Uganda is one of the few countries with the endangered gorilla species in the whole world. We can find these in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park. Bwindi national park is the only destination in the whole world which consists the highest number of the gorillas remaining in the whole world.
The park is located in the south western part of Uganda. Bwindi national park has got four sectors; Ruhija, Buhoma, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector. The sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park with the endangered species of mountain gorillas. The sector is a home of three gorilla families which are available for trekking;
- Nkuringo gorilla family; this was the first gorilla group in this sector that was habituated in 2004. The family is comprised of 19 gorilla members with two silver backs; Safari and Rafiki.
- Bushaho gorilla family; the family is comprised of 11 members including some of the members who had disappeared from Nkuringo family like Bahati silverback. Bahati is now the dominant leader of 4 adult females, 2 semi-adult females, 1 black back and 3 infants.
- Christmas gorilla family; the gorilla family has 9 members however only 6 members are sighted during trekking. The gorilla group gets its name from a dominant silver back which was born on Christmas and has 1 silver back, 3 adult females, 1 infant and 1 black back.
Trekking here starts in the morning like the other sector, here, the travelers are given trekking tips, guidance, rules and regulations of trekking in the park. These are given to ensure your safety and easy trekking. After the briefing, members are divided into groups of 8 people who are destined to trek for 2-6 hours in the jungle. The members are divided into groups according to age, physical fitness and preferences. Note that in case you wanted a specific gorilla family to trek, mention this on your arrival at the sector before briefing.
Trekking will then start at exactly 8:00AM where guides and trackers escort the trekkers in to the jungle. Trekkers are given one hour of observing the gorillas, learning about their life styles, behaviors, habits, take plenty of photos of the mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking permit and prices.
Gorilla trekking requires you to have a permit and this is the only way that you can go trekking. Permit costs are US 700$ for the foreign nonresidents, US 600$ for foreign residents and UG 250000 for east African residents.
You should book the gorilla trekking permit in advance before you depart from your country. This is necessary to avoid inconveniences and disappointments especially during the peak seasons of the year when there is less rainfall. The months of January, February, June, July august and September are usually sell out very fast and therefore should be booked in time.
Booking for the gorilla permits is very easy as long as you trust Pamoja tours and travel company with your bookings. There are a few steps to follow when booking for your permits. We will check the validity of the permits depending on your trekking dates. We will reserve them for seven days when you have to pay for them. You will then send us your payment invoice for us to secure your permit.
After securing the permit, we will then send you scanned copies of receipts from Uganda Wildlife Authority. It is only when you have the permit that you will be able to go for trekking in these parks. Note that permit costs apply to all sectors of Bwindi and all Ugandan parks.
Best time to go for trekking
The dry season has always been the best time to go trekking when there is less rainfall or no rainfall expected to interrupt you during your trek. The months of January, February, June, July, august and September present the best time for trekking.
However, sometimes the rainy season is the best for trekking. This is because the gorillas don’t move a lot because food is readily available in abundance making them easy to trace. Also, there are discounts on the accommodation facilities in different lodges.
The fact that Bwindi national park is a tropical rain forest and it is under the tropics, expect rainfall anytime of the year. This should always find you prepared with your rain jackets, waterproof hiking boots, long sleeved dull shirt, long trousers, a pair of gardening glove, insect repellants, a hat and sunscreen, camera and binoculars to make your hiking experience better.
Accessing the sector
You can either get to Nkuringo sector using air or road means of transport. Once you organize your tour with us, there is no need to worry about taking public transport. Using road transport directly from Kampala to Bwindi forest in Nkuringo sector will take you approximately 8-9 hours’ drive.
You can also drive from Kigali Rwanda to Bwindi which is a 4-5 hours ride using Cyanika or Katuna boarders. This is quicker route and therefore implies that you should book an east African visa which gives you multiple entries into Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and it is only US100$.you can either get visas for single entries however, this might delay you while crossing into different countries.
While using air, there are scheduled and chattered flights that are organized in Kajjansi airstrip which fly directly to Kihihi airstrip Kanungu which is just a 2 hours flight. It’s from here that you continue to your final destination in Nkuringo sector.
Accommodation facilities in Nkuringo
These accommodation facilities vary in prices and services starting from budget accommodation, midrange accommodation and luxury accommodation in Nkuringo sector. Since it is a famous area, there are plenty of hotels here from which you can make your choice. Ensure that you book your accommodation in time to avoid disappointments especially during the peak seasons of the year. Rushaga gorilla camp, four gorilla lounge Nkuringo; Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lounge, clouds mountain gorilla lounge.
If you wish to stay in any other sector, here are some lounges which you can consider. For instance;
- Rushaga gorilla havens lounge of Rushaga
- Buhoma lounge
- Mahogany springs lodge
- Bwindi lounge
- Gorilla forest camp in Ruhija
- Trekker’s tavern lounge
- Bakiga lodge
- Lake Bunyonyi lodges in Kabale.