Bwindi gorilla tours from Lake Mutanda
Bwindi gorilla tours from Lake Mutanda: Lake Mutanda is located in the south of Bwindi gorilla park home to more than half of the mountain gorillas remaining in the world. The lake is found in Kisoro district which is in the southwestern part of the country. Lake Mutanda is a small freshwater lake located close to Bwindi gorilla park and Mgahinga national park all harboring mountain gorillas. The lake is the best point to view three extinct volcanoes which are Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo.
Travelers from Lake Mutanda can now trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi gorilla park in just a single day by driving to the park very early in the morning. All they need is a gorilla trekking or habituation permit that will allow them to be part of the trekking activity and get a chance to spend some time with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitats.
Travelers from Lake Mutanda can trek mountain gorillas of Rushaga and Nkuringo regions since they are the ones located near the lake. Rushaga is just 1-2 hours driver from Lake Mutanda and Nkuringo is just a 1 hour drive from the lake. Rushaga gorilla sector has one semi habituated gorilla family named Bikingi and seven gorilla families open for trekking which include Kahungye, Mishaya, Busingye, Nshongi, Rwigi, Mucunguzi, and Bweza. Tourists from Lake Mutanda can trek Nkuringo gorilla families such as Nkuringo, Christmas, Posho and they can only habituate Bushaho gorilla family.
A traveler who is staying at Lake Mutanda will have to wake up early in the morning, take or pack breakfast and meet their driver guides to transfer them to Lake Mutanda in time. Trekkers must reach in time and be part of the briefing because failure to do so you can’t be part of the gorilla trekking activity. Getting to Rushaga needs 1-2 hours while Nkuringo is just 1 hour from Lake Mutanda. Travelers can move with their packed lunch because the time taken to meet mountain gorillas is unpredictable.
To trek Bwindi gorillas from Lake Mutanda, you need to book a gorilla permit and a safari first and this must be done in advance. To book the gorilla safari, you need to inform your tour operator about the dates of the month and year you want to travel and they will first see if the permits are available so that they book them first. After the permits have been booked, next will be how you will move from Lake Mutanda to Bwindi gorillas park. After trekking, your safari shall end at Lake Mutanda and so we believe the accommodation to be used during the safari is around Lake Mutanda.
How much are Bwindi gorilla permits from Lake Mutanda?
To trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi you need a gorilla permit and so tourists from Lake Mutanda can get Bwindi gorilla trekking permits at a fee of $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa. The gorilla habituation permits can be got a fee of $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGX750,000 citizens of East Africa. These gorilla permits can be got from Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator at the same fee. Travelers intending to visit Bwindi from Lake Mutanda are advised to book their permits in advance to avoid inconveniences.
To book the gorilla permit for Bwindi from Lake Mutanda, you will need to get a trusted local tour operator or use the Uganda Wildlife Authority direct. You can contact either of the two via email telling them about the dates of the month and year you are interested in encountering mountain gorillas. They will use this information to check for the availability of the gorilla permits and if you are lucky and they find the permits available. You will be sent the different banking details as well as the cost of the permits and once you send the money, the permits shall be booked. If you use Uganda Wildlife Authority while booking the gorilla permits, you will have to visit the offices in Kampala and collect your permits.
Encountering gorillas in Bwindi from Lake Mutanda
The gorilla trekking activities in Bwindi from Lake Mutanda are done mostly in Rushaga gorilla trekking sector and Nkuringo sector because they are located near the lake. Gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation activities are all possible in these two sectors. To trek or habituate mountain gorillas of Bwindi, you must be part of the briefing activity early in the morning and you must have a gorilla permit that is from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Before heading to the jungle, you gather at the sector offices where you meet the wardens to teach you about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity, group you, and then get each group armed ranger guides to lead in the jungle. The search for the gorilla family can take 2-7 hours of meeting different park animals, birds, and plants. The time taken to meet the gorilla family assigned depends on the speed of trekkers as well as the location of the mountain gorillas.
When the mountain gorilla group is located the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around mountain gorillas and this gives them an opportunity to learn about the gorilla habits, watch them do daily activities, take photos, and record videos. Tourists from Lake Mutanda in Bwindi will be given 4 hours to be around a semi habituated gorilla family and the time given will enable tourists to learn about the gorilla habits, watch them do daily activities, take photos, record videos and be part of the activities that make gorillas get used to human beings.
What is the best time to visit Bwindi from Lake Mutanda?
Travelers can visit Bwindi gorilla park from Lake Mutanda at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months that happen from June to September and December to February are the best to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi from Lake Mutanda because they are characterized by little or no rainfall. During the dry season, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is short, thin, and scattered with good views of the mountain gorillas, and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Travelers can still visit Bwindi from Lake Mutanda in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on the lodges around the lake. However, during the rainy season, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park animals, photography is not good and the roads leading to the park from the lake are in poor condition.
What to pack for Bwindi gorilla tours from Lake Mutanda?
The parking list for Bwindi gorilla tours from Lake Mutanda should include waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, long cotton stocks, a light backpack, long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved pants, a hat, sunscreen, a camera, a pair of binoculars, sanitizer, insect repellents, facemask, drinking water bottle, and energy-giving snacks among others.