Perfect and less marketed, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is still a super cheap gorilla trekking destination for mountain gorillas in Africa. Tracking gorillas twice in Bwindi forest through the lush rain forest, different tree species is an amazing experience full of life time memories. You can easily get a gorilla permit at only $700 per day including park entrance, park rangers, and great memories in general. Food, transport and accommodation can’t cost much as long as you have the main park gate pass at hand.
The park retains much of its rich treasures through conservation and local community support so whoever tracks mountain gorillas support the community and the park mountain gorilla conservation. You may be surprised to find free coffee at the main coffee center Buhoma a welcome prize prepared using Uganda locally made coffee for every guest to park as a way of saying thank you for supporting mountain gorilla conservation.
This is the finest park for tracking gorillas twice at a pocket friendly price that you won’t find anywhere in the region. Experience rural ancient life by meeting up with the gorillas twice in a unique gorilla trekking park -Bwindi forest and later mix with locals for updates on Uganda traditions and culture. The amazing adventure offers opportunities to be with mountain gorillas for two hours of photography and observation a thing every primate tourist will love.Besides Bwindi impenetrable forest is a home to one of the richest ecosystems in Africa and one of the most populated gorilla destinations for mountain gorillas.
The gorilla trekking experience is one of the most stunning activity which would not be missed by any traveler to Africa. The mountain gorillas are among the rare primates that travelers look for on their holiday in Africa. Mountain gorillas are found in three African countries i.e. Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo (former Zaire). Within these countries, thee are several habituated gorilla groups that permit tourist visits. In all these countries there are uniform rules and regulations that are followed by tourists taking gorilla trekking expeditions such as
- There are few habituated groups to be visited by tourists.
- Only 8 clients are allowed to visit a particular group a day.
- Travelers with communicable diseases are not allowed to visit the gorillas.
- Tourists should keep a distance of at least 8 metres.
Go Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
The Mountain Gorillas are among Uganda’s top tourist attraction. While trekking these great creatures, the experience and excitement you encounter while with them is really worthwhile. Tracking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest can be conducted all year round. Most gorilla trekkers prefer visiting the mountain gorillas from June to September as well as from December up to February. You can visit Bwindi at any time of the year, the low season calls for cheaper gorilla permit price but generally there is slight difference in the seasons.
Please note that you only have one hour with these gorillas;
- You should keep a distance of 7 meters from the gorillas. Although of course the gorillas themselves are unaware of this and will often get very close, if such an incident happens you should try to move away. You should also listen to the guide’s advice on how you should behave whilst gorilla trekking.
- While gorilla trekking, always keep in your group and endeavor to maintain your voices low so that the visited gorilla family remains relaxed.
All About Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
Gorilla trekking is a unique, thrilling and fulfilling experience! It is a journey leading one to appreciate the hidden treasures of Uganda. There are over 36 gorilla groups within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park but only 17 families can be visited for gorilla trekking in the park. The remaining gorilla families are still wild though some are still undergoing the gorilla habituation process. Visiting one or more habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is worth as each of them tells different stories. At the end you will be rewarded with unforgettable experience of a lifetime that will never fade out of your memory. The habituated gorillas are now used to humans but they are still wild. So anything unexpected can happen! Always follow the guide’s rules so that you can rest assured of safety. Normally you do not have to eat or drink when you’re with the gorillas.
Visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and experience gorilla trekking in the world’s largest colony of mountain gorillas. Meet the gorillas eye to eye in the wild and spend a full hour watching, photographing and learning about these great apes that are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The D-Day for Gorilla Trekking
The typical day for gorilla trekking begins walk to the briefing point where the park officials will instruct you what to do and don’ts while in the mist with or not yet with apes and later with your guide follow the trail to search for the group allocated too.
Tips for Trekkers / Hikers
- On your trek carry the packed lunch and bottled mineral water, sun screen, hut, insect repellent and rain gear. Some hikers come with socks for both legs and hands.
- when you meet the gorillas you calm down as you spend your allowed one hour with the apes.
- You can have your lunch but not in the provoking way to the gorillas.
- Feel free to ask the guide all your questions concerning the primates.
After this tiresome activity return to the lodge and welcoming and friendly staffs will be at your service as you wait for African cuisine dinner and stunning overnight in the African setting camps which blends with nature.
After your long and strenuous adventure day Bwindi provides other perfect activities eligible to adventurous travelers like the community walk which leads you to the local healer, pygmy/Batwa cultural performances local villagers making banana wine, craft shops or take the Nkuringo walk or visit the Manyanga River falls. Therefore we recommend our visitors to stay more days longer and do the gorilla tracking, nature walks or Community Walk which are much fun and educational conservation criteria, through benefit sharing hence protecting the habitats of mountain gorilla.
Plan & Book Your Safari
For a traveler to enjoy this adventure, there are three important factors (accommodation, booking agent and guide services) that should be in your minds. While planning your gorilla safaris to any of the gorilla parks, it is advisable to plan in time given that the gorilla permits are always prebooked in time. In some parks such as Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable national park, it is advisable to book gorilla permits atleast 3 months to your tracking date most especially if you are looking to take your trip during the peak months of June – September.
Most gorilla tours offered by tour operators are tailor made safaris guided by professional guides within spacious trucks. For independent travelers it is advisable to arrange for your accommodation through a local travel agency. There are several safari lodges within the perfect locations that offer travelers overnight accommodation. These lodges are found in strategic sectors near the different habituated gorilla groups to trek the gorillas.
To enjoy cheap budget gorilla trekking tours, book your trip in the months of April, May and November when Uganda gorilla permit prices are lower than the usual $600.Save $300 on the two gorilla permits that can cater for transport, meals and accommodation on your gorilla trek. You can also use the same cash to engage in other park tourists activities like a community tour to the Batwa people known as people of the forest, nature walk to the park or even support the Bwindi community charity projects for children, women, community Education, health at Bwindi hospital and many others.
After tracking mountain gorillas in the jungle, you free to explore other nearby attractions like Lake Bunyonyi Island, Queen Elizabeth national park and also add memories on your primate safari. Booking a gorilla safari featuring two treks is just like any other tour holiday though in this case you buy two gorilla permits instead of one. Usually tour agents ask for trip deposit just enough to clear your permits and the rest is paid upon arrival but in this case you make a deposit that covers two gorilla permits for your trek.
Since Bwindi Forest has multiple gorilla trekking families and sectors, tracking gorillas twice depends on ones interest since all gorilla families and sectors are open for trackers each day. One can chose to track different gorilla families in different park sectors or different gorilla families in the same park sector. Each gorilla family is unique with several attractive features including multiples members, baby gorillas and slow forest movement. However, tourists make different choices of different gorilla families according to their favorite interest. Some tourists love trekking for long distances while others love the opposite, some love seeing many baby gorillas and their mother and experience the true family behaviors of primates in the jungle unlike others. Early booking for both permits provide greater opportunities for one to book their favorite gorilla families. Spare two days for the two treks since each starts in the morning with a briefing from park rangers and ends at any time that ranges between 2- 6 hours. However, you can check out some other mountain gorilla destinations in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Frequently Asked Questions on Gorilla Trekking
All visitors intending to come for this lifetime experience, you need to ensure that you are physically well. The trek involves hiking through the thick forests and steep terrains or even the muddy slopes. The treks to see a group of mountain gorillas are usually at the higher altitude. Mountain gorillas live within altitude 3000 to 4300 meters above sea level.
Mountain gorilla trekking is conducted within the natural environment and not in the zoo. This means that you do not have 100 percent chances of viewing them but at least you get 95 percent chances. To enhance the process, trackers are sent to the forest to ascertain the location of mountain gorillas before the next group of visitors are set off for their trek. They are aided by use of radio and GPS coordinates. Even on a single day gorilla trek, the chances to see the mountain gorillas are over 98% in any of the four gorilla parks.
How long will I take to be with a group mountain gorilla?
Magical encounters with a group of mountain gorillas is only one hour but for habituation experience visitors have all the four hours to be with gorillas. The one hour magical hour allows you to explore more about the apes as well as take as many photos as possible.
How close do I need to be from the gorillas?
While you are in the forest with the group of gorillas, you are advised to keep a distance of about 8 meters from the gorillas. The rule applies to all visitors to any gorilla destination. The mountain gorillas share about 98.7% of their DNA with humans and they are very susceptible to human infectious diseases. To avoid body contact and spread of human diseases to these endangered creatures, a distance of eight meters should be observed.