Uganda is one of the three countries where one can visit the mountain gorillas in the wild. Home to nearly half of the total remaining population of the mountain gorillas, Uganda is the number 1 destination to go gorilla trekking. With two national parks gazetted to protect the mountain gorillas, Uganda offer a traveler an unusual chance to track the endangered giants in the wild tropical rain forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Here is a useful guide to plan a gorilla trekking trip to Uganda.
Uganda’s Mountain Gorillas
There are about 900 mountain gorillas living in the wild and these can be found in only three countries; Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Uganda is proud to host nearly half of the population within Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Forest.
It is estimated that around 400 gorillas live within the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park . Today there are ten gorillas families that have been habituated for gorilla tracking. Each family usually consists of about 10-15 members.
Where to Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
– Bwindi is a favorite to most travelers looking for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. The park has 10 habituated gorilla families with each family allowing 8 tourists. This leads to 80 gorilla permits available per day. Most gorilla safaris to Bwindi start from Kampala, though some can start in Mbarara and Kisoro. If you are to track the gorillas in Bwindi Forest, it is advisable to stay atleast a night before the trekking day.
– Mgahinga has one habituated gorilla family. These gorillas are known to move between Uganda and Rwanda given that the forest is connected to the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Useful Tips & Travel Information
To protect the mountain gorillas, there are strict rules and regulations that have been put in place to guide visitors during their gorilla trek. Here are the most important tips and guidelines.
Observation of the mountain gorillas is strictly 1 hour. Upon finding the gorilla family you have an hour to spend with them, observing them and photographing them.
It is advisable to stay quiet, move slowly and avoid sudden movements during your stay with the gorillas.
When taking photos or shooting videos of the gorillas, don’t use flash.
People with communicable diseases such as flu and cold are not allowed to track the mountain gorillas.
Children below 15 years are not permitted to track the endangered mountain gorillas.