The major safari activity in Bwindi Forest is Gorilla Trekking which Uganda prides herself on, its the most trending Primate tour adventure in East Africa.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the two gorilla habitats in Uganda. Many tourists prefer to trek gorillas in the park during Uganda gorilla safaris because of not only the amazing experience but the ambiance and whole liveliness in the jungle.
Situated in southwestern Uganda, Bwindi forest is a perfect gorilla trekking park just like Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the other parks in Rwanda and Congo. Here is a guide on what you need to know when planning to visit the Bwindi forest for gorilla trekking.
Gorilla trekking to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is affordable and costs US$ 700 for foreign nonresidents, US$ 600 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens.
This is way less than the US$ 1500 for a permit in Rwanda. In the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, a gorilla permit costs US$450, however, the area where the park is located has in previous years been highly affected by rebel groups.
However, to trek gorillas in Uganda, one requires to be of age 15 and above.
Every day, a total of 8 tourists are allocated to trek each of the 19 habituated gorilla families in Uganda. Trekking starts at 8:00 am with a briefing on the guidelines and allocation of a specific gorilla family to trek. Every 8 individuals trek along with at least two armed rangers for protection and keep you safe.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda takes an unpredictable time as the gorillas keep moving through the forest. You could see the gorillas in 30 minutes or after several hours. After meeting an allocated gorilla family a maximum of 1 hour is spent watching the family interact. It is an amazing experience and you are allowed to take several pictures and videos using non-flash photography cameras.
Uganda is becoming a must-visit destination for mountain gorilla trekking and the question is always whether trekking gorillas in Uganda is safe. Yes, Uganda is safe for a gorilla safari.
To ensure tourist security, each group of 8 tourists is accompanied by 2 armed park rangers to ensure the safety of those trekking. The rangers carry along with firearms just to ensure safety in case wild animals behave in a non-safe way to the tourists. When there is a need for the rangers to shoot in space to scare away animals.
To ensure safety for individuals who are gorilla trekking, the Uganda Wildlife Authority ensures there are trained rangers who check through the jungles each day. The tourism police ensure the jungle is free from any kind of threat to tourists.
This is done by making sure rangers visit the forest early enough before the tourists are brought in. This is what is referred to as gorilla tracking, the rangers not only identify where the gorillas are but also get to know whether the trails are safe for trekking.
Best time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda
The best time of the year for Uganda gorilla trekking safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is during the dry season months of June –August and December –February which makes it easy to go through the trails.
If you are planning to have an Uganda safari or tour Uganda am sure you will have to do that after the lockdown by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the above information is part of what you need to know and will keep you aware of what to expect on your trip.
Gorilla trekking can also be tailored with other Uganda wildlife safaris, chimpanzee trekking, or birding. Within East Africa, you can also customize a combined tour with Rwanda tours, Kenya safari, or Tanzania wildlife safari.
Here are some of the recommended itineraries that tourists can choose when going on the East Africa safari.