Gorilla Trekking


Uganda safaris have become popular around Africa not because of the variety Uganda has to offer in terms of safaris; but the uniqueness in whatever Uganda has to offer. Gorillas can be found in Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Democratic republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

However; Uganda and Rwanda have proved to be the leading gorilla trekking destinations in the whole of Africa; this is partly because of the peace and stability in these two countries as well as the improving road network in these two countries.

The only advantage Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo have over all the other gorilla destinations in Africa; they have the endangered mountain gorilla species which cannot be found anywhere else in the whole world; not even in zoos because they cannot survive in captivity.

This leaves these three countries as the only places where mountain gorillas can be tracked. But what is it like to track mountain gorillas?

Gorilla Trekking Uganda From Kigali

Of recent, Uganda and Rwanda have proved to be the two unbeatable gorilla trekking destinations in the whole of Africa; due to the difference in the permit rates, sometimes visitors prefer Uganda to Rwanda.

Unlike the usual African safaris, gorilla tracking is a hybrid of hiking and trekking, therefore you should be ready to walk for a couple of hours to find the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

But besides the long hikes and the trekking, you must also consider the journey to the gorilla trekking destinations. Uganda has two gorilla tracking destinations; Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park.

These two parks are located about 470km from Entebbe making them 9 to 11 hour drive. It is for this reason why tour operators design itineraries that do not have gorilla trekking on the first day.

But when you come in via Kigali, it only takes you not more than 6 hours to get to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga gorilla national park. This makes it almost half the journey you would have travelled from Entebbe to any of these parks.

It is there recommended to use Kigali international airport in case you are considering a 2 day gorilla trekking safari or not including any other activity on your safari itinerary.

3 day Gorilla Trekking Uganda

To clear a few misconceptions, 3 day gorilla trekking does not mean trekking mountain gorillas for three days straight. It simply means spending three days on a Uganda safari that includes gorilla trekking.

Gorilla trekking is a one day activity but because you do not live in the locality of the gorilla parks, you need a minimum of two days to track mountain gorillas in Uganda. But this is done on a very tight schedule. For this reason most visitors opt for a 3 day gorilla trekking safari.

This kind of safari starts from either Kigali Rwanda or Entebbe international airport. The package usually covers: Gorilla permits, accommodation full board, touring and photography, Transport in a 4WD vehicle, and driver guide. See 3 day gorilla safari

The activities that go along with gorilla trekking in a 3 day gorilla safari vary from one company to other. They can design the itinerary depending on the varying conditions such as your point of inception. (Either Kigali international airport or Entebbe international airport)

Uganda Gorilla Trekking Best Time To Go

It is commonly said that there is a dry and wet season in Uganda; therefore consider travelling in the dry season instead of the wet season! But anyone that has been to Uganda will agree that it can rain on any given day regardless of whether it is the so called dry season or wet season!

It is not true that Gorillas are scarce in a certain season of the year, so the major thing to influence your choice of when to track is the low seasons. These include: March, April, May and November. In these months you are likely to have smaller gorilla tracking groups, cheaper/discounted accommodation and transport as well.

It will give you the opportunity to have fewer people in your tracking group since some gorilla tracking slots will be vacant unlike in July, August, December and January.

Roads are not a serious issue because most of them are being worked on, besides you will not drive in the forest; you will simply walk for over two hours or more in the forest since it is not a game drive.

Gorilla Trekking Uganda Itinerary

The basic gorilla trekking Uganda itinerary ideas all rotate around starting and ending the trip in Entebbe or starting and ending the trip in Kigali. This will influence how your gorilla trekking Uganda Itinerary turns out.

There is no standard gorilla trekking itinerary since it will strongly depend on the number of days you have on your disposal. But these are some of the items you can consider including in your Uganda gorilla trekking itinerary;

Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest national park, tree climbing lions tracking in Queen Elizabeth national park, Rwenzori nature walk, Semuliki hot springs, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park nature walk and community tour.

Gorilla Trekking Blog

There are a number of gorilla trekking blogs from almost all the top tour operators around the country. But that might not be necessary with the following comprehensive gorilla trekking guides.

All you need to know about gorilla trekking

Uganda gorilla trekking safari

When to book gorilla permits

Bwindi impenetrable forest national Park

Mgahinga gorilla national Park

Is Gorilla Trekking Worth It?

We may not give you a specific answer on whether Gorilla trekking is worth it or not. But here are a few details to inform your conclusion;

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the most popular gorilla trekking destination in Uganda. The park has over 14 gorilla families distributed in four gorilla trekking sectors.

The highlight of a gorilla trekking safari is seeing mountain gorillas but there are a number of items that are part of your gorilla trekking menu in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

The forest harbors over 100 mammals species that can be spotted a good day during the gorilla trekking session, over 100 fern species, more than 1000 flowering plants, over 160 tree species, over 300 butterfly species, and over 50 reptile species. All these come wrapped up in the gorilla trekking package

There is no guarantee of seeing all the above items, but they are likely to spice up your hiking experience. While your major expectation is always spotting the mountain gorilla, you are likely to spot other animals during your hike.

These include but not limited to black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, forest Elephants, forest buffaloes, red tailed monkeys, Chimpanzees among several other animal species. The only challenge is none of these other species is habituated; they will always not continue with their normal way of life because you will always be a stranger in their environment.

By the time you spot the mountain gorilla, at least the plant species and butterflies will have covered up for lack of any other animal species.