Bwindi gorilla trekking in December
Bwindi gorilla trekking in December: Although mountain gorilla trekking can be done all throughout the year in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, December is the best time to visit the park because it’s a dry season month that is characterized by little and most of the time no rainfall. When you visit Bwindi in the dry season, you will go through trekking trails that are dry and passable which won’t affect the speed of trekking, the vegetation will be short and scattered with good views of the mountain gorillas and other wild animals, roads connecting to the park are passable and lastly, for those that want to use Air transport, the weather will be favoring flights.
Bwindi gorilla trekking in December is mostly done by those travelers that live in countries located in the northern hemisphere. Most of these people are on a holiday and it is always wintertime. They decide to take off a break by visiting different places around the world. Some travelers decide to visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in the southwestern part of the country where they trek gorillas while enjoying the warm weather.
Bwindi Gorilla trekking in December can be done in any of the sectors of the park which are Nkuringo and Rushaga in the north, Buhoma in the north, and Ruhija in the south. There are over 19 mountain gorilla families that are available for trekkers to encounter during the month of December. Travelers that book early has a chance to inform their tour operators which family to trek or region because UWA sells permits according to regions.
Booking gorilla trekking in December
December brings in the highest number of travelers in Bwindi because it’s when most of the people are having Christmas holidays. Therefore, travelers that are willing to visit the park in the dry season are advised to book their gorilla trekking safaris earlier in advance to avoid last-minute booking disappointments since the gorilla permits sell out quickly. You must book the gorilla permits first before booking the safari because the permit is the most important item.
To book a gorilla safari, you can search for a trusted local tour operator first or directly contact Uganda Wildlife Authority for a permit if you are to organize the safari by yourself. You will send an email containing the dates of December and the year you want to the gorilla safari to happen. The information shall be used to check for the availability of the permits and once they are available, you will be lucky. In case they are not available on the dates you want, they will tell you which dates you can choose to trek, and then if you are okay with them your permits can be booked.
In case the permits are available, you will be sent an email containing different banking details of how you can send money and once you have sent the money your permits shall be booked. After the permits have been booked, now you are sure of gorilla trekking that day and next will be accommodation and how you will move to the park. For a local tour operator to organize a safari for you, they will look at areas of your interest and then d some calculations of how much the whole safari can take you and send it to you via email. Once the price is okay with you, then you can make a deposit and they will be able to organize for you a whole Bwindi gorilla trekking safari in December.
Trekking experience in December
Gorilla trekking in December is considered the best because there is little or no rainfall in the park so expect to search for mountain gorillas through dry trails. The activity starts early in the morning at 8 am. Trekkers must wake up early in the morning and have breakfast at their lodges. Later they will get their luggage and then meet their driver guide to transfer them to the sector offices where they will join other trekkers.
The park wardens are always at the sector offices and their role is to check if the permits are valid, group trekkers, and get them armed ranger guides to lead them in the jungle. The park wardens do teach the trekkers about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity before heading to the jungle. Armed ranger guides lead the treks where they take trekkers through the quickest trails to locate the gorilla family assigned.
The search for mountain gorillas can take 2-7 hours of going through different trails with opportunities of seeing different wild animals. The time taken to locate a mountain gorilla family depends on the location of the gorilla group and the speed of trekkers. During the search, trekkers will be able to see animals such as buffaloes, duikers, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, monkeys, olive baboons, elephants, birds, and different vegetation covers.
The moment trekkers find where the mountain gorillas last nested, they are asked to keep their voices low because the mountain gorillas are nearby. When the mountain gorillas are spotted, armed ranger guides do give trekkers one hour to be around these apes and this will give them an opportunity to watch them do daily activities, take photos, record videos and learn about the gorilla habits. Later you will trek out of the jungle, and meet your driver-guide to take you to pick up your trekking certificate.
Price of gorilla permits in December
To trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi during December, you need a gorilla trekking permit which is issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority. The gorilla permits must be booked 3-4 earlier before the trekking day because they do sell out quickly since everyone wants to travel during that season. Travelers intending to visit Bwindi in December can get each trekking permit at $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for citizens of East Africa.
What to carry for Bwindi gorilla trekking in December?
Some of the things you need to consider for your Bwindi gorilla trekking safari in December include long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved pants, a sweater, rain jacket, gardening gloves, a hat, sunscreen, waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, toiletries, first aid kit, insect repellents, sanitizer, facemask, drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, a camera and a pair of binoculars among others.
Getting to Bwindi
Travelers visiting Bwindi for gorilla trekking in December can get to the park using road transport or air transport. By road transport, travelers can fly from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airstrip if they are visiting Nkuringo, Rushaga, and Ruhija regions while those that are visiting Buhoma region can fly to Kihihi Airstrip. Travelers who can’t afford air transport will drive from kampala/Entebbe through masaka, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale or Kisoro. Those from Kigali can cross to Uganda using Katuna border in Kabale or Cyanika border in Kisoro where they will connect to any of the sectors of the park.
Where to stay in Bwindi on a gorilla trekking safari in December?
There are a lot of accommodation facilities in different sectors of Bwindi where you can stay in December on your gorilla safari. The accommodation facilities do range from budget to mid arrange to luxury options with where to stay depending on your budget. Travelers intending to visit Bwindi in December are advised to book the lodges in advance to avoid missing lodges of their choices.
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 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
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.