Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a popular and exciting ecotourism activity that allows visitors to get up close and personal with endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Uganda is home to about half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population, making it a prime destination for this unique wildlife experience. The gorilla trekking activity mainly takes place in two national parks in Uganda – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the area in Uganda where gorilla sightings are most common. In addition to discussing Gorilla trekking in Uganda, this guide will offer some advice for traveling to this part of Uganda.
You’ll likely fly into Entebbe’s Uganda International Airport (EBB) before traveling to Bwindi. From there, fly to the Kihihi airstrip in a bush plane. It takes an hour to reach Bwindi from Kihihi after landing. Your lodging ought to be able to arrange for this passage.
The Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is the ideal spot to stay when visiting Bwindi. It is very simple to access the gorilla trekking facilities because the GFC is situated inside the national park.
The Sanctuary GFC is, without a doubt, the best place to stay, thanks to its outstanding service. You will be greeted with warm food, a refreshing drink, and many happy faces when you return to the lodge following your journey. However, if you choose to stay in a place that does not provide a permit, we’d highly recommend booking through a tour company like Gorillas And Wildlife Tours.
During gorilla trekking in Uganda, Every morning at 7:30 a.m., all trekkers will go to the tourist center to check in and receive safety training. You will be entertained by a local performance of song and dance representing their traditional culture while you wait for everyone to arrive.
The lead guide will give a safety briefing and orientation after the welcome performance. The division of the groups will follow. Up to eight-person groups will be matched with a gorilla family, a guide, and two guards.
To reach a different gorilla family, groups will hike independently. Depending on how far their family is from the beginning place, some people will start at the visitor center while others will have to drive more than an hour.
You will start trekking once you reach the trailhead for your group, with one guard and the guide in front and the other guard behind. Your group’s trackers were with the gorilla family the previous night until they went to bed. They left early the next morning to return to this area and start monitoring the gorillas before your group did. The direction to hike in will be decided in close consultation between the guide and trackers.
Don’t forget that these gorillas are wild. They can be challenging to locate because they don’t stay put and don’t travel down the path. Because of this, your trekking time may range from 30 minutes to 7 hours.
We strongly advise hiring a native porter to help with the hike. They’ll carry your bag, guide you through the terrain, and offer any additional assistance you might need for $20 per day.
Beginning with a trail, the hike will eventually need you to travel “off-road” to locate the gorillas. This can be in a forest, a marsh, some brush, or any other undeveloped area. Roadblocks, uneven terrain, and branches in your face are all potential hazards. Having the appropriate equipment to protect yourself is crucial because of this.
You will eventually run upon the gorilla trackers, who have hopefully located the animals. You have an hour to spend with the gorillas after making contact.
Spending a 3-day gorilla trekking Uganda is the ideal length of time. You’ll have enough time to get used to the environment and two whole days for trekking. Even though gorilla sightings are almost always possible, having two chances will increase your likelihood of seeing the creatures.