Within South Western Uganda, lies the great mythical forests of Bwindi that are home to the endangered mountain gorillas. The famed Bwindi Forest National Park is one of the best protected and well conserved national parks in Africa. This is one of the only three UNESCO world heritage sites in Uganda.
Located in South Western Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the four conservation areas protecting the endangered mountain gorillas. Gazetted in the 1990s, the park is host to half of the total remaining population of the mountain gorillas. The park provides a thrilling experience of gorilla trekking; a wonderful journey to see the endangered gorillas in the wild. The trek leads you through undulating hills and small-scale farmlands. It provides a memorable experience when you spend time in the jungle viewing varieties of primates, birds and the giant mountain gorillas.
One of the quintessential Uganda experiences is tracking the giant mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and nothing quite prepares you for the first glimpse of black fuzz amidst the dense foliage. The adrenaline kicks in when you’re up close to the imposing figure of a silverback pounding its chest and it’s all very Dian Fossey-like when curious babies peek through leaves and twist, turn and somersault for your entertainment. Gorilla permits will set you back a hefty US$500 but don’t think twice about forking out for this genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Bwindi being a tropical rain forest will also provide an amazing experience to you all nature lovers.
Keep in mind that a portion of the fee goes to the park and gorilla conservation initiatives, helping to ensure these giant mountain gorillas survive. Also experience the beautiful and hospitality of the local community who showcase their culture.
Planning a Visit to the Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- In order to track the mountain gorillas, one need to secure gorilla permits. It is advisable to book your gorilla permits at least 3 months before tour desired tracking date. Remember gorilla permits are available year round but do sell out fast during the peak season. Many travelers book their permits a year in advance and some even reserve them 2 years before.
- If you are looking to a smooth travel experience, it is advisable to book your trip through a tour operator or travel agency. There are several companies that specialize in organizing gorilla safaris in Uganda and the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Congo (former Zaire). Some of the recommended tour operators include Go Gorilla Trekking, Gorilla Encounters, Gorilla Expeditions, Gorilla Tours, Budget Gorilla Safaris and more.
- When tracking the mountain gorillas, always follow the steps outlined by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, ORTPN or Virunga National Park. These rules are aimed at protecting the mountain gorillas and as well guide the experience of watching the mountain gorillas (Gorilla Tourism) so that it can be a win-win situation.
- Remember children below 14 years are not allowed to track the mountain gorillas.