Guide To Mountain Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Guide To Mountain Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Do you want to go on a mountain gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park? Bwindi is one of Uganda’s most spectacular parks, attracting a large number of visitors from all over the world each year. You won’t believe the ever-praised allures and natural beauties of Bwindi unless you get a chance to see it while on a gorilla tour in Uganda. This pristine destination is located in western Uganda, near the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Bwindi is one of the reasons why visitors visit Uganda many times throughout their vacation holidays in Africa, and many have returned for the same tour, only to fulfil their ambitions.

The park takes its name from the famous “Bwindi Impenetrable Forest” in Uganda, which has existed for many years. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest comprises a portion of the Park’s land and serves as an important home for a variety of wildlife species. Mountain gorillas are the most prevalent forest residents, however elephants and bird species also live there.

How to Get to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park to Trek Mountain Gorillas

Bwindi National Park is one of Uganda’s parks, located in the south-western section of the country. The park may be accessible via road or air travel.

By vehicle, the journey to Bwindi National Park from Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city, can take between 8 and 9 hours along the Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara route. It includes a stop at the equator and lunch in Mbarara along the way.

Alternatively, private charters are available from Entebbe airport to Kisoro airstrip, and from there you will be escorted by a driver/guide up to Bwindi or into your pre-booked lodging.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to gorillas.

Without question, gorilla trekking is the most popular safari activity in Uganda, and it is the primary reason why tourists visit the country. Gorillas are the park’s main attraction, making it the most popular and sought-after destination for any tourist to Uganda. Only three nations in the world are home to these endangered apes; the other two are Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Uganda has the biggest percentage of these surviving endangered apes in the world, with over half of them living in Bwindi National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to the majority of Uganda’s gorillas. The range of gorilla species and the several accommodation options draw most visitors to this park.

The park is only home to Mountain Gorillas, so don’t expect to see other gorilla species like Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Western Gorillas, and others on a gorilla tour to this beautiful park; however, if you’re lucky, you might see other primates like chimps. Bwindi is the only park in the world where mountain gorillas and chimps coexist.

Mountain gorillas often inhabit higher altitudes and bamboo-forested places. They reside in groups known as Gorilla families, with each family led by a male-dominated Silverback. Bwindi only has 18 gorilla families that welcome tourists on a daily basis at the time of writing, and each gorilla family permits just 8 members each day.

Because of the variety, Bwindi is a site where you can be certain of seeing or meeting gorillas; no visitor has ever gone on a safari and missed a glimpse. Physical conditioning is essential since some families want to relocate deep into the valleys.

How many Gorilla families are there?

As previously said, Bwindi has the largest concentration of habituated and open to trekking Gorilla families. It appears to have around 18 Gorilla families dispersed among its four sections. Families utilised for habituation experience are housed in the park.

Bwindi National Park has four gorilla trekking areas.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is mostly done in its four sectors, which are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.

The Buhoma sector is located in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s northern region. It has four habituated gorilla groups, including the oldest, Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, and the newest, Katwe Gorilla family.

The Rushaga Sector is located in the Park’s southern region. This region of the park has the most gorilla families, with over seven, including the Bweza, Busingye, Kahungye, Nshongi, Bikingi, and Mishaya.

Ruhija Sector is located in the eastern portion of Bwindi, at an elevation of 2350m above sea level. It is home to three gorilla families: Bitukura, Kyaguriro, and Oruzogo.

Nkuringo Sector: This sector of Bwindi is located in southern Uganda, some 40 km north of Kisoro. This sector is home to three gorilla families: Bushaho, Christmas, and Nkuringo. Each of these gorilla families is ready to receive visitors on a daily basis, and only eight members are permitted to visit each gorilla family per day, resulting in over 144 people visiting gorillas per day.

Which of these sectors should I choose?

All sectors in Bwindi are suitable for gorilla trekking, however, if you want variation, Rushaga is the greatest choice, while many people select Buhoma sector because it is where the headquarters are located. Those who want to combine a gorilla trek in Bwindi with a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park should hike in the Buhoma area.

Bwindi Forest Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Without a question, gorilla trekking is the most desired adventure activity for most visitors to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla trekking is often done in groups of eight visitors per Gorilla family each day. The activity begins very early in the morning after reporting to the park headquarters in Buhoma for briefings on the dos and don’ts while with the gorillas, as well as being allocated to one of the park ranger guides who will conduct this session.

After that, make your way deep into the bush to begin the activity. Gorilla trekking is unexpected since the activity can take anywhere from 1 to 8 hours depending on where the apes were last spotted or spent the night. You are only permitted to be in their presence for one hour after finding them. They’ll be eating, laughing, and moving about. You are welcome to take as many photographs and videos as you like, but a flush camera is not permitted.

When is the best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park to undertake mountain gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is possible all year, however it is best to go during the dry season when there is less rain. During the rainy season, you may be stopped by strong rains, and the routes in the jungle are muddy and slippery, making walking difficult.

What is required to meet Gorillas? A gorilla permit is required to meet and hike these endangered mountain gorillas. A gorilla permit is a password for trekking the gorillas; no one is permitted to hike without a gorilla permit. A gorilla permit costs $700 USD per person in Uganda, however owing to Covid-19, permits are being sold at a discounted fee of $400 per person until June 30th, 2021. Furthermore, trekkers must be at least fifteen years old, have some level of physical fitness, have trekking equipment such as a suitable pair of walking shoes/boots.

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