Gorilla, Batwa & Golden Monkey Tours in Uganda

Gorilla trekking is most the attracting activity in Africa and in the world only found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic Congo. Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national park in the south western Uganda. Trekking gorillas is now the leading tourism attraction for safari tour holidays in the world.

Gorilla trekking is the park’s main attraction and those wishing to track gorillas must obtain a gorilla permit to watch them. Observing these mountain gorillas lasts not more than one hour during trekking but one major factor is that there is no guarantee what time or how long it will take to find the mountain gorillas on your day of trekking; this depends on where the gorilla group is located. The trek can be from 2 to 8 hours after tracking in the morning which normally starts at 8:00am

Gorillas that are visited by people have undergone a gorilla habituation exercise; Gorilla Habituation is a process through which a gorilla family gets used to human existence. Habituation of a group usually takes about 2 -3years and after this exercise, people can be allowed to trek that particular family with all its members.

When you compare the prices for gorilla trekking in the three countries, Uganda Rwanda and Congo, Uganda trekking gorilla permit cost USD600 in the pick season and during the low season the permit cost USD450 for months April, May and November, and in Congo the gorilla permit cost USD400. When you look at Rwanda, it increased its gorilla permits from USD750 to USD1500, so for those planning for gorilla trekking safaris, you can still do gorilla trekking in Uganda or Congo at affordable price. The process for tracking mountain gorillas is the same in the three countries and all experiences are the same with only 8 people per gorilla group and a maximum of one hour is allowed to watch and observe the gentle apes. Remember Uganda has more than half of the world’s total population of mountain gorillas the rest live in the nearby Virunga Mountains.

Discover Golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla Park found in Uganda, Rwanda and DR-Congo in the Virunga Volcanoes mountains, Golden Monkeys are sub-species of the blue monkey which are found in the bamboo forests of the Virunga Mountains.  We have Golden Monkey Experience that cost USD100 and Golden Monkey Tracking at USD50 both offering a lifetime experience. The two hours trek in search of golden monkeys is very much rewarding experience  to the trekkers because the trekking trails through green bamboo forest avails the visitors with the chance of seeing the hand some regal sun bird, Kivu grounds, interesting bird species such as the olive woodpecker, African hill babbler and other wild life. This makes golden monkey trekking a must do activity since it provides memorable experience which no visitors should miss on this or her safaris in Uganda.

Besides golden monkey trekking, take a safari in Mgahinga gorilla park to encounter the Batwa cultural experience who are hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors have for so long depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine and the interesting and most rewarding experience here is having chance to take Batwa Cultural Trial which is a unique cultural trail led by local guides from the Batwa community, and visitors will learn about the historical life of the Batwa as a hunters-gatherers in the forest, and watch ,participate in the wonderful performances done by the Batwa in the sacred Ngarama Batwa cave. The memorable experience can only be got here in Uganda so for any potential tourists looking for destination to visit in Africa should book his or her safari with Budget Gorilla Trekking at only $80.

Gorillas of Uganda are not to be missed, the location of Bwindi and Mgahinga makes it easy to add on your tour other activities including the Batwa Cultural Experience with the original people of the forest the pygmies and the Golden Monkey tracking, Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyonyi. Tourist prefer going to rain forests of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo trekking mountain gorillas and many of our clients end up doing double gorilla trekking because of the thrilling experience in either countries.

 

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What to Know About Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a national park in the far south-west corner of Uganda covering the northern the slopes of the three Virunga Volcanoes: Mt Muhavura, Mt Gahinga and Mt Sabyinyo. Mgahinga is the smallest of all national parks of Uganda, but it forms part of a cross- border system of contiguous reserves in Rwanda and DRC extending over some 430km of the higher Virunga.

The park is about 10km south of Kisoro and is bordered to the south the republic of Rwanda and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each of these countries protects its own portion of the Virunga, in the Parc national des volcanoes and Pac national des Virunga respectively. The three parks together from an area of 434 square kilometer Virunga conservation area VCA

Mgahinga is one of two locations in Uganda where mountain gorillas live, with the other being the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park has one habituated gorilla group called the Nyakagezi, although this group sometimes crosses the border into Rwanda. The national park also includes three of the eight Virunga volcanoes: Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo, all of which lie on the Uganda/Rwanda border. Any of these can be climbed in one day from the park headquarters.

The park protects 76 mammal species, including the golden monkeys, black and white colobus mountain gorillas, leopard, elephant, giant forest hog, bush pig, buffalo, bushbuck, black- fronted duiker and several varieties of rodents, bats and small predators. Only 115 birds species have been recorded here, possibly a reflection of the park’s small size, the park is still of great interest to bird watchers, as several of the species recorded are localized forest birds, and 12 are considered to be endemic to the Albert Rift region.

Getting there:

By road, one can access the park by use of a car from Kampala via Kabale to Kisoro. This journey takes about 9 to 10 hours.
By air, one can board a plane from Entebbe to Kisoro Airstrip which is near the park. This is the quickest mode of access and it takes about 1 hour. There are daily scheduled flights which must be booked long in advance with your local Uganda safari operator.

When to visit the park

The best time to visit the place for tracking is during the two dry seasons when the park is easily accessed. It is during this time that the thick forests can be penetrated easily and when the paths are not as muddy as it is in the rainy season. The two dry Seasons best for Gorilla Safari are; mid-December to end of February and June to October. However, gorilla tracking tourism is possible throughout the year.

What to see and do:

Gorilla trekking

The moment you visit the park, the welcoming atmosphere is an evidence of adventure filled of natural beauty. A day ‘trek through the forests of Mgahinga with a well-trained guide who explains the gorillas’ behavior along the way is a lifetime experience. The gorilla trekking safari starts from Ntebeko Entrance gate around 8:00amin the morning daily taking 2-4 hours. A visitor is expected to budget for his/her time well while with a gorilla family since the maximum time allowed to spend with them is one hour.

Mountain hikes

Guided day hikes are available to each of the three volcanic peaks in Mgahinga. A reasonable level of fitness and an early start are required for any of the mountain hikes, and good boots, rain gear and warm clothes are recommended. This starts at the base camp a few kilometers from the entrance gate and the round trip will take at least nine hours. Two trails – Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Muhavura require more than a day covering 14km and 12 km respectively. They are also much steeper than the day hikes as you climb to the tops of each of these volcanoes. The views, though, cannot be beat! On the Sabyinyo hike you get to stand in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda at the same time.

Golden monkey tracking

The next best thing to seeing after the mountain gorilla is the chance to track the golden monkey, a little- known bamboo- associated taxa primate listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union. Endemic to the Albertine Rift, the golden monkey is characterized by a bright orange- gold body, cheeks and tail, contrasting with its black limbs, crown and tail end. More likely, however, is that the Virunga volcanoes harbor the only remaining viable breeding population of this localized monkey.

Nature walks:

Half- day nature trails concentrating on the forest zone run out of Ntebeko. Of particular interest to birders, the Sabyinyo Gorge Trail ascends through the heath around Ntebeko into a stand of bamboo forest before following a small stream through a lushly forest gorge. The bamboo forest is a good place to see the pretty golden monkey, as well as handsome francolin, kivu ground thrush and regal sunbird. The evergreen forest harbours such localized birds as Rwenzori turaco, western green tinker bird, olive woodpecker, African hill babbler, Archer’s ground robin, and so many others. And other trails leads to Rugezi swamp and Garama Cave.

The Batwa Trail:

A welcome diversion from the usual tawdry visits to impoverished Batwa/ Pygmy communities, this initiative provides a genuine opportunity to experience something of tradition Batwa forest culture. The event follows a trail along the lower slopes of Mgahinga Volcano to Garama Cave involves visitors and their Batwa guide in a range of practical interactions such as fire lighting, bivouac building, target practice with a bow and arrow and food gathering. The song culminates with a memorable performance of Batwa song and music in the Batwa’s council chamber in Garama Cave. The Batwa Trail is a partnership between UWA and the worthy United Organization for Batwa Development in Uganda.

Birding

The three to four hour Gorge Trail between Gahinga and Sabyinyo can provide a spectacular sightings of the Dusky turtle Dove, Cape Robin-chat, Kivu – ground Thrush, Olive Thrush, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bronze Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Black-headed Wax bill and Streaky Seed eater.

Accommodation

When at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, one should not worry about accommodation because there are various lodges suitable for relaxation and overnight. These are found in Ntebeko, Kisoro and Lake Mutanda. In Ntebeko, the accommodations are; Volcanoes mount Gahinga Safari lodge and Amajambere Iwacu camp. The lodges in Mutanda include; Lake Mutanda Chameleon Hill Lodge. In Kisoro, the lodges where a visitor can stay are; Kisoro Traveler’s Rest Hotel and River Mucha Hotel

 

 

 

 

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Budget Gorilla Trekking in Uganda – Africa

Mountain gorillas are critically endangered, which makes the life-changing experience of visiting them in their natural habitat even more extraordinary and precious. There are said to be less than 900 African mountain gorillas left in the wild. The rare opportunity to see a family of gorillas in pristine rain forests is not only one of the ultimate wildlife experiences in Africa, it is also a once-in-a-lifetime expedition that sadly may not be possible in the future. For a budget safari you have the opportunity to visit only one gorilla family per safari.

Our budget gorilla safari departs & ends in Kampala, Uganda. This safari explores Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, habiting Uganda’s mountain gorillas in the wild, one of the most unforgettable wildlife encounters in the world. Gorilla Trekking Adventure in Uganda starts with collection from your hotel in Kampala at 8:00am. Leaving Kampala we drive the 283km’s to Mbarara, traveling via Masaka.

We pause at the Equator to take photographs of the crossing, stretch our legs and enjoy some snacks. Then we continue to Igongo Cultural village where we also visit the Ankole museum. At Igongo we learn about the Bahima and Ankole cultures of Uganda, glimpsing the history of these interesting people. We break our journey for lunch along the way and then head to Bwindi Forest. Bwindi is a highland rain forest, one of the lushest in the world, and is home to various primates and exotic birds. Dinner and overnight at a Community Eco Camp.

Day two starts with an early morning breakfast and a briefing from our guide before embarking on the once-in-a-lifetime experience of trekking mountain gorillas in the wild. We head off into the dense vegetation of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, best known for endangered gorilla trekking, which is considered the highlight of visiting Uganda. This gorilla walk can take up to six hours, so a reasonable degree of fitness and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are required. The thrill of encountering these gentle primates in the wild is well worth the sometimes challenging trek through the thick undergrowth.

This rewarding trek through the jungle takes us in search of a group of gorillas. Once we find the African Mountain Gorillas we spend some time watching them feed and interact with each other. We get to hear the gorillas communicating with one another and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant adult male gorillas, called Silver backs. Encountering these giant apes is one of Africa’s most poignant wildlife experiences.

Each gorilla encounter is unique, offering its own rewards. We generally get up close to the adult gorillas to watch them feeding, grooming and resting, as well as witnessing the young gorillas at play. In the afternoon we explore a local community on foot, to gain insight into the ways of the Ugandan people living near Bwindi Park. After our village walk we return to the camp and have a drink together, recounting our unforgettable adventures with the African Mountain Gorillas. Dinner and overnight at a Community Eco Camp. Last day transfer back to Kampala

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Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi Forest National Park

A gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest gives you an opportunity to know where to find the gorillas, how to get a gorilla permit, tracking rules and choosing the right safari company. Bwindi impenetrable national park being located in the southwestern part of Uganda on the rim of the Rift Valley protects a population of 400 mountain gorillas approximately half of the population in the world, whereas the others are found in Mgahinga National Park, but at times they cross over to Rwanda.

After a gorilla safari in Uganda, a visit to Volcanoes National Park is a great opportunity to see the other half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world. You can also combine Rwanda or Congo gorilla tour with climbing mount Nyiragongo.

Besides mountain gorillas in Bwindi, there are 365 bird species and more than 200 butterfly species and about 324 species of trees, ten of which are only found in this forest in the whole of Uganda. It offers some of the finest montane forest birding in Africa and it is a key destination for birding tours in Uganda. Among the numerous possibilities are no fewer than 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift Endemics, including spectacular, globally threatened species such as Shelley’s Crimson wing and the African Green Broad bill. Bwindi is home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas.

Bwindi forest has various gorilla families in different locations, so there are four different areas where you can track the mountain gorillas, and they include Buhoma region in the north, Ruhija in the east, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south. Each area has specialized accommodation close to the tracking area.

Visiting gorillas of Uganda require you getting a tracking permit at a cost of $600 while in April, May and November gorilla permits cost $450 per person per day. In Rwanda, a gorilla permit cost $1500 per person per day and in DRC Congo, a gorilla permit cost $400 per person per day. Only 8 people are allowed to see a gorilla family. We encourage you to book your gorilla permit at least three months in advance to shortage most especially during the high season.

Mountain gorillas of both Uganda and Rwanda can be trekked throughout the whole year, drier months of June, July, August and early September then December up to February are the best to go gorilla trekking. There is no guarantee that it won’t rain as Bwindi impenetrable forest is a tropical rain forest and its climate is influenced by micro conditions of the area.

No person will ever complain after spending an hour with the beautiful mountain of Uganda within Bwindi forest. Hiking within the mysterious and wonderful forest offers quite a lot to see as you make your way to see the mountain gorillas. Tracking can involve some strenuous and rigorous climbing and hiking, but when you relocate them, you are allowed a maximum of only one to observe and watch them only a few meters away while taking pictures and videos of them as you observe a baby with months, playing, eating, and sleeping among others. After that, return to the park headquarters as you take a village walk to see traditional lifestyle of the locals from brewing of the local beer medicines made from this very forest. Performance of traditional dances and other entertainment will be offered by the very sociable local people and all this is worth experiencing on a gorilla safari in Bwindi forest.

In addition to budget gorilla tours in Bwindi forest, Uganda Wildlife Authority introduced an activity called Gorilla Habituation Experience. It is an activity in Bwindi impenetrable National Park where tourists are allowed to stay four hours with mountain gorillas after paying $1500 for a gorilla habituation permit. Gorilla habituation tours take place in two regions Rushaga and Nkuringo area with in two groups which are Bikingi and Bushaho found in Rushaga and Rugendo in Nkuringo.

You need to prepare for a gorilla trek and we advise long trousers, long sleeved shirts, long socks to enable you tack in your trousers, garden gloves, a hat, sun glasses, hiking boots, insect repellent.

Besides visiting Bwindi Forest to see mountain gorillas, you can take a safari to Queen Elizabeth, Kibale Forest, and Murchison Falls, Kidepo Valley, Lake Mburo plus other interesting areas that are worth for an adventure.

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East Africa Overland

East Africa Overland

East Africa Overland

East Africa Overland

From the incomparable wildlife of Uganda to the source of the Nile and onto the sunny beaches of Zanzibar, journey overland across East Africa on this thrilling three-week adventure. Track mountain gorillas through remote forest for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and pursue the elusive Big Five across open savannah on an unforgettable game drive. Our overland adventure vehicles (OAVs) are an adventurous and inexpensive way to see the highlights while wilderness camping will bring you closer to the regions wildlife. Discover the diversity of wildlife, landscape, and people on your journey through these fascinating countries.


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Uganda & Gorillas Overland

Uganda & Gorillas Overland

Meet mountain gorillas and the other amazing wildlife on this nine-day overland adventure. Spot chimps in Kalinzu Forest and join experienced trackers while travelling deep into the Ugandan forests for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Our overland adventure vehicles (OAVs) are an adventurous and inexpensive way to see the highlights while wilderness camping will keep you in the thick of the action. Experience a world apart as you encounter the colourful cultures and wild landscapes of Uganda.

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Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery

Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery

Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery

Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery

When your guide puts his hand up and motions for you to crouch down, youll know why. In the near distance, a silverback gorilla settles down to eat. Opportunities like these exist on this unique and life-changing adventure through Rwanda and Uganda. Deepen your understanding of Africas primates and youll deepen your understanding of all of us.


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Culture & Wildlife of Uganda & Rwanda

Culture & Wildlife of Uganda & Rwanda

Culture & Wildlife of Uganda & Rwanda

Culture & Wildlife of Uganda & Rwanda

Theres a wealth of adventure to be had in both Uganda and Rwanda, especially now that tourists are beginning to rediscover this region. We keep this trip small and intimate think guesthouses and farm stays in order to really create a connection with this captivating land. Of course therell be trekking to spot chimps and gorillas and game drives through Queen Elizabeth II National Park to see elephants and hippos, but well also visit the genocide museum for a closer look at the recent history of the region. Trust us: Uganda and Rwanda will stay in your memory for a very long time.


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Ultimate Africa

Ultimate Africa

Ultimate Africa

Ultimate Africa

Spanning eight countries, this journey is full of diverse cultures, abundant wildlife, spectacular landscapes, stunning beaches, and loads of adventure. Track the Big Five across open savannah, explore the Okavango Delta in a dug-out mokoro canoe, encounter gorillas deep in the Ugandan wilderness do it all on this ultimate 54-day adventure and get a real feel for how large Africa truly is. Travel aboard our rugged overland adventure vehicle (OAV) is well-paced and wilderness camping will bring you closer to the regions wildlife. Encounter rare wildlife and real people on this unique and cost-effective journey through the stunning scenery of Southern and East Africa.


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Ultimate East Africa

Ultimate East Africa

Ultimate East Africa

Ultimate East Africa

Beginning in Nairobi, with its convenient international airport, this 24-day African adventure offers up the prizes of Uganda before heading east towards the beaches of Zanzibar. Enjoy game drives across the Serengeti and trek through remote forests for an incredible encounter with mountain gorillas in their own habitat. Travel aboard our overland adventure vehicle (OAV) is well-paced and wilderness camping along the way will bring you closer to the regions wildlife. Our certified CEO will lead the way and share with you the hidden gems that will have your cameras shutter working overtime. This trip will truly leave an impression on you for the rest of your life!



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Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure

Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure

Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure

Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure

Meet mountain gorillas and other amazing wildlife on this two-week overland adventure. Spot chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest and join experienced trackers while travelling deep into the Ugandan forests for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Our overland adventure vehicles (OAVs) are an adventurous and inexpensive way to see the highlights while wilderness camping will keep you in the thick of the action. Experience a world apart as you encounter the colourful cultures and wild landscapes of Kenya and Uganda.


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Gorilla Trek

3 Days Gorilla Trek Uganda

Gorilla Trek Gorilla Trek

The ultimate primate experience, trek through local villages and lush rainforests with the breathtaking reward of finding yourself in the company of a family of gorillas. One of Africa’s major highlights, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the home to approximately half of the worlds population of mountain gorillas, the world’s most endangered ape. A close encounter with these amazing animals is not soon forgotten.


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