Sitting or standing in silence in the cold Ugandan forest for 60 minutes is one of life’s greatest privileges that tourists enjoy on their Uganda safaris. There are about 1000 mountain gorillas in existence, and Uganda is proud home half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas that can be trekked in its two gorilla safari destinations giving travelers on safaris Uganda Uganda gorilla trekking safaris opportunities to observe and interact with these gentle, mysterious primates.
Mountain gorillas only live in the dense vegetation of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and along the dormant volcanic Virunga mountain range that stretches across Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since these critically endangered creatures can’t survive in captivity, the only way to see them is by choosing Uganda as your next safari destination for gorilla trekking safari Uganda up to their natural habitat in the misty cloud forests that have an altitude of over 14,763 feet.
What makes Uganda the best Africa gorilla trekking destination?
Uganda has affordable gorilla trekking permits
In Uganda, permit costs vary depending on the season. The standard permit cost is $600 while neighboring Rwanda permits cost $1,500. Most gorilla trekking in Uganda takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda because it has over 16 habituated gorilla families that can be trekked in its four regions; Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija and Nkuringo. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has a big thick forest that favors the stay of these mountain gorillas. Because of the thick impenetrable forest in Bwindi, there are multiple starting points that were formulated and several gorilla families to track. While Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has one gorilla trekking group called Nyakagezi however, its the only park in Uganda where you can spot golden monkeys. During your Uganda gorilla safari tour, the tourist is led by park rangers and only a group of eight is allowed to trek and observe the gorillas. After spotting the gorillas, tourists are allowed to interact with the gorillas for one hour, in silence and at a safe distance.
Visitors have chance to see other primates besides the gorillas.
Uganda is a home to a variety of primates therefore, it is the right place to fulfill a primate lover’s dream. In addition to mountain gorillas, Mgahinga National Park is home to other primate endangered species known as the golden monkeys. These amusing monkeys live high up in bamboo forests. Tracking golden monkeys in Uganda is very similar to tracking gorillas, but the trek itself is not quite as challenging as that of gorillas.
Furthermore, Bwindi has L’hoest monkeys, gray-cheeked mangabeys, and blue monkeys. Kibale Forest National Park has chimpanzees, Patas monkeys roam around Murchison falls National Park while Queen Elizabeth National Park has blue monkeys and red-tailed monkeys among others.
Interesting Uganda cultural safaris
Visitors that have done gorilla safaris Uganda, have interacted with the Batwa indigenous tribe and have found their culture interesting. The Batwa tribe have for long inhabited this forest and rely on this forest for survival as well as accommodation. From the forest, they get food, medicine, they use it for hunting and reside in this forest too. When visitors visit their area, they put up a dance to entertain them, and teach them about their life style and survival skills of the forest.
Flying safaris to Africa’s best gorilla trekking destination!
You may be interested in a gorilla trekking tour in Uganda but afraid of traveling long distances? No worries now! The issue of long drive distances from Kampala / Entebbe to your Uganda gorilla safari destinations in the extreme south west of Uganda has been sorted. We have noted that at times, long distances have proven challenging to some of our Uganda safari travelers interested in gorilla tours Uganda. We are here to put your worries to a stop since there are available flight options that offer an alternative.
Amazingly, an 9-10hour journey covering 527km can be shortened to only 1 hour and 20 minutes by flight from the Entebbe International Airport. Normally, the travelers arriving in for gorilla safaris in Uganda and intending to transfer by flight opt to connect directly with the scheduled domestic flight right at the Airport depending on the time of their arrival flight. Or travelers can rest in any hotel around Entebbe and use the scheduled flight for the next day.
Uganda is blessed with two gorilla destinations including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas and Mgahinga National Park; the only destination in Uganda where silver meets gold. Flights to the Uganda Gorillas safari destinations are determined by the specific region where one booked the Gorilla permit and henceforth, the accommodation.
For those tracking Buhoma and Ruhija to the north and east of Bwindi, they land at Kihihi Airstrip while those tracking the Bwindi’s southern regions of Rushaga and Nkuringo along with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park land at Nyakabande Airstrip Kisoro (also known as Kisoro Airstrip). These are the sites where gorilla trekking in Uganda is carried out.
The dynamics between these flights need to be understood as well. The flights to Kisoro Airstrip only operate in the morning hours because of the strong winds in the area. And as a result, passengers from the southern Uganda gorilla tracking safari points have to arrive or depart Kisoro not later than 10am.
However, for Kihihi Airstrip, flights operate both in the morning and in the afternoon and therefore passengers have a choice to make from the two options depending on their interconnecting International flights or programmes in Kampala /Entebbe.
As per the Aerolink schedule, the flight to Kisoro departs Entebbe at 07:45hrs arriving at 08:55hrs, the same aircraft proceeds to arrive Kihihi Airstrip at 09:30hrs. Departure from Kisoro Airstrip is at 09:10hrs while for Kihihi Airstrip is 09:45hrs all arriving Entebbe at 11:25hrs.
For the afternoon session, the flight to Kihihi Airstrip departs Entebbe at 12:45hrs and arrives at 13:55hrs. The afternoon departure from Kihihi Airstrip is at 14:05hrs arriving at 15:55hrs.
You can also fly to other destinations of your choice including Rwanda for a Rwanda gorilla safari, Rwanda wildlife safaris, to Tanzania for a Tanzania wildlife safaris, to Kenya for Kenya wildlife safaris. You can visit all these countries on your Africa safari tour.