Gorillas in Uganda are found in the South western region of Uganda in two close national parks that include Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park. To visit one of these parks can be absolutely highlighted to your Uganda gorillas safaris where you get close and personal with Uganda’s own gentle giants in mist sharing moments with mountain gorillas in the African tropical montane rainforest.

Gorillas in Uganda

Bwindi impenetrable national park the park lies on the rim of the western rift valley in the highest part of the Kigezi River and it that measures 331 square kilometres of both montane and low land forest. It is the largest forest that protects almost half of the endangered mountain gorillas that are still remaining in the world. The park has a tropical climate that supports these great apes within the Bwindi impenetrable forest with an average annual rainfall that ranges from 1400 to 1900 millimetres above the sea level. The park was established in 1991 was gazetted area to protect wildlife species and in 1993. Gorilla trekking activity started to be famously done in here and since then has made the park to become among the popular tourism destinations. Bwindi national park hosts over 400 mountain gorillas which inhabit 12 habituated gorilla families in 4 different sectors that are open to tourism on the daily basis,  and millions of tourists have so far engaged in this fantastic and privileged experience. The gorilla families are distributed in four 4 gorilla sectors each in a different location within the park which can be easily accessed on foot and such sectors include Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija, and Rushaga. The park is under the management of the Uganda wildlife Authority and it became a UNESCO heritage site since 1994.

Mgahinga gorilla national park is also a small park that covers an area of 34 square kilometres. It is a home of mountain gorillas in Uganda with one habituated gorilla family which has made the destination famous because of these great apes. Uganda wildlife Authority recently informed the tour operators that this is one of the most interesting gorilla family to trek because it has a high number of silverbacks in the group.

Gorillas in Uganda are not found elsewhere in the wild except the biggest population of them which survive in Uganda’s montane rainforests and in Rwanda and Congo.

As you do the gorilla trekking safaris, there are other activities that you can engage in including gorilla habituation. Apart from these two, there are other activities you can enjoy in here such as nature walk, golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga, bird watching, visiting the Batwa people, Mountain Bike Ride, Hiking, Cycling Tour, the Buhoma village walk and many others.

Gorilla trekking activity: This is the best enjoyable activity among many other tourists attractions in Uganda. It starts in the morning hours after your breakfast which last 2 to 7 hours in the wild. The Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers are the ones to pick you from your lodge where you spent your night from and drive you to the park headquarter on time. First, they take you through a short briefing about gorilla trekking. After the briefing, you will be given a packed lunch since you spend almost a day in the forest. A trained ranger will accompany you to one of the gorilla families. They allow only 8 people to engage in this activity. You get a chance to watch the way they eat, feed their young ones, swing in trees, the head of the family ‘silverback’ watching on over them, playing and basically observing the whole behaviour.

Gorilla habituation activity: This is an activity done all day long where you carry your packed lunch with rangers leading you to their forest trails but it might take time to locate where they were seen the previous day. A Large number of tourists participate in gorilla habituation annually where trekkers visit one of the wild gorilla families and in reward, they get closer and spend much time with them.  Once they find the gorillas they are given four hours to experience observe.

Rules of Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Trekkers have got rules to follow before heading to one of the gorilla families and these include;

  • Once gorillas are found trekkers must stay in tight group when you get close to gorillas.
  • Flash photography is not allowed because they scare way these gorillas yet your purpose is to see them.
  • You should not touch gorillas since they are wild animals.
  • Wash your hands before you proceed to see them in the wilderness.
Gorillas in Uganda
Gorillas in Uganda

Before traveling you need to book for your gorilla permits in time because without permits the possibility of seeing these endangered gorillas is less. Book your gorilla permits in advance to a professional tour operator or by emailing Uganda Wildlife Authority. 

Ugandan gorilla permits cost USD600 per person and gorilla habituation costs USD1500 per person, though, in 2020, it will be USD700 for trekking.

Because millions of tourists have engaged in this amazing experience, the number is still increasing because the conservation levels have been increased.

The best time to visit gorillas in Uganda is in the dry season from the month of June to September and the number of tourist visit these parks during the Christmas holidays. December to February is when the forest trails are dry and road transportation when it is in good condition.

On your tour of gorillas in Uganda, there are nice hotels and lodges for the tourists to sleep with comfortable beds ranging from luxury, budget and mid-range including Gorilla safari lodge, Silverback lodge, Gift of nature lodge, Bwindi culture camp, Rushaga Gorilla camp, Nshongi forest camp and many other beautiful hotels which can make your night amazing.

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