MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING UGANDA
Gorilla trekking is the major reasons as to why people visit East Africa especially these two destinations Uganda and Rwanda. Gorilla trekking refers to the hiking of the tropical forests of Africa to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Gorilla trekking can be done in all years around in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. The best time to go for gorilla trekking is during the months of June, August, September and December. This is because there are less rains and the parks are drier which eases in hiking. Visitors intending to trek mountain gorillas should out in mind that gorillas tracking is an intensive experience that can a whole day where the guide leads you through the gorillas world explaining their ecology and behavior along the way.
Gorilla trekking is offered in two parks in Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park both offer similar experiences of gorilla trekking. Uganda is a wonderland in all senses from the mighty king Kong that rule the impenetrable forests of these parks , gorilla trekking is such a thrilling primate experience that any visitor shouldn’t miss out.
Uganda is a home of half these massive creatures making it one of the only three countries in the world where mountain gorilla trekking is conducted, Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in only two parks, there are 18 families that have been habituated and already exists for tourism purposes, 17 of them are tracked in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
In Bwindi national park , gorilla trekking starts from anyone of its 4 major trekking sectors which are,
The Ruhija sector in the east which comprises of gorilla families such as Mukiza, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Kyaguliro.
The Buhoma sector in the north and consists of gorilla families such as Katwe, Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura.
The Nkuringo region in the southern part has groups like Christmas, Nkuringo and Bushoho
The Rushaga sector which has habituated families like Kutu, Bikingi, Busingye, Bweza, Rwigi, Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye and Mucunguzi group.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park
The park is about 10km south of Kisoro and is a border to the south by Rwanda and west by DRC. In the park its only the Nyakagezi gorilla group is the only family that is habituated set for visitor trek.
Obtain your Gorilla permit early enough
Given the high demand for gorilla permits, you are advised to secure your gorilla trekking permit at least 6 months before you set off for your actual trek day. In Uganda, gorilla permits costs $600 per person for foreign non residents, $500 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African residents. You can secure one through a trustworthy, reliable ground tour operator in Uganda or through reservations office at a Uganda wildlife authority(UWA). In case you wish to embark on gorilla habituation experience, you need $1500 to help you secure a permit which gets you the whole day and 4 hours of magical encounter with mountain gorilla.
Pack appropriate but light
When packing for gorilla trekking in Uganda, consider essential items first. What should be packed first and cant miss in your pack lists; waterproof hiking boots, insect repellant, rain jackets, cameras with no flash lights and able to capture clear photos, binoculars, long sleeved shirt/ trousers, sweaters, sun glasses, hat, bottled water, energy giving snacks , first aid kit and many more.
Pay keen attention during the orientation
Before embarking on the actual trek, you will be briefed first about what to be done and what is not done while trekking in the park and include;
keep a distance of about 7 meters away from gorilla at all times. Mountain gorillas share about 98% DNA with humans making them closest relatives and can be affected with human infections.
1-Only one hour is given to you to have a magical encounter with gorillas.
2-Do not use flashlights cameras and in case your camera has please turn it off before you begin taking photos of these creatures.
3-Only persons above 15 years are allowed to trek gorillas.
4-Stand still in case the gorilla charges and avoid direct eye contact with gorillas.
5-Do not go to trek mountain gorillas if you have a cold or infectious diseases and cover the mouth incase your coughing and when sneezing.
6-leave the habitat the way you found it incase you wish to ease your self bury your wastes at least 30cm deep the ground.
we wish you a memorable visit to see Gorilla trekking in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, a country with lots of captivating experiences and it is good to put these tips in mind during the time of planning your next trip so that you can enjoy a truly African experience not to be found anywhere else in the world.