fund conservation efforts. For example, gorilla tourism ensures that the conservation and protection of the mountain gorillas and their sanctuary are well supported. Uganda safaris operators, camps, and lodges directly employ people and resources from local communities.

Going on your first Pearl of Africa safari journey will be a break from the hustle and bustle of daily modern life. It’s a change of scenery, an adventure, and maybe even a culture shock. As the sun rises over the savannah plains or sinks in the Rwenzori Mountain backdrop, you will catch your breath and embrace the silence of these moments, knowing that they will remain in your memory long after you have returned home.

When And Where To Go

Uganda is a well-endowed destination with many incredible attractions to visit, each with its own charms and attractions. The country has a warm and sunny tropical climate, mostly throughout the year. But different regions within the country experience a variety of climates and weather conditions.

When planning your first Uganda safari, the best time to travel depends very much on the destination activity you’ve chosen. Generally, it’s best to go during the dry season, when water is scarce, and animals tend to gather in places where the water hasn’t dried up.

Dirt roads are also easier to navigate during the dry season, and so you can expect to see a lot more animals during the two dry seasons of December to January and June to August.

Note, though, that since the dry season is considered peak season for Uganda safaris, it will likely come with a heftier price tag. If you’re expecting to observe the mountain gorillas in the impenetrable forest of Bwindi, be sure also to consider the availability of gorilla permits.

 

10 reasons why you should go on a Uganda Safari

A Uganda safari because of the people, gorilla trek, climate and breathtaking scenery. Uganda encompasses the typical African travel experience any traveler could ever dream of. It is the confluence of African nature, landscape and cultural melting pot. Here are 10 reasons why Uganda should be on your bucket list.

Reasons you should take on a Uganda safari

1. Ugandans: Warm and Friendly People

People come to Uganda for gorilla safaris but leave with good impressions of the people. Ugandans are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people you could ever hope to meet. They are hospitable often happy to share their food and welcome you in their home.

2. Uganda’s Climate and Weather

The climate in Uganda is what many will refer to as near perfect all year round. You can plan your Uganda safari any time of the year and expect to have an amazing time. Uganda is along the equator, home to mountains, lakes and forests that give you the best climate. If you love sunrise’s and sunset’s, you will enjoy these on your Uganda safari. The country has dry and wet seasons only. In the wet seasons – the sun comes out shortly after the rain, making it possible for one to travel and enjoy nature.

3. Fresh Organic Food

The food in Uganda is organic and fresh from the gardens grown by small holder farmers. You have access to fresh vegetables and fruits from the markets daily. The pineapples in Uganda are like no other. If there was a competition, Uganda’s pineapples would win the Guinness book of records. You have opportunity to enjoy different traditional meals from the different tribes. You can include this experience while on your Uganda safari.

4. Breath-taking Scenery

The breath-taking savannah areas and mountainous eastern and western Uganda. The amazing Sipi falls, Sezibwa falls and Kisizi falls while on your Uganda safari. The undulating hills of Kigezi terraced by locals as they work in their gardens. The Ssese Islands in the oceanic-sized Lake Victoria. They have beaches and burning sunsets – the kind of place you’ll want to seek out a hammock and bring a good book.

5. Endangered Mountain Gorillas

The gorilla safari in two national parks in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Mgahinga gorilla national park is home to the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. Gorilla tracking is an experience you look back to and reminisce on with happiness. The experience in the rain forest even before you sight the gorillas is fulling. The mountain gorillas are often found feeding, grooming each other and playing.

6. Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzees are mans’ closest relatives sharing a DNA of about 98.7% with man. The chimpanzees develop tools for use and raise young ones mimicking humans. Did you know chimpanzees eat meat? Go chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest, Budongo forest, Semliki reserve, Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest. Enjoy other forest inhabitants and the cool air.

7. Game drives in Uganda’s Savannah national parks

Uganda has 10 national parks and about 12 game reserves. The savannah parks offer game drives. Murchison Falls National Park Uganda’s largest park offering fulfilling game drives. Queen Elizabeth national park for the elusive leopard and tree-climbing lions of Ishasha. Kidepo Valley National Park has rewarding game drives of large herds and scenery. Lake Mburo national park has few numbers of predators but offers nature walks.

8. Jinja: Source of the Nile – Adventure Capital of East Africa

Jinja is the adventure capital of East Africa. It is home to all the adrenalin activities. It is the source of River Nile and home to the best white water rafting experiences over several rapids. You can also do kayaking and or jet boat ride. Bungee jumping to kiss the Nile, Quad biking and horse riding on the banks of the Nile or in the communities.

9. The Mountains

Uganda is home to several mountains that offer great hiking and mountaineering experiences. You can do hiking for a few hours, one day hikes or multi day hikes with the longest being one week. National Geographical selected the Rwenzoris as one of the World’s Best Hikes.

Mount Elgon is one of the oldest volcanic mountains in Africa and has the worlds’ largest caldera. Enjoy sights of beautiful vegetation and landscape as you ascend to Wagagai peak. The Virunga volcanoes are one day hikes – Mt Gahinga, Mt Muhabura and Mt Sabyinyo. Other mountains for your hiking cravings: Mt Moroto, Mt Murungole, Mt Kadam, Mt Napak etc.

10. Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi surrounded by beautiful terraced hills and home to 29 islands is a must visit for you. It is the second deepest lake in Africa. The lake is free from dangerous animals hence people love to swim. You can hire a canoe to take out for a paddle.

We invite you to visit Uganda and experience the hospitality of Ugandans and nature.