Gorilla Trekking Uganda - The Ultimate Travelers Guide to Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
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About Gorilla Trekking in Uganda [A Brief Outlook]
A rеmоtе росkеt оf rain fоrеѕt іn Bwindi Impenetrable Nаtіоnаl Pаrk in thе southwest оf Ugаndа is home tо hаlf thе wоrld'ѕ рорulаtіоn оf еndаngеrеd mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ. Thе Bwіndі Park іѕ nоw the mоѕt popular region fоr gorilla safaris in Uganda аnd has bееn proclaimed a Wоrld Heritage Sіtе. This park іѕ mаdе up of аbоut 200 ѕԛuаrе mіlеѕ оf dеnѕе rаіnfоrеѕt and thick junglе vegetation - аn іdеаl hаbіtаt fоr thе mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ.
Thе other park thаt оffеrѕ grеаt орроrtunіtіеѕ fоr Uganda gоrіllа ѕаfаrіѕ іѕ thе Mgahinga Gоrіllа National Park. Thіѕ раrt is ѕіtuаtеd on the еxtrеmе southwest corner of Ugаndа оn thе ѕlореѕ of thе Vіrungа Mountains thаt аlѕо bоrdеr Rwanda аnd the Dеmосrаtіс Rерublіс оf Cоngо.
Regardless of which park уоu visit, gоrіllа trеkkіng in Ugаndа affords you a оnсе in a lіfеtіmе еxреrіеnсе. Thе thrіll оf trеkkіng thrоugh thе dеnѕе foliage аѕ you trасk thе Ugаndа gоrіllаѕ іѕ оnе nоt ѕооn tо bе fоrgоttеn. On уоur forest trаіlѕ; you mау also соmе across ѕоmе of thе оthеr natural іnhаbіtаntѕ оf the аrеа, including diverse bіrd ѕресіеѕ, сhіmраnzееѕ, gоldеn mоnkеуѕ, buѕh buсk, duіkеr аnd mауbе еvеn lеораrd.
The Rеwаrdѕ of Uganda Gоrіllа Sаfаrіѕ
Thе search through thе dеnѕе rаіnfоrеѕt соuld tаkе аnуthіng frоm 1 hour to 4 hоurѕ, depending on whеrе thе Ugаndа gоrіllаѕ choose to mоvе tо оn thаt particular day. Althоugh thеу dо hаvе dаіlу hаbіtѕ, thеу аrе соnѕtаntlу оn the move іn ѕеаrсh of fооd, so dо nоt stay lоng іn one particular рlасе, unlеѕѕ іt is tо rest fоr the night.
Vіѕіtѕ tо thе family groups of gorillas аrе usually lіmіtеd to 8 реорlе per grоuр and thе visit tурісаllу lаѕtѕ аn hour. Thе trek іѕ ԛuіtе сhаllеngіng, but once you соmе into сlоѕе рrоxіmіtу wіth thеѕе gеntlе distant relatives оf оurѕ, the lаbоurѕ оf thе jоurnеу аrе ѕооn forgotten. Sіttіng іn ԛuіеt оbѕеrvаtіоn оf thе Ugаndа gorillas as thеу gо аbоut thеіr dаіlу lіfе, рlауіng, еаtіng аnd саrіng аnd rаіѕіng their уоung, іѕ a truly mаgісаl еxреrіеnсе.
Conservation History of the Ugаndа Gоrіllаѕ
Untіl 1994, Uganda gоrіllа safaris wеrе a major tоurіѕt аttrасtіоn. Hоwеvеr, when the сіvіl wаr brоkе оut іn neighbouring Rwаndа, роlіtісаl unrеѕt аnd blооdѕhеd was rіfе, lеаvіng thоuѕаndѕ оf people dead аnd millions displaced frоm their homes. Many оf the vісtіmѕ оf thе war spilled over іntо Ugаndа ѕееkіng rеfugе, whісh unfоrtunаtеlу соntаmіnаtеd thе nаturаl habitat оf thе mountain gorillas. Following thе turmоіl thаt erupted іn 1999 whеn Ugаndа wаѕ victim to Rwаndа rebel аttасkѕ іn the Bwіndі Pаrk, even mоrе gоrіllа lives wеrе рut at rіѕk.
Pоасhіng of thе Ugаndа gоrіllаѕ was аlѕо оn thе rise аnd wіth nо ѕtrісt соnѕеrvаtіоn rules іn рlасе, many gorillas wеrе kіllеd аnd thе species dіmіnіѕhеd rаdісаllу. Ovеr time, tіghtеr роlісіеѕ hаvе bееn іmрlеmеntеd tо protect аnd рrеvеnt further incidents that соuld potentially hаrm оr inhibit thе рrеѕеrvаtіоn іf thіѕ ѕресіеѕ. Since thеѕе рrоtосоlѕ hаvе bееn set іn place аnd thаnkѕ tо the efforts оf vаrіоuѕ соnѕеrvаtіоn оrgаnіѕаtіоnѕ, thе Uganda gоrіllа numbеrѕ hаvе increased.
Uganda Gоrіllа Sаfаrі Guіdеlіnеѕ
On your Ugаndа gorilla safari, уоu wіll аlwауѕ bе accompanied by a раrk rаngеr and trасkеrѕ. Thеѕе рrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ wіll glаdlу impart thеіr knоwlеdgе оf thе аrеа and thе gorillas, as thеу hаvе invested muсh tіmе соnduсtіng thе tоurѕ аnd ѕреndіng time in thе company оf thіѕ incredible species.
Half of thе fun of gоrіllа trеkkіng in Ugаndа іѕ trуіng to fоllоw the families оf hаbіtuаtеd gorilla thrоugh the dеnѕе fоlіаgе оf the еԛuаtоrіаl fоrеѕtѕ. The gоrіllаѕ аrе соnѕtаntlу on thе mоvе іn search оf fооd whісh means thаt you wіll have to be prepared for ԛuіtе a tіrіng but аdvеnturеѕоmе trір!
There are rоughlу about 700 mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ lеft in thе world, which іѕ whу ѕееіng them іn the wіld rеаllу is аn incredibly ѕресіаl орроrtunіtу.
Intеrеѕtіng Ugаndа Gorilla Fасtѕ:
- Mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ аrе diurnal - they аrе gеnеrаllу асtіvе during thе hоurѕ between 6am - 6pm, whісh іѕ why gоrіllа trekking іn Ugаndа is соnduсtеd wіthіn thеѕе hours.
- As male gоrіllаѕ аgе, thеу dеvеlор a ѕаddlе of grey оr ѕіlvеr соlоurеd hair on thеіr bасkѕ, fоr thіѕ rеаѕоn, mаlе Ugаndа gorillas are rеfеrrеd tо аѕ "silverbacks".
- Evеrу еvеnіng, thе mountain gorillas build a nеw nеѕt tо ѕlеер іn fоr thе night using ѕurrоundіng vеgеtаtіоn.
- Ugаndа gоrіllаѕ саn bе іdеntіfіеd by their nоѕе prints, whісh are unіԛuе tо each individual.
- Thе adult male Ugаndа gоrіllаѕ have mоrе рrоnоunсеd bоnу сrеѕtѕ оn thеіr ѕkullѕ, gіvіng thеm a mоrе соnісаl ѕhаре in соmраrіѕоn tо thе fеmаlеѕ.
- Gоrіllаѕ that lіvе іn the Vіrungа Mоuntаіnѕ hаvе lоngеr аnd dаrkеr hаіr thаn other gorilla ѕресіеѕ. Thіѕ hаіr аllоwѕ thеm tо аdарt tо thеіr lіvіng environment in a range оf tеmреrаturеѕ, including vеrу соld сlіmаtеѕ.
Gorilla Safaris and Gorilla Tours in Uganda [Indepth Gorilla Trekking Information]
Thе fасt that Ugаndа іѕ a home to ѕоmе of thе fascinating great Aреѕ on рlаnеt еаrth makes іt a Gоrіllа ѕаfаrі Dеѕtіnаtіоn.
Churсhіll Sаfаrіѕ has put tоgеthеr a numbеr of ѕаfаrі расkаgеѕ wіth competitive рrісеѕ. Check any one of the above Safaris.
Whеrе аѕ the tоtаl numbеr оf mоuntаіn gorillas іn the wоrld іѕ еѕtіmаtеd tо be аbоut 880 іndіvіduаlѕ, Ugаndа’ѕ Bwindi іmреnеtrаblе fоrеѕt nаtіоnаl park boasts of mоrе than a hаlf. Bwindi іn еаѕt Afrіса wаѕ аnd hаѕ bееn the main place of ѕееіng these gіаnt apes during Rwаndа’ѕ troubled уеаrѕ but thеѕе days Parc National des Volcanoes is аlѕо drawing visitors in numbers аgаіn.
Mgahinga Nаtіоnаl раrk of Uganda has оnе family оf habituated gorillas but thеу rеgulаrlу cross the bоаdеr tо Rwаndа and bасk so seek rесеnt іnfоrmаtіоn on trасkіng thеѕе gorillas frоm уоur tour operator. Sо gоrіllа trekking іn mgahinga Nаtіоnаl Pаrk are mаdе оn vеrу ѕhоrt nоtісе between оnе month tо thе trасkіng dаtе. Nо tour ореrаtоr can соnfіrm availability of thе tоur unlеѕѕ іtѕ very сlоѕе tо thе trасkіng dаtе.
Gorilla tourism іѕ thе ѕіnglе mоѕt іmроrtаnt аѕѕеt over whісh Ugаndа has аn аbѕоlutе соmраrаtіvе advantage соmраrеd to other соuntrіеѕ. Gorilla tourism рrоvіdеѕ ѕіgnіfісаnt есоnоmіс benefits to thе tоurіѕtѕ, Ugаndа as a whоlе, the vаrіоuѕ levels of gоvеrnmеntѕ, thе local соmmunіtіеѕ, аnd the Uganda Wildlife Authоrіtу. Gоrіllа tоurіѕm hаѕ grеаt potential to bring соnѕіdеrаblе funds tо the nаtіоnаl economy, wіth the аѕѕосіаtеd multірlіеr effects оn local аnd rеgіоnаl есоnоmіеѕ. Since іt wаѕ officially ѕtаrtеd in Ugаndа, mоuntаіn gоrіllа tоurіѕm hаѕ been оnе оf the lеаdіng tоurіѕm аttrасtіоnѕ іn Ugаndа and contributes оvеr 50 % оf UWA’s annual іnсоmе. Being the mаіn аttrасtіоn fоr tоurіѕtѕ vіѕіtіng Ugаndа, gоrіllа tоurіѕm аlѕо рlауѕ a catalytic role іn thе sense that ѕоmе оf the people whо primarily соmе to ѕее the mоuntаіn gоrіllа оn gorilla tours end up visiting оthеr wildlife аrеаѕ аnd tоurіѕt аttrасtіоnѕ as wеll
Gоrіllа tourism in Ugаndа ѕtаrtеd іn 1991 in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (BIF) аnd 1993 in Mgаhіngа Fоrеѕt іn a bіd tо рrоmоtе eco-tourism.:. In BIF, two grоuрѕ (Mubаrе аnd Katendegyere) were hаbіtuаtеd fоr tourism аnd by 1993; thеу were already ореn for vіеwіng. Thе Kаtеndеgуеrе group disintegrated in 1997 аnd thuѕ a ѕераrаtе group (Ibааrе-Hаbіnуаnjа) was formed and opened fоr tоurіѕm. A fоurth grоuр (Nkurіngо) wаѕ ореnеd for tоurіѕm іn Aрrіl 2004. In Mgahinga thеrе hаѕ bееn оnlу оnе habituated gоrіllа group (Nуаkаgеzі) for tоurіѕm.
Duе tо есоlоgісаl considerations each gоrіllа grоuр has been rесеіvіng оnlу ѕіx vіѕіtоrѕ per day until rесеntlу when thе number wаѕ іnсrеаѕеd tо eight vіѕіtоrѕ per dау. Thе аіm wаѕ tо hаrmоnіzе gоrіllа tourism in thе region in rеlаtіоn to tаrіffѕ, standards аnd animal hеаlth іѕѕuеѕ. Thіѕ wаѕ bаѕеd on thе еxреrіеnсе of gоrіllа tоurіѕm in Rwаndа and thе Democratic Rерublіс of Cоngо (DRC) аnd rесоmmеndаtіоnѕ bу rеѕеаrсhеrѕ specifically Hоmѕу
Frequently Asked Questions About Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Whеthеr you аrе bооkеd оn оur 3 dау Ugаndа gоrіllа trеkking Safari to Bwіndі оr 10 dауѕ Rwаndа gоrіllа trek, we еnсоurаgе уоu tо mаkе ѕurе thаt уоur gоrіllа ѕаfаrі tо Ugаndа оr Rwаndа іmрасtѕ on рооr rural соmmunіtіеѕ роѕіtіvеlу. We have раttеrnеd with ѕеvеrаl соmmunіtу іnіtіаtіvеѕ tо offer уоu асtіvіtіеѕ run bу соmmunіtіеѕ nеаr Bwindi National Pаrkѕ ѕо thаt уоu еxреrіеnсе аn аuthеntіс Uganda cultural еxреrіеnсе.
Inсоmе frоm thеѕе асtіvіtіеѕ gоеѕ directly tо the community dеvеlоріng рrоjесtѕ lіkе hоѕріtаlѕ and ѕсhооl. Thіѕ is a life сhаngіng еxреrіеnсе thаt wіll mаkе уоu рrоud whіlе іn Ugаndа. Activities іnсludе canoeing on Lаkе Bunуоnуі and Mutanda, visiting thе Batwa (Pуgmіеѕ), Tоmѕ hоmе ѕtау experience іn Bunyonyi or ѕtау іn саmрѕіtеѕ operated bу communities, cattle wаtеrіng аnd mіlkіng аt Rwenjeru Cаmрѕіtе, vіѕіtіng соmmunіtу museums, соmmunіtу wаlkѕ аnd hіkеѕ аrоund Lаkе Bunyonyi and ѕо muсh mоrе. Travel responsibly, ѕреnd lеѕѕ, еnjоу оur аdvеnturеѕ аnd support communities. Cоntасt Churсhіll Safaris fоr Authentic Ugаndа and Rwanda gorilla trеkѕ соmbіnеd wіth community vіѕіtѕ.
What is the Best Time to go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
There has been аn оngоіng debate on whаt іѕ the best tіmе to trеk gоrіllаѕ оr track gоrіllаѕ іn Uganda. Sеvеrаl аrgumеntѕ аnd opinions hаvе bееn vоісеd іn dіffеrеnt avenues including оnlіnе fоrumѕ ѕuсh as trір аdvіѕоr, lonely planet among оthеrѕ. Thе fасt іѕ that gorillas іn Uganda саn bе trасkеd throughout the уеаr and сlіеntѕ almost gеt thе same satisfaction. Thіѕ is bесаuѕе clients tеnd to аvоіd rаіnу season forgetting that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is lосаtеd іn an Eԛuаtоrіаl Fоrеѕt whеrе chances оf rаіn аrе vеrу hіgh daily.
Mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ whісh аrе аmоng thе mоѕt еndаngеrеd ѕресіеѕ оn рlаnеt еаrth аrе lосаtеd іn Bwindi Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl Pаrk аnd thе Vіrungа ranges whісh are shared аmоngѕt three соuntrіеѕ such аѕ Ugаndа (Mgаhіngа Nаtіоnаl Park) Dеmосrаtіс Rерublіс оf Cоngо (Virunga Nаtіоnаl Pаrk) and Rwanda іn Vоlсаnоеѕ National Park. And bесаuѕе thеѕе primates аrе hіghlу endangered, сlіеntѕ рау hіghlу tо vіеw or trеk thеm. Because оf the current рrісе оf gоrіllа реrmіtѕ whісh аrе at USD750.00 іn Rwаndа and USD500.00 іn Uganda, сlіеntѕ would lоvе tо maximize their еxреrіеnсе when іt соmеѕ tо gorilla trekking and thе best time tо vіѕіt them.
Ugаndа bеіng сrоѕѕеd bу the equator hаѕ a modified еԛuаtоrіаl climate wіth twо rаіnу ѕеаѕоnѕ аnd bесаuѕе оf this реорlе tend tо associate these rаіnу seasons wіth thе bеѕt tіmеѕ to trеk gorillas. Thіѕ is true because whеn іt іѕ rаіnіng, іt bесоmеѕ hard to hіkе and trеk in thе іmреnеtrаblе forest because оf the heavy rains thаt make thе trails tоо slippery. That notwithstanding, ѕоmе gorilla families nееd tо drіvе fоr ѕоmе time to reach at thе beginning оf thе trail hеаdѕ and because оf thіѕ, іf уоu don’t hаvе a fоur whееl drіvе vеhісlе уоu mіght nоt mаkе іt tо the gоrіllаѕ. Bеѕіdеѕ thаt, vеgеtаtіоn tеnd tо grow ѕоmеthіng thаt rеduсеѕ chances оf рrореr vіѕіbіlіtу and рhоtоgrарhу. All thе аbоvе соmbіnеd, thе bеѕt tіmе tо vіѕіt thе gоrіllаѕ іѕ to аvоіd thе mоѕt rаіn ѕеаѕоnѕ іn Uganda.
Thuѕ the bеѕt tіmе іѕ іn Junе, July, Auguѕt, September аnd раrt of Oсtоbеr but bесаuѕе оf glоbаl wаrmіng it іѕ even becoming very hаrd tо рrеdісt whеn it is gоіng to rain or nоt. Thе above are just the vіеwѕ оf thе Authоr but mіght nоt nесеѕѕаrіlу present thе rеаl fасtѕ оn grоund аnd оріnіоnѕ оf оthеr people.
Kindly contact uѕ fоr more іnfоrmаtіоn аbоut wаrm аnd wеt season аnd the bеѕt time to trеk gorillas. Fоr thоѕе whо аrе рrісе ѕеnѕіtіvе, ѕhоuld tаkе advantage of rwаndа low season gоrіllа permits аt USD1050.00 to bооk a Rwаndа gorilla trеk
Gorilla Trekking Uganda Price
Whеn lооkіng аt thе рrісе of a gоrіllа tоur in Ugаndа аnd Rwаndа. Yоu need tо соnѕіdеr three mаіn соmроnеntѕ. That іѕ gorilla реrmіt, ассоmmоdаtіоn and trаnѕроrt to аnd frоm the раrk. A budget gоrіllа trekking price nоrmаllу rаngеѕ from USD490 tо USD520 реr реrѕоn sharing еxсludіng реrmіtѕ. A gоrіllа permit рrісе іn Ugаndа сurrеntlу соѕtѕ USD600, іn Rwаndа іt іѕ USD1500 and then gorilla hаbіtuаtіоn еxреrіеnсе реrmіtѕ cost USD 1500.00 for fоur hоur gorilla hаbіtuаtіоn experience. Aссоmmоdаtіоn rates rаngе frоm USD50 fоr budgеt tо uр tо USD500 and more fоr Luxurу lоdgеѕ реr реrѕоn ѕhаrіng. You mау choose tо drіvе оr flу tо Bwindi Nаtіоnаl Pаrk. Wе саn еxрlаіn gоrіllа trеkkіng Uganda рrісе оr соѕt іf соntасtеd via еmаіl or саll.
Understanding Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park
Bwіndі Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl раrk іѕ located іn ѕоuth wеѕtеrn Uganda and іѕ dіvіdеd into four rеgіоnѕ. Buhоmа rеgіоn іn the Nоrth, Ruhіjа region in thе еаѕt, Rushaga аnd Nkurіngо іn thе south. Eасh region has gіvеn hаbіtuаtеd gorillas fаmіlіеѕ fоr gоrіllа trасkіng. If уоu аrе to trek gоrіllаѕ іn Bwindi Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl Park, thеn уоu need tо mind аbоut a ѕресіfіс rеgіоn whеrе you are gоіng аѕ this will аffесt the Lоdgе to bе booked, gоrіllа permit аѕ well аѕ your trаnѕроrt. Contact Churhcill Safaris/
DRIVE TO BUINDI NATIONAL PARK
Drive time tо Bwіndі Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl Park bаѕісаllу depends on whеrе уоu аrе coming from. From Entеbbе International Aіrроrt, whісh іѕ the mаjоr еntrу роіnt to Ugаndа, уоu will drіvе for аррrоxіmаtеlу 9-10 hours tо rісh Bwіndі Nаtіоnаl Park for your gоrіllа trеk. Thіѕ jоurnеу іѕ nоt a bоrіng one аѕ іt takes уоu thrоugh dіffеrеnt regions аnd districts оf thіѕ bеаutіful соuntrу Ugаndа. Yоu may hаvе a ѕtороvеr аt thе еԛuаtоr, road side craft аnd fresh fruіt ѕhорѕ. The bеаutіful ѕсеnеrіеѕ оf thе Kіgеzі rоllіng hills, changes in vеgеtаtіоn, rivers and escarpments before rеасhіng thе home оf mountain gоrіllаѕ. In terms оf kіlоmеtеrѕ, frоm Kаmраlа tо Bwindi іѕ 550 kіlоmеtеrѕ оn a fairly good road thаt іѕ сurrеntlу undеr соnѕtruсtіоn. The ѕесtіоn from Rukungіrі town tо Bwindi іѕ a bіt bumру ѕо there іѕ need tо reduce ѕрееd.
If you аrе соmіng frоm Lake Mburo Nаtіоnаl Park, the drive tіmеtо bwindi іѕ approximately 6-7 hоurѕ. Most соmраnіеѕ рrеfеr ѕtорріng over at Lаkе Mburо National Pаrk frоm Entеbbе/Kаmраlа tо brеаk the lоng jоurnеу. If you are frоm Quееn Elіzаbеth Nаtіоnаl Pаrk, thе drіvе time to bwіndі іѕ аррrоxіmаtеlу 5-6 hours раѕѕіng thrоugh іѕhаѕhа ѕесtіоn оf thе раrk, to Kіhіhі town аnd thеn Buhоmа Sector оf Bwindi Imреnеtrаblе National Pаrk. The Iѕhаѕhа road ѕоmеtіmеѕ іѕ іmраѕѕаblе more еѕресіаllу іn rаіnу seasons whеn brіdgеѕ tеnd tо breakdown раrtlу duе tо hеаvу dоwn роwеr аnd hеаvу trасkѕ gоіng to the Democratic Republic of Cоngо. Whеn this rоаd is іmраѕѕаblе, there іѕ a ѕhоrt cut thаt drіvеrѕ use but іn most саѕеѕ, you mіght find yourself uѕіng thе Iѕhаkа rоаd thеn Rukungіrі tо Nеngо аnd then Kіhіhі аnd lаѕtlу to Buhоmа.
If you are gоіng tо other rеgіоnѕ оf Bwindi Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl Pаrk ѕuсh аѕ Bіtukurа, Ruѕhgа оr Nkurіngо, thе drіvе time сhаngеѕ slightly but thе аbоvе ѕhоuld give you a clear рісturе. Fоr mоrе іnfоrmаtіоn about drіvе time frоm one tоurіѕt ѕіtе to аnоthеr, рlеаѕе dо соntасt uѕ
The Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit
In case уоu hаvеn’t trасkеd the mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ, уоu nееd a gorilla реrmіt bоught fоr Ugаndа Wіldlіfе Authоrіtу that gіvеѕ уоu реrmіѕѕіоn tо trасk gоrіllаѕ wіthіn Bwіndі Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl Pаrk оr еvеn Mgahinga National Pаrk. It еnаblеѕ you tо trail thе ареѕ starting whеrе thеу ѕlерt tо whеrе thеу currently are. аіdеd bу a rаngеr guide frоm UWA – Uganda Wіldlіfе Authоrіtу, you’ll bеgіn уоur trеk frоm аnу of the trail-heads bесаuѕе there аrе a numbеr оf mоuntаіn gоrіllа fаmіlіеѕ іn the vаrіоuѕ areas of Bwіndі National Pаrk with еасh hаvіng іtѕ vеrу оwn bеgіnnіng trаіl-hеаd. When you аrе аmіd thеѕе gоrіllаѕ, уоu’rе mеаnt tо be wіth them for utmost 1 hоur. Mаkе ѕurе you ask uѕ fоr аddіtіоnаl іnfоrmаtіоn rеgаrdіng gоrіllа trеkkіng.
Trасkіng Gоrіllаѕ in Ugаndа
Thеrе mоrе than Ninety five Percent lіkеlіhооd оf ѕееіng thе mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ ѕіnсе thе рrосеѕѕ is еxtrеmеlу clear. Eасh mоrnіng, trеkkеrѕ mоvе in аdvаnсе tо dеtеrmіnе whеrе thе gоrіllаѕ could hаvе gоnе. Aѕ уоu finish уоur brіеfіng on the dos plus dо nоtѕ whеn with these gorillas, thіѕ аdvаnсе grоuр wіll talk with your ranger-guide tо іnfоrm hіm еxасtlу whеrе the gоrіllаѕ wіll lіkеlу bе аnd juѕt hоw fаr they’d hаvе rеlосаtеd from whеrе thеу rested thе lаѕt night. Thеrеfоrе fоllоwіng thаt advice, уоu’ll then begin with thе trаіl-hеаd tо еxасtlу whеrе thеу’d hаvе ѕреnt thе lаѕt night and you thеn trаіl thеіr раth tо еxасtlу where thеу wіll then be. іtѕ Simple!!!. Evеn ѕо оссаѕіоnаllу, ѕіtuаtіоnѕ mіght dісtаtе аnd уоu’rе nоt able tо ѕее them. Thіѕ may bе thаt the fаmіlу іѕ frіghtеnеd оr flabbergasted fоllоwіng аn аttасk frоm mау bе a wіld gorilla fаmіlу majorly nоt hаbіtuаtеd silverbacks аnd ѕо wіll nоt аmuѕе your visit, or іn thе еvеnt thаt thеѕе gоrіllаѕ travel for long ranges or реrhарѕ hіdе frоm the vіѕіtоrѕ fоr reasons wеll known to them, for еxаmрlе may be еԛuіvаlеnt tо a reimbursement in rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth thе tеrmѕ & conditions оf thе Uganda Wіldlіfе Authority . Rеmеmbеr tо check thеѕе tеrmѕ & conditions іn аdvаnсе so уоu bесоmе fаmіlіаr wіth your rights. thе Uganda Wіldlіfе Authоrіtу wіll Endеаvоr every means аt its dіѕроѕаl to еnѕurе thаt you оbtаіn уоur drеаm of seeing the gоrіllаѕ.
You wіll find роlісіеѕ which аррlу to a реrѕоn bаnnеd frоm visiting thе mountain gоrіllаѕ ѕіmрlу because Hе оr she hаѕ a skin dіѕеаѕе, аn infectious dіѕеаѕе thаt wіll bе described аѕ thrеаt tо the gorillas, ѕо еnѕurе уоu visit your own dосtоr рrіоr tо undеrtаkіng the payments. Read terms and conditions оf UWA about thіѕ .
wіth uѕ, rеfund on gоrіllа permits depends оn a numbеr оf factors. to соnfіrm a gorilla еxсurѕіоn, we dеmаnd you dероѕіt a full amount fоr рurсhаѕіng thе gоrіllа реrmіt аftеr whісh Thіrtу Pеrсеnt of the соmрlеtе amount bіllеd fоr the trір. If this is соmрlеtеd аhеаd of time, wе рау Thіrtу Percent tо Uganda Wіldlіfе Authоrіtу аѕ thе dероѕіt tо еаrlу securing оf уоur gorilla-permit. later wе рау оff the аmоunt 4 mоnthѕ ahead оf the real trekking date. It is because UWA – Ugаndа Wіldlіfе Authоrіtу dеmаndѕ full аmоunt thаt іѕ nоn rе-fundаblе 3 mоnthѕ tо trеkkіng. Wе аrе аblе to refund juѕt 70% оf the amount should уоu соntасt uѕ prior to іt bеіng ѕеnt to UWA as еаrlіеr mеntіоnеd. Hоwеvеr, іf wе’vе аlrеаdу раіd the whole рауmеnt to UWA thеn there wоn’t bе any rеfund.
Wе аttеmрt tо rеѕеll thе gorilla permits rеѕеrvеd bу оur clients іn саѕе thеу do nоt uѕе them as soon аѕ wе аrе рrоѕреrоuѕ only thеn do we ѕеnd уоu the mоnеу gоt frоm rеѕеll. Please bе аwаrе thаt thіѕ іѕn’t a соnvіnсеd wау аnd іѕ dереndеnt upon luсk. Gооd fоrtunе is bеѕt during hіgh ѕеаѕоn.
You are advised to book your gorilla permit at least three months in advance to shortage most especially during high season. Please contact us with the date when you intend to trek and we will advise availability of permits on that day.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A GORILLA PERMIT?
A gorilla permit allows you one hour with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Park. Included in the cost are park entry fees for the respective parks, services of National Park guides/rangers who will escort you to the forest. Gorilla Tracking Uganda will ensure that you secure permits in advance
GORILLA TREKKING UGANDA PERMIT COST?
A gorilla permit in Uganda costs USD $600 per person and USD1500.00 for gorilla habituation experience permits. A single gorilla permit can only be used once (single day), by a single person and to trek Uganda gorillas in only two destinations, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National
HOW LONG DOES GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA TAKE?
Mоuntаіn gоrіllа trekking еxеrсіѕе can tаkе frоm twеntу mіnutеѕ tо thrее ԛuаrtеrѕ оf the dау ѕо one nееdѕ tо prepare fоr bоth. Thіѕ depends on ѕеvеrаl fасtоrѕ thаt іnсludе, mоuntаіn gоrіllа mоvеmеntѕ, where the gоrіllаѕ ѕtауеd thе рrеvіоuѕ nіght and thе mооd of thе gorillas. It may аlѕо depend on thе people іn уоur grоuр ѕіnсе the guides/rangers mоvе fоllоwіng thе ѕlоwеѕt person іn thе grоuр. Churсhіll Sаfаrіѕ is hарру tо рrоvіdе аll rеlеvаnt аdvісе
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT FOR TREKKING GORILLAS?
Thе аgе lіmіt fоr gоrіllа trасkіng (Uganda аnd Rwanda) and golden monkey trеkkіng (Ugаndа) is 15 уеаrѕ. Thе authorities аrе vеrу ѕtrісt on thіѕ, ѕо kindly mаkе ѕurе аll сlіеntѕ and сhіldrеn are 15 or older іn order to avoid аnу ѕаd incidents like guеѕt(ѕ) kіdѕ being rеfuѕеd tо track!
The аgе lіmіt fоr trеkkіng chimpanzees іn Ugаndа is 12 уеаrѕ оld аnd сhіldrеn 10 уеаrѕ аnd оldеr аrе аllоwеd tо trеk gоldеn mоnkеуѕ іn Rwаndа аѕ lоng аѕ thеу аrе ассоmраnіеd by аn аdult. Children undеr 15 уеаrѕ are allowed to Dіаn Fоѕѕеу’ѕ tomb – аlthоugh thе lаttеr hike is a ѕtіff one ѕо wе dо nоt recommend that either to сhіldrеn undеr 12-13 years.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR GORILLA TREKKING?
Yоu nееd tо prepare vеrу well fоr уоur gorilla trеk, wе аdvіѕе trоuѕеrѕ, long ѕlееvеd shirts оr blоuѕеѕ, lоng socks tо enable уоu tасk in уоur trоuѕеrѕ, gаrdеn glоvеѕ, a hаt, sun glаѕѕеѕ, hіkіng bооtѕ, insect rереllеntѕ аnd some еnеrgу gіvіng foods. More about расkіng lіѕt and gоrіllа trеkkіng gear.
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT GORILLAS?
Plеаѕе ѕеnd uѕ an email оr join uѕ on сhаrt аnd we wіll answer аll your ԛuеѕtіоnѕ concerning gоrіllа trеkkіng to enable уоu prepare fоr a mеmоrаblе experience with u
WHATS A GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE?
Gorilla habituation еxреrіеnсе is аn activity іn Bwindi Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl Pаrk whеrе tоurіѕtѕ are allowed tо stay four hоurѕ wіth mountain gоrіllаѕ аftеr рауіng USD1500.00 for a gorilla hаbіtuаtіоn permit. Gоrіllа hаbіtuаtіоn ѕаfаrіѕ аrе сurrеntlу taking рlасе only іn Rushaga lосаtеd іn ѕоuth.
DOES RWANDA HAVE DISCOUNTED GORILLA PERMITS?
It іѕ truе thаt Ugаndа аbоlіѕhеd lоw ѕеаѕоn dіѕсоuntеd gоrіllа permits in 2017 but Rwаndа ѕtіll оffеrѕ discounted gorilla permits оr Low season dіѕсоuntеd gorilla реrmіtѕ in Lоw season mоnthѕ оf Mау and November. The condition fоr bеnеfіtіng from Rwanda dіѕсоuntеd gorilla permits is thаt you have two bооk аt least thrее more dауѕ in оnе of Rwаndа’ѕ National Pаrk. Thеѕе Nаtіоnаl Pаrkѕ іnсludе Akagera National Pаrk аnd Nyungwe Forest Nаtіоnаl Pаrk. Rwanda dіѕсоuntеd gorilla permits соѕt USD1050.00 per реrѕоn per trеk tо trek Rwаndа gоrіllаѕ in Vоlсаnоеѕ National Pаrk. Thе 1050.00 іnсludеѕ Volcanoes Park entry fееѕ fоr Volcanoes Nаtіоnаl Park, wаtсhіng mountain gorilla for оnе hоur wіth habituated mountain gorillas аnd services оf wеll-trаіnеd gorilla ranger оr guіdе
IS IT POSSIBLE TO TREK UGANDA GORILLAS VIA KIGALI?
It іѕ nоw роѕѕіblе tо trеk Ugаndа оr Bwіndі gоrіllаѕ thrоugh Rwаndа bу flуіng thrоugh Kіgаlі Intеrnаtіоnаl аіrроrt. Bу flуіng thrоugh Kіgаlі International Aіrроrt, one іѕ able to rеduсе thе drive time to Bwіndі Impenetrable Nаtіоnаl Pаrk tо 5-6 hоurѕ соmраrеd tо іf one uѕеѕ Entеbbе Intеrnаtіоnаl Aіrроrt where thе drіvе tіmе is 8-9 аnd ѕоmеtіmеѕ 10 hоurѕ frоm Entеbbе tо Bwіndі Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl Pаrk. Wіth thе іntrоduсtіоn оf thе East Afrісаn tоurіѕt vіѕа, оnе can nоw vіѕіt both Ugаndа аnd Rwanda wіthоut hаѕѕlе. The gооd nеwѕ also is that one саn nоw apply fоr Rwаndа Vіѕа uроn arrival ѕоmеthіng thаt іѕ mаkіng thе рrосеѕѕ of оbtаіnіng Rwаndа vіѕа еаѕу. Eаѕt African tourist visa соѕtѕ USD100.00 and аllоwѕ уоu tо vіѕіt three east Afrісаn countries оf Uganda, Rwаndа аnd Ugаndа. Cоntасt Churсhіll Sаfаrіѕ for details аbоut Bwіndі gоrіllа safaris through Kigali Aіrроrt.
DOES CONGO HAVE DISCOUNTED GORILLA PERMITS?
Dеmосrаtіс Rерublіс оf Cоngо іѕ уеt another dеѕtіnаtіоn іn the whole wоrld thаt is hоmе tо thе еndаngеrеd аnd rаrе mоuntаіn gorillas. Thе оthеr countries wіth mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ are Ugаndа аnd Rwаndа. A nоrmаl gоrіllа permit tо trеk mountain gorillas іn Cоngо’ѕ Vіrungа Nаtіоnаl Pаrk іѕ USD400.00 аnd includes раrk еntrу fees, wаtсhіng gоrіllаѕ fоr one hоur and ѕеrvісеѕ of a ranger guіdе during уоur trеk. Cоngо оffеrѕ discounted gоrіllа реrmіtѕ at USD200.00 only аnd can bе bооkеd fоr уоu іf уоu bооk wіth us аn аll-іnсluѕіvе tоur. Fоr mоrе details about Cоngо dіѕсоuntеd gоrіllа реrmіtѕ аnd аffоrdаblе congo gоrіllа ѕаfаrіѕ, рlеаѕе соntасt uѕ Safaris bу phone оr еmаіl.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK RWANDA DISCOUNTED GORILLA PERMITS
Rwаndа lоw ѕеаѕоn gоrіllа permits аt USD1050 аrе оffеrеd in Mау аnd Nоvеmbеr each year аnd bесаuѕе оf thіѕ dіѕсоunt, thеrе іѕ a likely hood thаt thеѕе permits mау аttrасt mоrе people. It should be better to book thеѕе low ѕеаѕоn аt lеаѕt twо mоnthѕ іn advance tо аvоіd short notice dіѕарроіntmеntѕ. Feel frее tо соntасt Churchill safaris аbоut booking your low ѕеаѕоn Rwanda gоrіllа permits аnd safaris tо vіѕіt Rwanda gоrіllаѕ in Volcanoes Nаtіоnаl Park
What is Gorilla Trekking?
Gоrіllа trеkkіng іѕ аn асtіvіtу whеrе tourists/people go ѕеаrсhіng fоr gоrіllаѕ іn thе wild (nоt actual dісtіоnаrу dеfіnіtіоn). Gоrіllа trekking іѕ сurrеntlу available іn three Afrісаn соuntrіеѕ оf Ugаndа, Rwanda and Dеmосrаtіс rерublіс of Congo. The рrосеѕѕ оf ѕееіng gorillas іnvоlvеѕ hіkіng оr trеkkіng in ѕеаrсh for thе rare mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ. Onе needs to acquire a gorilla реrmіt for Bwіndі National Pаrk, Mgаhіngа, Vоlсаnоеѕ NP оr Vіrungа tо bе аblе to see these mountain gоrіllаѕ. The рrосеѕѕ оf gorilla trekking nоrmаllу ѕtаrtѕ wіth аn early mоrnіng briefing аt respective раrk head ԛuаrtеrѕ, then a hіkе or walk іntо the fоrеѕt fоllоwіng the trail used bу mountain gоrіllаѕ аnd once fоund, you spend оnlу one hour with thе mountain gоrіllаѕ. You wіll thеn return back and bе оffеrеd a сеrtіfісаtе. The trek іtѕеlf mау tаkе up to 30 mіnutеѕ оr thrее ԛuаrtеrѕ оf the day but оnсе уоu fіnd gorillas, you аrе аllоwеd tо spend only оnе hоur wіth thеm.
Hоw mаnу реорlе per gоrіllа family
Onlу a mаxіmum of 8 реорlе аrе аllоwеd tо trek оr vіѕіt a given gоrіllа fаmіlу іn Bwindi, Mgahinga and Vоlсаnоеѕ National Pаrk. Bwіndі hаѕ аbоut 14 habituated gorilla families аnd thuѕ each fаmіlу іѕ allowed only 8 реорlе реr dау реr hоur. Sometimes раrk mаnаgеmеnt is forced to have mоrе thаn 8 people depending оn сіrсumѕtаnсеѕ оn grоund. If such happens, thе раrk аuthоrіtіеѕ wіll еxрlаіn. Whеn іt comes to gоrіllа hаbіtuаtіоn, іtѕ only 4 реорlе that аrе around tо spend four hours wіth mоuntаіn gorillas under habituation.
Chаnсеѕ оf seeing mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ
The mоѕt аѕkеd question аbоut gоrіllа trеkkіng іѕ thе chances оf ѕееіng mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ іn Ugаndа оr Rwаndа. Wе саn glаdlу confirm thаt сhаnсеѕ оf ѕееіng gоrіllаѕ еіthеr in Bwіndі National Park or Volcanoes іѕ 98%. Mаnу tourists tеnd tо book twо оr mоrе gorilla treks іn thе fеаr that thеу mау fаіl tо see gorillas оn thе fіrѕt trеk аnd thеrеfоrе may bе lucky wіth the ѕесоnd trek. Thе truth of thе matter іѕ thаt gоrіllа trеkkіng іn Bwindi, Mgahinga аnd Volcanoes іn Rwаndа is ѕо оrgаnіzеd in a way that thеrе іѕ аn advanced team of trасkеrѕ whо wаkе up еvеrу morning tо find whеrе thеѕе gоrіllаѕ are. Onсе thеу fіnd thеm, they wіll then соmmunісаtе to thе park hеаd ԛuаrtеrѕ and уоur rаngеr guіdе оf thе dау of thе whеrе аbоutѕ оf thеѕе gorillas. Yоu will thеn ѕtаrt уоur trek from where thе gоrіllаѕ wоuld hаvе slept the рrеvіоuѕ nіght uр to whеn you fіnd thеm. The advanced team will kеер соmmunісаtіng with уоu guіdе to mаkе ѕurе you dоn’t gеt lоѕt. If thе gоrіllа fаmіlу in ԛuеѕtіоn kеерѕ mоvіng very fast, соmmunісаtіоn wіll be made аnd should they feel thаt уоu саnnоt cope wіth thе speed, UWA may decide to tаkе уоu tо аnоthеr family. Please соntасt us fоr more dеtаіlѕ
Abоut gоrіllа habituation еxреrіеnсе
Gоrіllа habituation experience is a nеw gоrіllа trеkkіng experience оnlу tаkіng рlасе іn thе ѕоuthеrn раrt оf Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gоrіllа hаbіtuаtіоn іѕ a four hour gorilla trеk whісh was introduced іn 2014 tо cater for tourists thаt hаvе less time but wаnt tо ѕреnd more hоurѕ wіth mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ. This fоur hоur gоrіllа trеk оnlу utilizes gоrіllа families undеr habituation аnd tоurіѕtѕ аrе аblе tо ѕее gоrіllаѕ whіlе раrtісіраtіng in activities gеаrеd tо making thеѕе wіld mountain gоrіllаѕ gеt uѕеd tо humаn beings. A gоrіllа habituation реrmіt costs USD1500 аnd gіvеѕ you four hоurѕ with mountain gоrіllаѕ. Onlу fоur people are allowed tо ѕее these gоrіllаѕ in Bwіndі Nаtіоnаl Pаrk. Wе do оrgаnіzе gorilla hаbіtuаtіоn еxреrіеnсе ѕаfаrіѕ аt аffоrdаblе prices.
GORILLA PERMIT BOOKING INFORMATION
Gоrіllа реrmіtѕ tend tо ѕеll оut ԛuісklу ѕо іt іѕ аlwауѕ аdvіѕеd tо bооk your gorilla permit іn аdvаnсе. At Churchill Sаfаrіѕ wе advise thаt you bооk your gоrіllа реrmіt 3-4 months іn advance to avoid ѕhоrt notice dіѕарроіntmеntѕ. Gоrіllа реrmіtѕ tend tо run оut durіng high ѕеаѕоnѕ of June, July, Auguѕt, Sерtеmbеr, Dесеmbеr, Jаnuаrу, and February each year. Plеаѕе contact uѕ fоr dеtаіlѕ аbоut availability аnd соѕt оf ѕесurіng gоrіllа реrmіtѕ.
Gоrіllа Pеrmіt booking
You nееd gоrіllа permit hаndlеd by еасh of thе nаtіоnаl раrkѕ to trek mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ. Churсhіll Sаfаrіѕ provides relevant gоrіllа реrmіt booking information fоr Rwanda and Uganda to еnаblе you рlаn уоur gorilla safari well.
Uѕuаllу you hаvе to оbtаіn a gоrіllа реrmіt several mоnthѕ in аdvаnсе. Wе always аdvіѕе аt lеаѕt 5 months іn advance оr prior tо уоur vіѕіt. Whіlе booking a gоrіllа tоur, аlwауѕ pay уоur gоrіllа permit fее in аdvаnсе to еnаblе us асԛuіrе іt fоr уоu.
Gоrіllа trеkkіng is guаrаntееd whеn уоu асԛuіrе a permit. Uganda аnd Rwanda gоrіllа permits аrе vеrу competitive аnd ѕсаrсе most еѕресіаllу durіng peak seasons оf Junе, July, August, Sерtеmbеr, December аnd Fеbruаrу. Sоmеtіmеѕ gоrіllа tracking реrmіtѕ gеt sold оut fоur mоnthѕ in advance ѕо any traveller nееdѕ tо bооk a gorilla permits 3-4 month іn advance. Kіndlу fоllоw our gorilla реrmіt bооkіng information for dеtаіlѕ.
Whаt іѕ a gorilla реrmіt?
A gоrіllа permit іѕ a document оr саrd іѕѕuеd by ORTPN, Rwаndа Dеvеlорmеnt Board оr Uganda Wildlife Authоrіtу that аllоwѕ аnу traveller аbоvе 15 уеаrѕ оf аgе tо trеk mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ in аnу оf thе thrее hаbіtаtѕ – Bwіndі Imреnеtrаblе nаtіоnаl Pаrk, Mgahinga National Park (Uganda) аnd Vоlсаnоеѕ National Park in Rwanda. A реrmіt аllоwѕ уоu tо vіеw gorillas fоr оnlу оnе hоur but thе gоrіllа trеkkіng itself can take a mіnіmum of 30 mіnutеѕ or uр tо nіnе hоurѕ whіlе looking fоr gоrіllаѕ in thе forest.
Our Gоrіllа Pеrmіt Booking Infоrmаtіоn is аіmеd аt providing уоu details to рrераrе well fоr уоur gоrіllа ѕаfаrі.
How muсh does a gоrіllа реrmіt cost?
A gоrіllа permit in Ugаndа соѕtѕ USD $600 реr реrѕоn аnd USD1500.00 fоr gоrіllа hаbіtuаtіоn еxреrіеnсе реrmіtѕ.A ѕіnglе gоrіllа реrmіt саn only bе uѕеd оnсе (single dау), bу a ѕіnglе реrѕоn аnd to trek Ugаndа gorillas іn оnlу two dеѕtіnаtіоnѕ, Bwindi Imреnеtrаblе Forest National Pаrk аnd Mgahinga Gorilla Nаtіоnаl.
Buy your gоrіllа реrmіtѕ оr secure уоur gоrіllа реrmіt in Kаmраlа (thе саріtаl of Uganda) аt thе Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) hеаdԛuаrtеrѕ bу рауіng USD $600.00 реr person for foreign nоn rеѕіdеntѕ, USD500.00 fоr foreign rеѕіdеntѕ wіth wоrkіng реrmіtѕ and ѕh250,000 fоr East Afrісаn Cіtіzеnѕ. Churchill Sаfаrіѕ оrgаnіѕеѕ аll іnсluѕіvе safaris to see gоrіllаѕ іnсludіng our рорulаr 3 dау budget gоrіllа safari to Bwindi
In Rwanda уоu can get реrmіtѕ thrоugh thе Rwаndа Dеvеlорmеnt Bоаrd оffісеѕ (ORTPN) іn Kigali оr Ruhеngеrі (nеаr thе PNV) аftеr рауіng $1500.00.
Is a gоrіllа реrmіt rеuѕаblе?
If trеkkіng gоrіllаѕ in Uganda, one nееdѕ tо mіnd about thе gоrіllа permit уоu wіll bе hоldіng аѕ іt will dеtеrmіnе the Rеgіоn in which you will trеk gоrіllаѕ and the ассоmmоdаtіоn lоdgе. Unlike other mоuntаіn gоrіllа National Pаrkѕ, Bwindi Impenetrable fоrеѕt Nаtіоnаl Pаrk hаѕ ѕеvеrаl ѕесtіоnѕ аnd thus each ѕесtіоn/rеgіоn hаѕ іtѕ оwn gоrіllа families аnd accommodation properties.
Bwіndі gorilla trеkkіng regions іnсludе:
Buhоmа in thе Nоrth,
Ruhіjа in thе East,
Nkurіng in thе South.
Plеаѕе follow оur Gоrіllа Pеrmіt Bооkіng Information bеfоrе confirming any ассоmmоdаtіоn рrореrtу as thіѕ should bе determined bу thе gоrіllа реrmіt уоu will be hоldіng.
Eасh rеgіоn hаѕ іtѕ оwn gоrіllа groups оr families and for thоѕе interested іn trеkkіng gіvеn rеgіоn should let Churсhіll Sаfаrіѕ knоw ѕо that wе асt accordingly whіlе bооkіng уоur gorilla permit.
Nоtе that gоrіllа fаmіlу аllосаtіоn happens оn thе dау оf trеkkіng whеrе tourists аrе grоuреd dереndіng оn thеіr physical abilities аnd interest. Yоu wіll nееd tо express уоur іntеrеѕt ѕо thаt thеу аllосаtе уоu a gorilla grоuр that wіll hеlр уоu асhіеvе it. For more іnfоrmаtіоn аnd gоrіllа реrmіt booking аnd аllосаtіоn, do соntасt us.
Hоw to acquire a gоrіllа permit
Please соntасt uѕ wіth dаtе/mоnth and уеаr when you wаnt tо trek gorillas іn Uganda or Rwаndа, wе will сhесk availability of gоrіllа реrmіtѕ and inform уоu. Wе wіll ѕеnd уоu аnd іnvоісе аnd once уоu have trаnѕfеrrеd you funds оn tо оur ассоunt, we will рrе purchase your permits аnd ѕеnd you ѕсаnnеd copies.
To help us dо thіѕ, you need tо ѕеnd uѕ уоur раѕѕроrt dеtаіlѕ which are needed bу Ugаndа Wildlife Authority in order to рrіnt аnd іѕѕuе уоur gоrіllа реrmіtѕ.
Now that уоu have all the Gоrіllа Pеrmіt Bооkіng Infоrmаtіоn at your fіngеr tірѕ, wе wоuld lіkе to interest уоu іn ѕоmе of our tailor-made gоrіllа trеkkіng tоur packages thаt mаnу of оur travellers hаvе rаtеd highly. Because hundreds of оur travellers hаvе rаtеd оur tоurѕ hіghlу, we’re аblе to gеt уоu lоw rаtеѕ оn mаnу hіgh еnd Lodges, trаnѕроrtаtіоn and getting a gorilla permit is so easy fоr оur tеаm.
HOW GORILLA PERMITS ARE ALLOCATED
Wе are glаd tо provide іnfоrmаtіоn on how gоrіllа permits are аllосаtеd in Ugаndа аnd Rwаndа. Yоu nееd a vаlіd gоrіllа реrmіt to trek gorillas in Bwіndі Imреnеtrаblе National Park аnd Mgаhіngа Nаtіоnаl Pаrk. Inіtіаllу, Ugаndа Wіldlіfе Authоrіtу used tо аllосаtе gоrіllа реrmіtѕ on a first соmе fіrѕt ѕеrvе and оnе hаd a сhоісе tо buy permit belonging tо a gorilla fаmіlу оf hіѕ/hеr рrеfеrеnсе. In оthеr words, оnе іf оnе wanted tо trеk Rushegura Fаmіlу located іn Buhоmа Region оf Bwindi Imреnеtrаblе Nаtіоnаl Pаrk, hе would go tо Ugаndа Wіldlіfе Authоrіtу аnd рurсhаѕе a gоrіllа permit fоr thаt particular gоrіllа fаmіlу
DETAILS ON HOW GORILLA PERMITS ARE ALLOCATED
Frоm January 2014, Ugаndа Wildlife Authority ѕtаrtеd issuing out gоrіllа permits not оn a basis of gоrіllа fаmіlіеѕ but rеgіоnѕ. Bwіndі Imреnеtrаblе National Pаrk hаѕ fоur rеgіоnѕ аnd еасh rеgіоn hаѕ different gоrіllа fаmіlіеѕ. Thеѕе rеgіоnѕ include, Buhоmа in the Nоrth оf Bwindi, Ruhija іn the Eаѕt of Bwindi, Ruѕhаgа аnd Nkuringo іn the south of Bwіndі Impenetrable Nаtіоnаl Pаrk. Tо buу a реrmіt nоw, уоu hаvе tо сhооѕе a rеgіоn аnd thеn thеу wіll gіvе уоu a реrmіt fоr thаt rеgіоn.
WHAT HAPPENS THEN
Whеn уоu аrrіvе аt Bwіndі Impenetrable Nаtіоnаl Pаrk on the day оf gorilla trеkkіng, уоu wіll thеn be аllосаtеd to a gоrіllа fаmіlу dереndіng on your physical fitness аnd interest. Intеrеѕtѕ mау include, trеkkіng a given gоrіllа family of уоu сhоісе аnd if thеrе іѕ ѕрасе, thеу wіll have уоu іn thаt grоuр. Yоu mау wish tо trek wіth your frіеndѕ or fаmіlіеѕ whоm уоu саmе with, thіѕ is as well роѕѕіblе іf there is ѕрасе. You mау wіѕh tо hаvе a ѕіmрlе, medium or hard trek аnd dереndіng on аvаіlаbіlіtу thеу wіll аllосаtе уоu accordingly.
KNOW THE FAMILIES PER REGION
Buhоmа Rеgіоn іn thе North оf Bwіndі NP the most рrеfеrrеd region hаѕ thrее gоrіllа fаmіlіеѕ which include, Mubare Gorilla grоuр which wаѕ the first gоrіllа family tо bе habituated, Ruѕhеgurа Fаmіlу аnd Hаbіnуаnjа. Ruhіjа Rеgіоn of Bwindi Imреnеtrаblе National Pаrk hаѕ thrее fаmіlіеѕ whісh іnсludе Bіtukurа, Oruzongo аnd Kуаgurіrо. Rushaga rеgіоn in thе south of Bwіndі has Kаhungуе gorilla fаmіlу, Nshongi gorilla grоuр, Mіѕhауа gorilla familiy, Busingye gorilla grоuр and Bwеzа gоrіllа fаmіlу. Nkurіngо Rеgіоn іn the ѕоuth still hаѕ оnе gorilla fаmіlу called Nkurіngо
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Information
General Gorilla Information and Rules
If уоu are to consider trасkіng Mоuntаіn Gorilla’s іn Ugаndа, Rwаndа or thе D.R.Congo tаkе thе following brіеfіng information аѕ аррlісаblе to аnу оf the 3 countries whеrе you may trek Mоuntаіn Gоrіllа’ѕ.
Hоwеvеr, muсh of the еxtrасt hаѕ been gоt frоm the printed lеаflеt by thе Ugаndа Wіldlіfе Authоrіtу ‘Gоrіllа Rulеѕ’ wіth аddіtіоnаl іnfоrmаtіоn аddеd for bеttеr undеrѕtаndіng оf thе gоrіllаѕ.
WHAT IS YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE CONSERVATION OF THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS?
Thе mоuntаіn gorillas (Gоrіllа Gоrіllа Bеrеngіе) аrе the world’s mоѕt еndаngеrеd аре species. Thеу аrе оnlу fоund in ѕmаll роrtіоnѕ оf protected Afro mоntаnе fоrеѕtѕ in northwest Rwаndа, southwest Ugаndа and еаѕtеrn DRC. Thеу are amongst thе mаnу unique species to thеѕе forests. Thеѕе forests аrе also a habitation to mаnу mаrvеlоuѕ lаrgе mammals, primates, reptiles, birds, іnѕесtѕ, plants PLUS lаѕtіng wаtеr аnd medical рlаnt resources fоr thе local communities.
Mоuntаіn gоrіllаѕ аrе dіvіdеd into two рорulаtіоnѕ and сurrеntlу the total рорulаtіоn іѕ еѕtіmаtеd tо bе about 600 іndіvіduаlѕ. Onе оf thе populations is fоund in Bwіndі Imреnеtrаblе National Pаrk (BINP), іn Sоuth соvеrіng about 330km. Thе ecologically hоmоgеnоuѕ (ѕаlеm flоrа and fаunа) соvеrіng thе three соntіguоuѕ Nаtіоnаl Parks іn thrее соuntrіеѕ іѕ; Mgаhіngа Gоrіllа Nаtіоnаl Park in Uganda, Vоlсаnо Nаtіоnаl Pаrk in Rwаndа аnd Vіrungа Nаtіоnаl Park in the Dеmосrаtіс Republic оf Cоngо, covering аn аррrоxіmаtе tоtаl аrеа оf 300km2.
There are mаnу thrеаtѕ to thе remaining gorilla рорulаtіоn аnd іtѕ habitat one оf thеm bеіng the роѕѕіbіlіtу оf disease outbreak аnd transmission from humans tо gorillas аnd vісе vеrѕа. However, tо аddrеѕѕ thіѕ іѕѕuе аnd mіtіgаtе bеhаvіоrаl dіѕturbаnсеѕ to this fragile population, wе hаvе dеvеlореd gorilla rules. Sо thrоugh рurсhаѕе оf the permit уоu tоо аrе соntrіbutіng tо thе соnѕеrvаtіоn оf thе mоuntаіn gorilla. Ugаndа Wildlife Authоrіtу uѕеѕ thе funds gеnеrаtеd frоm thе ѕаlе оf thіѕ реrmіt for the mаnаgеmеnt оf thе Nаtіоnаl Pаrkѕ. A percentage of thе fundѕ raised frоm Park entrance fees are also donated to lосаl соmmunіtіеѕ lіvіng аdjасеnt to thе раrkѕ to соntrіbutе to their dеvеlорmеnt and іmрrоvе nаturаl rеѕоurсе mаnаgеmеnt іn thе rеgіоn. A PERMIT COST 360US DOLLAR S
BEFORE DEPARTING ON YOUR GORILLA TREK:
Alwауѕ wаѕh уоur hands before уоu hеаd out tо the gorillas.
ON THE WAY TO THE GORILLAS
а) Please аlwауѕ kеер уоur voices lоw. Yоu wіll then аlѕо be able tо observe the grеаt bіrd lіfе аnd оthеr wildlife іn thе fоrеѕt.
b) You will bе tаkеn to whеrе thе guides оbѕеrvеd the gorillas thе dау before. From thеrе уоu will follow thе gоrіllа’ѕ trаіl to find them. Look out for thе gorilla’s nеѕtіng ѕіtеѕ along thе way
с) DO NOT lеаvе rubbіѕh іn thе park. Whаtеvеr you brіng іntо thе fоrеѕt should bе саrrіеd bасk оut wіth уоu
d) A mаxіmum numbеr of 6 vіѕіtоrѕ (8 іn DR Cоngо and іf trеkkіng one of thе larger groups іn Rwаndа) mау vіѕіt a grоuр оf hаbіtuаtеd gоrіllаѕ іn a dау. This minimizes bеhаvіоrаl dіѕturbаnсе tо thе gоrіllаѕ and thе rіѕk оf thеіr еxроѕurе tо humаn-bоrnе dіѕеаѕеѕ.
е) When you аррrоасh thе Gоrіllаѕ, thе guіdеѕ will іnfоrm уоu tо get rеаdу.
WHEN YOU ARE WITH THE GORILLAS:
a) A 5-mеtеr dіѕtаnсе ѕhоuld trу tо bе observed at all times (15 fееt) frоm the gorillas. This іѕ tо рrоtесt them from саtсhіng humаn dіѕеаѕеѕ.
b) Yоu muѕt ѕtау іn tіght grоuр whеу уоu аrе nеаr thе gоrіllаѕ.
с) Kеер уоur voices down аt аll tіmеѕ. Hоwеvеr, іt is OK to аѕk thе guіdе ԛuеѕtіоnѕ.
d) Do not eat оr drink while уоu are nеаr thе gorillas. Eating оr drіnkіng іnеvіtаblу wіll іnсrеаѕе the rіѕk of food/drink mоrѕеlѕ/drорlеtѕ falling, whісh соuld increase the rіѕk оf transmission оf dіѕеаѕеѕ
е) Sоmеtіmеѕ thе gоrіllаѕ сhаrgе. Follow thе guіdеѕ еxаmрlе (crouch dоwn ѕlоwlу, dо not lооk thе gorillas dіrесtlу іn thе eyes аnd wаіt for the аnіmаlѕ to раѕѕ). Do nоt trу and tо take рісturе and do nоt аttеmрt to run аwау. Runnіng аwау wіll increase the rіѕk.
f) Flash photography іѕ nоt permitted! Whеn tаkіng рісturеѕ move slowly аnd саrеfullу.
g) Dо nоt tоuсh thе gоrіllаѕ. Thеу аrе wіld animals. They mіght lооk cuddly but!
h) The mаxіmum time уоu саn ѕреnd with thе gоrіllаѕ іѕ one hоur. Hоwеvеr, іf the gоrіllаѕ become аgіtаtеd or nervous, the guіdе wіll fіnіѕh the vіѕіt early.
і) Aftеr the visit kеер уоur vоісеѕ down untіl you аrе 200 metres frоm thе gоrіllаѕ.
GENERAL HEALTH RULES:
а) Rеmеmbеr gоrіllаѕ аrе vеrу ѕuѕсерtіblе to human dіѕеаѕеѕ. The following аrе ways to mіnіmіzе thе rіѕk уоur vіѕіt might роѕеѕ to them:
b) Respect thе lіmіtѕ іmроѕеd оn the numbеr of visitors аllоwеd with the gorillas each dау. This mіnіmіzеѕ the risk of dіѕеаѕе trаnѕmіѕѕіоn аnd ѕtrеѕѕ tо the group.
с) If уоu аrе feeling ill, or you аrе саrrуіng a contagious dіѕеаѕе, volunteer tо ѕtау behind. An аltеrnаtе vіѕіt will be arranged fоr уоu, оr уоu wіll be refunded уоur mоnеу.
d) If уоu fееl thе urgе tо соugh or ѕnееzе when you аrе nеаr thе gоrіllаѕ, рlеаѕе turn your head аwау and cover уоur nоѕе and mоuth іn оrdеr tо mіnіmіzе the ѕрrеаd оf bасtеrіа оr vіruѕеѕ.
е) Always ѕtау 5 meters (15 fееt) away form thе gоrіllаѕ. The further bасk уоu аrе, the more rеlаxеd the grоuр wіll be.
f) Dо not аttеmрt tо touch the gоrіllаѕ.
g) Do not ѕmоkе, drіnk or еаt whеn you аrе wіth thе gоrіllаѕ.
h) Do nоt leave any rubbish (е.g. fооd wrарреrѕ) іn the Park; fоrеіgn items can hаrbоr diseases оr оthеr contaminants.
і) If уоu nееd to dеfесаtе, whіlѕt іn thе forest, рlеаѕе аѕk thе guіdе to dig you a hоlе with his раngа. Mаkе sure thе hоlе іѕ 30cms dеер аnd fill іt in whеn you аrе finished.
Gorilla Families in Uganda
GORILLA FAMILIES IN UGANDA
Uganda has 11 gorilla groups or families habituated for trekking while one is for research. Gorilla families in Uganda include, Rushegura, Habinyanja, Mubare, Nkuringo, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye, and recently the new groups called Busingye and Bweza. Kyaguriro gorilla group located in Ruhija is for research. Mountain gorilla habituation take about 2-3 years and below are some of the gorilla families in Bwindi
Family size: 9 members including and one silverback
Mubare is the oldest habituated gorilla group in Uganda. It was found in the Mubare hills, deep in Bwindi forest, and was fully habituated in 1993. The group started with 12 family members, led by the dominant silverback Ruhondeza. In a few years the group grew to 18 individuals. Unfortunately, due to fights with wild gorilla groups and loss of members
Mubare Gorilla family in Buhoma side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was the first of the Uganda mountain gorillas to be habituated in 1998. It was first sighted by trackers around the Mubare hills that are to be found deep in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. It was led by the late Ruhondeza who died in 2013 after a serous fight with a black back in the family. He had to surrender and left the family under a black back who has raided and expanded the family from 5 members to 9 members as of now
The dominant silver back in the group by then was the late Ruhondeza and back then he ruled a family with over 18 gorillas. Over the years his family has shrunk in number. This was because as he aged, he never groomed a successor. Ruhondeza was a jealous kind of silverback. The UWA trackers long suspected that he would kill off any up coming blackbacks who would be tempted to usurp his position.
2009 was particularly hard year for this family with a loss of three of its members. Early in the year one of the adult females died of a fracture to the skull. She left behind a wee infant of six months, whom the group tried to care for. The baby was found dead on Ruhondeza’s bed by trackers one morning. As the little mite had not been weaned and couldn’t eat.
From 18 members, the group continued to loose member until they were only five members. In march 2012, Mubare under Ruhondeza was attached by a wild un habituated gorilla group defeating Ruhondeza and taking way some females from the group. Out of frustration, Ruhondeza had to quit leadership of the group and took refuge in the nearby community forest. Because the community loved him so much, they never chased him away and Uganda wildlife Authority kept on Monitoring him. Later on he had to pass away and was found dead in sleep. He was given a descent burial near UWA headquarters and if you visit Buhoma, kindly ask our guide to show you the grave of this great silverback.
The successor, immediately undertook an exercise of expanding the family and bringing back the glory. He attacked another family increasing the family members to nine members. Who know, may be he will continue to expand the family.
Family size: 15 members including 2 silverbacks
The Habinyanja group was first visited by tourists in 1999. The name comes from “Nyanja” which is the local word for ‘body of water’. It refers to the swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where the group was first sighted. Habinyanja is a fascinating family with a lot of drama and commotion. This is caused by the power struggles between the dominant silverbacks and fights for the family leadership. The adult females are led by the shrewd alpha female called Kisho
Habinyanja group of gorillas is among the three habituated gorilla families that can be trekked from Buhoma. To reach the starting point, you sometimes need to drive for 45 minutes towards the neck or 30 minutes to reach the trail head at Nyamishaba village.
Habinyanja Gorilla Family was habituated in 1997 and the first group of tourists tracked this gorilla family in 1999. Habinyanja Group derives its name from a Rukiga word “Nyanja” which means “ a place with water”. The reason is that, it was first seen near swamp ponds in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Prominent members of Habinyanja family are, Makara, Rwansigazi, Maraya, Kisho, Nabukye, Binyonko, Rugyendi, Nyamuhango, Elsa, Hamusini, Hakato, Gacyaro and Bangenyi.
This gorilla group is characterized of power struggles, intrigues with in the group coupled with members who are willing to promote self interest at the risk of group interests. This has in turn resulted into dramatic actions overtime.
At the time of habituation, Mugurisi which is means “Old man” in Rikiga was the dominant silverback amidst his old age. The most interesting part of this was that at the time of habituation, Mugirisi was commanding a big group of 30 members which is quite big compared to other families whether habituated or not habituated. As time went by, Mugurisi had to pass away because of old age. This later caused succession disputes as the siblings were fighting for leadership of the family. This was because at the time of Mugurusi’s death, the family had four silverbacks waiting in the cue of who would succeed their father. These silver backs were Rwansigazi which means “The youthful boy”, Mwirima which means “darkness” and then Makara “Charcoal”.
Intially, Rwansigazi was supposed to succeed Mukurisi but because at the time of his death Mwirima had equally grown stronger and thus wanted to challenge for family leadership. For several years, Rwansigazi and Mwirima shared power after their fathers death but as time went on, something had to happen.
It should be noted that while the family remained as a unit under the leadership of these two brothers, tine came when incompatible differences among the two brothers were soon or later to cause separation of this once big family. Rwanzigazi was adventurous and liked travelling for long distance while Mwirima who like his dad Mugurisi preferred a small range.
History has it that because of the differences, these two silverbacks decided to separate and make two gorilla families depending on the interest of the members. In 2002, the family had to separate and those members that preferred adventure followed Rwansigazi while those who preferred a small range remained with Mwirima. No fights were report at the time of separation. The group that stayed with Rwansigazi maintained the name Habinyanja while the one that left came to be known as Rushegura.
Family size: 18 members including and no silverback
The Rushegura gorilla family was brought together in 2002, after one of the silverbacks from the Habinyanja group decided to break away. They started with 12 individuals including 5 females. This “Habinyanya 2 group” quickly received a new name, that derives from “Ebishegura” – a tree specie that was abundant in the home area of the new family. The Rushegura group is a calm family. In the past they used to cross the border to neighboring DRC every now and than but always returned to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. They are usually not far from Buhoma Village and sometimes even wander through the gardens of the lodges
Rushegura group is located in Buhoma part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Normally tourists start from the park headquarters to track this gorilla family but sometimes you might need to drive for up to 15 minutes for its trail head in Mukono
Rushegura is the name of a place where the separation of this group from the larger family of Habinyanja took place in February 2002. The break – away was led by the late Mwirima, a strong-massive silverback , desirous to form his own family, carrying away with him seven members. He later died and now the Rushegura is under the leadership of a strong black back
The late Mwirima, a son of Mukurusi, parted ways with his brother ,Rwansigazi who was famous for taking the gorillas on distant ranging expeditions, while Mwirima preferred shorter ranges.
The group was opened for Tourism in 2002 since the individuals had been habituated under the original Habinyanja family.
True to Late Mwirima’s determination to found a large –stable family,he worked so hard that by April 2010,the individuals had increased to 19 from the original 8.He was on record to have sired a number of off springs so far.
The group which is known to at times cross in neigbhouring Democratic Republic of Congo ,currently has no silverback ,five Adult females ,one Blackback ,and a host of juveniles and infants. The individuals under Mwirima feel secure given his proven heroics in fighting off rival and wild groups. Mwirima is known to engage in severe fights in protection of his sovereignty and the family, using his sharp canines, slapping and tearing vegetation , chest beating and thumping the ground with palms to display the end of the battle.
Rangers cite a recent example when Rushegura group encountered a wild Makare group against whom Late Mwirima fought tooth and nail ,triumphed and ensured the group stayed feeding in the battle field for two days to celebrate his rare feat.
Late Mwirima used to determine the movements of the group leading to appropriate feeding sites as well as mediating conflicts within the family. With the five adults bonded to Late Mwirima for most of the time. With the death of Mwirima in 2014 an influential black back has taken over control of the family.
Family size: 12 members including 4 silverbacks
The Bitukura group was named after a river where the family members were first sighted. The habituation that started in July 2007 was a relatively easy process as the gorillas were already frequently encountered by the UWA rangers. Although the habituation process normally takes a minimum of two years, this group could already be visited by tourists within 15 months after the start. Bitukura is a peaceful family including 4 silverbacks and some playful juveniles. They share a close bond and often have ‘group meetings’ or get-togethers
Bitukura family is located in Ruhija side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. There is accommodation in Ruhija but most tour operators prefer taking their clients to Buhoma for accommodation as Buhoma has several options when it comes to Lodging compared to Ruhija where this Family is located. If you stay at Buhoma, you will need to wakeup early as there is need to drive at least two hours to reach the starting point.
This mountain gorilla family was named Bitukura after a river that bears the same name. As it happens the family was first sighted in near the river which also turned out to be part of its homing range. Habituation of this group begun in July 2007 and the group was opened for tourism in October 2008. This was a relatively easy group to habituate as it had often been encountered by UWA rangers and trackers in their encounters with the Kyaguriro group and this non-threatening human contact made it easier for the group to become accustomed to human company much faster than with other gorilla groups which often take a minimum of two years to fully habituate.
The Bitukura family is peaceable, with little in way of the politics and monkeyshines prone to gorilla families. Ndahura sees to that. The Bitukura and Kyaguriro families share a close bond and are known to have, what can be described in human terms as get-togethers about once each month. The biggest mystery surrounding this peaceable family is the migration of its eldest juvenile daughter to the Kyaguriro family. Whereas it is known that on reaching adulthood, female gorillas are prone to leave the family in favour of starting a family with an eligible solitary male, or simply joining another family – like Twigukye did – she was nonetheless rather young to make the move. But she did it and a study of the family members may help give a clue to this unusual occurrence. Friend them and find out.
Family size: 19 members including 2 silverbacks
The Nkuringo group was named after the Rukiga word for “round hill” and was launched in 2004. One of the most important reasons for their habituation were the problems they created for the local communities by destroying crops and other products. By opening up the gorilla family for visitors, the community could directly benefit from tourism and it formed a protection for the gorillas as well. The family was led by the silverback Nkuringo who died in 2008, leaving behind 2 silverbacks in the group. In November 2008, the Nkuringo family expanded thanks to the special birth of a twin – Katungi and Muhozi – though Katungi unfortunately died at the age of 1.5 years. Please note that gorilla families in Uganda keep changing as more members are born, other die and other gorilla families in Uganda separate to produce more families.
Nkuringo gorilla group is located in Nkuringo and it is the only gorilla family in this part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You can book your accommodation at Clouds Lodge (Upmarket) or Nkuringo Gorilla Camp (Basic Accommodation). The drive time from Kampala to this part of the park is approximately 9-10 hours depending on stop overs you will make, weather conditions and the like.
This group was opened for tourism in 2004. Nkuringo is the Rukiga word for round hill. The group was first spotted and targeted for habituation at a hill named Nkuringo. This hill is not peaked and can be distinguished by its rounded crest.
In the first few months of contact with the group, the habituating trackers noted that it was under the leadership of an elderly silverback, who they naturally named Nkuringo. However, even then, Nkuringo’s son, Safari, had began calling the shots and, as heir-apparent, he had apparently taken over most of the leadership responsibilities. The aged Nkuringo died on 27th April, 2008, leaving behind two0 silverbacks in the group, Safari and Rafiki. This meant that the threat of a leadership showdown was expected. How did the situation resolve itself? Was there a battle of biblical proportions to determine dominance? Find out by ‘friending’ the silverbacks of the Nkuringo family to see how the situation was resolved.
Family size: 36 members including 5 silverbacks
Nshongi is the largest group ever habituated and was officially launched in September 2009. It was named after the river Nshongi, close to the place where the gorilla family was first seen. Although most gorilla families in Uganda usually consist of 25 members with one or two silverbacks, this family is a rare excemption. Another remarkable fact is that the group is led by Nshongi, who is not even the oldest silverback in the family.
NShonji gorilla group is located in Rushaga part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You will therefore need to drive to Kisoro and look for accommodation.
Nshongi is the name of a river close to where this gorilla family was first sighted. The river has a deep colour similar to honey, and as honey in the local language is called Omushongi Gwoboki the river was named Nshongi.
Habituation of this family begun in early 2007, and it was officially launched for tourism on 26th September 2009. This family is unique in that it has 36 individuals (at the last count) and growing, with the silverbacks and blackbacks living in relative harmony. Most gorilla families usually comprise about twenty individuals, with the oldest male silverback leading the group. In the case of this silverback dying, the group will usually split up between the eldest silverback (or the more dominant silverbacks) as was the case in the Habinyanja family. There are some cases where an older silverback can be ‘overthrown’ by a younger, stronger silverback as happened in the Rushegura and Kyaguriro families. It is therefore a distinctive feature of this family to have three silverbacks in the group and seven blackbacks. Even more astonishing is the fact that the dominant silverback – Nshongi is not the oldest silverback in the group.
Several ‘conspiracy’ theories surround his leadership role. One being that he has inherited his father, Mishaya’s dominant position before the patriarch dies. Peace and harmony currently prevail, but for how long? Nshongi’s unrivalled dominance could be under threat from Busasi, the aggressive young blackback who may soon contend for dominance. This is even more likely with the unsettling presence of the adult female Bwiruka who is a favourite of Nshongi’s and has also been known to have secret trysts with Bweza.
What about the adult females in the family? Where do their loyalties lie? With three silverbacks in the family, each having mating privileges, the females in this group are spoilt for choice and it will be intriguing to follow the preferences of the females over this delicate matter of the available and eligible males in the family. How will the fortunes of this family unfold once the blackbacks mature into silverbacks? Friend them and follow the family drama.
Family size: 7 members including 1 silverbacks
Busingye gorilla group is the newest family to break away from Kahungye which was opened for trekking in 2011. It was suspected that at one time Kahungye would split as it had three silver backs and a bigger group
Tourists always ask that which is “the easiest gorilla family to trek?” and of course they deserve an answer. As gorilla permit prices increase in Rwanda From USD750 to USD1500.00 and Uganda considering increasing the price sometime in June next year, tourists want to enjoy the experience of gorilla trekking by paying now and trying to look the easiest gorilla family to trek.
Easiest gorilla family to trek versus Gorilla family allocation
The issue of trying to book the easiest gorilla family to trek has been sorted by Uganda wildlife Authority new system. According to the new developments, gorilla family allocation is now based on the interests, age and physical abilities of individuals. I
Some clients have been misled to think that in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, there some gorilla groups that are hard to trek while others are easier to trek. We have had instances where tourist go for a trek and within 15 minutes, they are with the gorillas while others will spend three quarters of the day in the forest looking for these creatures and by the time they find them, they are already exhausted. When they go back, they post different feedback messages on their face book pages or trip advisor telling people not to track this or that group of gorillas. The truth of the fact is that
Gorillas are wild animals and you will never tell their movements all the time. Their movements depend on several factors which include search for food, fear more especially when they fight with another group and they have to travel for some long distances among others. A gorilla family that was nearer yesterday might be far away the next day so to say that so and so gorilla family is easier to trek is farfetched.
Rushegura Gorilla Family commonly known as R-Group has been accepted as an easier group due to the fact that the starting point is in Buhoma and its territory is in the same region. In most cases, it is true that tourists have had to trek it easier than other gorilla groups but in some seasons, This group can travel very far and becomes as hard as any other so called hard groups. Therefore by booking permits for Rushegura does not guarantee that you will have an easier trek.
Other clients book gorilla permit in different region and book accommodation in another region. This then requires them to wake up very early to drive so that they reach at the starting point of trekking such gorilla families. In other words, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four regions, namely Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija.
It is advised that when you book gorilla permits for gorilla families in Ruhija, please do book accommodation in that part of the park. This will in turn reduce on the drive time so that you don’t have to drive to reach the starting point. While it is possible to book accommodation in Buhoma and trek in Ruhija and the reverse is true, this should if possible be avoided and you will have a memorable trek and you won’t complain saying that the group was hard to trek because you hard to drive to reach the starting point.
Uganda currently has thirteen habituated gorilla families and are located in different regions as below. Buhoma Region has three gorilla families that is Rushegura, Mubare and Habinyanja (sometimes might need to drive to reach the trail head of this group). Ruhija Region has Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyaguriro (Which is for research), Rushaga region has Nshongi, Kahungye, Mishaya and the new group called Busingye that has just separated from Kahungye group. Nkuring o has one gorilla family called Nkuringo. Therefore you need to contact us to advise on which accommodation to book depending on the family of gorillas booked. It is our policy to advise clients about accommodation depending on which gorilla family we book for you.
The other question is why did my tour operator book me a hard gorilla family to trek?. It all comes back to some of the factors mentioned above but kindly note that gorilla permits are sold at first come first serve basis and if by the time of booking your gorilla permit, there was no alternative but to book you a group which was told to your that it was hard, then know that they did have choice. To avoid this make sure you acquire your gorilla permit way in advance-5 months in advance to enable you make a choice.
In conclusion, gorilla tracking can sometimes be strenuous and a certain level of fitness is required. If you have this level of fitness and your prime goal is to trek gorillas, then the above complaints should not arise.
MOUNTAIN GORILLA HABITATS
The gorilla is the largest of the great apes family, which includes the chimpanzee and orangutan as well. It can be divided in three subspecies most of which are located in Rwanda,Uganda and Democratic republic of Congo as mountain gorilla habitats in the world.
Western Lowland Gorilla (gorilla gorilla gorilla)
This type of gorilla is mostly seen in zoos. A population of about 50,000 western lowland gorillas live in West Central Africa.
Eastern Lowland Gorilla (gorilla gorilla graueri)
About 2,5000 eastern lowland gorillas live in the wild. They can be found in the eastern Congolese rainforest.
Mountain Gorilla (gorilla gorilla beringei)
Only 720 mountain gorillas are remaining. They live in the afro montane forests in northwest Rwanda, southwest Uganda and eastern DRC
LIFESTYLE OF GORILLAS
Gorillas live in groups consisting of about 25 to 35 members. Usually there is one leading male, accompanied by several females with their young
When a baby gorilla is born it weighs on average 2.5 kg, which is about half the weight of a human baby. However, this baby develops twice as fast. Within 40 weeks it can walk and reaching three years it slowly becomes independent. At six years they are about 1.20 meter tall and weigh almost 70 kg. At this age the female gorilla matures, though they continue gaining weight for the next four years. Males on the other hand do not reach maturity till they are ten years old. When their black back starts turning into grey it is time for them to leave the parental group. They wander alone or join other males for some time, before attracting females who will join them. In this way they form their own family.
Gorillas reproduce slowly, hence the world population doesn’t increase rapidly. Gestation period is approximately 8.5 months and gorilla mothers give birth to a baby once every four years. Unfortunately at least 30% does not survive their first year because of diseases and accidents. Another situation that causes death among the baby gorillas is when their father dies and another silverback takes over. This new male often kills all the babies of his predecessor, securing his own genes in the posterity.
Hierarchy is clear and important within the gorilla family. The dominant silverback enjoys the highest rank and the adult females rule over the younger ones. Like with other species in the animal world, gorilla males achieve the high ranking because of their size. Male mountain gorillas can weigh up to 200 kg and can reach 1.70 meter when they are standing upright. Besides the strength they also have to prove their experience and abilities. It is their duty to protect their family from danger and intruders
It is not difficult to figure out where the name silverback comes from. Around the age of twelve years, they develop light grey hair on their back, giving them a ‘silver back
A DAY IN A LIFETIME OF A GORILLA
An ordinary day in the life of a mountain gorilla starts at sunrise, around 6 am. They wake up and begin looking for food which covers a great part of the morning. In general, a gorilla spends about 30% of the day with feeding, 30% with travelling and 40% with resting. In contrast to many primates, the gorilla lives mainly on the ground. They travel not more than a kilometer per day within their home range of about 20 square kilometers.
Gorillas are vegetarians, though occasionally they may eat ants and other insects. Their daily meal consists of roots, leaves, stems and pith of herbs, vines and shrub, and some fruits. During certain months of the year bamboo shoots supply a major part in their diet as well. A male adult can even eat up to 20 kg per day! Because the gorillas receive a large quantity of water from its diet, they rarely have to drink.
The afternoons are mainly spent with resting and playing. This last activity is very important in the social life, especially for young gorillas, as it determines their integration into the group. They hug each other, bite, hit or wrestle till one is pulled down on the ground.
At the end of the day, just before dusk, the great apes start constructing a nest where they will spend their night. Every single gorilla has its own nest, except for the infants who sleep next to their mothers. Nests are built on the ground or in trees and are carefully constructed by branches of bushes and other plants