Being in silence on
the icy ground of a Ugandan forest for 60 minutes can be one of life’s ultimate
honors. There are fewer than 900 mountain gorillas in existence, and gorilla
trekking provides a rare opportunity to observe the everyday interactions of
these gorillas, mysterious primates.
only live in the dense flora of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National
Park and along the dormant volcanic Virunga mountain range that stretches
across Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National
Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Ecologists estimated there were only 254 mountain gorillas
left in the world, but the small population is expanding gradually thanks to concentrated
international conservation efforts. Since these critically threatened creatures
can’t survive in captivity, the only way to see them is by taking up a gorilla
safari trekking tour with GoExplore Safaris up to their natural habitat misty
cloud forests that can reach altitudes of 14,763 feet.
Our 5 reasons to make Uganda your base for this incredible journey.
You’ll Be Where Half
the World’s Mountain Gorillas Live.
Uganda has two gorilla trekking spots where GoExplore Safaris can
take you to: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla
National Park. Mountain Gorillas don’t mind on political borders, so
populations across the Virunga’s are relatively fluid. Uganda has an edge,
however, since Bwindi alone is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas.
Forest National Park (also called “The Place of Darkness” due to its solid
treetops) is an antique, montane and lowland forest straddling 128 square
miles. The region was termed a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its unbelievable
biodiversity and the large number of threatened species that call it home.
National Park accounts for 13 square miles of the larger Virunga habitat, which
expanses across 168 square miles into Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. The national park includes three of the eight major Virunga peaks: Mount
Muhabura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo.
You Can Fight
Habitat Destruction by Supporting Community Enrichment.
Destruction of the
habitant is the main threat to mountain gorillas. Communities around the parks
are heavily settled, and residents have traditionally used land around national
park boundaries for farming or logging.
tourism is now Uganda’s most beneficial industry, and the majority of tourists use
GoExplore safaris to go see the mountain gorillas, trekkers on gorilla tours are
encouraged to seek out ways to give back while on gorilla safaris to the
communities they visit. One popular option is to hire a porter, while doing
gorilla trekking who is always a local resident and occasionally a reformed
poacher. The landscape within the parks is unpredictable and difficult; gorilla
safari porters help guide trekkers through river crossings and up steep, muddy
Other options are to
participate in community-led gorilla tours cultural initiatives. In Bwindi
village, the Batwa tribe lead visitors on a forest tour along the Batwa Trail,
explaining how their self-sufficient, forest-dwelling tribe traditionally used
There are strict
regulations in place to make sure the mountain gorillas stay healthy and
wild—starting with the gorilla trekking permits process. Daily viewings of each
mountain gorilla group are extremely limited, so visitors should apply with
GoExplore safaris well before their desired dates.
In Uganda, a
gorilla permits costs they cost $600 for the rest of the year. In contrast,
permits in Rwanda now cost $1,500 year-round and you can book with GoExplore
Safaris to secure for you a gorilla permits for gorilla tracking
Most gorilla trekking
in Uganda takes place in Bwindi, where there are multiple starting points and
several mountain gorilla families to track. Visits are led by mountain gorilla park
rangers and groups of eight are allowed to observe the mountain gorillas for
one hour, in silence and at a safe distance.
One look at
southwestern Uganda’s green terraced hills and rolling volcanic slopes and it’s
clear this area of the country is not for the faint of heart. Add in the high
altitude and the challenging terrain, and mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda
promises to be the adventure of a lifetime with GoExplore safaris while booking
It’s hard work to
reach the mountain gorillas. It requires navigating uphill and downhill through
thick tangles of vines, thorns, and roots. The appropriately named Bwindi
Impenetrable Forest National Park is only accessible by foot. There are no
paths, no signs, no directions—and more often than not, no clearings (which is
why the gorilla trekking park rangers carry machetes). The good news? The
reward seems that much better after all of the hard work.
The Pearl of Africa –
Uganda is a primate-lover’s dream. In addition to mountain gorillas, Mgahinga
is home to another endangered species: the golden monkey. These woolly, comical
monkeys live high up in bamboo forests. Tracking golden monkeys is very similar
to tracking gorillas, but the trek itself is not quite as challenging.
Bwindi has gray-cheeked mangabeys, L’hoest monkeys, and blue monkeys. In Kibale
Forest National Park, chimpanzees steal the show where chimpanzee tracking can
be organized by GoExplore Safaris. Patas monkeys roam around Murchison Falls
National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park has blue monkeys and red-tailed
monkeys (not to mention non-primates, like lions and elephants).
Visit mountain gorillas and more safaris in Uganda's Bwindi
Impenetrable Forest National Park with us at GoExplore Safari.