Mountain Gorilla tracking is a once in a lifetime experience. Gorillas are the main reason that many safari traveller choose to visit Uganda among other African countries. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park alone is home for over 400 of the estimated 880 world gorilla population as of November 2012. What people may not realise is that unlike the regular wildlife safaris where many people go and see lions, giraffes, Elephants Hippos and many others, there are limited number of visitors allowed to view and visit Mountain Gorillas in all the three countries i.e. Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Presently, there are 11 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Gorilla Park plus one of Mgahinga Gorilla Park, - that makes Uganda the prime Gorilla destination in the world. Unlike Rwanda’s Gorillas which are less than 2½ hours from the Kigali Capital, Uganda’s Bwindi Gorillas are about 8 hour drive from Kampala capital. The cost of one gorilla permit in Uganda is 600 USD as of January 2014 and in Rwanda, it’s at 750 USD.
Due to the limit on the number of permits issued and of course the Entebbe/Kampala- Bwindi distance involved, we frequently receive inquiries with people wanting to go gorilla tracking in Uganda’s Bwindi forest but coming from Rwanda, crossing the border and return after or continue with wildlife or chimpanzee tracking safari in the nearby parks. – in the past, or even now, most (if not all) Uganda gorilla tours depart from Kampala or Entebbe Airport and that’s the norm with most safari companies. We bring you the flexibility of enjoying your Uganda gorilla tour without departing from Kampala, - something we have helped many of our clients with in the past.
Securing the permits is the most fundamental part of the trip and you have to be 100% confident that these are booked before arranging the other bits.
Two gorilla groups you could consider are down in the south of the Bwindi forest where the accommodation is more reasonably priced. Many chances that you will probably trek the gorilla families of Bitukura and Oruzogo. Other options the south (and near Kisoro) include; Nshongi, Busingye, Mishaya and Kahungye. These are all close to the Uganda-Rwanda boarder. If you are in the planning stages and you are asked to pick the family you want to trek (track). The best option for our case would be any of those 2 above. Gorilla families are like us and very dynamic. What may have been a good sized family this year may split into two units,...there is nothing like “most interesting gorilla family” as most travelers may think. – Major differences are in the hikes to the respective families. To be honest whatever family you visit you will love it so it does not make much difference which you choose.
Mgahinga National park has Gorillas from time to time but they have not been reliable for a couple of years. They frequently move over the border into DRC
We’ll help you book the permits and will ship them to your preferred lodging in south Uganda. We partner with a list of nice place to stay in the south and there is a chance that we can even ask you to leave our gorilla permits money with them if you are not able to wire it into our bank account ahead of time. Depending on your budget, we’ll give you the lodging options in the area or near to your gorilla family to be trekked. The service is for a reasonable you cost and this may depend on the lodge where the permits are to be taken.
Be aware that you will need to have the Uganda Visa,...this is obtainable at the Uganda Rwanda boarder and this may take up to 30 minutes of your travel time.
Also, we may need to know if you have your own transportation or you need it to be arranged.
Not many Uganda tour operators will offer this option as it seems easy for agorilla safaris to start from Kampala, we however believe any good tour operator has to work toward saving you money as the registered ones get better rates at the Lodges than you can. You can contact us for help by using the numbers on this website or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org