Gorilla trekking is regarded as one of the most adventurous thing to do while on holiday in Uganda. For over the past 2 decades, Uganda has attracted many travelers from all over the world who visit the country to do gorilla trekking within the two famous national parks in South western Uganda. Do you know that Uganda hosts nearly half of the world’s total remaining population of the endangered gorillas? There are two populations of the gorillas within Uganda; one in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and another in Mgahinga National Park.

Gorilla trekking is an alluring adventure! It is the main reason as to why travelers including nobles, celebrities, billionaires like Bill Gates and other prominent people in the world leave their comfy offices and residences to spend a night or two in the jungles that have been colonized by the gorillas! There are a few other places where the mountain gorillas can be seen in the wild; Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The gorilla population was threatened to near extinction in the past 2 decades when their numbers were reduced to less than 600 individuals in total. This came as result of the fact that many people enchroached on the forest for farming and settlement, and a number of gorillas were killed for bush meat, medicine and so force.

Vigorous conservation campaigns were launched which saw a significance increase in their number to about 880 individuals according to the 2012 census.Uganda is home to almost a half of the world’s apes population over 480 individuals shared by two parks that’s Bwindi national park with about 400 gorillas and Mgahinga national park hosting about 80 individuals.

Go Gorilla Trekking

Uganda has over 13 habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park and 1 gorilla family in Mgahinga National Park, a smaller national park. For the past 2 years, travelers have been able to go gorilla tracking in Mgahinga National Park and the gorillas that at times cross into Rwanda have stabilized in the park.

Only 8 members are allowed to track in each group. This measure is aimed at promoting sustainable gorilla tourism, a form of tourism that minimizes social disturbance and stress, as well as the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases. Gorilla tracking in Uganda begins at 8.00am (GMT +3). The d-day starts with a short briefing at the park headquarters about the do’s and don’ts while with these giants in the wild.

  • No one is allowed to track gorillas without a gorilla permit and it is advisable to book a permit for about 2-3 month prior to your arrival in Uganda.
  • Your gorilla tour is based upon the tracking date.
  • Gorilla permits are sold on first come, first serve basis  and they are sold out fast. If you’re interested in a gorilla safari in Uganda you are advised to pay in advance in order to avoid the incontinence.

Permits can be obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority offices or your tour operator can help you get it at the same price as he organizes you the whole package. Some of the recommended tour operator is Go Gorilla Trekking operating in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When you pay the confirmation fee, the tour operator will go a head and book the gorilla permit on your behalf or purchase it for you and you will be guaranteed a tracking place among the 8 people that are allowed to track each gorilla group on a particular day. Note possession of a gorilla permit is a guarantee for tracking, however it’s not a guarantee for seeing these giant apes although chances of seeing them in the wild is about 97% and ranger guides always are in position to know where these species are located.

Resources

  • Read more about Mgahinga National Park from the official guide
  • Read more about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from Visit Bwindi, an informative guide to planning a gorilla safari in Africa.
  • Visit the Gorilla Trekking Guide, a complete guide to planning a gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.