Gorilla trekking safaris and tour packages in Uganda take you to the dense tropical forests of Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. The hike involves getting a bit untidy, tired and trailing through the “impenetrable” forest in search for the habituated gorilla family under the help of an experienced local guide. Uganda gorilla safaris are interesting and leaves visitors with unforgettable story to narrate in life!
Visitors looking for gorilla tours in Uganda are recommended to carry long sleeved shirts, lightweight and waterproof clothes, binoculars, camera, gardening cloves, insect repellent with DEET, and a good-sized backpack to keep all their essentials. Walking sticks are always provided at your respective campsites and lodges by the local operators to ease movement into the forest while searching for mountain gorillas.
In Bwindi forest national park, Uganda gorilla safaris are done in four sectors that is to say Nkuringo, Rushaga, Buhoma and Ruhija regions.
Buhoma is the most popular gorilla trekking sector in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and it was the first region to be established for gorilla trekking safaris by Uganda Wildlife Authority. This sector has well developed trails to enable trackers trail through the forest much easier in search for the gorillas.
Besides gorilla trekking, visitors can book gorilla habituation experiences if they intend to stay more hours with the gorillas. A standard gorilla trek in Uganda encompasses trailing through dense forests, looking for the allocated habituated gorilla group and after encountering the family, spend a full hour observing a particular family. However, with gorilla habituation experience; you will spend four hours with a gorilla family and the activity is only done in the southern region of Bwindi impenetrable national park of Rushaga.
Well, the gorilla families open for habituation experience are less used to humans if compared to the normal gorilla treks but the experience is still completely safe, and the benefit of spending more time with gorillas makes the entire trip amazing and rewarding. Guests understand their behaviors and social dynamics better, as well as taking incredible photographs without being rushed. Currently, a standard gorilla trekking permit costs $700 whereas the gorilla habituation experience permit goes for $1,500 per person per trek.
Now if you are looking for the best time to book gorilla safaris and trips in Uganda is during the drier seasons of January, February, June, July, August, September and December. During this period, the trails tend to be free from mud and allow clear spotting of the gorillas due to scotching vegetation. Unfortunately, the hotel rates tend to be higher compared to wet season. If you are planning to take a gorilla safari during this time, we recommend to book your permits at least six months in advance to avoid any disappointments. Mosquitoes tend to leave the wilderness and go to cooler places like hotel rooms to hide from the heat therefore, don’t forget to carry your insect repellant and sleeping under mosquito nets.
The wet period of March to May and October to September also comes with advantages especially if you are planning to do an African gorilla tour such as less crowds and crazy hotel discounts. If you are a budget traveler, this is the best time for you to travel to Uganda for gorilla safaris.