Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Tracking in Uganda
Gorillas are ground dwellers and herbivorous apes. Gorillas live in groups of about 5 to 10, but sometimes 2 to more than 50, led by a dominant male (silverback) who holds his position for years.
Gorillas are the largest living primates/ apes and they display many human-like behaviors and emotions, such as laughter and sadness. Gorillas are intelligent and are capable of making tools in stick and stock for survival.
Gorillas share 95-99% DNA with man. In other words; they are among the closest relatives of human being after chimpanzees and Bonobos.
Gorillas in Uganda
In Uganda, Gorillas dominates the tropical forests situated in western and far south western Uganda; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park respectively. Gorillas make the major tourist attraction in Uganda and Gorilla tours the top safari.
Uganda is gifted by the Gorilla species known as Mountain Gorillas and the country hosts move than twelve habituated Gorilla groups. The cost of Gorilla permit is Uganda goes to US$ 600 per permit which makes Gorilla trekking, the most expensive experience in Uganda. However, it’s should be noted that Uganda offers promotional costs for Gorilla permits in low seasons (April, May and November). In Low season, each Gorilla permit is sold at US$ 450 to foreign visitors.
Gorilla tourism has played a bigger role in developing the Uganda especially the areas surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park (Both homes to Mountain Gorillas). The local communities have benefited services in form of clean water, good roads, security and marketing among others.
Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park (MGNP) is situated in far south western Uganda. The park is about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi), by road, south of the town of Kisoro and approximately 55 kilometres (34 mi), by road, west of Kabale, the largest city in the sub-region. The park is located within Bufumbira County of the Kisoro District.
Mgahinga national Park is endowed with three of the eight might Virunga mountains volcanoes: Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Gahinga and Mountain Sabyinyo. These dormant volcanoes are international mountains with Muhabura and Gahinga on the Uganda/Rwanda border, and Sabyinyo a tri point on the Uganda / Rwanda / Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) borders.
Mgahinga National Park is known for protecting only one but stubborn Nyakagezi Gorilla group. Nyakagezi Gorilla group moves freely from Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It should be noted that when the group migrates, advance information is sent to Uganda Wildlife Authority to inform all the clients hoping to trek Nyakagezi group to divert to Bwindi Impenetrable national park.
Visitors to Mgahinga National Park can decide to stay in Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Kisoro Travellers’ Rest Hotel, Country side Guest House, Mgahinga safari Lodge, Amajambere Lwacu Camp, Volcanoes Mount Gahinga safari Lodge, Mucha Hotel Kisoro and so on.
Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National park
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) is found in south-western Uganda. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which is situated along the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border next to the Virunga National Park (Home to Gorillas) and on the edge of the Albertine Rift.
Bwindi forest is famous for hosting almost half of the world’s number of mountain Gorillas. The forest now protects 14 habituated Gorilla families/ groups.
Gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National park
Below are some of the habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi National park - Uganda