Gorilla trekking is one of Africa’s top attractions, highlighting one of the world’s most endangered apes. It’s a lifetime experience, trekking through the thick forest, watching various birds and tree species, spending some time watching the wild gorillas among other primates.
Below are important information on Gorilla trekking permits, where to sport the gorilla, what to pack, accommodation, transport, sample packages and the best time for a Gorilla tour.
The Mountain Gorilla at Bwindi Forest
People trakking the gorillas at Bwindi national park
A distance view of Bwindi impenetrable forest
Gorilla families at Bwindi national park
A morning distance view of Bwindi.
More picture of the Gorillas at Bwindi national park
It is believed that Gorillas share about 98% of Human genetic composition with some common behaviors and characters; there are two types of gorillas, the lowland and mountain gorillas. The lowland gorillas are smaller and have brownish-gray far coats and a distinct brow ridge, while the mountain gorillas are larger in size with darker black coats. The lowland gorillas are very common in most African countries while the Mountain gorillas are rare and only spotted around Virunga highlands of Rwanda, Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda.
In Bwindi, the Mountain gorillas live in groups of 2 to 40 gorillas, but commonly spotted in groups of 10, they have a life span of about 40 to 50 years; the male Gorilla begin breeding at the age of 15 years and the female once at the age of 10 to 12 years. The female gorillas are usually ready to mate again after every 2 to 3 years and can produce 4 to 6 offspring in their lifetime. The young Males leave their group at the age of about 11 years to form their own groups.
An adult Male mountain gorillas is usually two times the size of the female one, they are about 6 ft tall and 350 - 500 pounds; they are very strong with long arms (about 7 feet) and have silver back hair that they get their name from.
The mountain gorillas mainly stay on the ground but occasionally they are spotted on trees, they feed on the afro-montane vegetation that include flowers, leaves, fruits, roots and the bamboo shoots; an adults gorilla can consume up to 75 pounds of vegetation every day.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi can be strenuous, therefore ensure physical fitness. Bring jungle boots, warm quick dry cloths and rain jackets, water, snacks, a camera and a binocular. Gorilla trekking usually starts at 8:30 am, local time and occasionally lasts the whole day! For conservation reasons, visits to the gorillas are tightly controlled and you are required to have a special permit to access the park, guest travel in groups of 8 people and are only permitted to watch the gorillas for only one hour per group.
Kindly note that, the trekking could take the whole day in search of the gorillas, but once you spot them, you are only allowed to stay with them for only one hour. Gorilla trekking is only allowed for guest who are physically fit and above 15 years.
The best time to track Gorillas is on the dry season, it is easy to get through the tough terrains and the thick forests. In Uganda the dry seasons are between November-February and July-September, this is the best time to spot Gorillas.
Trekking permits for Bwindi National Park or Mgahinga National Park is about US $600 per person per day; there are only 9 groups of 8 people allowed every day, so it’s advised to plan early and acquire your permits well in advance.
Permits application requirements are; a copy of your passport showing your full names, your nationality and the passport number, your full address and the contact number, and the payment fee. You can get the permits at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) headquarters in Kampala or you can Contact us to organize the permits for you (at a small fee or for free if you book a full package with us).
Uganda has two places where you can see the Mountain Gorillas; these are Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Other destinations would include extending your tour to nearby Virunga Mountains in Congo DRC and Rwanda. Because of the insecurity in some parts of Congo, we only recommend gorillas trekking in either Rwanda Volcanoes National Park or Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
This a 5 days a pure Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking safari holiday at Bwindi and Kibale national park, driving from Kampala to Bwindi; where you will spend the two days on nature walks and tracking the beautiful Mountain Gorillas and then transfer to Kibale to watch the chimpanzees.
This a 3 days Gorilla trekking and nature walk safari holiday at Bwindi national park, driving from Kampala to Bwindi; where you will spend the two days relaxing, on nature walks to watch the beautiful landscapes and the Mountain Gorillas. A great place to watch the Mountain Gorillas,
Below are the Bwindi national park trekking rules and regulations as set out by Uganda Wildlife Authority (Gorilla Rules).