Are you interested in Mountain Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park? Bwindi is the most extraordinary Parks in Uganda that invite a surfeit of travelers from dissimilar parts of the World per year. On a safari to Uganda, You won’t believe the ever praised allures and natural wonders in Bwindi until you get a chance and reach there while on a gorilla tour to Uganda. This untouched destination is found in the Western part of Uganda and it neighbors the Democratic Republic of Congo.
With many years, Bwindi is one of the reasons why tourists visit Uganda several time during their vacation holidays in Africa and many have made returns for the same tour, just to meet their dreams.
The Park derived its name from the grand and outstanding forest in Uganda “Bwindi Impenetrable Forest” which has existed for years. Bwindi impenetrable forest occupies part of the Park’s area and a major habitat for different Wildlife species the most common habitat is the rarely seen Mountain Gorillas, other forest dwellers include elephants, bird species
How to reach Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for mountain gorilla trekking
Bwindi national park is one of Uganda parks located in the south western part of Uganda, the park can be reached by two options this include by road and air transport means.
By road from Kampala Uganda’s capital and largest city, it can take between 8-9 hours up to Bwindi national park via Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway. It includes a stopover at the equator and in Mbarara for lunch en-route.
Alternatively, one can use an airplane from Entebbe airport to Kisoro airstrip, private charters are arranged and from Kisoro airstrip here you will be transported by a driver/ guide up to Bwindi or in to your pre-booked accommodation .
Gorillas with in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Without doubt, gorilla trekking is the major safari activity done in Uganda and it’s the major reason why travelers visit Uganda. Gorillas are the major icon of the park making it popular and number one thought after park any visitor to Uganda is yearning to go. Only three countries world-wide host these endangered apes world-wide the other two are Rwanda, and the Democratic republic of Congo.
Uganda ranks to be hosting the highest percentage of these remaining endangered apes in the all World, almost half of it live in here in Bwindi national park. A biggest percentage of Uganda’s Gorillas is found in Bwindi impenetrable national park. Travelers mostly consider this Park because of variety of Gorilla species and the many lodge availability.
The park only inhabited by the species of Mountain Gorillas; so on a gorilla a gorilla tour to this beautiful park, don’t expect to meet other gorilla species like the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Western Gorillas and more, however if you lucky, you can come across different species primates such as the chimpanzees. Bwindi is the only park where Mountain gorillas and chimps co-exist in the same environment.
Mountain gorillas usually live in areas of higher altitudes and bamboo forested areas. They live in groups that are termed as Gorillas families and each family is led by a male dominated Silverback. By the time of writing, Bwindi only has 18 gorilla families that receive visitors on a daily basis, and each gorilla family allows only 8 member per day.
Because of variety, Bwindi is a destination where you go 100 percent sure of seeing or meeting with the Gorillas, no visitor ever gone on a safari and miss sighting. Physical fitness is a major requirement since some families tend to move deep into the valleys.
How many Gorilla families.
As already mentioned above, Bwindi tops with the highest numbers of Gorilla families that are habituated and open to trekking trips. Apparently with over 18 Gorilla families that are distributed in its four sectors. The park houses the families that are used for habituation experience.
There are four sectors in Bwindi where gorilla trekking is done.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is majorly done in its four sectors and these include Buhoma sector, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector.
The Buhoma sector is situated in the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It has four habituated Gorilla families that includes the Mubare the oldest, Habinyanja, Rushegura and the newest family which is Katwe Gorilla family.
The Rushaga Sector is positioned in the southern part of the Park. It is recorded with the highest number of families over 7 gorilla families live in this section of the park including the Bweza, Busingye, Kahungye, Nshongi, Bikingi and Mishaya.
Ruhija Sector lives in the Eastern part of Bwindi standing at altitude of 2350m above sea level. It has three Gorilla families including Bitukura, Kyaguriro, and Oruzogo Gorilla family
Nkuringo Sector this sector of bwindi lies in the south western part of Uganda just 40km north of Kisoro town. This sector has 3 Gorilla families that lives in here including Bushaho, Christmas and Nkuringo Gorilla family all these gorilla families are ready to receive visitors on a daily basis and only eight members are only allowed to visit each gorilla family per day which means over 144 people visit gorillas per day.
Which Sector to choose among those? All sectors in Bwindi are good to trek Gorillas but if you are after variety, then Rushaga should be your best choice, and many choose buhoma sector because it’s where the headquarters are located. And those wish to combine Gorilla trek in Bwindi with a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park, then you must trek in Buhoma sector.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest
With no doubt, gorilla trekking is the most thought after adventure experience for most travelers who consider Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla trekking is usually done in a group, only eight tourists are allowed for a Gorilla family per day. The activity begins very early in the morning after reporting at the park headquarters in buhoma for short briefings about the dos and don’ts while with the gorillas and also gets you assigned to the park ranger guides who leads this session. After head deep into the jungle to begin the activity. Gorilla trekking is unpredictable as the activity can go between 1-8 hours depending on the where these apes last seen or spend their night from. After locating them, you are allowed to stay in their presence for only one hour. You will see them feeding, laughing, and wandering around. You are free to take plenty of photos and Videos but a flush camera is not allowed for use.
Best time to go mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park can be conducted all year round however, it’s very advisable to trek in the dry season when there are low rainfall drops. In the rainy season you may be interrupted with heavy rain falls and trails in the Jungle are muddy and slippery making trekking.
What’s needed to meet Gorillas? In order to meet/ trek these endangered mountain gorillas, you must buy a Gorilla permit. A gorilla permit is a password for trekking the gorillas, no one with-out a gorilla permit is allowed to trek. A gorilla permit costs $700 USD per person in Uganda, however, due to covid-19, permits are sold on a discounted rate of $400 per person and this runs up to 30th/ June/2021. Additionally, for anyone to trek, you must be fifteen years and above and some levels of physical fitness is highly required as well as trekking gears such as study pair of walking shoes/boots.
Where to Stay in Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National park is one of Uganda parks with a variety of accommodation ranging from budget, midrange and budget in each sector. So it depends on your budget and interest. There are all well-facilitated to fit the traveler’s needs. Therefore when booking you have to consider first the sector you booked for Gorilla trek. Exclusive Uganda safaris will help to book accommodation of your choice if you trust and book mountain gorilla trekking tour in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
Budget Accommodations include:
- Buhoma Community Bandas
- Ride 4 A woman
- CTPH Gorilla Conservation Camp
- Bwindi Guest House
- Bwindi View Bandas
- Eco Marvels Gorilla Resort
- Gorilla Friends Lodge
- Jungle View Lodge
- Trekkers Tavern cottages
- Gift of Nature Lodge
- Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort & Campsite
- Bakiga Logde
- Wagtail Eco Safari Camp
- Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge
- Gorilla Mist Camp
- Broadbill Forest Camp
Mid-range Lodges Include:
- Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp
- Silverback Lodge
- Engagi lodge
- Chameleon Hill Lodge
- Ruhija Gorilla Resort
- Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge
- Gorilla Safari Lodge
- Mutanda Lake Resort
- Buhoma Haven Lodge
- Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge
Upmarket or Luxury Lodges include:
- Mahogany Springs Lodge
- Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
- Buhoma Lodge
- Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge
- Nkuringo Gorilla Camp
- Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
- Trackers Safari Lodge
- Gorilla Heights Lodge
- Four Gorillas Lodge