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Best 2 Places To See Gorillas In Uganda

Best 2 Places To See Gorillas In Uganda

Best 2 Places To See Gorillas In Uganda

Here are the best 2 places to see  gorillas in Uganda they are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Gorillas are one of the cash cows of Uganda in the tourism sector and generate alot of income. Although the best 2 places to see Gorillas in Uganda have sold the country, there are also different activities that tourists can do like chimpanzee trekking, white-water rafting, nature walks, cycle tours, beach tours among others and this is why it was named the Pearl of Africa by Winston Churchill, due to the abundant wildlife diversity and for its beauty.

The following are the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda;

Where To See Mountain Gorillas In Uganda 4 Days Safari of Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda. The park covers over 321 square kilometers of land. The park is located in the south western Uganda just close to mountain forests and the plains.

There are about 460 mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park and over 1,000 mountain gorillas hanging around the wild. There only two types of  gorillas only in Africa which include eastern and western gorilla. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to roughly 400 mountain gorillas, nearly half the world’s population. Fourteen gorilla families have been habituated for visitors. This park comprises 128 square miles, and there are four gorilla trekking zones.

There are also numerous butterflies, bird and different types of tree species in the park like over 160 tree species spotted in the park and this makes it a wonderful destination to various tourists.

Bwindi Impenetrable Bwindi national park is made up four sectors in which gorilla trekking is done and these include;

  • Buhoma

The Buhoma is the most common and visited sector in Bwindi national park where gorilla tracking is simplified due to its lower altitude of about 1350 above the sea level. Buhoma sector is located in the northern part of the park. Buhoma is commonly known for harboring the first habituation family of gorillas known as the Mubare including other three families like katwe, rushegura and habinyanja gorilla families. Apart from gorilla trekking, there are  also other tourism activities done in the sector including; learning and interacting with the local communities like the Bakinga who largely dominate this area then also the Batwa people the minority group of people this area

  • Nkuringo

Nkuringo sector is the second most common among the most visited sector in Bwindi national park. This section came into exitance in the year 2004 after ten years of its debut of the Buhoma region to the north of the park. It has some of Uganda’s most exciting and difficult-to-access gorilla populations. This sector is also renowned for providing protection to one of Bwindi’s most well-known dominant silverbacks.

  • Rushaga

The Rushaga sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi national park where by this sector is said to having the biggest number of ape like about 400 in 5 families and these include the following; bweza, businge, nshongi, mishaya and kungye

  • Ruhija

Four habituated gorilla families reside here and these include Mukiza, Bitukura family, Kyaguriro group and the Oruzogo family. It’s one of the coldest of the four sectors. The park also features elephants and monkeys in addition to gorillas. Mountain biking, birding, cultural interactions with the Batwa population, and nature walks are a few of the pursuits made in this sector. The number of sector to trek gorillas in Bwindi makes it one of the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda.

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The park staff is in charge of all gorilla tracking activities. The primary guide, two rangers, two armed military rangers, as well as a few other tourists, will be with you at all times. There may be anywhere from 6 to 10 vacationers in the group as a whole.

Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga National Park is located in south west and is the other best place to see  gorillas in Uganda. Gorilla trekking is the major activity that takes place in this national park. whereby the name “Mgahinga” comes from the word “gahinga” which means the mounds of volcanic stones removed from farms at the base of the volcanoes.

This park is also known to be Uganda’s smallest park due its size of 33.7km it covers. The region was designated a game sanctuary by the British government in 1930; it was gazetted as a National Park in 1991. The park is home to around 80 mountain gorillas, of which two gorilla families have been habituated for visitors. It’s a 13 square mile national park in the larger Virunga Mountains. This national park is also a home to many other unique spices like the birds, nature, golden monkeys which makes it more magical and exciting to visit.

Safaris Wildlife Tours anniversary Gorilla trekking

Access To Gorilla National Parks 

Both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offer roughly equal chances of sighting gorillas. Here is how to  access the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda.

Since Bwindi is home to a greater number of gorillas than Mgahinga, you are more likely to obtain a permit and conduct a gorilla trek there. The possibilities are similar regardless of the park or region of Bwindi, though, as each group is scheduled to trek a certain gorilla family on the given day.

They may differ slightly in terms of the actual hiking experience depending on the locale, but they are all generally comparable. Some claim that hiking in Mgahinga can be a little simpler, but once more, this depends on the day and the gorillas’ whereabouts.

Gorillas are extremely rare, and they dwell in a region of the planet that is hard to reach. Additionally, going there is a fairly common activity. As a result, you can’t just go exploring for the gorillas on your own in the forest. Even if it were permitted, it would be extremely challenging and even dangerous.

Instead, obtaining a permit and going on an authorized gorilla trip are the only ways to observe gorillas in the wild. All of these in Uganda are organized by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, and permits must be reserved in advance. Make sure your gorilla expedition is scheduled before you depart for Uganda. If you book with a tour operator, they’ll probably make the arrangements for you.

The permit covers the cost of the park rangers who accompany you as well as the fees of the bush trackers who follow the gorilla family’s movements to increase your chances of sighting the gorillas.

 What You Need To Know When Obtaining A Gorilla Permit

The following is how you to get gorilla trekking permits to the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority is responsible for issuing permits for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Most tourists have their gorilla trekking permits purchased by their tour operator as part of their trip, and the cost is the same as if they had done it themselves. You can make reservations on this page of the UWA website if you are traveling on your own. Prior to making a reservation, make sure to contact or email the number shown on the page to verify for availability.

When making a reservation, you should be informed of the cancellation policy and confirm it. In general, if you cancel more than 90 days prior to your trek, you will receive 75% of your money back; if you cancel between 46 and 90 days and 9 to 45 days prior to your trek, you will receive 50% of your money back; and if you cancel within 8 days of your trek date, you will receive nothing. So one should be sure to double-check the cancellation policy at the time of booking since it may have changed.

Permits are required for every tourists going to trek in the national parks but they are scarce and in high demand, so it’s best to make reservations well in advance. The permits ensure a sustainable and supervised approach to gorilla tourism in addition to aiding in conservation efforts.

Permission is required by getting a permit if you wish to see gorillas in the wild. This enables nations to regulate the number of tourists who visit gorilla tribes. Additionally, it enables national parks to raise the funds required to safeguard these critically endangered primates. One trek and one hour with the gorillas are included in the permits.

In Uganda, a single gorilla permit is $700 for each individual. The cost of gorilla permits does, however, vary per nation. The most affordable permits are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ($400) whereas Rwanda is the most expensive with a permit going for $1500 currently for foreign non-residents.

Although the fees are exorbitant, you should be aware that the money is utilized to conserve the gorillas as well as other species in Uganda. In order to support efforts to preserve gorillas, some of the money also goes to the neighborhood. Mountain gorilla populations have increased over the past few years, and a large part of this increase is credited to managed tourism and conservation initiatives supported by trekking permits.

Things To Know About Gorilla Trekking 

As you have already known about the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda, here is what you need to know about gorilla trekking.

It should be noted that while it is possible to view mountain gorillas without trekking for example, one can spot them close to the road but this is quite uncommon as the gorillas rarely exit the forest. Therefore, you must arrange a permit and go on a guided hike if you wish to view gorillas.

The tourists also should be warned that the gorillas aren’t aware of things like park or country limits, and thus the number of families that can be visited can fluctuate if they relocate. There are obviously no assurances because they are wild creatures.

Although the park employs bush trackers who go very early each day to seek the gorillas, there is always a chance that they won’t be successful because they lack tracking devices. But this rarely  happens.

Gorilla Trekking Experience

In Uganda, mountain gorillas inhabit in remotely, heavily forested areas. Even while tourists have over time carved out a few short paths through the jungle, there are still plenty of branches and thorns to be aware of as you go.

Leaving the route and entering the jungle itself is probably necessary when you get closer to the gorillas. Although the rangers and trackers will have large machetes to help clear the path, it can still be difficult to pass. In addition to being highly muddy, it can also be very hot, rainy, and humid.

The time it takes to visit them can range from a few hours to almost a whole day depending on where they are and how long it takes the trackers to find them because they roam about of their own free will. Treks can last up to five hours one way.

Depending on luck, your hike may be shorter, or you may have to spend the whole of the day in the bush. All of this is to indicate that you should be emotionally and physically prepared for what might be a very difficult trip.

The good news is that you can hire porters before you begin your walk in order to aid. You can hire these physically fit natives to carry your luggage or bags for you. Additionally, porters can assist you up and down any really challenging portions.

You should still be able to climb and descend steep terrain with confidence and navigate uneven, slick, and unstable terrain. Therefore, before signing up for a hike, it is definitely worth considering if you think you could complete the trek if you have physical limits or mobility issues.

You should still be able to climb and descend steep terrain with confidence and navigate uneven, slick, and unstable terrain. Therefore, before signing up for a hike, it is definitely worth considering if you think you could complete the trek if you have physical limits or mobility issues.

You might ask your tour guide to inform the rangers that you would prefer to visit a closer family if a less strenuous journey is more your style.

You will have an amazing experience as you trek  in the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda .However, I just want you to be well prepared so you can get some trekking practice in well in advance. Of course, you can also let the rangers know yourself.

Habituation Experience With Gorillas

As part of the gorilla habituation experience, you will see a gorilla family which is not yet authorized for regular tourists to visit. Because they are wild animals, gorillas require some time to get adjusted to people. You will see a gorilla family that has started the habituation process as part of the Gorilla Habituation event.

Despite the fact that the experience costs extra, you get to spend a lot more time with the gorilla family. In contrast to the customary one hour, you get to spend hours with the gorilla family which usually more than three hours. With only four instead of eight persons per household since there are also greater restrictions on the size of the group.

It is possible to reserve a spot on a gorilla habituation trip, just like any other normal tracking activity. Whereby, the price of this unique excursion at the moment is $1,500 USD per person.

The habituation experience is still in demand despite the greater cost, so if you’re interested in participating, we advise scheduling as far in advance as possible due to the limited amount of spots available.

Cultural Experiences Close To Gorillas 

As you visit the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda, you will also do visit the different cultures and way of life of people leaving in those areas.

The Batwa Cultural Experience ranks as one of the fourth best thing to do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park whereby the Batwa were the first inhabitants of Uganda and were forced out of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and other forests by the government. The Batwa people when you are a tourist will lead you on a trip into the forest as part of the Batwa cultural experience. They will explain to you various things about how they lived, hunted, and used medicinal plants from the forest.

It takes more than just seeing gorillas to find mountain gorillas in Uganda. It’s a chance to become fully immersed in the rich regional culture and customs of the locals residing close to the gorilla habitats. When you come to the gorilla national parks, you should be ready to embark on a cultural trip unlike any other, from traditional dance to sampling local cuisine etc.

Uganda has started to promote community-based tourism, in which visiting tourists directly benefit local people. By staying in community-run lodges or purchasing handcrafted items, you can support these initiatives and add to the warm hospitality and rich heritage of the local communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Uganda have gorillas?

Yes, it has half of the world’s gorilla population and the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda are  in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park.

Are gorillas friendly to humans?

Gorillas are peaceful animals and wont attack you as long as you go about your way.

Which country in Africa has the most gorillas?

Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo stand out the only countries in Africa to see gorillas.

The best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda?

Refer to the above context.

What is the best time of the year to trek gorillas in Uganda?

The best time to trek gorillas in Uganda is the dry seasons between December and February and between June and August. These conditions are favorable for trekking. People book with Kubwa Five Safaris for a thrilling safari  experience while trekking.

In conclusion, Bwindi national park and Mgahinga national park are the best 2 places to see gorillas in Uganda. Trekking can be done throughout the year thou the dry season is the best time to trek.