Select Page
From Critically endangered to endangered – Mountain Gorillas safaris

From Critically endangered to endangered – Mountain Gorillas safaris

Mountain Gorillas no longer considered Critically endangered but endangered

With the booming number of travelers to the famous mountain gorilla destinations (Uganda and Rwanda), one needs to know more about these gentle primate spices.

After a very long fight against the near-extinction of the mountain gorillas, these gentle giants have slowly been increasing in numbers.

This was after a census by the Uganda Wild Life Authority in 2019 to know the number of remaining gorillas in their From Critically endangered to endangered – Mountain Gorillas safarisNational reserve.

It was significantly discovered that the gorilla numbers have increased and this immediately put them out of the critically endangered species category.

This resulted to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to update the Mountain gorilla’s status from “critically endangered to “endangered”

There are now over 1,000 of the mountain gorillas in the wild, up from an anticipated population of 680 a decade ago.

However, In the context of colliding inhabitants of wildlife around the world, this is an extraordinary conservation success,” said Tara Stoinski, President and chief scientist of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

 

The Atlanta-based non-profit is named for the primate researcher whose work helped draw international attention to mountain gorillas and whose memoir became the basis for the 1988 Weaver film “Gorillas in the Mist.

Mountain gorillas live in lush and misty forests along with a range of dormant volcanoes in East Africa. Their habitat falls inside national parks spanning parts of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

And stories about Diani Fossey, who died in 1985, had projected that the primates may be extinct by 2000.

Instead, their populations have been slowly increasing thanks to sustained and well-funded international conservation efforts that are Uganda Wildlife Authority, Rwanda Development Board, Virunga Conservation Program, international gorilla conservation program & other conservation bodies.

These Conservation bodies have greatly contributed and made progress in terms of Mountain gorillas’ protection.

This has provided an environment where mountain gorillas can continue to thrive and grow

There are now more than 5 mountain gorilla groups to trek in Uganda compared to the recent years as a result of conservation and these include

Mubare Gorilla Family

Mubare gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector and is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda with 9 members including 1 silverback as head of the group, and was fully habituated in 1991.

Habinyanja Gorilla Family

Habinyanja gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector with 18 members including 2 silverbacks and was fully habituated in 1997.

Rushegura Gorilla Family

Rushegura gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector with 19 members including 1 silverback. Rushegura Gorilla Family was formed in 2002 with Mwirima silverback.

Katwe gorilla family

Katwe gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector and is the newest family in the Buhoma region on the northern side of Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park with 7 members in the family with one dominant silverback.

Nkuringo Gorilla Family

Nkuringo Gorilla group is located in the Nkuringo area with 19 members including 2 silverbacks. The group is led by one Silverback Nkuringo who died in April 2008, leaving behind 2 Silverbacks.

Bushaho gorilla family

Bushaho gorilla family is located in the southern sector in the Nkuringo area with 8 members including 1 silverback known as Bahati.

Bitukura Gorilla Family                  

Bitukura Gorilla Family is located in Ruhija area with 14 members including 4 silverbacks and the habituation process started in 2007 thou it took over 15 months which was fully habituated.

Mishaya Gorilla Family

Mishaya Gorilla Family is located in the Rushaga area with 7 members including 1 Silverback with one silverback (Mishaya) which is the only adult in the group.

Oruzogo Gorilla Family

Oruzogo gorilla group is located in Ruhija Sector with 23 members including 1 silverback and was habituated for trekking in 2011.

Nshongi Gorilla Family

Nshongi Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with 18 members and it was officially launched for trekking on 26th September 2009.

Kahungye Gorilla Family

Kahungye Gorilla group located in Rushaga area with 13 members with 3 silverbacks which are the only ones named. The dominant Silverback is called Rumansi and the group was opened for travelers in gorilla tracking in 2011.

Bweza Gorilla Family

Bweza Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga sector with 9 individuals including 1 silverback known as Bweza. Bweza split out from Nshongi family where it started its own group.

Busingye Gorilla Family

Busingye Gorilla Family is located in Rushaga with 9 members including 1 silverback and is the newest group to break away from Kahungye family in June 2012.

Kyaguriro Gorilla family

Kyaguriro Gorilla group is located in Ruhija with 20 individuals who feature a fascinating history which is an attraction of itself, and it’s known as Kyaguriro group A and B, this explains that the group’s habituated in 1995,

Bikyingi Gorilla Family      

From Critically endangered to endangered – Mountain Gorillas safarisBikyingi Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga area in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with 21 individuals including 1 silverback. The only silverback and leader of the group was named the same as his group, Bikyingi and he is very friendly to all his young ones.

Christmas Gorilla family

Christmas Gorilla group is the newest family in the Nkuringo region makes up three gorilla families in the Nkuringo sector, with 9 members and one dominant silverback known as Christmas.

Mukiza gorilla family  

Mukiza gorilla family is located in the Ruhija sector and it was one of the silverbacks in Kyaguriro which splits out. The family has 10 members

Kutu gorilla family

Kutu gorilla family is located in the Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with 8 members and one dominant silverback as the head of the family.

Mucunguzi gorilla family

Mucunguzi gorilla family is located in the Rushaga sector with 8 members dominantly female; it splits from Bweza after a serious fight Mucunguzi is the head of the family

Tourism has also helped very much in the conservation of these gorillas with gorilla permits at $1,500 in Rwanda and $ 700 in Uganda for just an hour.

However, visitors would have to trek for hours to find the gorillas.

Our tour Specialists have over the years accumulated experience in organizing Gorilla Safaris. You can trust us to organize for you a remarkable gorilla trekking trip to watch gorillas.

Part of the payment you make will helps conserve the mountain gorillas.

Mountain Gorilla Safaris – All you need to know before Your gorilla tour

Mountain Gorilla Safaris – All you need to know before Your gorilla tour

All you need to know for a memorable Mountain Gorilla Safari

Mountain gorilla trekking is a wonderful experience that will give you a chance to get close to the largest primate also known as the gentle giants in its natural habitat.

The 2018 gorilla census shows that there are over 1000 mountain gorilla still in existence in the whole world today.

Mountain Gorilla Safaris – All you need to know before Your gorilla tourMountain gorilla population has increased, there is a steady growth in the wild mountain gorillas for the past few years which is the greatest news for the conservationists in Africa and in the world.

Gorillas are also the closest living relatives to man, but then again humans are the greatest threat to the survival of these gorillas.

Understanding Mountain Gorillas

Gorillas are the largest of the great apes and share a percentage of their biological makeup with humans.

Gorillas used to inhabit a swathe of land that cut right across central Africa, but the last remaining eastern mountain gorillas’ number just over 1,000 gorillas reside in the Virunga Massif (Rwanda’s Virunga, Congo’s Volcanoes and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park)

This is in accordance with the World Wildlife Fund and over 459 gorilla populations are found in the dense forests of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as of December 2018 according to the Bwindi Gorilla Census results released in December 2018.

When to go Mountain Gorilla Trekking?

There are no specific seasons or months you can trek mountain gorillas, this means you can go on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda at any time of your choosing.

The gorilla tracking experience will be incredible no matter when you go, but there are advantages to going at different times of the year.

It’s generally easier to track gorillas in the rainy season.

The busiest months in the mountains are from December to February and July to September.

Gorilla trekking experience in Uganda 2020

Uganda gorilla trekking is well known as a once in a lifetime experience giving you the opportunity to get a close encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

For your entire gorilla safari, Uganda remains the most affordable gorilla trekking destination compared to Rwanda where gorilla permit costs $1500 per person.

Where to Track Gorillas

  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda)
  • Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda)
  • Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)
  • Virunga National Park (DR Congo)

Gorilla trekking permit costs-prices 2020

It is very true that Uganda does not invest so much in marketing its gorilla tourism but there has been a boom in the demand for Uganda gorilla permits, this is simply because of the highly competitive price.

Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs only $700 per trek, for those who are interested to know the price of a gorilla permit in Rwanda,

Rwanda gorilla trekking permit go for $1500 per person and you are allowed to spend one hour with mountain gorillas

DR-Congo has the cheapest gorilla permits, one permit can go for as low as $400 per person.

Fitness as a mountain gorilla trek requirement

With the combination of mud, steep hills and altitude, gorilla tracking is hard work.

Although gorillas sometimes wander near the visitor’s centers and might be found quickly, you’re far more likely to be hiking for two to four hours, and some trackers have wandered across the mountains for an entire day.

What to carry

For the most part, you don’t need anything special beyond the usual outdoor essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and food and water (enough for the whole day, just in case).

Mountain Gorilla Safaris – All you need to know before Your gorilla tourMountain boots are an important tool to carry.

Some people like rubber boots because they keep the mud and fire ants at bay, but they have no ankle support.

Plan for rain no matter what month you’re tracking because gorillas live in rainforests.

It’s recommended you also carry a sweeter.

You may have to trudge through thorns and stinging nettle, so trousers and long-sleeved shirts with some degree of heft may save you some irritation.

For the same reason, garden gloves can come in handy.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations

  • Anyone with an illness cannot track gorillas. In Rwanda, you’ll get a full refund if you cancel because of illness and produce a doctor’s note, while in Uganda, you’ll get back half.
  • Eating and smoking near the mountain gorillas are prohibited.
  • If you have to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and turn your head.
  • Flash photography is banned; turn off the auto-flash.
  • Speak quietly and don’t point at the gorillas or make sudden movements; they may see these as a threat.
  • Don’t litter in the park
  • Keep a few meters back from the gorillas and promptly follow your guide’s directions about where to walk.
  • When faced with a charging silverback, never, ever run away, crouch down until he cools off.
  • Children under 15 years of age aren’t allowed to visit the gorillas in the jungle.

A mountain gorilla safaris are one of the most memorable safaris one could every take. The journey also known as the “trek” to see the mountain gorillas can be a hectic one but very rewarding

Trust the experts to organize a mountain gorilla safari for you. Get in touch with us in case of any inquiries.

 

Uganda Wildlife Sanctuaries

Uganda Wildlife Sanctuaries

A Look At The Abundant Wildlife Sanctuaries

If you really want to take a short/long break from the pressures of the modern home far from home, Uganda wildlife Wildlife Sanctuaries are definitely the right destination.

There is an abundance of wildlife and wildlife sanctuaries that provide incredible tours throughout the country to suit the taste of every individual.

The Abundance of Wildlife Sanctuaries in Uganda - Uganda SafarisThe lush expanse of the tropical rain forest, shimmering lakes, and rivers filled with aquatic life is a true adventure.

In addition to this, the glacial peaks of the Ruwenzori Mountain ranges provide a unique landscape.

Uganda has a tropical climate allowing travelers to visit the country any time of the year. The hottest months are between the months of December to February.

One-third of Uganda’s land is covered by water. This provides an ideal home to aquatic life such as fish, crocodiles, hippos, birds, and plants.

For instance, Lake Mburo National Park is located in the southern part of the country. Covering an area of 260 square kilometers, this park has a rich biodiversity.

With over 500 mammal species recorded in the country, 68 of these mammals live in this park.

This includes the Zebra, Antelope, Topi, Buffalo, Leopard, Hyena, Eland, Jackal, Impala and many others.

There are five lakes within this park which attracts many hippos, crocodiles and over 310 different types of birds.

Some of these birds include; Fish Eagle, Heron, Pelican, and Little Brown Birds.

Kipepeo Valley National Park is located on the Uganda border with Kenya and Sudan.

This park covers an area of approximately 1500 square kilometers and it is one of the most spectacular parks in the country.

Due to the huge latitude range and different weather conditions, the flora in this area is diverse.

Vegetation in this area ranges from open tree Savannah, mountain forest in the high region and dense acacia forest along the Lorupei river.

The flora diversity in this park attracts abundant wildlife. In fact, this park has the most concentration of animal species in the country.

There are over 80 different types of animals and 58 different types of birds in this area. Twenty-eight of these animal ZEBRA PARADISEspecies are not found anywhere else in Uganda.

The hills and rock out-crops give the park a beautiful landscape.

Semuleki national park, located on the western side of Uganda has the most breathtaking views.

Covering an area of 220 square kilometers, this park has a flat landform which ranges from 670 – 760 meters above the sea level.

Most areas of this park are flooded with water during the rainy season since all the surrounding streams and rivers drain their waters in this park.

In addition to this, the poor drainage and photography of this area contribute to the flooding.

The main attractions in this park include; forest juggle walk, hot springs, bird watching, viewing of the primates and thrill meandering of the Semuliki River.

Uganda is a sanctuary for a lot of wildlife including, rare species of Rhinos, snakes birds and so much more.

Friendly Gorillas Safaris is your friendly tour operator to help you uncover all these rare spices and more. Click here to inquire or chat directly with us on our realtime chat platform.

Uganda Safaris Tips – How to have the best of your Uganda Safaris

Uganda Safaris Tips – How to have the best of your Uganda Safaris

Uganda is a landlocked country and popularly known as the pearl of Africa. It is gifted with wildlife, the source of the Nile that flows from Lake Victoria northwards to the Mediterranean Sea.

Due to conservation policies, Uganda’s Wildlife has highly increased in the past years.

A safari to Uganda surely will give you a chance to see its spectacular wildlife experience.

As you begin your Wildlife Safari to Uganda, be sure not to miss Bwindi Impenetrable forest.

It’s famous for its significant gorilla population in Uganda. Uganda wildlife safari guides have vast knowledge about the movements of these gorillas, so be sure to find them on your trek.

Wildlife abundance - A must visit destination in AfricaThey help you discover the rare yet endangered wildlife species in their habitat with ease.

They also assist vacationers enjoying and observing the wildlife and the way they live.

Gorillas are friendly to the visitors, and it is also adventurous to watch and spend some time with them.

While tracking the Gorillas and chimpanzees, you also come across other endangered wildlife species as well.

On your safari, you will be able to see the colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabeys as well as the bush baboons.

Friendly Gorillas safari offers customized days of safari in Uganda that are combined with exploring many national parks and game reserves in Uganda.

Travelers get to see wildlife diversity that includes lions, zebras, buffaloes, elephants, leopards, baboons, giraffes, cheetahs, Uganda kobs, hippos, waterbucks, bushbucks, bush pigs, chimpanzees and many more.

Tips to having the best out of you Pearl of Africa Safari - Uganda SafarisMurchison Falls National park and the waterfall within it is another exciting destination for travel enthusiasts.

Uganda is also famous for bird watching and one can do this activity in areas like Budongo Forest, Mabamba game reserve, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, and Kibale forest.

Besides the wildlife, your Safari to Uganda will enable you to interact with the local people and also take part in their cultural activities.

The evenings are spent being entertained by the local people with their traditional dances and songs.

Your wildlife safari involves many activities including hiking different mountains, fishing in Lake Victoria and River Nile in Murchison Falls National park, tracking and trekking the gorillas and also cycling through distinctive Kabale village.

you might be interested in knowing more about Africa and Uganda as a country, don’t be shy get in touch with us today or send your inquiry. We will be happy to reply.

THE ZEBRA PARADISE – LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

THE ZEBRA PARADISE – LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Covering an area of 370 km2, Lake Mburo National park is the smallest park among the savanna national parks in Uganda.

Nevertheless, Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda.

Why I call it the Zebra Paradise?

Most of the Zebra population in Uganda is found in and around Lake Mburo national park. This provides the best zebra viewing opportunity on a safari in Uganda. The park is dotted with the black and white strip coated mammal.

The type of zebra found in this park is known as the Bruchell’s Zebra. You cannot miss the sight of these amazing and unique mammals while on either a game drive or nature walk (walking safari) in Lake Mburo NP.

Other wildlife in Lake Mburo National park includes:

Over 60 mammal species (zebras inclusive) are found in this park namely;

  • The Elands :
  • Impalas
  • Topis
  • Giraffes
  • Leopard
  • Monkeys
  • Hyena
  • Warthogs
  • Waterbucks and Bushbucks
  • Buffaloes
  • Baboons
  • Hippos

to mention but a few.

The park is also home to a wide ray of birds consisting of about 350 bird species which include water birds, forest and savanna birds. The key species include:

  • Red faced barbet
  • The endemic African fin footZEBRA PARADISE
  • The rare Shoe bill stork
  • African wattled Lapwing
  • Brown chested Lapwing
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Pied Kingfishers
  • Malachite kingfishers
  • Saddle billed stork
  • White winged warbler
  • Bare faced go away bird
  • Crowned cranes
  • Rufuos billed heron 

What to do while on Safari in Lake Mburo National Park:

  • Game drives: Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to roam the park in search of wildlife. You will definitely not miss out on seeing the Zebras. The park has a good network of game drive trails.
  • Boat cruise: Explore the wildlife rich banks of Lake Mburo on a 2 hour boat cruise. Expected sightings may include schools of hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes and water birds (colorful kingfishers, mighty fish eagles, African fin foot)
  • Bird watching: Lake Mburo’s key birding spots include swampy valleys and viewing platforms near the salt licks and in the forest.
  • Guided nature walks: Another level of experience, the once in a life time kind. Imagine walking on the same ground with the wild animals. Well this is possible as long as you are accompanied by a ranger guide.
  • Horseback riding: An exciting and unique way of exploring the park.

CONCLUSION

Lake Mburo is the only park that contains impalas and the only one in western Uganda with Burchell’s zebra and the eland (largest antelope).

For travelers heading to Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Lake Mburo can be added in as either a stopover, or sleep over.

And to the wildlife adventurers who do not have much time on their schedule for travel, this is the best park for you as you can take a 2 days trip to the park.

Take a trip to The Zebra Paradise.

:(