There are only two remaining Mountain Gorilla populations in the World and they both amount to about 800 individuals. About half of these Gorilla populations is protected by Bwindi Impenetrable national park, in Uganda and the other half is in the Virunga volcanoes, which is shared by three countries; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This Virunga setting also protects the other half of the World’s endangered mountain Gorillas, through Mgahinga national park in Uganda, Virunga national park in D.R.Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.
At Terrain Safaris, one of our biggest offer is to arrange for you gorilla tracking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GORILLA TRACKING
- Where can I find the gorillas in Uganda?
Located in the southwestern part of Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National park is the leading tourism site when it comes to gorilla tracking experience. This is where you can find these gentle apes. The only way through which someone can view them closely is by personally tracking them in their natural habitats and that’s Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
- When is the best time to go gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Before you come for gorilla trekking, you need to take note of the climatic changes and the best time to visit the park. Though some visitors might be lucky to trek the gorillas at any time of the year even during rainy seasons, the best time to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable is during the dry season. This is because during a dry season the park is dry and easily accessible on foot. The best time to visit the park for gorilla tracking is mid-December to February and June to September.
- Where can l stay while in Bwindi national park?
There are various accommodations to stay within and near the park, depending on the sector of the park to which your Gorilla trekking permit reads and these include; – (Buhoma area) – Buhoma Community Camp, Engagi Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Lake Kitandara camp, Chameleon hill Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogan Springs Lodge and Gorilla forest camp among others. (Ruhija area) – Trekker’s Tervan Ruhija, Bakiga Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Gorilla Friends Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge, Broadbill Camp Ruhija and Gift of Nature Lodge among others. (Rushaga area) – Gorilla Valley Lodge, Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Nshonji Gorilla Resort, Wagtail Camp, Lake Mutanda Resort and Chameleon Hill Lodge among others. (Nkuringo area) – Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Bwindi Backpackers Camp and the Clouds Lodge among others.
- How can l get there?
Bwindi can be accessed by both road and air. By road, it is about 500km from Kampala in the south west while as by air, a flight from Entebbe international airport to kisoro or Kihihi airstrips near Bwindi is possible.
- What to carry
- Closed shoes for climbing steep muddy slopes
- Drinking water
- Insect repellents
- Rain jacket
- Cold and warm clothes
- Hand gloves will also be ideal for this activity.
- Health rules
- Gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases, because they share with us 98% of the genetic setting and so the rules/regulations are;
- Any one ill, or carrying a contagious disease, should stay behind.
- If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth.
- Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases and also protect you from catching their diseases.
- Do not leave any rubbish (like, food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
- How big are gorilla trekking groups?
There is a maximum of 8 people per gorilla tracking group in Rwanda and Uganda.
- Will l definitely see the gorillas?
Gorillas are wild animals so there are no guarantees, but it is most likely you won’t see them. Guides are trained in locating the gorillas and will know where they were the day before, as well as their movement habits.
- How long can l spend seeing the gorillas?
Upon seeing the gorillas you will have just one hour with them. We recommend you track them at least twice.
- Is There A Minimum Or Maximum Age To Visit The Gorillas?
Trekking is done by people with 16 years and above and there is no flexibility to this rule. This is the same for both Rwanda and Uganda and it’s enforced by the national parks.
- Do l need a Permit for gorilla trekking?
You must obtain a gorilla permit before you visit the gorillas. Its only 8 visitors granted gorilla permits to see each gorilla group per day, they are extremely limited. To be on the safe side you need to secure a gorilla permit in advance, at least 4 months before you intend to travel. We at terrain safaris are here to arrange and secure permits for you as far in advance as possible. The permits currently cost around US$600 per person for foreign nonresidents in Uganda and $1500 in Rwanda, 500$ for foreign residents and 250,000UGX for residents in Uganda.