Trek gorillas in Bwindi from South Africa.
Trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi from South Africa starts in South Africa brings one to Uganda to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi, and ends in South Africa. Bwindi is located in the Southwestern part of Uganda and this means tourists will have to fly to the airport of their choice and connect to Bwindi using road transport or air transport.
Bwindi located in the Kabale, Kanungu, and Kisoro districts is home to the highest population of mountain gorillas in the whole world. Travelers from South Africa will have to choose a sector in the park where they can trek mountain gorillas or a local tour operator will get them the best. Bwindi has 4 trekking sectors and these are Nkuringo, Ruhija Rushaga, and Buhoma where mountain gorillas trekking is done.
Trekking gorillas in Bwindi is done on 19 gorilla families fully habituated and ready for tracking in Bwindi forest park. The families are found in the different areas of the park and trekking any of these requires a gorilla trekking permit issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority although it can be got from a trusted local tour operator at the same fee.
How to buy gorilla permits for Bwindi from South Africa?
Buying gorilla permits for Bwindi from South Africa can be done using a local tour operator or direct from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Travelers from South Africa will have to look for a trusted local tour operator to buy the permit for Bwindi. After getting a tour operator or deciding to buy direct from Uganda Wildlife Authority, you will send any of the two an email containing the dates of the month and year you want to travel.
Using the message in your email, they will check for the availability of the trekking permits and when they are available they will send you an email containing the different banking details. You will send the money for the permit and when they receive it they will buy a trekking permit for you. Travelers from South Africa and other parts of the world are advised to book their gorilla permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid last-minute booking disappointments.
Price of gorilla permits for Bwindi from South Africa?
The gorilla permit price is the same no matter the country you are coming from. Travelers from South Africa can get the gorilla permits for Bwindi at $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 East afri9can citizens. Travelers from South Africa that want to spend more time with the mountain gorillas can buy permits that cost $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents, and UGX750,000 East African citizens.
Trek gorillas in Bwindi from South Africa
Trekking gorillas in Bwindi from South Africa can be done in 4 sectors of the park which are Nkuringo, Buhoma, Ruhija, and Rushaga. Trekking in all sectors starts with a briefing at the sector offices where wardens teach the trekkers about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity. The trekkers must have gorilla trekking permits which they will present to the park wardens to allow them to trek mountain gorillas.
When the briefing is done, trekkers are grouped bot exceeding 8 and armed ranger guides lead them into the jungle to look for the assigned mountain gorilla family. Searching a gorilla family in Bwindi gorilla park can take 2-7 hours but during that time the trekkers are able to see different mammals, primates, birds, and plants. The moment trekkers meet the gorilla family they have been looking for they are given 1 hour to be around the apes, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
When to visit Bwindi from South Africa
Tourists from South Africa can visit Bwindi at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months that occur from June to September and December to February are the best to visit Bwindi from South Africa and this is because they are characterized by little or no rainfall. During the dry season, the trekking trails are dry, the vegetation is thin with good views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Travelers from South Africa can trek gorillas in Bwindi park in the rainy season to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season in Bwindi occurs from March to May and October to November and is characterized by too much rainfall which makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in bad conditions.
Accessing Bwindi gorilla park from South Africa
Travelers that want to trek gorillas in Bwindi from South Africa will have to fly to Entebbe international airport or Kigali international airport first. From Kigali travelers can access the national park by driving to Katuna border in Kabale or Cyanika border in Kisoro where they will cross to Uganda and drive to any of the sectors they are to trek gorillas.
Travelers from South Africa that use Entebbe international airport can get to Bwindi gorilla park by using air transport. The flights are done by Aerolink Uganda, Bar Aviation, and Uganda airlines, and these fly to Kisoro airstrip for those visiting Nkuringo, Ruhija, and Rushaga regions while those heading to Buahoma land on Kihihi airstrip.
Travelers that love long distances or those that can’t afford air transport can drive from Entebbe/Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, or Kisoro and access the different sectors of the park. the journey is 9-10 hours full of great views of the surrounding places, meeting different people, and stopovers at places such as the Equator, Igongo cultural centre, and much more.
Where to stay in Bwindi from South Africa?
Bwindi gorilla park has 4 sectors where mountain gorilla trekking is done from and so you will have to choose the accommodation in the sector you are visiting. The sectors have accommodation facilities that range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and these are as follows.
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.