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Bwindi Gorilla – Permit, Gorilla trekking & Bwindi accommodation

Bwindi Gorilla – Permit, Gorilla trekking & Bwindi accommodation

Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Safari

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Uganda’s most popular gorilla trekking destination.
The majority of visitors to Uganda come to see mountain gorillas, and Bwindi is the most open location to do so.
There are numerous gorilla trekking tours available in Bwindi.

There are 11 habituated gorilla groups in the park, as well as some semi-habituated gorilla groups.
Four different trailheads serve as different tourist centers from which gorillas can be monitored in the vast and pristine rainforest.

Nature walks and birdwatching are among the other activities available.
There is also the choice of visiting a Batwa group.
The Batwa people were the original inhabitants of the forest, and when it was gazetted as a national park, they were evicted from their homes.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, part of the vast green swath of rainforest that envelops the Rift Valley mountains shared by Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is one of Africa’s most biologically diverse forests.
And, thankfully, it’s not as difficult to get to as its name implies.

Bwindi Gorilla trekkingBwindi is Uganda’s best gorilla trekking destination, as it is home to roughly half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas.
Professional guides will lead you deep into this teeming environment in search of habituated gorilla families, where you will spend an unforgettable hour with the greatest of the great apes.
The regular success rate of finding  Bwindi gorillas is about 95%, demonstrating the positive effect of these conservation efforts.

A Bwindi safari isn’t all about gorillas: there are 11 other primate species and a slew of mammals, from shy forest elephants to massive forest hogs.
The bird watching is fantastic – keep an eye out for any of the 23 endemics among the 350 bird species reported – and even the most experienced of nature lovers will be awestruck by the 200 butterfly species found in Bwindi.

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a common stop on most Ugandan safari itineraries, and it’s easy to combine with the country’s savannah reserves like Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Bwindi National Park is accessible by road or air. When planning a Bwindi Gorilla trek by land, a 4×4 safari car is recommended to help you navigate the hills.

Driving from Kampala to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park will take approximately 8 to 10 hours.
You can travel from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park in the north for 2 to 3 hours, from Kabale to the south for one to two hours, or from Kampala to Mbarara for one to two hours.
You’ll stop at Queen Elizabeth National Park to see the unusual tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector or at the Equator for some unforgettable photo opportunities.

The Kampala-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Buhoma sector is one of the easiest and most convenient routes for connecting from Kampala to Rukungiri on a tarmac road and then to Buhoma on a murram road.
There are numerous other options.
You can also take advantage of public transportation, especially the daily buses that run from Kampala to Butogota.
However, you will need to hire a car or a Boda Boda to assist you in getting to the park.

You can fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrip and then land.
Visitors who choose to visit the Buhoma sector can board charter planes and arrive in Kayonza.

Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Cost

If you are planning to visit Bwindi for gorilla tracking, transport cost is important to consider.
For starters, a Bwindi gorilla permit costs $700, which is significantly less than Rwanda’s $1500 fee.
A portion of the funds from the sale of gorilla licenses is used to fund gorilla conservation and local projects aimed at enhancing the living conditions of park visitors.

Through paying for the permits, you are assisting in the protection of gorillas in Bwindi and giving back to groups such as the Batwa that have been impacted by government gorilla conservation activities and actions.THE FIRST FAMILY

Bwindi Gorilla permits are in high demand and must be reserved months in advance to ensure availability, particularly if traveling during peak season.

You must also decide which sector you would like to visit.
You’ll need to budget for transportation, lodging, and VISA fees in addition to the gorilla permit.
The overall cost of a gorilla safari in Bwindi is about 1000USD for a budget gorilla safari and between 1400 USD and 1900USD for a luxury gorilla safari.
Gorilla permits are available at the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s offices in Kampala and at the park’s entrance.

It is possible to plan your own gorilla safari and drive to Bwindi in your own vehicle.
However, based on our own experience, we suggest hiring a good tour company to plan your travel, such as Mission Africa Safaris.

Lodging options in Bwindi

In order to go on a gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park, you must first choose the right lodging.
There are a variety of high-end and low-cost lodging options available.
The final decision is completely up to you, your preferences, and your budget.
Luxury lodges can cost up to $900, while budget lodges can cost as little as $80.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most well-known hotels and lodges:

Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort and Campsite has rooms for all budgets, including a budget, midrange, and luxury.
Standard quarters, tents, and campsites are available.

Bwindi Lodge: Located near the park’s entrance, this lodge offers comfortable beds and massages.
Walking takes just ten minutes to enter the park’s entrance.

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge: This is a budget-friendly lodge with birdwatching opportunities in the immediate vicinity. The lodge is among the few ones that give you the best Bwindi gorilla trekking experience.

Buhoma Community Campsite: With spacious self-contained quarters, it’s ideal for budget travelers.Chobe

Buhoma Lodge is situated within the Bwindi Forest Park and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Silverback Lodge is a self-contained luxury and midrange lodge located in Bwindi’s Buhoma field.
The lodge organizes outdoor events for interested tourists the day before or after monitoring the gorillas, such as nature walks in local communities.

Mountain of Clouds: The gorilla lodge is situated in the park’s southern region and features eight self-contained stone bedrooms with local objects and a fireplace.

Gorilla Forest Camp is ideally situated near the park’s entrance. Over 7 tents with individual bathrooms are elevated and supported by wooden platforms at the Campsite.

Mahogany Springs: As the name implies, the resort is made of mahogany and provides luxurious accommodations.

Other activities in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its great diversity of flora and fauna and it’s not just about gorilla safaris.
Visitors to Bwindi will participate in a variety of other activities, including the following:-
Seeing the Batwa pygmies: To see the original people who lived in the Bwindi forest for thousands of years before being evicted and relocated outside the park.
Visiting the Batwa pygmies is a perfect way to learn about their culture and participate in traditional dances while listening to stories about how they used to hunt and collect fruits in the jungle. Best safari activities to look out for in 2020 - Uganda safaris

Mountain gorillas and chimpanzees can only be seen in Bwindi forest, which is the only place in the world where they can both be seen.
Visitors to Bwindi can see chimps and baboons while on gorilla tours.
Bushbabies, Blue Monkeys, Red-Tailed Monkeys, L’ Hoests Monkeys, Ververt monkeys, and Colobus Monkeys are among the smaller primates that can be seen on a primate safari in Bwindi.

Wildlife viewing: While gorilla tracking is the main attraction in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, other wild animals such as forest elephants, leopards, bats, jackals, forest duikers, and giant forest hogs can also be seen.

Birdwatching: Besides seeing Bwindi Gorillas, you can opt for a remarkable Birding tour because Bwindi forest is one of the best birdwatching destinations in Uganda.

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.

 

Mountain Gorilla diets. What do Gorillas Eat? – Mountain Gorilla safaris

Mountain Gorilla diets. What do Gorillas Eat? – Mountain Gorilla safaris

The Mountain Gorilla diets, what do Gorillas Eat and what are the Gorilla subspecies?

Gorillas are the largest living primates on earth, they are majorly found in central and east Africa. They function in a well-developed social structure and often exhibit behavior and emotions similar to that of humans.

Gorillas are classified into two main species, namely the western gorillas and eastern gorillas. The two species are named based on the location of their respective natural habitats as eastern gorillas are found in the forests of East Africa while the jungles of West Africa are home to the western gorillas.

The two gorilla species are further categorized into four subspecies; western gorillas are comprised of the western lowland subspecies and the cross-river subspecies while eastern gorillas are made up of the mountain subspecies and the eastern lowland subspecies.

Each of the four subspecies of the gorilla has a distinctive dietary characteristic. The different types of diets in the gorilla’s subspecies are attributed to the differences in the type of vegetation found in their respective ranges of habitats.

A Silverback Gorilla is a mature male Mountain Gorilla of East Africa. It weighs between 136 and 195 kg. He is incredibly strong and lean. He has massive canines’ teeth and the female gorillas are about 169.5 kg.

Gorillas move in groups that can range from four individuals to more than 40 individuals. A Silverback leads and holds the position of being a leader and alpha male of the group for years.

What Do Gorillas Eat Meat?

Gorillas mainly stick to a vegetarian diet, feeding on stems, bamboo shoots, and fruits. Western lowland gorillas, however, also have an appetite for termites and ants, and break open termite nests to eat the larvae.

A study in Cameroon by Isra Deblauwe showed that gorillas have a high frequency of insect-eating and a high prey diversity, even higher than those of chimpanzees.

An adult gorilla can consume 18 to 20 kilograms of vegetation and fruit a day.

To be able to process these masses of plant material, gorillas have very strong chewing muscles. Their teeth are much like human teeth, except for the very long, pointed canines of adult gorilla males.

The males do not use those teeth for feeding but for fighting against competing males.

Gorillas do not eat meat.

Mountain Gorillas

As the name suggests, mountain gorillas are a subspecies of gorilla that inhabits mountainous regions of East and Central Africa.

Mountain Gorilla diets. What do Gorillas Eat and what are the Gorilla types?It is estimated that there are 1000 individuals of this subspecies remaining and they are found in Virunga range of extinct volcanic mountains on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda, and in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

The extensive variety of plants in the mountain gorilla’s diet is the largest variety that has been recorded in any gorilla subspecies.

The mountain gorilla’s diet is made up of stems and leaves which account for an estimated 86% of the mountain gorilla’s diet.

The mountain Gorillas also eat plant roots and flowers. While the mountain gorilla primarily subsists on a vegetarian diet, the subspecies also occasionally feed on grubs, snails, and ants.

Cross River Gorillas

One of the two subspecies which make up the western gorilla species is the cross-river subspecies which get its name from their habitat as they are found in the Cross River’s upstream area.

The subspecies are the rarest in the world with its wild population being comprised of an estimated 250 individuals making it a critically endangered species.

While closely related to the western lowland subspecies, the cross river gorilla has distinctive characteristics including a few morphological characteristics seen in its skull and cranial vaults.

The cross-river subspecies reside in the forests of western Africa usually preferring areas found between 328 feet and 6,683 feet in altitude.

Cross river gorilla feeds on fruits, however, in the months between September and January when fruits are scarce, the gorillas move to a different diet made up of stems, leaves, and tree barks.

Western Lowland Gorillas

This is known to be the smallest gorilla subspecies. The adult male Gorillas weigh an average of 140 kilograms and the adult female weighs an average of 90 kilograms.

However, the subspecies have the most extensive area range of all gorillas which encompasses part of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon, and the Republic of Congo.

Mountain Gorilla diets. What do Gorillas Eat and what are the Gorilla types?This species is still listed as critically endangered. Western lowland gorillas are exceptional in their ability to make tools from basic materials such as twigs, something that is yet to be observed in other gorilla subspecies in the wild.

Part of this subspecies diet are termites, ants, and other invertebrates which they dig up from holes in the ground.

Like all other gorillas, the western lowland subspecies are primarily herbivorous and mainly feed on fruits.

When fruits become scarce, the gorillas will feed on shoots, tree bark, and roots.

Eastern Lowland Gorillas

These gorillas are made up of two subspecies of mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas. Eastern lowland gorillas are found in the forests of Central and East Africa and usually inhabit areas of diverse altitudes ranging from lowland forests to mountainous rainforests.

Like all other gorillas, the eastern lowland subspecies are predominantly herbivorous and feed on fruits, stems, and leaves.

This subspecies does not feed on bananas, it only destroys banana plants to feed on the pith. This dietary behavior of the subspecies puts them in constant collision with humans particularly in areas where their natural range overlaps human settlement.

These Gorillas are listed to be critically endangered species. Their diet consists of termites, ants, and vegetation.

Inconclusion, Gorilla is considered to be the largest primate on earth and its diet is made up of a large number of leaves and some of them eat termites, ants, and break open termite nests to eat the larvae.

Taking up a wild gorilla’s eating habits can dramatically improve your health or may even add years to your life. Eating or including vegetables and fruits to your diet can reduce your risk for killer diseases like diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and dementia.

I wouldn’t recommend adding termites, ants and termite larvae to your diet, at least I know I wouldn’t add them to mine.

Take a trip to Uganda and discover more about the Mountain Gorilla diets and habits. At Friendly Gorillas Safaris we will be more than happy to organize your safari. For inquiries please click here.

Uganda increases gorilla permit cost from USD. 600 to 700 from July 2020.

Uganda increases gorilla permit cost from USD. 600 to 700 from July 2020.

Uganda increases gorilla permit cost from USD. 600 to 700 from July 2020.

As you might be aware, tracking the cute Uganda gorillas is not possible without a gorilla permit. It is also important to consider how difficult it can be to obtain gorilla tracking permits, particularly if the tour is scheduled on short notice and during peak season (July, August, September).

Uganda Wildlife Authority, a mandated body that governs wildlife (and is explicitly responsible for Uganda gorilla monitoring permits), has raised gorilla permit prices from USD600.00 to USD700.00 per person per trek for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park, following in the footsteps of Rwanda, which raised gorilla permit prices from USD750.00 to USD1500.00 in 2017.

This announcement was made at a consultative meeting hosted by AUTO, the Association of Uganda Tour Operators. Foreign residents with work permits will pay USD600 per gorilla permit per trek, while East Africans in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Southern Sudan will pay 250,000 shillings to see the endangered mountain gorillas.

While this is a welcome idea because it allows visitors to trek a gorilla family based on their age, physical condition, and interest, some gorilla families in Bwindi need at least a drive to the starting point.

This means that single travelers/backpackers can budget at least USD100.00 for their transfer to the starting point, while those who book all-inclusive tours with us do not have to worry because all transfers are always included in the package.

TIP: Make your reservation now to take advantage of the new gorilla permit prices of USD600 and USD500.

The announcement to raise Uganda gorilla permits to USD700 will not affect all bookings made before July 1st, 2020. This means that anyone who wants to visit Uganda at the same old price can book their gorilla permit before that date. Friendly Gorillas Safaris works with all clients who contact us to check availability, reserve, and secure these gorilla permits on their behalf.

Uganda remains an affordable gorilla trekking destination in AfricaUganda gorilla habituation

Amidst this increment in price of Uganda gorilla permit. Uganda remains the most affordable and safe mountain gorilla trekking destination. Democratic Republic of Congo which is the most affordable of all the three gorilla trekking nations is still not very safe to visit leaving Uganda and Rwanda to compete among themselves.

Rwanda gorilla permits being at USD1500.00 per person per trek in Volcanoes National Park, Uganda remains a better place to visit mountain gorillas.

How to book your Uganda gorilla permits

Friendly Gorillas safaris remains your trusted partner when it comes to booking Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits. Friendly Gorillas safaris operates gorilla safari tours in Uganda and Rwanda are in position to secure your gorilla permits anytime of the year. All you need to do is to let us know of the of the actual dates when you intend to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda. We will check availability and number of gorilla permits on that particular date and get back to you. We are in position to hold these gorilla permits for seven days in the case of Uganda as we wait for you to make payment.

Once payment is made and proof sent to us, we will go ahead and purchase your gorilla permits using our credit and send you scanned copies for your records and perusal.

With Gorilla trekking being one of the most looked for tourist activity in Africa, gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly and as such there is always need to book these gorilla permits trekking in either Bwindi impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park or volcanoes National Park in advance at least 4-5 months. This helps in not missing out and then the rest of the services such as transport and accommodation can be arranged around the booked gorilla permits.

Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits inclusion;

  • All Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits include park entry fees for the respective national parks of Bwindi impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park and or Volcanoes National Park in Uganda and Rwanda respectively.
  • Most importantly, you are allowed to spend one hour with mountain gorillas while observing their behaviours and taking photographs.
  • Included as well are services of an armed ranger guide and trackers who will be with you in the forest looking for these rare but beautiful mountain gorillas.

Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits exclusions;

  • Transport and accommodation that must be booked independently.
  • Meals are also excluded from the USD. 700.

For all your 2019 and 2020 Uganda and Rwanda gorilla tours, do contact Friendly Gorillas safaris for tailor made safaris or visit our website to book any of our gorilla tours advertised.

You may choose from our Uganda gorilla tours starting from Entebbe or Our Bwindi gorilla tours starting and ending in Kigali. Uganda and Rwanda offer so many things to see and Friendly Gorillas safaris packages trips that are beyond mountain gorillas. You can visit Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth NP. Kidepo Valley or Lake Mburo for game viewing and boat cruises or visit any of the tribes of Uganda and Rwanda for a cultural experience while on your Uganda safari tour.

Why book your Uganda Rwanda gorilla tours with Friendly Gorillas safaris?

At Friendly Gorillas safaris we are passionate of what we do. We have invested so much in our office and field staff who handle our day to day office and field activities to make sure that your booking process as well as your safari meets your requirement as well as enjoying any given destination of your choice. Friendly Gorillas safaris is 100% owned and run by Local Ugandans who are knowledgeable in as far as Uganda and Rwanda are concerned.

We have been in operation for more than 5 years and are in position to assist in arranging memorable Uganda and Rwanda safari experiences.

We don’t only stop at excelling but all our tours are most affordable and value for money. Our tours are also designed to ensure that the community and the environment benefits.

Friendly Gorillas safaris is highly rated and recommended on trip Advisor as well as Safari bookings. For more details about encountering Uganda and Rwanda, Friendly Gorillas safaris should be your number one choice.

9 Top Facts about Bwindi Impenetrable National park

9 Top Facts about Bwindi Impenetrable National park

9 Top Facts about Bwindi Impenetrable National park

Located in southwestern Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular conservation areas and it is about 530km from Kampala by road.

Bwindi was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural world heritage site in 1994. Its size is approximately 321km2.

The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and is situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National Park. It is on the edge of the western Great Rift Valley.

Bwindi in the local language means impenetrable, named so to best explain the impenetrable nature. This forest is best known for gorilla trekking, and within this verdant forest you will also find a deep swamp.

On the lighter side, this forest is not very impassable but you can track through to see the endangered mountain gorillas which live here.  Other wildlife living within this forest include: chimpanzees and this is the only place where you will find the chimpanzees happily co-existing with the mountain gorillas.

Others animals include Vervet Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Red-Tailed Monkeys, the Pottos, Duiker Antelopes, Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Civets, L Hoests Monkeys, Blue, Bush babies, Bushpigs, Forest Hogs, Side-Striped Jackals, Clawless Otter, Golden Cats, Genets, bats to mention but a few.

There are an estimated 350 bird species and 310 species of trees several butterflies and the ferns. Among the wide variety of vegetation types including bamboo have made this habitat the best place to trekking gorillas.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi

The major activity in Bwindi is Gorilla tracking limited to a maximum of 8 people per particular gorilla group per day.

Gorillas have unique features and here are some of them;

Gorillas each have a unique nose print (humans too have unique fingerprints).

Gorillas have senses very similar to humans, including hearing, sight (they seem to be slightly nearsighted and to have color vision), smell, taste, and touch.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Gorilla trekkingGorillas’ hands are very much like ours; they have five fingers, including an opposable thumb. Their feet have five toes, including an opposable big toe. Gorillas can grasp things with both their hands and their feet.

The national park is a home to the highest population of mountain gorillas approximately 500, which is half of the world’s mountain gorillas. In total, there are thirty-six gorilla families thirteen of which have been habituated for trekking.

The habituated families include Mubare, Rushegura, and Habinyanja in Buhoma sector, Bitukura and Oruzogo in Ruhija sector, Mishaya, Nshongi, Bweza, Busingye and Kahungye families in Rushaga sector and Nkuringo in Nkuringo sector.

Permits must be booked before since they are on a very high demand all year round. Friendly Gorillas Safaris can help you secure yours before your safari.

Buhoma sector

Located in the northern part of the park, it is the most visited sector of the national park compared to other sectors.

The ease of access from kabala town and kihihi airstrip make it the best part of Bwindi to visit. Buhoma is the first sector where gorilla tourism was first done when Mubare family (Bwindi’s oldest gorilla family) was habituated in 1992 just a year after the establishment of Bwindi forest into a national park.

Besides gorilla trekking, travelers to Buhoma can also enjoy community visits to Batwa pygmies and Bakiga communities at the edge of the forest, hiking trails which include Munyaga trail, Waterfall trail, Rushura trail, River lvi trail and Muzabajiro loop trail among others.

Buhoma is also good for bird watching being a shelter for several bird species.

manage strenuous hikes.

Ruhija sector

Located in Eastern part of Bwindi forest national park, Ruhija is home to Kyaguriro family, Bitukura family, and Oruzogo family all available for trekking.

You will be able to see other primates such as elephants and several monkey species on the trail.

Nkuringo sector

Located in southern Bwindi, Nkuringo is a home to Nkuringo family. Sometimes the Bushaho gorilla family crosses from Rushaga to Nkuringo Nkuringo sector which is located on higher altitudes.

This sector is therefore recommended for the young travelers and the physically fit that can.

Rushaga sector

Located in southern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Rushaga is a home to 5 gorilla families.

The habituated gorilla families include Busingye, Bweza, Nshongi, Mishaya and kahungye all available for trekking.

Rushaga also offers gorilla habituation and two families named Bushaho and Bikyingi.

Rushaga is also a home to Lake Mutanda presenting an opportunity for travelers to have a boat cruise at the lake.

Trekking time
There is no specific time for trekking but it varies depending on the location and movement of the mountain gorillas. It can take from 30 minutes to six hours but it’s a great experience despite the time spent.

After reaching the mountain gorillas, travelers are allowed to spend an hour with the mountain gorillas after which they descend back to the starting point.

A distance of seven meters recommended between the mountain gorillas and the travelers to avoid the spread of spread of human wildlife diseases.

Dressing code
It is recommended to put on long sleeved shirts, a heavy pair of trousers , jackets, rain jeers, hiking boots and hand gloves.

The reason for such kind of dressing is due to the unpredictable weather conditions in the national park.

It is a tropical rain forest meaning that rain can shower at any time of the day despite the season. More still, the grounds can be slippery especially when it rains and in the early mornings, hence an advantage for those trekkers with hiking boots and hand gloves.

Birding

The park is home to many bird species including the short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed Sunbird.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park birdingThe most easily seen include the African Emerald Cuckoo, Common Bulbul, African Blue and White-tailed Blue Flycatchers and Red-headed Bluebill.

Birding usually takes place along the main trail, the Buhoma Waterfall Trail and along the bamboo zone and Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija.

The best time to visit
The weather in this park is unpredictable since it is a tropical rain forest. Therefore, the dry season is best to trek the gorillas since the grounds is not slippery.

However, trekking can also be done in the wet season

In conclusion, a visit to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a lifetime experience. Travelers should therefore visit the park with a great assurance of a life time experience.

It is good practice to know enough about a destination before travelling to it, this is why Friendly Gorillas Safaris has taken the time to avail to you the information about Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

For more information or inquiries click here.

Uganda chimp tracking, Uganda Chimpanzee safari, Chimp safari Uganda

Uganda chimp tracking, Uganda Chimpanzee safari, Chimp safari Uganda

THE CHIMPS OF UGANDA – CHIMP TRACKING

Just like the adorable Mountain Gorillas that are found in Uganda & Rwanda, chimpanzees are also an endangered species, with about 150,000 individuals left in the wilderness.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

What is Chimpanzee Tracking?

Chimpanzee Tracking (trekking) is the activity where Uganda chimp tracking undertaker with the help of a well trained & armed guide through the jungle following the trail left by a habituated chimpanzee family and when they find them, spend some time (usually an hour) with the chimps experiencing their cultures.

It’s important to note that Chimpanzees are close cousins to humans with almost 98% DNA; they live in huge communities of about 20-70 individuals with many family groups with one alpha male.

The Alpha male is the highest-ranking male that controls the group and maintains order during arguments, in chimpanzee society male chimps normally stay within their communities where they are born while females frequently move to the neighboring communities after reaching adolescence, Chimpanzees consume a variety of foods like fruits and plants that man eats and the fruit of fig trees.

A fully mature chimpanzee can weigh between 40-70 kg, while an adult female chimpanzee weighs between 25-50kg. The life expectancy of Chimpanzee is at 40-60 years.

In Uganda, the best thrilling spots for Chimpanzee tracking are Kibale Forest National Park and Budongo Forest National Park.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park

Uganda is by far the best Gorilla & Chimpanzee tracking destination in entire Africa with Kibale Forest National Park considered among the top 5 best chimpanzee tracking destinations in the world.

The Kibale Forest National Park, located in western Uganda, is known to be the home to the close relatives of humans, chimpanzees. It contains a diverse array of landscapes and Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of the pre-montane forest.

Kibale National Park is an eco-tourism and safari destination of high paramount, familiar for its population of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates. The park has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa. The park protects several well-studied, habituated communities of the common chimpanzees, as well as several species of Central African monkey including the Uganda mangabey, the Ugandan red colobus and the L’Hoest’s monkey. Other primates that are found in the park include the black-and-white colobus and the blue monkey.

Chimpanzee Habituation experience cost $220 per person for a full day chimpanzee habituation guided by researchers and armed  rangers/guides from Uganda  Wildlife Authority all park entries are also included in the price,  while Uganda chimpanzee tracking cost $150 per person both activities habituation and tracking are done in Kibale Forest National Park

The park boasts of many species of birds, including the olive long-tailed cuckoo, western tinkerbird, two species of pittas (African and green-breasted) and the African grey parrot.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Budongo Forest National Park

Budongo Forest Reserve is situated in the Western part of Uganda around a 4 hours drive from the Uganda capital Kampala directly before you enter the Murchison Falls National Park. Budongo Forest covers a zone of 793 sq km, 53% is finished montane woods and the other territory is field.

This forest reserve is home to various natural life species, for example, more than 359 flying creature species, 465 types of trees, 9 primate species, 289 butterfly species, and 24 types of mammals as well as 130 types of moths. Budongo woods is additionally well known for mahogany trees and a major number of Chimpanzees roughly 600 to 700 chimpanzees.

Budongo has 6 groups of chimpanzee permits available for tracking. There’s consistently a high possibility of seeing the primates in Budongo forest once you book a chimpanzee trekking permit.

Chimpanzee tracking time in Budingo Forest National Park;

Chimpanzee Trekking begins at 7:00 am as you are driven by well trained and armed guides in search of these amazing primates that share a DNA of about 98% with humans. Chimpanzee trekking can take you 30 minutes or even an entire day, depending on the last known region of these primates. The Budongo forest reserve is overseen both by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and the Jane Good all Institute.

Uganda Chimpanzee Tracking Rules and Regulations

  • Trackers with diseases such as diarrhea, cough, and flu may not be allowed to enter the park.
  • A distance of about 8-12m is important between you and the Chimpanzee.
  • Flash photography is not allowed.
  • Children below the age of 12 are not allowed to enter the park.

Chimpanzee safari tours in UgandaUganda chimpanzee population

Uganda hosts the biggest population of chimps in the whole world, which are found in Kibale forest National Park, Ngamba Island Chimp Sanctuary, Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve; Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park and Budongo forest.

In Uganda, it is possible to do safaris the traditional way and do chimp tracking or take part in a chimpanzee habituation experience with a ranger-guide.Chimpanzee safari in Uganda

Uganda’s temperate climate has made it easy for travelers to track Chimpanzees with ease. They can be tracked all year round in any of the parks where they are offering a truly wonderful safari experience while tracking them in the wild.

While in the forest, the ranger guide will lead travelers to the chimp and whereas some of the experienced ranger-guide will communicate with these chimps; mimicking their calls to locate where they are at that moment. After trekking through the forests, it is so thrilling to see how the chimpanzees react in the wilderness.

Besides, Kibale National Park, You can also track chimpanzees in Budongo Forest near Murchison Falls National Park, The Kalinzu & Kyambura Gorge near Queen Elizabeth National park and in the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee home.

If you are planning to visit man’s closest relative in their natural habitat, contact us and let’s arrange an amazing chimpanzee safari tour to any of the above destinations and also note that we can combine your chimp tour with other wildlife or gorilla packages to add thrilling experiences to your stay in Uganda.

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