Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the underrated tourist destinations in East Africa. This tropical rain forest offers for an unforgettable gorilla trekking, a wildlife safari experience that do not miss on traveler’s bucketlist.
Nestled in the heart of Africa, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest stands out as one of the four exceptional African parks where you can encounter mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. As Uganda’s premier gorilla trekking destination, this remarkable park is home to an impressive population of over 459 mountain gorillas and boasts of 20 habituated gorilla groups that can be visited by tourists.
In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey to Bwindi, unraveling the wonders of this extraordinary park and providing you with all the essential information you need to plan your own gorilla trek. From understanding the significance of mountain gorillas as a unique and endangered species on our planet to uncovering the breathtaking landscapes that serve as their sanctuary, we’ll delve into every aspect of this remarkable experience.
We will guide you through the necessary preparations, including permits, accommodations, and logistics, ensuring that you have a seamless and memorable trip. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first African safari, this guide will equip you with valuable insights and practical tips to make the most of your time in Bwindi.
Let’s dive into the enchanting world of Bwindi National Park and uncover the secrets of gorilla trekking in one of the most captivating destinations on Earth.
Is gorilla trekking in Bwindi safe?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is safe and secure. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is well-protected by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) park rangers who work together with security organs in the country and cross borders to ensure safety of not only mountain gorillas but also visitors.
Best time of the year to travel to Bwindi for gorilla trekking
Bwindi enjoys favorable weather and climatic conditions throughout the year. However, for an unforgettable gorilla trekking experience, the most ideal time is during the dry season. This season offers several advantages, including easier movement within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in search of gorillas. The ground is drier, and the vegetation is less dense compared to the wet season.
The dry season in Bwindi National Park typically spans from December to February and June to September. These months provide excellent opportunities for trekking and observing the majestic gorillas in their natural habitat. On the other hand, the rainy season prevails from March to May and October to November.
By planning your gorilla visit during the dry season, you can maximize your chances of encountering these incredible creatures while enjoying optimal trekking conditions. The drier ground and clearer paths will enhance your overall experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the wonders of Bwindi’s extraordinary wilderness
How long can it take to track gorillas in Bwindi?
Gorilla tracking in Bwindi is an unpredictable adventure, and therefore, there is no standard duration. On average, however, it can take anywhere between 2 to 6 hours, depending on various factors. These factors include the hiking speed of the visitors, the nature of the habitat, and the location of the gorillas within the park.
The time spent searching for mountain gorillas typically includes one hour of close encounter and photography, allowing you to observe these majestic creatures up close and capture precious memories.
It’s important to keep in mind that while the tracking duration may vary, the experience itself is undoubtedly worth every moment spent. The anticipation, the thrill of the search, and the awe-inspiring encounter with gorillas make for an extraordinary adventure that will leave a lasting impression.
Prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey as you venture through the lush landscapes of Bwindi in pursuit of these remarkable creatures. The experience is bound to be both humbling and exhilarating, offering you a rare glimpse into the world of the mountain gorillas
How and when to book a gorilla permit?
To visit the mountain gorillas in Bwindi, it is essential to obtain a gorilla permit. It is highly recommended to book your gorilla permit well in advance, ideally between 2 to 6 months or even a year before your intended visit. This proactive approach helps you avoid the stress that can arise from booking permits during the peak season when demand is high.
Booking a gorilla permit can be done through a reliable tour operator on the ground or directly with the reservation team at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Both options offer a convenient way to secure your permit and ensure a smooth experience.
It’s important to note that the pricing for gorilla permits varies depending on the visitor’s status. For foreign non-residents visiting Bwindi National Park, each valid gorilla permit costs USD 700 per person. Foreign residents can obtain permits at a price of USD 600, while East African citizens are eligible for permits priced at shs. 250,000.
By booking your gorilla permit ahead of time, you not only secure your spot for this extraordinary adventure but also allow yourself ample time to plan your trip and make the necessary arrangements. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to witness the majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Book your gorilla permit early and embark on a life-changing journey in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
How well you should prepare for gorilla trekking –what to pack?
The essentials to consider for your Bwindi gorilla trekking tour include a rain jacket, insect repellents, a camera, packed lunch, bottled water, long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, a sweater, gardening gloves, and more.
Guidelines to follow
- Don’t scare the gorillas –therefore keep low your voice.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the gorillas, about 8-10 meters
- Don’t touch gorillas
- When a gorilla charges at you look down to show submissiveness and follow the park guide’s instructions.
- The use of a flashlight camera isn’t acceptable.
- Keep the forest clean
- A maximum of 8 guests are allowed to visit one family of gorillas in Bwindi
- The park guide leads all visitors to see gorillas.
- The acceptable age limit for gorilla trekking is 15.