What are the chances of seeing gorillas in Bwindi?
What are the chances of seeing mountain gorillas in Bwindi is one of the most asked questions from tourists who intend to visit the park for gorilla trekking? Well, the chances of seeing mountain gorillas in Bwindi are very high since the national park harbors the highest population of mountain gorillas. There are 99% chances of seeing mountain gorillas in Bwindi because they are all over the region. The national park which covers a small area of 331 sq. km has over 650 mountain gorillas roaming in the four sectors of the park namely Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Buhoma.
There is no traveler that has ever visited Bwindi and failed to meet the mountain gorillas. This explains why Bwindi gorilla park is referred to as the best gorilla trekking destination in Africa. Pother mountain gorillas can be found in Mgahinga national park, volcanoes national park, and Virunga national park but these national parks combined don’t have the population that Bwindi has.
The Bwindi national park has 19 mountain gorilla families and 2 semi-habituated mountain gorilla families at the same time, the park has wild mountain gorillas that are not yet habituated. The gorilla trekking activity in Bwindi is very organized and done with a help of armed ranger guides to enable the trekkers to get a successful mountain gorilla trekking activity.
With a help of armed ranger guides, the chances to encounter mountain gorillas in Bwindi are 99% and this is because by the time the armed ranger guides lead you in the jungle, there are trackers that inform them using radio calls where the mountain gorillas are and so they use the real routes to connect you to the family. The trackers play an important role by waking up early in the morning and heading to the jungle to see where the mountain gorillas slept the previous night.
The gorilla trekking activity starts very early in the morning in Bwindi gorilla park and it starts at the briefing centers of the different park sectors. The park wardens check for the permits and any signs of transmitted diseases on the trekkers. They do teach about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity and then group the trekkers. The groups are led by armed ranger guides who take them through the right ways to meet the mountain gorillas and also protect them from dangerous wild animals.
The trekkers get chances to see different park animals such as buffaloes, elephants, duikers, bushpigs, giant forest hogs, and birds while searching for the mountain gorilla family assigned. Between 2-7 hours, trekkers would have already found the mountain gorillas and the time taken to meet the gorillas normally depends on the location of the mountain gorilla family and the speed of the trekkers.
The moment the mountain gorilla family is spotted, the trekkers are able to be around the group while following the rules and regulations of the activity ss taught at the offices. The trekkers will be able to learn about the gorilla habits, take photos, record videos and watch the members do daily activities such as nesting, coupling, hunting, eating, patrolling, and grooming among others.
Travelers to Bwindi gorilla park shouldn’t worry about the chances of seeing mountain gorillas because they will automatically meet them when their turn for trekking comes. Travelers who won’t get a chance to see the mountain gorillas on their safari are those that show signs of transmitted diseases such as flu and cough. Such people are not allowed to trek gorillas because they can easily transfer the disease to the mountain gorillas since they share 98% of human DNA with human beings.
For any travelers to increase the chances of encountering gorillas in Bwindi, they must book their gorilla permit in advance so that they secure themselves a spot. Booking the gorilla permits in advance enables you to plan your safari well, pack all the essentials, and exercise so that you be fit enough on the day of trekking. The gorilla trekking activity is successful when you are fit enough to pass through the rugged terrain, thick vegetation, and muddy trails till you locate the gorilla family.
We conclude by saying that the chances to encounter mountain gorillas in Bwindi are very high. When you visit the park for a safari, you will be able to encounter mountain gorillas in bwindi at any time of the day because the time taken to meet gorillas differs. Armed ranger guides will always play an important role in taking you around the park till you meet mountain gorillas.
How much does it cost to see gorillas in Bwindi?
A traveler requires a gorilla trekking permit to be part of the trekking activity where they get a chance to encounter gorillas in Bwindi. The gorilla permits are sold by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and at the same time can be got from a trusted tour operator. A gorilla habituation permit is $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents, and UGX750,000 for citizens of East Africa. A normal gorilla trekking permit is $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,00 for citizens of East Africa.
When to see gorillas in Bwindi
Bwindi is open all throughout the year for those that want to see mountain gorillas however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry season which occurs from June to September and December to February is the best time to visit Bwindi and see gorillas. This is because there is little or no rainfall, the park trails are dry, vegetation is thin and shirt with good views of mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Budget ravelers can visit Bwindi and see gorillas in the rainy seasons of March to May and October to November because the park is open. During the rainy season, there are few travelers in the park, and accommodation facilities are at a lower price to attract them. The rainy season favors the budget travelers but is however characterized by plenty of rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, vegetation is short and thick with unclear views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are impassable.