Gorilla trekking Bwindi and chimpanzee tour
Gorilla trekking Bwindi and chimpanzee tour: This safari is designed for primate lovers who would love to encounter endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. The safari takes you to two national parks that have the highest population of these primates in the whole world. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has got the highest number of mountain gorillas while Kibale has the highest number of chimpanzees in the entire world.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is located in the southwestern part of the country and as of today, it has over 19 mountain gorilla families available for trekking in its four sectors which are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. Kibale on the other hand is located in the western part of Uganda harboring the highest number of primates in the country. When you visit Kibale for chimpanzee tour, you have a chance to meet over 13 primates of which some cant be seen anywhere in the country.
This safari requires one to have a gorilla trekking permit and a chimpanzee trekking permit. These permits are tickets to allow you to encounter primates in their natural habitats for one hour. Both permits for gorilla trekking bwindi and chimpanzee tour are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority which is a government body governing these national parks.
The gorilla trekking permits which are for Bwindi can be purchased at $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for citizens of East Africa. A chimpanzee trekking permit costs $200 for foreign non-residents, $150 for foreign residents, and UGX150,000 for citizens of East Africa. These permits come with paid park entrance fees, ranger guide fees, and nature walk activities in Kibale national park.
This safari starts in from Kampala/Entebbe and goes to Kibale forest national park before concluding ion Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The safari will start from Kampala and it’s about a 5 hours’ drive to get to Fort Portal where you drive to Kanyanchu park headquarters of Kibale forest national park. On arrival at the park, you do spend an evening relaxing at the lodge as you prepare for one of the main activities on the safari.
The next day is the chimpanzee trekking day and it does start with morning breakfast at the lodge and after driver-guides drive you to the park headquarters where you meet other trekkers. The park wardens do teach the rules and regulations of the chimpanzee trekking activity, group trekkers, and look for armed ranger guides to lead them in the jungle.
The armed ranger guides led the trek by taking trekkers through different trekking trails where they have opportunities to meet different park mammals, primates, and bords. The search for chimpanzees in this park takes 2-5 hours and this depends on the speed of the trekkers and the location of the chimpanzee family. When the chimpanzees are spotted, armed ranger guides give trekkers one hour to be around them, watch them do daily activities, take photos, and much more.
After chimpanzee tour in Kibale, you will collect your trekking certificate at the park headquarters and drive to your lodge for evening relaxation or you can opt to do a nature walk around the park which is free. The nature walks will enable you to encounter different park animals such as red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, potto, L’Hoest’s monkey, grey-checked mangabeys, bushbucks, duikers, warthogs, and birds among others.
Bwindi gorilla park will the next and last destination to visit on this safari. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is located about 240km away from Kibale by road transport. After enjoying an early morning breakfast, you will check out of the lodge, meet your driver guide, and then set off for Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. you will have an en-route lunch and on arrival at the park, you will check in your and have an evening relaxing as you prepare for g0rilla trekking the following day.
The following day, you will wake up to a morning breakfast and then get transferred to the sector offices where you will meet other trekkers. Here you will be taught the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking activity, grouped not exceeding 8 people and then armed ranger guides will lead you into the jungle to search for the mountain gorillas.
The search for the mountain gorilla family can take 2-7 hours which usually depends on the location of the gorilla family and the speed of trekkers. During the search for the mountain gorilla family, trekkers are able to meet different park mammals, primates, and birds. The moment the mountain gorilla family is spotted, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around the members watch them do daily activities, take photos, and learn about different gorilla habits.
After encountering mountain gorillas, you will trek out of the jungle, head to the sector offices where you will pick up your gorilla trekking certificate, and then head to the lodge for lunch. Later you can decide to so an optional activity such as birding where you will have chances of seeing over 350 bird species, Batwa community tour, or nature walks. The night will be spent in the park and you will be transferred to Kampala or Entebbe international airport the next day.
When to visit Bwindi and Kibale.
Bwindi gorilla park and Kibale national park can be visited at any time of the year however there are certain months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best have gorilla and chimpanzee tour in Kibale because they are characterized by little or no rainfall that keeps the roads leading to the parks are passable, vegetation is short and scattered giving clear views of the primates and the trekking trails are dry in the parks which do affect the speed of trekkers.
Travelers can still have a gorilla safari in Bwindi and then chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to November and this favors the budget travelers. There are always huge discounts on accommodation facilities during such months. Travelers should however note that in the rainy season, the plenty of rainfall keeps the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thin with unclear views of the primates, and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.
What to pack
Travelers coming for Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and chimpanzee tour in Kibale should pack waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved pants, a rain jacket, a sweater, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellents, drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, light backpack, a camera and a pair of binoculars among others.