How many hours can I spend with gorillas in Bwindi?
How many hours can I spend with gorillas in Bwindi: Most of the travelers intending to visit Bwindi gorilla park for a gorilla safari always want to know how many hours or how much time they can spend with mountain gorillas? Well, a traveler can spend either 1 hour or 4 hours with mountain gorillas in Bwindi and this depends on the gorilla permit they buy. The gorilla trekking permit is the one that enables a traveler to be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour and the gorilla trekking permit is that that allows a traveler to be around mountain gorillas for 4 hours so it’s upon you or your budget to choose which to buy based on your interest.
Encountering mountain gorillas is the most done activity in Bwindi gorilla park and it has attracted a lot of travelers from different parts of the world. The gorilla trekking activities are done in different sectors of the park which are Nkuringo, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Buhoma. These sectors harbor over 19 mountain gorilla families that are fully habituated for gorilla trekking activities and 2 semi habituated gorilla families in Nkuringo and Rushaga that are designed for habituation purposes.
How many hours can I spend with gorillas in Bwindi?
Spending one hour with mountain gorillas.
Spending one hour with mountain gorillas is called gorilla trekking. It’s the most done activity in Bwindi done by thousands of tourists that visit the park every day. The activity requires a person to simply buy a normal gorilla trekking permit direct from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted local tour operator. The normal gorilla trekking permit for Bwindi costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa.
Travelers that purchase normal gorilla trekking activities shall be allowed to spend only 1 hour with mountain gorillas and this starts counting the moment you see them. During the 1 hour given, the trekkers are about to see how mountain gorillas behave, record videos, take photos, and watch apes do day-to-day activities such as hunting, nesting, playing, coupling, grooming, eating, and much more.
How to spend more hours with mountain gorillas?
Spending more hours with mountain gorillas in Bwindi is very simple all you need to do is book a gorilla habituation safari when you want to encounter mountain gorillas in Bwindi. A gorilla habituation safari is one that allows a traveler to spend 4 hours with mountain gorillas. A traveler will have to buy a gorilla habituation permit which comes with a ranger guide fee, park entrance fee, and 4 hours with mountain gorillas.
Bwindi is the only place where travelers can spend more time with mountain gorillas (4 hours) and this activity is only done in the Nkuringo and Rushaga regions of the park in the south. The Uganda Wildlife Authority came up with the 4-hour gorilla habituation experience to enable travelers to encounter mountain gorillas for 1 hour. During the 4 hours, trekkers are allowed to be part of the activities that make mountain gorillas get used to human presence and they are helped by the conservationists as well as researchers.
How much is spending 4 hours with mountain gorillas in Bwindi?
To spend 4 hours with mountain gorillas in Bwindi, all you need to do is purchase a gorilla habituation permit. The gorilla habituation permit is sold at the Uganda Wildlife Authority at a fee of $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGX750,000 citizens of East Africa. The habituation permit is used by one person and it’s for a single day.
How many people spend time with a gorilla group in Bwindi?
A fully habituated mountain gorilla family in Bwindi gorilla park is trekked by a maximum of 8 people and all these people must be having valid gorilla trekking permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority. A semi habituated mountain gorilla family is habituated by a group of 4 people who are usually accompanied by researchers and conservationists. For any person to trek or habituate mountain gorillas in Bwindi, they must be aged 15 years and above.
Rules and regulations of gorilla trekking in Bwindi gorilla park
To trek mountain gorillas, you must not have any signs of transmitted diseases such as flu and cough
Trekkers must wash their hands and sanitize before going into the jungle
A maximum of 8 people do trek a fully habituated mountain gorilla group while 4 people trek a semi habituated group
Trekkers should keep their voices low while in the jungle
Littering is not allowed, trekkers must stay with their rubbish teil they get out of the jungle
Eating or smoking around mountain gorillas is not allowed
When you meet the gorilla group, you must keep a distance of 7 meters away from the gorillas
When the mountain gorillas charge, you shouldn’t shout or run away but follow what the guide has to tell you.
You must keep in the group throughout the whole hike
Coughing around mountain gorillas is not allowed and so if a trekker feels like coughing, they must turn behind and cover their mouths.
Cameras that are allowed to take pictures of gorillas are those that don’t have a flashlight
Trekkers must spend only 1 hour with a fully habituated mountain gorillas family and 4 hours with a semi habituated mountain gorilla family
When you want to ease yourself and you are still in the jungle, you can ask your ranger to dig for you a whole which you will cover later.
Best time to go gorilla trekking
The dry season is the best time to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi and this happens from June to September and December to February. During the dry season, there is little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails dry, less muddy, and not slippery hence not affecting the speed of trekkers. The vegetation is short, thin, and scattered with good views of the mountain gorillas and other wild animals. Lastly, the roads leading to the park are in good condition since there is no rainfall.
The rainy season is also not bad to visit Bwindi gorilla park and it favors the budget travelers because they find the lodges at a cheaper fee. The lodges reduce the price of the lodges to attract the few customers that are always in the park. The rainy season however comes with too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, roads leading to the park are in poor conditions and the vegetation in the park is tall and thick giving good views of the mountain gorillas.
What to pack for Bwindi gorilla trekking?
During gorilla trekking, you need long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, gardening gloves, long cotton stockings, a pair of gaiters, waterproof hiking shoes, rain jacket, a sweater, a hat, sunscreen, a drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, a camera, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, sanitizer and facemask among others.