Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

February 23, 2024
News Journeys Uganda

Gorilla trekking is one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences that attract many tourists to Uganda. This activity allows tourists to trek through the tropical rainforest and search for a specific family of gorillas in their wild. Gorilla trekking in Uganda takes place in two locations: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, home to endangered mountain gorillas.

Gorilla trekking experience.

Amazing Gorilla trekking in the magical Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda begins with a short briefing at the park headquarters at 8:00 am on how to conduct the trekking exercise. The hike then begins with an armed ranger and an experienced jungle guide from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The process can take 1 to 4 hours, depending on the group being monitored, the food source, and where the gorillas spent the night.

A long walk through the jungle enchants wonderful encounters with other primate species, tree species, flora and fauna, bird species, and insects. As per the regulations, when you see the gentle giants (Gorillas) you are entitled to one hour to spend while with the Gorillas. This provides visitors with a great opportunity to experience and record the unique characteristics and behaviors of these endangered species.

Convenient trekking time for Gorillas…

Gorilla trekking in Uganda, depending on the weather, always takes place during the dry season from June to September and the mini-dry season from December to February when the destination trails are not slippery. During this dry season, the grass is still short and the sites are clear, giving visitors a good view of these rare primates, however the tracking can be done all year round successfully.

How much does a Gorilla trekking permit cost in Bwindi.

A mountain gorilla trekking permit for trekking mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park costs $700 per person for non-resident foreigners, and $600 per person for foreigners, and East African citizens pay UGX 250,000 UGX per person. However, after every two years, the Uganda Wildlife Authority together with other tourism stakeholders in Uganda revises conservation fees for park entrances and activities in all the protected areas. The last revision was in 2022. On January 17 2024, the Uganda Wildlife Authority released their new conservation tariff for 2024-2026 to the Uganda Tourism fraternity. Given the fast recovery changes in the tourism industry following the pandemic, the latest price increases are not shocking as  they slightly tuned up the endangered primate trekking permits to boost the country’s most expensive conservation efforts and increased some park activities, like hiking, biking, and guided birding fees. The Gorilla trekking permit has been increased by $100 from $700 to $800, The new rate for African passport holders was introduced at $500, Chimpanzee trekking and habituation permits have been increased by $50 from $200 to $250 and $250 to 300, respectively. The approved changes will be effected starting July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2026

Booking Uganda Gorilla trekking Permits.

The most convenient way to book Gorilla permits in Uganda is to use the services of authorized tour operators or travel agents to complete the booking procedures and essentials as gorilla permits are generally rare and therefore should be booked in advance. 152 permits per day are issued and distributed to the Gorilla groups living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These permits are legal documents issued to tourists over the age of 15 years by the state entity in charge of tourism, known as Uganda Wildlife Authority, giving visitors the opportunity to visit a family of the habituated mountain gorillas. Our advise to would be tourists with a keen interest in Gorilla tracking to Uganda is to book the gorilla permits way in advance as they are on very high demand mostly in the months of June, July, August, January through February, get your gorilla tracking permit now to Uganda and let Journeys Uganda be part of your dream safari planning to Uganda and perhaps Africa as a whole.

Accommodation Facilities during Your gorilla trekking safari to Uganda

A home away from home for a luxurious, cozy and rustic accommodation at Gorilla Leisure lodge.

Uganda’s two gorilla trekking destinations of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offer a wide range of accommodation options from budget to mid-range to luxury, such as Mulehe Safari Lodge, Wagtail Safari Lodge, Mucha Lodge,  Gorilla leisure lodge,Buhoma Haven lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Broadbill Safari Lodge, Lake Mutanda Resort, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, Cuckooland Tented lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Bakiga lodge, Gorilla leisure Lodge, Mahogany Springs lodge and others.

Access to gorilla destinations in Uganda.

Uganda’s magical gorilla trekking areas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park are accessible by various means of transport: road transport, 9-10 hours’ drive from Kampala Mbarara route via Kabale up to park headquarters.

The two gorilla destinations of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park can be reached by air transport by booking scheduled or charter flights through Aero Link Uganda from Entebbe Airport to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrips connecting to Mgahinga National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by road with our expert tour guides.

Alternatively, access to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park is possible via Rwanda, where tourists from Kigali International Airport in Rwanda cross the Kyanika border in 4-5 hours and then join gorilla hikers in Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

What to pack during gorilla trekking safari in Uganda.

Visiting families of habituated mountain gorillas in Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks in Uganda can be a life-changing experience. These isolated tropical rainforests directly contribute to the protection of these critically endangered species and their habitats. Due to the humid conditions, dense vegetation, steep terrain, slippery paths, and mountain trails, trekking requires good physical fitness. Therefore, for any successful gorilla safari in Uganda, based on the overview above, you should bring the following essentials: long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirt or T-shirt which are nature friendly and blend in well, good hiking boots, raincoat, masks, sanitizer, energy snacks and bars, drinking water, walking sticks if you have otherwise all gorilla tracking starting points do provide those, extra batteries, warm sweaters, camera, a pair of binoculars and many others.

Uganda’s national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park contain more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas in the wild, without traffic, due to the different habituated families in the two parks. This rare activity is among the many tourist attractions that Uganda has to offer on top of unique wildlife safaris, bird watching, gorilla habituation experience, chimpanzee trekking, boat rides, nature walks, cultural encounters in various national parks such as Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and others.  This desirable, adventurous, and unforgettable experience makes Uganda a better destination for any tourist and forms Africa’s most unforgettable wildlife encounter.