Is Bwindi Impenetrable national park safe for Gorilla trekking? Its safe and the chances of seeing the gorillas in this forest is 98% since it is the most populated national park with 18 habituated gorilla families.
Bwindi is located in the south western part of Uganda with approximately 463.7 km from Kampala. The park has one of the most biologically diverse rainforests dating back to 25000 years which contains about 400 plant species. Bwindi is famously known for gorilla trekking with an estimated number of 400 gorilla species making it the only place in the entire world with half of the gorillas that still exist. The park hosts about 350 bird species including 23 Albertine rift endemics. The park has 120 mammals including different primate species like baboons and chimpanzees. There can be found in the four different sectors of Bwindi national park of Nkuringo, Buhoma, Ruhija and Rushaga. The chances of seeing the gorillas in this forest is 98% since it is the most populated national park with 18 habituated gorilla families.
Trekking gorillas in Bwindi
Every gorilla family in Bwindi is allocated just 8 visitors per day which implies that you should book your gorilla trekking permit earlier to avoid disappointments. Bwindi has a total number of 19 gorilla families however, there are 18 gorilla families available for trekking which are;
- Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe gorilla families in Buhoma sector
- Bitukura, Oruzogo, Mukiza and Kyaguriro gorilla families in Ruhija
- Nshongi, Mishaya, Bweza, Bikyingi, Kahungye, Busingye and Mucunguzi gorilla families in Rushaga
- Nkuringo, Bushaho and Christmas gorilla families in Nkuringo
Just like in any other sector, trekking starts with a briefing in the morning. The trekkers are given tips, rules and regulations that guide them while on the trek. This briefing takes place at 7AM at the park headquarters. After briefing, park guides, rangers and trackers lead you into the forest where you get to have an hour for watching the gorillas as they feed, interact and rest, take photography and make research before you move onto another gorilla family. The guides, rangers and trackers ensure that you are safe on your trek by guiding you were necessary therefore, you should follow your guide in case there is an unexpected situation like the cases where gorillas charge. This makes Bwindi national park very safe for gorilla trekking for all interested travelers.
Gorilla trekking permits
There are 18 gorilla families in Bwindi which implies that there are 144 gorilla trekking permits available for trekking each day in Bwindi national park. These cost usd700 for the foreign nonresidents, USD600 for the foreign residents and 250000shs of Uganda for all east African residents. These can be attained from Uganda Wildlife Authority when you follow these few steps or if you allow us, Pamoja tours and Travel Company to process and book it for you
• Following your planned dates of your trip, we will inquire the availability of the gorilla permits on those specific dates.
• We shall then book for a time being for your permit and send you an invoice to make payments. Note that if you don’t make payments early enough, UWA will cancel your permit request.
• Once we receive payment, we shall secure your permit immediately and send you scanned copies for your permit to confirm your trek.
Gorilla permits are usually sold out during the peak seasons of the month therefore; you should book for your permit in about 3-4 months earlier to avoid inconveniences and disappointments. Payments for your gorilla trekking permits are made to UWA.
How to get there
Accessing Bwindi national park is very simple. You can either use road or air from Rwanda and Uganda.
You can access Bwindi via Kampala Mbarara road which is 8-9 hours journey to Kabale and then to Bwindi national park. From queen Elizabeth national park to the north just a 2 hours’ drive in a 4×4 vehicle especially in the rainy months.
Travelers who choose to fly to the park can use the airfields at Kihihi, Kayonza from the northern area and from Kisoro air strip. There are daily flights from Entebbe and Kajjansi airstrip which can either be scheduled or chattered flights, it’s your choice according to your budget.
The best time to go for trekking
The best time is during the peak season of months; January, February, June, July, August, September and December where areas have less or no rain at all. A traveler choose these months as the best for gorilla trekking however, there is a high demand for gorilla demand.
Trekking can also take place in the wet season. This time is when hotels give discounts and there are no crowds at the park.
Gorilla trekking takes place all year around.
Accommodation facilities in Bwindi
Bwindi has got 4 sectors which means that there are different accommodation facilities in each sector. However, the prices of accommodation facilities tend to rise in the months of June, July, August and September. It is during this time that a number of tourists flock east Africa because of the dry season. However, these prices vary depending on the likes and preferences.
In case of drier seasons of the year, hotels are usually at full capacity and the prices are high. However, in the wet season, a few tourists are visiting East Africa, therefore, hotels are not so busy and the prices are low. Lodges like;
- Four gorilla lodge
- Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge
- Clouds mountain gorilla lodge
- Rushaga gorilla havens lodge of Rushaga
- Buhoma lodge
- Rushaga gorilla camp
- Mahogany springs lodge
- Bwindi lodge
- Gorilla forest camp
- Trekker’s tavern lodge
- Bakiga lodge
- Lake Bunyonyi lodges in Kabale.
With Pamoja Tours and Travel Company, our exclusive focus is helping you in every way we can for the adventures. Our team of people has been able to acquire knowledge and experience to help you plan a trip that matches your description, budget and dreams. Just contact us for any inquiry and booking for permits, accommodation all your gorilla safari packages.