Uganda comprises of two gorilla national parks, where travelers can go watch habituated mountain gorillas in their natural habitat; Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, home to half of the entire mountain gorilla population situated in western Uganda at the edge of the western rift valley and Mhahinga national park, the Ugandan side of the Virunga massif conservation region.
Gorilla Permit Price
600 USD – During high seasons January, February, March, June, July, Auguust, September,
350 USD – During Low season – April, May and November
Trekking to watch gorillas in Uganda is an ultimate wildlife adventure which cannot be missed when visiting Africa on Safari. Mountain gorillas are critically endangered primate species and are majorly conserved and protected from the revenue received from gorilla permit sells. With over 1000 gorillas left in the world, the number is progressively improving thanks to the conservation efforts and mountain gorilla visits.
Trekking for gorilla involves walking and hiking for a long distance through thick vegetation, wet slippery terrain and hence requires visitors to be prepared physically and mentally. It should be noted that some gorilla families are near and easy to visit for people who are not ready for strenuous conditions. Its necessary to inform your guide to inform the park ranger on the kind of trek you want to go for.
Adequate dress code for gorilla trekking
You need to be ready for a long walk and hiking, Wear sturdy walking shoes, long thick pants and a light cotton long sleeved shirt to protect you against stinging nettles and absorb sweat. Its gets hot and sweaty as you hike.
A pair of garden gloves will come in handy as you hike, you may hold onto thorny vegetation, and the gloves will protect out skin.
Walking sticks are provided at your gorilla trekking starting points, its advisable to take it as it gives you support as you walk
What To Cary in your Pack
Keep your pack as light as possible, just take the necessities. Your backpack should be water proof and best carried from the back. Water is a must, as you get to sweat so much that you need to keep hydrating. Light rain coat, even in the dry season is a good idea. Gorillas are found in tropical rain forests and it can rain any time even in the dry season. A lunch pack is a good idea – provided from your lodge early morning as you set off. Its also necessary to have your passport for identification as you register for attendance on your gorilla trek.
Tipping Guides & Ranger
Tipping Guides & Ranger
Tipping Park guides and rangers is not a must, but necessary as they do a great job out in the jungle. These trackers are quite informative and willing to answer all your questions. You need to carry small USD bills and tipping is estimated between 10 – 15 USD per guide.
Hire Porter or not?
Porters are available at the sating point of your trek. They offer to carry your back for a fee of about 10 USD to 10 USD. You may feel able to carry your pack your self, but its gets tough during the actual hike, and will need some one to carry your pack and you concentrate of reaching the gorillas. The porter also holds you hand through slippery terrain and comes in handy. Secondly giving him a job to carry your pack, earns him an income to sustain his family
Gorilla Trekking Rules
- Camera flashlight not permitted
- You must follow the interactions of your guide to the dot. He runs hiking trips to the gorillas every day, and knows them very well
- Trekkers must be 15 years of age and above
- Only one hour is permitted to spend with the gorillas on a single day. A maximum of only 8 people are allowed to visit a single gorilla group every day.
- Don’t go trekking when sick – gorillas are very much vulnerable to human diseases have have very small immunity. so any kind of infection is dangerous on their health
- Keep a distance of 7 meters from the gorillas, don’t try to touch the gorillas or try to keep an eye contact with the gorillas. This can threaten or frighten the gorillas
- Visitors must remain in a group other than surrounding the gorillas, this may scare them