UGANDA GORILLA TOUR

The world's remaining mountain gorillas live in three countries spanning four national parks - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park.

The Bwindi forest is a very thick lush tropical forest on steep sided slopes and so tracking the mountain gorilla can be a lot harder going than in Rwanda. It is far more challenging because of the hills and can take anywhere between 3 and 10 hours in total, from start to finish. On the odd occasion, one is lucky enough to find the gorilla quickly, particularly if they are on the lower slopes. Access to the Nkuringo group is on a very steep trail.

The Gorillas in Uganda, live in the areas of Bwindi which has four habituated families with 32 permits now available per day. Three of the families are in Buhoma, namely Mubare, Habinyanja, and Rushegura and one in Nkuringo, called the Nkuringo group. This particular group, is difficult to track.

 Once you have decided on your date of tracking, if permits are available we will request full payment for the permit. If by the time the funds are cleared the permits have been sold out, we will give a full refund.

Overview


Day-1: Arrival at Entebbe and drive to Mbarara

Day-2: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Day-3: Interaction with the Mountain Gorillas

Day-4: Drive to Mbarara

Day-5: Depart

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Fast Facts

All year

Best: June to September

December to February

Tour: 5 days

Mountain Gorilla tour Photos Images of Gorilla

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1:

Arrival at Entebbe airport and transfer to Kampala for lunch before departing to Mbarara. We will drive through the Equator, Masaka, and then continue to Mbarara town. Detailed briefing. Dinner and overnight at Lake View Hotel. .

Day-2:

After early breakfast we will proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP, home of the endangered mountain gorilla. We will stop on the way to have our packed/picnic lunch. Dinner and overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp or Lake Kitandara Safari Camp.

Day-3:

After an early morning breakfast, we will be transferred to the national park headquarters for a briefing by the guides before departing on the hike in search for the Great Mountain Gorillas. The excursion in a thick rainforest and the interaction with the mountain ape, provide a wonderful life experience. After returning to the lodge, have the rest of the day free for relaxing. Dinner and overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp or Lake Kitandara Safari Camp.

Day-4:

After an early breakfast we will depart to Mbarara. We will pass Ntungamo, and we will stop to have our packed/picnic lunch. Mbarara district is known for the Ankhole cattle (long horns. Dinner and overnight at Lake View Hotel.

Day-5:

After breakfast we will depart to Kampala. We will pass Masaka and the Equator before arriving to Uganda's capital city. After lunch you will be transferred to Entebbe airport for your departure flight.

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What's Included

Price includes

Airport transfers by private vehicle
Pick up/drop off at Entabbe airport.
Accommodation (as indicated in the itinerary).
Meals (as indicated in the itinerary).
Bottled mineral water.
Transport in 4x4 safari vehicle (Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Hiace van, Land Rover or similar)
National Parksī entrance fees as indicated below.
Activities as indicated in the itinerary and in the chart below.
English speaking guide/driver.
Gorilla permit and NP entrance fee for one day for Bwindi NP (Uganda)

Price Excludes

International air tickets and associated taxes.
Meals not specified on the itinerary.
Domestic flight and international flight taxes
Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc.
Insurance against theft, loss, illness and/or accident.
Tips, baggage porterage and other extras not specified.
Any optional activities
Ugandan and Rwandan visas.

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General Gorilla Information

The Gorillas in Uganda, live in the areas of Bwindi which has four habituated families with 32 permits now available per day. Three of the families are in Buhoma, namely Mubare, Habinyanja, and Rushegura and one in Nkuringo, called the Nkuringo group. This particular group, is difficult to track.

The Bwindi forest is a very thick lush tropical forest on steep sides slopes and so tracking the gorilla can be a lot harder going than in Rwanda. It is far more challenging because of the hills and can take anywhere between 3 and 10 hours in total, from start to finish. On the odd occasion, one is lucky enough to find the gorilla quickly, particularly if they are on the lower slopes. Access to the Nkuringo group is on a very steep trail.

There is also a  group in Mgahinga, but the family tend to migrate between there and the Congo and as such, one cannot purchase a permit in advance. The only way to arrive to the park on the day with cash, and purchase the permits if the Gorillas are available to be seen.

 

Gorilla are tracked from the Parc National des Volcans which currently has 7 groups and thus 56 permits available per day. The gorilla families here are those of Group 13, Sabinyo (which also has the largest of al the silver backs, Kahunga), Amahoro, Umubano, Susa, Kwitonda which has crossed from Djomba in the DRC and Hirwa which has recently formed from different habituated families. The Susa group is the largest and thus the best for photographic purposes.

  Light cotton clothing.
  A fleece for the evening hours
  Waterproof hiking shoes
  Rain gear (light)
  A hat
  A day pack to carry water and food for the hike
  A bathing suit
  Sunscreen
  Mosquito repellent
  Light weight gloves
  Gaiters

These depend on the time of year you travel. Evenings are generally quite crisp and so a light weight jacket is important. Days can get very hot and humid. Rain fall comes in two seasons, October to November, and March to May, when conditions can become quite muddy.

Once a habituated gorilla family has been located by your guide, you will have one hour with the family unless circumstances dictate that you leave earlier.

You must be fit enough to be able to hike anything from 1-6 hours in rough terrain and through dense forest in places. You also need to be prepared for all kinds of weather. If you are reasonable fit there should not be a problem.

In theory you need to maintain a 7m or 27 foot distance between you and the gorilla. However, you will find they they sometimes will come close to you. You are not allowed to touch the gorillas.

There is a minimum age of 15 years for anyone obtaining a permit to track Mountain Gorillas which Park Authorities will check against the date of birth in your passport.