Gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali : As a country, Uganda is the most visited gorilla destination because it is a habitat to half of the remaining population of mountain gorillas. Situated in two parks that is Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park, gorillas attract thousands if not millions of visitors from all over the world. Of the two parks Bwindi is a home to the highest number of gorillas with about 12 gorilla families found in four sectors; Nkuringo, Buhoma, Rushaga and Ruhinja sector. Mgahinga habituates one family called Nyakagezi. Trekking in Uganda is done on a daily, year in, year out.
For air transport, one can fly through to Kigali international airport and then connect to Cyanika or Katuna borders in Kisoro and Kabale to trek at Bwindi or Mgahinga respectively. Travelling to Uganda this way is advisable for budget travellers that have little time on their hands but feel they need to go gorilla trekking. If you don’t love having a long drive from the borders, which are about an hour, you can fly in from Kigali to Entebbe International Airport and then get a charter flight to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip using airlines like Aerolink. You can drive from Kampala for about 8 to 10 hours if you don’t mind road trips.
In order to enjoy your gorilla trekking experience in Uganda from Kigali, you must be very prepared. Booking a safari is one of the best things to do as it will save your time and additional costs. Make sure to do your research about reputable safari companies and choose one that does the job for you. It is also important to carry clothes and equipment that suit trekking. Things like long sleeved shirts, a walking stick, mosquito repellent and binoculars for long views will do the job.
Why gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali?
From Kigali, one can easily decide to go gorilla trekking at the Volcanoes National Park which provides an awesome experience and a smoother terrain but why should one consider Uganda?
Uganda provides the gorilla trekking experience at a relatively cheaper price than Rwanda. A gorilla permit in Rwanda goes for $1500 which is almost twice the price of a Ugandan permit which goes for $700. Uganda’s accommodation choices at gorilla trekking sites are way cheaper than those in Rwanda.
Moving to trek from Kigali to Uganda also gives you an experience of touring two countries. In Uganda, you’ll get the experience of gorilla trekking whereas you will have a view of the beautiful hills in Rwanda as you travel to Uganda.
Compared to travelling from Kampala to Bwindi or Mgahinga to travelling from Kigali, the journey from Rwanda’s capital is shorter by far. From Kampala, it is 8 to 10 hours whereas it is 3 to 4 hours from Kigali while driving. If you prefer travelling short distances and you would love to experience gorilla trekking in Uganda, this is a reason to go for it.
The trekking process.
First as a traveller crossing countries, it is important to have a passport and an East African tourist visa which enables you to visit both Uganda and Rwanda. You can acquire the visa at Kigali International Airport or the Rwandan Immigration website. On the day of the trek, you’ll wake early to be briefed about the rules and regulations at the park headquarters just before 8 am. You will also be put in groups of 8 people each, allocated a gorilla family to trek in Bwindi. In Mgahinga, it is one group at a time since it’s one family of gorillas in the park..
At exactly 8 am, gorilla trekking starts taking around 1 to 9 hours depending on the location of the gorillas. Once the gorillas are found, you are allowed to take pictures and learn about their habits among other things for an hour. You are advised to book a 2 day trekking safari or a 3 days gorilla trekking from Kigali. This ensures an unforgettable experience.