Mountain gorillas are the major tourist attractions in Uganda found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. These have greatly called upon for more tourist inflow to come for gorilla trekking in Uganda benefiting the government through revenue. Gorillas are the largest apes in African found in sub-Sahara Africa and are man’s second-closest relative after chimpanzees.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda involves hiking through the misty Impenetrable jungles of Bwindi and Mgahinga searching for these gentle giants in their natural habitats. It’s always a 2-6 hour hike in the forest and an early activity starting around 8:00 am. This activity involves interacting with the glorious primate learning its social behaviours of feeding, mating, the communication style and body structure.
The gorilla social behaviour of communication styles such as making of roars claps and laughs while beating hard their chest, clapping the hands, the touches and facial expression. These are interesting to gorilla lovers who invest their money and a one-hour interaction to observe the Gorilla ways. The gorillas make nests on the grounds, tree branches and on the hill steeps were they spend the night before moving to other territories.
The safety of Uganda compared to other countries selling gorillas. Uganda’s security is stable which calls upon for gorilla visitors to engage in gorilla trekking at any gorilla destinations such as Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park.
The stability also enables gorillas to breed due to the conservation and sustainability programmes established. These programmes have greatly prevented the extinction of the Gorilla species brought about by the Human threats.
The aggressive nature of the gorillas in Uganda makes gorilla tracking activity
interesting. The gorillas are known for being gentle and shy. Their shyness is seen when interacted face to face and looked straight in the eyes. The aggressiveness of gorillas is rare and only seen when a predator attacks the young gorilla, the mother gorilla fights till the last breathe. Also fights of the silverback the male gorilla in a bid of protecting its territory from the lone male gorilla.
The dense tropical vegetation of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda makes gorilla trekking interesting. These clouds, cold and misty forests favour gorilla inhabits and provides hunting grounds since they are herbivorous creatures.
These feed on fresh plants, fruits gathered from tree branches and roots at the grounds. The gorillas have a hairy body which keeps them warm throughout the wet and cold conditions. These forests have increased the breeding of gorillas and favoured their survival in the jungle hence promoting more gorilla adventures.
Uganda sells cheap gorilla permits for trekking to its tourists. The cheaper the prices of permits, the higher the turn-up of clients exposing them to the life of the largest apes in Africa. The mountain Gorillas are interesting creatures fun to watch as they move, feed, protect their young ones from enemies and how they adapt to the life of the jungle building nests for youngsters. The investment from the permits is used in the conservation of gorillas to prevent extinction.
Gorilla trekking involves hiking and walks through the forest jungle which is an interesting part for adventurers. Uganda is the best gorilla tracking destination because of the dense vegetation zones that inhabit the gorillas and promote their survival in the jungle, for example, Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga the luxury homes of the Gorillas.
The mountain gorilla population in Africa is about 1000 and Uganda has the highest percentage compared to Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo comprising half of the mountain Gorilla percentage. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has 11 habituated groups and Mgahinga national park has one group.
It’s interesting and a great experience to explore Uganda. The travel time to the gorilla destination from the Entebbe international airport varies on the means of transport. Gorilla trekking in Uganda takes place in four (4) sectors namely; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors, and each sector has its own accommodations and habituated gorilla groups.
Bwindi and Mgahinga jungles are very dense and thick, and during wet seasons, the hike goes through steep and slippery grounds that requires a lot of energy and high level of physical fitness to penetrate through it. To some clients, this makes the experience extremely exciting.
Regarding accommodations, Uganda has a variety of accommodation options in all the four gorilla trekking sectors. Accommodation varies from basic/budget lodges and campsites to mid-range and luxury lodges. The choice is yours depending on your budget. You can get accommodation from as low as US$25 per night in tented camps.
Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park
The two gorilla trekking destinations are located in the southwestern part of the country, about 8 – 10 hours drive from Kampala or Entebbe airport along Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway.
By air, one can fly to Kisoro airstrip (For Mgahinga and Southern Bwindi Forest), or Kihihi air-strip (For Buhoma in Northern Bwindi National Park.
From the air-strip, you need a strong 4×4 car to your pre-booked lodge or campsite in the park. The roads to the gorilla parks are very bad especially in the rainy season, therefore, you must hire a strong 4×4 car in Kampala or nearby town in like Kabale or Kisoro. Additionally, some lodges have strong 4×4 jeeps that you can hire to check transfer you from the air-strip to the lodge.