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.