Bwindi gorilla safari from Europe
Are you in Europe and would want to trek mountain gorillas on your safari to Bwindi gorilla park? This article is going to help you with how you can have a successful safari in Bwindi gorilla park from Europe. Bwindi gorilla park is one of the few national parks harboring mountain gorillas in the whole world. The gorilla park is found in the southwestern part of Uganda harboring over 350 bird species, 10 primate species, and over 120 mammal species,
Mountain gorilla trekking is the most done activity in Bwindi gorilla part although there are other activities such as birding, nature walks, and community tours. Bwindi gorilla park covers a total area of 331 sq. km and has been dived into 4 trekking sectors which are Nkuringo and Rushaga in the south, Buhoma in the north, and Ruhija in the east.
If you are intending to have a gorilla safari in Bwindi gorilla park, we advise you to look for a licensed local tour operator to help you organize your safari. Africa Adventure vacations limited is one of the best local tour operators in Uganda that can help you book gorilla permits first and then accommodation as well as the transport to use when you arrive in Uganda for your Bwindi gorilla safari from Europe.
Booking gorilla permits for Bwindi from Europe
Tourists that are in Europe and want to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi gorilla park must book the gorilla permits first. Gorilla permits can be booked using a trusted local tour operator or direct from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. We always advised travelers to book using licensed tour operators who won’t steal their money
To book gorilla permits for Bwindi gorilla park from Europe, you can send Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator an email containing the dates of the months and year you want to trek the mountain gorillas of Bwindi. 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 different banking details. You will send the money and once it’s received, your permit will be booked and you will be sent a scanned copy for confirmation.
How much is a Bwindi gorilla trekking permit from Europe?
A normal gorilla trekking permit in Bwindi gorilla park costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa. Travelers from Europe that want to spend more time with the mountain gorillas can book a gorilla habituation permit which costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and UGX750,000 East African citizens.
Trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi from Europe
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi gorilla park is one of the most done activities that are done in the park as travelers encounter mountain gorillas. The gorilla trekking activity is done in Buhoma sector, Nkuringo sector, Ruhija sector, and Rushaga sector. the activity involves tourists walking through the jungle in search of endangered mountain gorillas.
In Bwindi gorilla park, trekkers are expected to be at the different sector offices early in the morning for a briefing by park wardens. The briefing helps tourists to learn about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity and thereafter groups of 8 people are located mountain gorilla families to trek.
To locate mountain gorillas in Bwindi gorilla park can take 2-7 hours depending on the location of the apes and the speed of trekkers. During the search, the trekkers get an opportunity to see different park animals such as giant forest hogs, bushpigs, duikers, chimpanzees, monkeys, elephants, buffaloes, golden cats, and birds among others. Once the gorilla family is located, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around it, watch the members do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits.
What to pack for Bwindi gorilla safari from Europe?
When coming to Bwindi gorilla park to trek mountain gorillas, we recommend you to pack items such as waterproof hiking boots, cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, a rain jacket, a hat, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, a backpack, a camera, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, sanitizer, drinking water bottle and energy-giving snacks among others.
Best time to do Bwindi gorilla safari from Europe
Travelers from Europe can visit Bwindi gorilla park and trek mountain gorillas at any time of the year but there are certain months that are good compared to others. The dry months that occur from June to September and December to February are the best to visit Uganda from Europe. During the dry months, there is little or no rainfall in the park, the trekking trails are dry which doesn’t affect the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is short with good views of the gorillas and other park animals and lastly, the roads leading to the park are in good conditions.
Tourists from Europe can still visit Bwindi gorilla park in the rainy season to enjoy accommodation at cheap prices because there are always huge discounts. During the rainy season, there is too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery hence affecting the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is short with unclear views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to all the sectors of the park are in poor conditions.
Where to stay during Bwindi gorilla safari from Europe?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi gorilla park is done in different sectors of the park. Each of the sectors has its accommodation facilities and travelers must in lodges that are in the sectors they want to trek from. The accommodation facilities in all the sectors of the park range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and they are as follows.
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
Accommodation in Rushaga sector: Rushaga 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 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.
Accessing Bwindi gorilla park from Europe
Tourists from Europe can access Bwindi gorilla park by first flying to Entebbe international airport or Kigali international airport. From Entebbe or Kigali, tourists can get to Bwindi gorilla park using road transport or air transport. Using air transport, travelers can fly to Kihihi airstrip (Buhoma sector) or Kisoro airstrip (Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo) from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip in 2 hours. At the airstrips will be driver guides to transfer them to any of the sectors where they are to trek gorillas from,
Travelers accessing Bwindi gorilla park from Europe using road transport will drive from Kampala/Entebbe via Masaka, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale, or Kisoro road. Each of the sectors has its point where you branch off to the sector where you are going to trek. Ruhija can be accessed in the middle of Kabale-Kisoro road, Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors can be accessed by using the dirt roads leading west of Muko midway Kabale-Kisoro road. Buhoma sector can be accessed using Butogota road. Travelers can access bwindi gorilla park from Kigali using Katuna border in Kabale or Cyanika birder in Kisoro.