Gorilla trekking is a thrilling wildlife adventure that ushers you into the world of gorillas, where you are able to encounter and observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. In Uganda, gorilla trekking is mainly done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
All these parks are located in southwestern Uganda and to trek gorillas, you need to obtain a document called a gorilla permit. This adventurous activity begins with a pre-gorilla briefing session that is conducted at the park headquarters, in the session, you are taught how to behave once you get to encounter these primates.
With the help of experienced guides, you are led into the thicket searching for gorillas. This activity may take about 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on where gorillas will be found since they are fond to be moving up and down.
Once you get to encounter them, you are given one hour to be in their presence as you witness their different behaviors of feeding, breastfeeding, and taking care of young ones. Feel free to take a few snaps to keep for great memories.
Gorilla trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime moment that connects you with one of the most endangered species in a breathtaking natural setting.
Cost of Gorilla Trekking.
Gorilla trekking costs,
Foreign non-residents pay USD 700 per person.
Foreign residents pay USD 600 per person.
East African residents pay UGX 250,000.
Gorilla packing list.
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Long-sleeved trousers
- Waterproof jacket and backpack.
- Gorilla trekking permit.
- Camera or binoculars.
- Packed drinking water to stay hydrated
- Packed lunch
- Charger and extra batteries.
- Sunscreens to protect you against direct sun heat.
- Walking stick for hiking
Gorilla Rules and Regulations.
- You must obtain a gorilla permit to allow you to trek.
- Do not smoke in the presence of gorillas.
- Do not eat in the presence of gorillas
- Only people above 15 years are allowed to trek gorillas.
- Do not try to touch gorillas. Keep your hands for yourself
- Always maintain a reasonable distance away from gorillas.
- Do not take photos with a flashlight on as it may lead to violence against gorillas.
- Do not dispose of any litter in the park or in the presence of gorillas.
- Always cover your mouth while sneezing and coughing.
- Stay in your designated group and follow instructions.
- Avoid making direct eye contact with the gorillas because it indicates a threat to their social hierarchy.
How to trek Gorillas in Bwindi’s impenetrable national park Starting from Mbarara.
Mbarara is located east of Bwindi’s impenetrable national park. Trekking gorillas in Bwindi from Mbarara is fun because the distance is short and here are a few steps on how to do it,
Make sure you obtain a gorilla permit that allows you to trek these primates.
Embark on your journey from Mbarara to Bwindi which takes a few hours of about 6-8 using the Ntungamo Kabale road.
Select suitable accommodation in Bwindi within the four sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.
On the trekking day, wake up early in the morning, carry all the needed documents and packing list, and head to the park’s headquarters where you attend a pre-gorilla trekking briefing session that guides you on how to behave in the presence of gorillas.
After that, with the help of an experienced guide, you are set into the thickets and dense forest searching for the gorilla family that you have been assigned to.
Once you get it, you are given one hour to be in their presence as you witness their behavior. Feel free to take a few snaps to keep for great memories.
After the trek, you can now head back to Mbarara or any destination of your choice.
Advantages of trekking gorillas starting from Mbarara.
- You get a chance to explore other destinations such as Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth, and Lake Bunyonyi.
- This journey gives you a chance to enjoy a scenic drive through rolling hills and stunning landscapes.
- This journey is an adventure rewarding you with a sense of exploration and discovery through landscapes.
- The journey is not costly. It saves you from the high costs of hiring domestic flights.