Uganda offers the best gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla national Park. Gorilla trekking is the top tourist attraction in the country and gorilla permits are sold at US$700 to foreign travelers, US$600 for foreign non residents with valid work permits and US$80 for East African nationals.
The most expensive and popular tourist activity is mountain gorilla trekking, an all year round activity that is done in South Western Uganda.
Gorilla trekking starts with briefing at 7:30Am and thereafter, walk in groups into the jungles of Bwindi and Mgahinga to see the amazing gentle giants. Uganda protects half of the world’s mountain Gorillas; the rest are in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda) and Virunga National Park (DRC).
In Uganda, Gorilla trekking is done in five centres namely:
- Rushaga Gorilla Trekking centre
- Nkuringo Gorilla tracking site
- Buhoma Gorilla trekking centre
- Ruhija Gorilla trekking site
- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Ntebeko Entrance gate- starting point)
Gorilla trekking starts at 8:00Am so, tourists are advised to spend the night near the park prior to Gorilla tracking. Though it’s all year activity, the best time for Gorilla trekking occurs in dry period of January and February and from June to September.
The time spend in the forest during gorilla trekking is un predictable but determined by the movement of Mountain Gorillas. In most cases, the duration ranges between 3-6 hours but sometimes full day.
Mgahinga National Park protects one habituated gorilla family while Bwindi Impenetrable National park has over 18 habituated Gorilla families.
On the other hand, Chimpanzees trekking is the second sought for activity after Gorilla trekking. Chimpanzee trekking is done in Kibale National Park, Budongo Forest, Kalinzu Forest, Kyambura Gorge and Toro- Semuliki Game reserve.
Kibale National Park offers the best chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and East Africa at large.
The cost of Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda goes up to US$200 (KNP) and US$50 in other destinations mentioned above.
Why should you go gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda?
There are several reasons why you should go on a gorilla safari and this should be a must in Uganda. Among the reasons include the following:
- Two Gorilla parks- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park protects more than 17 habituated Gorilla families and many unhabituated ones.
- Five tracking centers: Four in BINP and one in MGNP – tourists have a chance to choose where to trek from.
- Convenience – the two Uganda parks are easily reached from Kigali OR Entebbe Airports.
- Tight security implemented by Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) and Uganda Police.
- Experienced tour operators to run trips.
- Other activities to supplement Gorilla trekking.
- On the other hand, Uganda offers chimpanzee trekking in five destinations- guest are free to make choice.
- Kibale offers the best and most interesting chimpanzee trekking in East Africa at Large – has the majority habituated troops of chimps.
- Chimp trekking in Uganda is pocket friendly. The current prices range between US$50 – US$200.
- Professionalism practiced by game rangers, tour guides, accommodation attendants and above all hospitality of Ugandans.