Safety in Bwindi
Safety in Bwindi is one of the frequently asked questions by travelers interested in visiting the park especially for gorilla trekking activities. Well, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is very safe and secure for tourism activities in the country. Travelers to Bwindi gorilla park will always be safe in the park and during tourism activities if they keep security guidelines.
Safety in Bwindi
Travelers especially those living outside Uganda where Bwindi gorilla park is located, will always find misleading information about the safety in Bwindi. We who live in the country where mountain gorillas are found are here to give you the right information about the safety in this park.
Bwindi is located near the borders of DR Congo with Uganda and maybe it could be one of the reasons as to why people are always worried about the security in the park. We would like to tell you that Bwindi and the country of Uganda are very safe when it comes to security. There are security personnel at the park borders and there are those at the entrances of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park who first check you before accessing the park.
Bwindi has got armed ranger guides whose role is to take you around the jungle searching for different park animals, birds, and plants. They protect you from animals that can be dangerous and show you the easiest routes to use. The trackers also make sure that jungles are safe for trekking activities and these go into the jungle early in the morning to see where gorillas last nested before even the armed rangers lead the trekkers to search for an allocated mountain gorilla family.
Communities around the park have been taught the importance of gorilla tourism to the country and the community. The Uganda Wildlife Authority which is a government body in charge of tourism in the country gets 10% of the gorilla permit fees and gives it to the community so that they benefit from the tourism. You can never meet poachers in Bwindi jungles or even local people to attack you while on your visit to the park. In fact, the local communities have organized activities such as the Batwa experience to enable travelers to interact with local people.
One of the things travelers are worried about is the steep slopes in the park because it’s said that mountain gorillas do live at high altitudes. Bwindi is a hilly area covered with thick forest where these mountain gorillas do live. Travelers shouldn’t worry about these steep slopes because a local tour operator will always advise you to come with waterproof hiking shoes. There are walking sticks at the starting point of trekking and their use is to help you balance and go through steep slopes.
When it comes to gorilla trekking, you don’t have to be worried about heading into the jungle alone to search for mountain gorillas. Well, there are armed ranger guides that lead trekkers in the jungle and these use the routes directed by trackers that went early in the jungle to see where these mountain gorillas last nested. The role of armed ranger guides is to protect trekkers from dangerous wild animals that could be met along the way as well as teach trekkers how to behave around mountain gorillas because there are times they can be wild.
When it comes to safety around mountain gorillas, travelers don’t have to worry about anything if they keep the rules and regulations of the trekking activity as taught by armed ranger guides. Mountain gorillas are very peaceful and gentle animals only if provoked. Mountain gorillas of Bwindi gorilla park or even other gorilla parks have been habituated and are used to human presence around them.
Mountain gorillas are said to be close relatives to human beings which means any disease from a trekker can move on to the mountain gorilla and the reverse is true. Travelers should not get worried about any disease contraction from these giant apes because there are doctors in the park who keep on checking their health. Travelers are also asked to keep a distance of 7 meters away from mountain gorillas and we think this also helps to reduce the spread of diseases to one another.
Bwindi has safe accommodation facilities where travelers can stay before or after gorilla trekking. Travelers can stay in good budget, mid range and luxury accommodation facilities with good security during day and night. Some of the accommodation facilities have luggage store areas where travelers can keep their travel bugs safe. The rooms have keys and travelers can keep their rooms locked when they are moving out.