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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda Gorilla Trekking – Uganda Gorilla Tours And Gorilla Safaris

Best places to see gorillas in Uganda

Best places to see gorillas in Uganda

Best places to see gorillas in Uganda

Are youLooking for the best places to see mountain gorillas in Uganda? Bwindi gorilla park and Mgahinga national park both located in southwestern Uganda are the 2 places where mountain gorillas can be found. The two national parks harbor the highest population of mountain gorillas in the whole world. Mountain gorillas are closet relatives to human beings sharing 98% human DNA. Mountain gorillas in Uganda can be visited at any time of the year for the park is always open. The national parks can be accessed in a single day using road transport that takes 9-10 hours from Kampala or air transport in just 2 hours.

The only subspecies of gorillas in Uganda are the mountain gorillas and they do live only in Bwindi gorilla park and Mgahinga gorilla park. Other places to see gorillas in Africa are Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and the Virunga national park in DR Congo. To see mountain gorillas in Uganda you need a trekking permit issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority and this is sold to people above the age of 15 years.

Trekking or habituating mountain gorillas starts with a briefing at the sector offices where trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity. Armed ranger guides led the trekking that takes 2-7 hours of going through different trails of the park. The time taken to locate mountain gorillas normally depends on the location of the gorilla group and the speed of trekkers but the moment the mountain gorilla family is located, the trekkers are given a certain period of time to be around the group, watch members do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.

Best Places to see mountain gorillas in Uganda

Bwindi gorilla park: This park is the best place to see mountain gorillas in Uganda. The national park is home to the highest population of mountain gorillas in the whole world. The national park was gazetted in 1990 to protect the remaining species of mountain gorillas since they were about to get extinct. Bwindi gorilla park is home to more than 600 mountain gorillas and has over 21 mountain gorilla groups.

The mountain gorillas of Bwindi gorilla park can be seen in 4 sectors of the park and each sector has different mountain gorilla families. Rushaga sector located in the south of the park has mountain gorilla families such as Kutu, Mishaya, Kahungye, Bweza, Bikingi, Mucunguzi, Nshongi, and Busingye. Nkuringo sector in the southern sector of Bwindi gorilla park has Christmas gorilla family, Bushaho gorilla family, and Nkuringo gorilla family.

Buhoma sector located on the northern side of the park has gorilla families Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushengura, Muyambi, and Katwe. Ruhija sector is found on the eastern side of the park harboring mountain gorilla families like Mukiza, Oruzogo, Kyaguliro, and Bitukura. Visiting mountain gorillas in any of the sectors of Bwindi gorilla park gives the same experience and the chances of seeing them in the jungle are 99%.

Bwindi gorilla park

A silverback gorilla captured with other family individuals in Buhoma sector

Bwindi gorilla park stands out as the only place where tourists can take part in mountain gorilla habituation experience. The unique experience is done in Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors of the park both located in the southern part of the park. Only 2 gorilla families have been designed for habituation experience and these are Bushaho andBikingi gorilla families.

Mgahinga gorilla national park: Mgahinga is the second place to see mountain gorillas in Uganda. The national park is located in the southwestern part of the country in Kisoro district covering an area of 33 sq. km. The national park hosts some of the Virunga volcanoes which are Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura, and Mount Sabyinyo. The national park is located at the border of Rwanda near volcanoes national park and DR Congo near Virunga national park. Mgahinga national park is part of the Virunga conservation area with volcanoes national park Rwanda and Virunga national park DR Congo.

Maghinga national park hosts a few mountain gorillas that live in the bamboo vegetation and on the slopes of Sabyinyo, Mgahinga, and Muhabura. Maghinga national park has only one habituated mountain gorilla family called Nyakagezi which consists of 9 members led by a silverback called Nyakagezi. The gorilla family can be trekked by only 8 people on a single day.

Gorilla permits in Uganda?

Gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi gorilla park and Mgahinga gorilla park are sold at Uganda Wildlife Authority to persons above the age of 15 years old. The trekking permits do cost $700 for foreign residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for East African citizens. Gorilla habituation permits in Bwindi gorilla park cost $1500 foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGX250,000 East African citizens.

Number of gorilla permits in Uganda

Uganda has the highest number of gorilla permits in the whole world. Bwindi gorilla park alone has 152 gorilla trekking permits and 8 gorilla habituation permits. Mgahinga national park has 8 gorilla permits only since it has only one mountain gorilla family habituated. There are 168 mountain gorilla permits in Uganda but travelers are advised to book the permits in advance in order to avoid last-minute booking disappointments most especially in the dry season.

gorilla permits for Uganda

Uganda Wildlife gorilla permits for Uganda

How to book the gorilla permits for Uganda?

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in Bwindi gorilla park and Mgahinga national park because they are the only places harboring mountain gorillas in the country. The gorilla permits are booked directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator. To book the gorilla trekking permits you will send an email to your best local tour operator or Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The email must contain the national park you want to visit, the date of the month, and the year you want to trek. This information will be used to check for the availability of the trekking permits and once they are available, you will be sent an email containing banking details. After you have sent the money, your permit will be booked and you will be sent a scanned copy for your confirmation. Travelers are advised to book their gorilla permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid last-minute booking disappointments.

What to park for a  best gorilla safari in Uganda?

Things to pack for a gorilla safari in Bwindi gorilla park or Mgahinga national park include a light backpack, a camera, a pair of binoculars, a hut, sunscreen, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, rain jacket, sweater, a pair of gaiters, waterproof hiking shoes, cotton stocks, insect repellents, sanitizer, energy-giving snacks, and drinking water bottle among others.

When to see gorillas in Uganda?

Bwindi gorilla park and Mgahinga gorilla park are the best places to see gorillas in Uganda and have 2 dry seasons and 2 wet seasons. The 2 dry seasons are the best to see gorillas in Uganda and they happen from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall that leaves the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is short and scattered with good views of the mountain gorillas, and the roads leading to the park are passable.

Tourists can still visit Bwindi gorilla park and Mgahinga national park in the wet season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. Tourists should note that in the rainy season there is plenty of rainfall that makes the trekking trails slippery hence affecting the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.

A double room at Siverback Lodge Uganda

A double room at Siverback Lodge Uganda

Where to stay for a best gorilla safari in Uganda?

As the best places to see gorillas in Uganda, Mgahinga national park and Bwindi gorilla park have lots of accommodation facilities where travelers can spend a night or more while on their safaris. The accommodation facilities in these parks range from budget to midrange to luxury options and where to stay depends on your budget and choice. In the case of Bwindi gorilla park, tourists must stay in accommodation facilities that are in the sectors they are going to trek mountain gorillas from.

Mgahinga gorilla park

Accommodation in Mgahinga gorilla park

Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gahinga Lodge, Lake Mulehe Lodge, Lake Chahafi Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Travellers Rest Hotel, Air Land Hotel, Lake Chahafi Resort, Muhabura Climbers Rest Camp, Sabyinyo Guest House, Virunga Campsite and Backpackers, and Gorilla Hills Eco-Lodge among others.

Bwindi gorilla park

Accommodation in Ruhija sector

Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Bakiga Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Broadbill Forest Camp, Agandi Lodge, Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Cuckoo Land Tented Lodge, Ecomarvels Gorilla Lodge, and Trekkers Tavern.

Accommodation in Buhoma sector

Buhoma Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Bwindi Forest Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Ride 4 women Guest House, Silverback Lodge, Buhoma Rest Camp, Haven Lodge, and Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge.

Accommodation in Rushaga sector

Rushaga sector as one of the Gorilla trekking sectors, has one of the best accommodation facilities which gives travellers an opportunity to make a choice that fits their budget and these range from budget to luxury such as Gorilla Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Nsongi Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Haven Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Resort, and Wagtail Eco Safari Lodge.

Accommodation in Nkuringo sector

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Mutanda Eco Community Centre, Nshongi Camp, Crested Crane Bwindi Hotel, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, and Virunga Campsite

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