You are probably aware that Gorilla tracking safari in Uganda is one of the most exciting activates you shouldn’t miss when you visit Uganda.
95% of travelers who encounter Uganda Gorillas have confirmed the niceness of tracking gorillas in Uganda other than in Rwanda or Congo.
The below well-crafted information will ensure your decision to embark on this exciting activity a successful one.
Ok. Let’s get starts!
What is Gorilla Tracking?
Simply put, Gorilla safari refers to the act of trying to find a given habituated mountain gorilla family.
The word Gorilla tracking is often used interchangeably with Gorilla trekking (A walk when tracing for a habituated Gorilla family – especially when being guided by Game rangers).
Another major difference between Uganda gorilla trekking and tracking is that gorilla tracking is done by rangers or the advanced group using several methods to find gorillas and then once found, gorilla trekking will then follow. This does not however rule out the fact that when tracking gorillas, rangers also trek or hike hills to find them. Thus the difference between these words is minimal and one word can be used to mean the other.
Where can you do Gorilla safari in Uganda?
Gorillas especially Uganda mountain Gorillas are very adorable. However, they are very limited in number.
There are only two Mountain Gorilla trekking destinations in Africa, namely: Two in Uganda, Rwanda & the Lowland gorillas that are found in Virunga Mountains of Congo.
More than half of the world’s total population of mountain Gorillas is in Uganda.
Uganda being a small, peaceful and welcoming country with an affordable Mountain Gorilla permit costs, also considering the fact that it has more other attractions and activities you can undertake in addition to Gorilla tracking in Uganda, it’s therefore a preferred mountain Gorilla trekking destination.
In Uganda, you can track mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, found in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley, about 530km from Uganda or in Mghainga Forest National Park.
When to track Gorillas & What to Expect
Uganda is appropriate for travel any time of the year. Uganda is sunny most of the year with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees (84 degrees Fahrenheit). The typical annual temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius (78° Fahrenheit).
The rainy season is from March till May and October till November. Light rain season falls in November and December. Dry seasons are from December to February and June to August. The best time, the best months of the year would be December to late February and from June to September.
Nevertheless, you can track Mountain gorillas any time throughout the year. However, if you are a budget traveler, you might want to book gorilla permits for the period of April, May and November when the prices are discounted from $600 to $450 per person.
This is considered low period and for that reason Gorilla permits are always available.
What to expect in a Uganda gorilla safari?
Gorilla safari in Uganda is indeed charming and very enjoyable.
When preparing for a Gorilla safari, you should imagine undertaking an encounter that can yield a lifetime memory. Yes, it is that pleasant.
So, before you book your permit with Uganda Gorilla Tours Ltd., expect to meet the gentle giants. The largest and hugest primates.
Expect to meet with man’s closest and very adorable relatives.
How much is Gorilla safari in Uganda?
Without Gorilla Permits, you are not allowed to track gorillas in Uganda. The only body authorized to sell and distribute Gorilla permits is Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Limited numbers of permits are issued per day, so it is imperative to book in advance. Also, only persons over 15 years are able to acquire Gorilla permits.
In Uganda, Gorilla permits cost $600 per person per day as compare to $1,500 per person per day in Rwanda.
Although you can acquire Gorilla permits and travel independently, we recommend using an experienced tour company like Uganda Gorilla Tours that will handle Permit bookings, arrange accommodation and transportation.
How is Gorilla tracking done in Uganda?
You should be prepared to hike for two to four hours though when it’s your lucky day, you can bump into gorillas in less time.
Pro tip: Mountains gorillas live in an altitude from 2000 to 4300 meters above sea level, so lowlanders are prone to feel the effects on their breathing and heat beat rate.
Your guide will machete a path through the underground as you climb and can expect to get muddy from the ever-present cloud –forest mist.
Good hiking boots are essential and you will surely need a light rain jacket.
We also recommend you wear long sleeves and tuck pants into socks to keep jungle citers out. You’ll probably appreciate wearing durable gardening gloves too.
Free tip: It’s rather a tiresome walk and therefore, if you are carrying a heavy rucksack or bag, it’s worthwhile employing a porter for about $20 a day. This ensures you slip and slide without worrying about dropping your camera and leaves your hand free to support yourself.
Once the troop is located, you have one full hour of enjoyment as you observe, interact and encounter these amazing apes. It’s the moment you have been waiting for, so make the best of it.
Enjoy the thrill. It’s totally a lifetime and truly remarkable encounter.
When with gorillas, you are advised not to initiate interactions, though since they are curious, they often come near and touch people. Sit quietly and observe the great apes and it will be the fastest hour of your life!
After one full hour of interaction with these amazing apes, retreat from the activity and return to the starting point.
The above information is an updated one and can be trusted as a guide to a successful gorilla safari tour in Uganda.
The summarized expectation, cost, when and how to acquire a gorilla permit.
However, the experience can never be fully expressed in this short article. To encounter the real adventure, you need to visit Uganda mountain gorillas.