Gorillas share 98% DNA with humans, and seeing them in the natural habitat is an honor. Uganda is so very proud to be home to these amazing animals!
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda a magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley.
This ancient rainforest is one of the few in Africa to have flourished and a home to half of the world’s endangered population of mountain gorillas. Looking into the expressive brown eyes of these giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter Uganda has to offer! Apart from gorilla trekking Tour, the park boosts of 90 mammal species, including 11 primates and prominent bird species. It is a treasure chest of flora and fauna with four gorilla groups currently available to be visited by only six persons per group on daily basis. However, strict rules have to be followed to prevent behavioral disturbances and transmission of diseases.
You leave Kampala in the morning and drive southwards. A first stop over at the Equator, a famous spot for photography. For the rest of the journey, view the long horned Ankole cattle, papyrus, Augur woodland and terraced landscape of Kigezi highlands on your way to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Lunch enroute in Mbarara town. Dinner and an overnight in Bwindi.
Gorilla tracking in the rain tropical forest After an early breakfast and briefing from the guides, set off for the gorilla tracking in the forest sanctuary. The activity starts at 8.00am. You need to carry packed lunch, drinking water, rain jacket and jungle boots while the rangers will provide you with a walking stick. The time taken to find the gorillas varies according to the movements of these marvelous primates. An encounter with an earth shaking 350pound silver back or a baby gorilla is very exciting and never forgotten experience! Dinner and overnight in Bwindi.
After breakfast, return to Kampala at leisure. Lunch enroute. The price will cost as listed in the box below and it is per person, however we discuss discount Price in November when the Gorilla Permits are cheaper.
- Remember to bring heavy leather gloves, stout hiking boots, long sleeves shirts, long pants, a light back-pack, and water-bottle for those tracking gorillas.
- Please note that there are limited gorilla permits available for each day of the year. We recommend that you start planning for this safari well in advance i.e. At least 6 months to one year or more, permits for 2019/2020 are now being sold so that permits can be applied for.
To apply for your gorilla permits we need to know your nationality, passport number, date of issue and expiry (valid passport is necessary), as well as your date of birth.
RULES AND REGULATIONS OF GORILLA TREKKING
Before departing on your gorilla tracking:
- A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
- Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas.
On the way to the gorillas:
- Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
- DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
- You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.
When you are with the gorillas:
- A 7 meter (21 feet) distance should be observed at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
- You must stay in tight group when you are near the gorillas.
- Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
- Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
- Sometimes the gorillas change. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
- Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
- Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
- The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
- After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.
General health rules:
Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might poses to them:
Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
- If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternate visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
- If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.
- Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.
- Do not leave any rubbish (e.g. food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
- If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.
What to bring on your Gorilla Safari?
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
- Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
- Carry a packed lunch and enough drinking water.
- Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
- Bring a photo of film camera. Using flashlight is not permitted so we recommend using films of 400-800 ASA.
For bookings email Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org