Bwindi National Park

Welcome to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for Gorilla Tours

Welcome to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a home for mountain gorillas in Uganda. Go gorilla trekking, Birding tours, Batwa community walk, and a forest walk.

Bwindi National Park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda, and offers the best gorilla tracking destination in the world, with over half of the world’s last remaining population of the endangered mountain gorillas (According to 2011 gorilla census)

Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Uganda

Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Uganda

Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Sector/Groups

Bwindi Impenetrable National park is divided into 4 sectors and each sector has gorillas residing there.

Buhoma Sector: Located in northern Bwindi national park with 4 gorilla groups namely; Rushegura, Habinyanja, Katwe, and Mubare. 

Nkuringo Sector: This is located in the southern Bwindi forest with 3 habituated gorilla families including; Nkuringo, Christmas, and Bushaho.

Rushaga Sector: Also located in southern Bwindi near the Nkuringo sector with quite a big number of groups. It has the biggest population of habituated mountain gorillas in the whole of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. It has 9 gorilla families including; Nshongi, Kahungye, Mishaya, Bushigye, Bikingi, Kutu, Bweza, Rwigi, and Mucunguzi.

Ruhijha Sector: This is located about 2 hours drive in the south of the Buhoma sector with currently 4 gorilla groups namely; Mukiza, Oruzogo, Bitukura, and Kyaguriro.

Where to sleep during your Bwindi gorilla trekking safari?

Buhoma sector: Some of the accommodation options here include Silverback Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Buhoma Lodge, Buhoma community rest camp, Trekkers Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, and Gorilla Resort among others.

Ruhija Sector: Accommodations include Gift of Nature Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, and Bakiga lodge among others.

Rushaga sector: Lodges and Camps include Wagtail eco Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Lake Mutanda resort, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nshongi Gorilla Resort, etc

Nkuringo Sector: Accommodations include but not limited to Nkuringo Gorilla camp, Nkuringo Camp…..

Tips On Cutting Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Expenses

  • Do not travel alone; cut costs by travelling a minimum of 4 people
  • Stay in the best budget lodges
  • Choose D.R. Congo or Uganda over Rwanda
  • Opt for a self drive safari over a tailor made or scheduled trips
  • Consider low seasons to save on transport expenses and accommodation expenses

When To Visit Bwindi For Gorilla Trekking

It is very possible to visit Uganda all the year long. However activities such as gorilla trekking, nature walks and chimpanzee tracking can be quite challenging during the rainy seasons.

Wet Seasons/ Low seasons

September to November (with November as the peak of the low season)

March to May (with April and may as peaks for the low season)

Best Months for Gorilla trekking

June to August (June is most recommended because it is not as busy as July and August)

December to February (Early December and mid February are more recommended)

Please note: Even the months that are considered dry seasons can some times be wet in the forested areas though anyone who travels during the non-rainy months is always on a safer side.

Packing List For Gorilla Trekking safaris In Bwindi

  • Light weight rain jacket
  • Long pants and trouser
  • Waterproof hiking boots. (though any waterproof sneakers can do in some locations)
  • Gloves
  • Insect repellents
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Energy snacks
  • Bottled water

Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Rules For Post-Covid-19 Era

  • All visitors are called upon to observe 7 meters away from the mountain gorillas
  • You are only allowed to spend a maximum of 1 hour with the mountain gorillas
  • You are required to wear a face mask at all times preferably N95
  • Sanitize and observe the park given SOPs
  • 15 years is minimum age requirement to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

Bwindi Gorilla Permits and Park Entrances

  • Bwindi gorilla permit costs $ 700  for foreign non residents(Note: Permits a sector sensitive, you cannot trek mountain gorillas outside the sector that is stipulated by your permit unless you apply for change of trekking sector)
  • Bwindi gorilla permit for foreign residents costs US$600
  • Bwindi gorilla Habituation Permit Costs $1500
  • A gorilla permit for East African Citizens costs 250,000 Uganda shillings for permit

Other Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Costs

Whenever you consider gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, you might have to put in consideration the other expenses you will incur during your gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi. These include;

Transport Costs

The Air ticket from your home country will cost you between US$500 and US$2400

Chattered flights from the airport to Kisoro airstrip will cost you US$600

Hiring a car can cost you between US$50 per day and US$250 per day

Fuel per day will cost you between US$100 and US$130 depending on car you are using

A professional driver will cost you between US$35 and US$50 per day

Visa And Border Crossing Expenses

East African tourist Visa cost US$100. This Visa covers Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. To enter Tanzania, you will be required to apply for a separate Visa. It is possible to get a Ugandan, Kenyan and Tanzania Visa upon arrival but it is not recommended

Accommodation/Lodges

Gorilla safari lodges range from US$50 and US$1000 per night with camping and glamping among the accommodation options.

Cost Of Food
Food ranges between US$30 and US$60 per day though is can go below US$30 in case you consider cooking for your self. However most tour operators have the food and drinks covered with in their tour package.

Cost of Items For Packing
The packing items, insects repellents, Malaria vaccination among other items are recommended to be bought in your home country. Though it is very possible to get a malaria vaccination in Uganda upon arrival.

Covid-19 and Yellow Fever Vaccination

You will be required to have a covid-19 negative certificate acquired not later than 72 hours before your time of arrival in Uganda.

You will also be required to have a yellow fever vaccination certificate

Cost of Porters

It will take you US$20 to hire a porter and US$500 to hire a sedan chair for porters to carry. The sedan chair is often the only option for old people who cannot manage the long trek but interested in watching the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Bwindi Gorilla Permit Buying Process

There are mainly two ways you can acquire a gorilla permit for Bwindi gorilla trekking experience. You can do it directly by contacting Uganda wildlife Authority, or through a Uganda tourism board registered tour operator or Agent.

Booking/Buying Gorilla Permits Directly From Uganda Wildlife Authority

You can contact Uganda wildlife authority directly via Ugandawildlife.org. However there responses sometimes are fond of delaying which the same reason why most people opt for tour operators to help them handle the process of buying the gorilla permits

Booking/Buying Gorilla Permits Through Tour Operators

Contact any registered tour operator following the procedure below;

  • Share with them your envisaged dates for gorilla trekking in Bwindi and your preferred gorilla sector sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
  • The tour operator will then inform you about the availability of the gorilla trekking permits on your desired dates. In case there is no availability, they can try to acquire for your resale gorilla permits in case they are members of Association of Uganda tour operators.
  • In case of availability, they will send you their bank details so that you may transfer the money to their account. Some tour operators allow payments through VISA/MasterCard
  • Upon receiving proof of the money transfer, they will send you an acknowledgement of money transfer. It is also important to note that the gorilla permit rates do not cover bank charges/surcharges. It is also for the same reason why some tour operators will ask you to took up 4% or 5% extra of the total amount for the gorilla permits. Though the tour operators incur more charges in terms of transport, administrative costs, telephony among other costs, they often never charge for them.
  • Some tour operators will ask you for your passport details in order to register your permits while other tour operators will simply use their company names to acquire for you the gorilla permits. However, most tour operators often ask for Full names, Passport number and Nationality.
  • The tour operator will then send you a confirmation upon securing for you the gorilla permit. Please note; the gorilla permits can only be received two weeks to the gorilla trekking date. However the tour operator can send you receipts for gorilla permits even before having the gorilla permits printed.
  • Two weeks to the gorilla trekking dates, the tour operator will pick your gorilla trekking permits from the Uganda wildlife Authority offices in Kampala.
  • Please note; Uganda wildlife authority does not work on Sundays. Therefore you might need someone to pick for you the gorilla permits in case you are arriving on Sunday or in the afternoon of Saturday.

How Much Does a Gorilla Safari in Bwindi Cost?

1 Day Bwindi gorilla trekking safari may cost around US$1100 on budget basis

2 Day Bwindi gorilla trekking safari may cost around US$1300 per person

3 Day Bwindi gorilla trekking safari may cost around US$1490 per person

4 Day Bwindi gorilla trekking safari may cost around US$1680 per person

5 Day Bwindi gorilla trekking safari may cost aroung US$1850 per person