Sole travelers to Bwindi for gorilla trekking
Sole travelers to Bwindi for gorilla trekking: Bwindi is a great place to go gorilla trekking in Uganda if you are a solo traveler. Being a sole traveler to Bwindi gorilla park means that you will pay all the costs alone since there is nobody to share the costs of the safari with. Traveling as a solo traveler is always expensive but at Africa Adventure Vacations limited, we always try our best to reduce the costs based on your budget so that we make your safari affordable.
Africa adventure vacations limited organized gorilla tracking safaris to Bwindi gorilla park to enable travelers to encounter mountain gorillas for 1 hour. The national park is located in the southwestern part of the country where more than half of the mountain gorilla population in the whole world lives in the thick tropical forest.
Solo travelers to Bwindi have 4 sectors of the park they can choose to trek mountain gorillas from and these are Nkuringo, Ruhija, Buhoma, and Rushaga. These sectors do host different mountain gorilla families that are over 19. The mountain gorilla families live in different sectors of the park and if you are interested in trekking a specific gorilla family you can actually inform your tour operator and they make your dream come true.
Wondering how to book a solo gorilla trekking tour to Bwindi? Africa adventure vacations limited is one of the local tour operators to look out for when planning to visit Bwindi as a solo traveler. We do organize safaris for solo travelers based on their budget. We book the gorilla permit, the accommodation they are to use during the safari, and the transport part of the safari. A traveler will have to contact us via email with the number of the days they want their safari to happen, the dates of the month and year, and the budget.
Booking gorilla permits for Sole travelers to Bwindi for gorilla trekking
Solo travelers to Bwindi can book gorilla permits through a tour operator or directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. To book the gorilla permit, you will contact any of the above via email which should contain the dates of the month and year you want to trek gorillas and the information shall be used to check whether the permits are available or not. If you are lucky and the permits are available, you will be sent an email containing the price of the permit and the different banking details. You will be asked to send the money for the permit and second a scanned copy of the receipt or when a message is received that you sent the money, your permit will be booked. Solo travelers are advised to book gorilla permits in advance of 3-4 months most especially if they are planning to trek gorillas in the high season of June to September and December to February because the permits sell out quickly. Bwindi gorilla permits are sold on a first come first serve basis so this is why early booking is advised.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi as a solo traveler
Being a solo traveler in Bwindi doesn’t mean you will trek the gorilla group alone. A solo traveler will wake up early in the morning have breakfast at the lodge and then meet their driver to transfer them to the sector offices. Here you will meet other tourists who are going for trekking and park wardens will teach you about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity. You will be grouped with other trekkers not exceeding 8, given a family to trek, and armed ranger guides will lead you into the jungle.
In the jungle, you can take 2-7 hours searching for the assigned gorilla family and the time taken to meet the gorilla group depends on the location of the gorilla group and the speed of trekkers. During the search, trekkers will get chances to see different park mammals, primates, birds, and different plant species. When the mountain gorilla family assigned is allocated, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around the members, watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about the gorilla habits.
Cost of gorilla permits in Bwindi
A single gorilla trekking permit in Bwindi costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for citizens of East Africa. The gorilla trekking permit enables each traveler to be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour, the price comes with park entrance fees and ranger guide fees. Solo travelers can buy or book the gorilla permits for Bwindi directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority or using a trusted local tour operator.
Getting to Bwindi
Solo travelers can access Bwindi gorilla park for gorilla trekking in just a single day by using road transport or air transport. By air transport, a traveler will have to contact their tour operator in advance to book them a seat with Aero Link Uganda or Bar Aviation Uganda. The flights start from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip and land at Kihihi airstrip for that one visiting Buhoma region and Kisoro airstrip for that one visiting Nkuringo, Ruhija, or Rushaga region.
Solo travelers can also access Bwindi gorilla park using road transport and the journey can be from Entebbe or Kampala or even Kigali. Travelers from Kigali can access Bwindi by driving to Katuna border in Kabale and Cyanika birder in Kisoro where they will cross to Uganda and connect to Bwindi gorilla park. The whole road trip from Kigali to Bwindi takes 4-5 hours of great views of the roadsides.
Solo travelers can use road transport and access Bwindi from Kampala/Entebbe within 9-10 hours. The journey starts from Kampala and goes via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, or Kisoro with different stopovers along the way. From Kabale and Kisoro, travelers can access any of the Bwindi sectors at different points.
When to visit Bwindi gorilla park as a solo traveler
Solo travelers can visit Bwindi gorilla park at any time of the year but there are certain months that are better than the rest. The national park is open for gorilla trekking all throughout the year however the dry season is said to be the best to visit the park. The season occurs from June to September and December to February and is characterized by little or no rainfall that leaves the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the mountain gorillas, and the roads leading to the park are in good conditions.
Solo travelers can still visit Bwindi gorilla park for tracking in the low season which occurs from March to May and October to November. During that season, travelers enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities since there are few tourists in the park so the lodges are on discounts to attract customers. Solo travelers should however note that in the rainy season, there is plenty of rainfall in the park, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, roads leading to the park are in poor conditions and the vegetation is thick and tall with unclear views of the mountain gorillas.
What solo travelers to Bwindi should pack?
Sole travelers to Bwindi for gorilla trekking should pack items that include waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, a light backpack, camera, a pair of binoculars, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellents, sanitizer, facemask, drinking water bottle, and energy-giving snacks among others.
Accommodation in Bwindi
Sole travelers to Bwindi for gorilla trekking have a variety of accommodation options to stay in while on a gorilla tracking safari to the park. These lodges are located in the different sectors of the park and they do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options. Solo travelers that book the safari themselves should book accommodation facilities located in the sectors they are going to trek.
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.