Uganda Gorilla Tours

Uganda Gorilla Tours are the leading tourist activities in Uganda with thousands of travelers flocking Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park each year to trek the mountain gorillas.

Gorilla tours and Gorilla safaris in Uganda take place everyday in Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks, the country’s two homes for mountain gorillas. Both parks are estimated to have a total of about 500 mountain gorillas though majority of these live in Bwindi whose gorilla population accounts for more than half of the global number. Bwindi has got about 15 habituated gorilla families and each family has an average number of about 20-25 mountain gorillas while Mgahinga has got one habituated gorilla family. The rest of the gorillas in Uganda are still non-habituated and therefore cannot be visited by tourists.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is done under conservation regulations aimed at protecting mountain gorillas given that they are endangered animals. Some of the key gorilla trekking conservation regulations include limiting the number of visitors per gorilla group per day to 8. Others include include; tourists are restricted to spending only one hour in the presence of gorillas, touching a gorilla or getting near it is prohibited, no making noise in the presence of gorillas, no littering in the gorilla habitat, avoiding direct eye-contact with a gorilla is advised, among others.

To trek mountain gorillas i Uganda, one is required to have a gorilla trekking permit which is sold at $700 per person. Travelers are advised to book their Uganda gorilla trekking permits at least 6 months before their tracking dates. Gorilla permits are always limited on market due to the high demand and the strict gorilla conservation regulations. Booking your gorilla trekking permit in advance allows a local tour agent enough time to process it from the tourism authority and also to arrange all other necessary facilities for the traveler like accommodation and transport in time.

Uganda gorilla safaris are usually supplemented with other wildlife encounters including game viewing in large savannah parks like Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park. Some of the best game species to see in these parks include the Africa “big five” which include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros. Other amazing species to be seen in these parks include the endangered Rothschild giraffe, zebra, warthog, antelopes, among others.

Many travellers also combine their Uganda gorilla trekking safaris with another primate visit for chimpanzee tracking. This is always possible since chimpanzee tracking is far cheaper than gorilla trekking and combining the two trips gives a traveler a comprehensive experience of a Uganda primates safari. Chimpanzees are very numerous in number compared to gorillas and they are readily seen in different parts of the country. The major hotspots for seeing chimpanzees in Uganda include Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria near Entebbe International Airport.

In addition to wildlife encounters, gorilla trekkers in Uganda also enjoy some cultural experiences by visiting some amazing communities after  their gorilla trekking encounters. These include a visit to the Batwa pygmies who live near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The visit to Batwa not only provides travellers with a unique and amazing cultural experience but also helps to support livelihoods in this community since some of the proceeds from the money paid by tourists are directed towards community development. Some of members in the Batwa community are former poachers who have reformed through training and sensitisation and are now working as tour guides and porters to earn a living.