Questions like, Is it Possible to Land in Kigali and Trek gorillas in Uganda? What is the cost of the Package to trek gorillas in Uganda? What is the drive time from Kigali to Uganda for a gorilla safari? And many more questions are always asked, and Encounter Africa safaris is here to answer your question of things to consider while booking Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali and this is simple and cheap for you to have Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali.
To book Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali means you will land in Kigali international Airport and then drive to Uganda for a gorilla trek in either Mgahinga National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and the rest of the tourism destinations. You either return to Kigali or fly out from Entebbe, these parks are famous for gorilla tourism in the East African Region. Uganda has half of the remaining endangered mountain gorillas in the world, and gorilla trekking is regarded as lifetime experience that should not miss on your bucket list.
What gorilla activity options are available in Uganda?
With gorilla tracking or habituation as the main activities on a Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali, Gorilla trekking and Habituation takes place in southwestern Uganda in Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla tracking refers to moving in the forest to see/view a given habituated mountain gorilla family. Gorilla trackers/advanced team/rangers use many signs and methods to trace these gorillas before gorilla trekking takes place, the trackers wake up very early every morning and go to the forest in search for these mountain gorillas. They use natural means to track them like clapping, making wild sounds. Once they find them, then they will communicate to the park headquarters and it’s then the guides after briefing the visitors on dos and don’ts, they will start to walk and trek in the forest as they are directed by the trackers. This gives you 99% chances of seeing the gorillas in their natural environment in Uganda.
Gorilla habituation is a process where wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to visitors and not to act wild. Gorilla Habituation may take between two to three years to be completed, and during this time, researchers keep on visiting an identified Wild gorilla group daily. They get to learn more about individual gorillas and the way they behave. With time, these gorillas get used to these researchers, and in the long run, each gorilla is given a name. Once researchers are sure that these mountain gorillas can be trekked, they then introduce a mock exercise where some few visitors who may include scientists, guides start visiting it. Gorilla Habituation takes place in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park between Rushaga and Nkuringo Sectors. Choosing which gorilla activity to participate should be among the things to consider when booking Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali
Some of the Uganda gorilla safari Packages from Kigali
Which National Parks offer gorilla tourism in Uganda?
There are two national parks in Uganda where you can do gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation while on gorilla safari from Kigali. The parks are namely; Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest but most scenic national park, it is found in South Western Uganda, district of Kisoro. It lies close to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, another home to the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda. Mgahinga National Park forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. It is bordered by is bordered to the south by the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and to the west by the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery. If you are interested in gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, Hiking, Bird watching, Mgahinga will offer you an amazing experience for all those activities.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is the backbone of gorilla tourism in Uganda. The park is located in Southwestern Uganda in the districts of Kisoro, Kanungu and Kabale, it is one of world’s number one primary gorilla trekking destinations and it was named as UNESCO world heritage site since 1994 due to its great ecological biodiversity. Bwindi Impenetrable National park has 35 known gorilla groups although only 17 groups have been habituated for research and open for tourism. Bwindi covers an area of 321 square kilometres and it has four sectors for gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation. These include the Nkuringo sector, Buhoma, Rushaga and Ruhija sectors. Gorilla habituation experience is done only in the Rushaga sector as visitors are allowed to view the gorillas for only four hours with the gorilla family. Choosing a national park where to see the gorillas should be considered before booking Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali. Sometimes the decision can be determined by the availability of the gorilla permits on your desired date of trekking.
How to book the Uganda Gorilla safari from Kigali?
Please contact us by visiting our website for customized and tailored gorilla safaris from Kigali. A gorilla safari from Kigali can be inclusive of various tourism destinations and activities and sometimes can only have gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation. Encounter Africa safaris will help you book all permits and services and make it as cheap as possible to meet your expectations. Booking a gorilla safari can be done via email to keep records and also through WhatsApp for quick communication.
How many Uganda gorilla permits are available every day?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mountain Mgahinga National Park have 19 habituated gorilla families in which is the biggest number in the whole world. There are approximately 180 gorilla permits available for normal one-hour gorilla trekking in Bwindi, four-hour Gorilla Habituation in Bwindi and 8 permits in Mgahinga National Park. Uganda is the highest number of gorilla permits in the whole world, followed by Rwanda in the volcanoes National Park and Democratic republic of DR Congo in the Virunga National Park. Having so many gorilla permits in Uganda, this gives you an opportunity to have as many gorilla treks as you can. The gorilla permits are very essential for you to have a successful trek and should be among the 10 things considered before booking a gorilla safari from Kigali.
What is the cost of Uganda Gorilla permits?
Uganda gorilla permits are relatively cheap compared to Rwanda Gorilla permits, and this is an advantage to book a gorilla trip from Kigali to Uganda at a reduced cost. The Uganda gorilla permit costs USD700 per person for Non-Foreign Residents, USD600 for Foreign Residents and Shs.250, 000 for East African Citizens. These gorilla permit prices are standard for both Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and allow you a view of the gorillas for one hour.
The gorilla habituation permits cost USD1500 per person for Non- Foreign Residents, USD1000 for Foreign Residents and Uganda Shs. 750,000 per person for East African Citizens. This habituation permit allows you to view the gorillas for four hours once you find them as you see the way they move, feed, rest and live in families.
Even though Uganda has more gorilla permits, they tend to sell out so very quickly during the high season (January, February, July, August, September, and December every year. Once you contact us about your planned trek and desired dates, we shall check availability of permits online system for Uganda Wildlife Authority and if permits are available, we shall send you an invoice to make payment for the permits as they are top priority and if they are not available, you will choose other dates that have the availability of permits. Once we receive payment, we shall book and secure your permits and send you a copy of the receipt with booking ID to confirm your trek. Knowing the cost of the Uganda Gorilla permits is one of the 10 things to consider when booking Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali.
How to access Uganda from Kigali for a gorilla Trek?
Kigali City is the closest city to southwestern Uganda for your gorilla safari and you can enter Uganda using Cyanika, Nyamira or Katuna Boarders. You can fly into Kigali International Airport, drive to southwestern Uganda which take only 4-5 hours with the time spent at immigration at the border. We always advise our visitors to acquire the East African Visa which allows multiple entry of both Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. The East African Visa fee costs USD100 and it is cost-effective instead of buying single entry Visas. But you can as well opt to secure single Visas as well, the Rwandan Visa costs USD30 and Uganda Visa cost USD 50. You may not require the East African Visa in case your trip is tailored to end in Uganda and not return in Kigali. You can obtain any Visa of your choice online, at the Airport in Kigali and any entry border to Uganda or Rwanda. It is important to know the travel time, the Entry points and the Visa fees when booking Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali.
Where to stay while on Uganda Gorilla safari from Kigali?
Accommodation is one of the 10 things that should be considered when booking Uganda safari from Kigali. All tourism destinations in Uganda have lodges/Hotels within our outside the Parks. These range from budget to high-end hotels and Encounter Africa safaris can help you book the hotel of your choice, Since visiting the gorillas is a must-do during the Uganda gorilla safari from Kigali, In Mgahinga National Park you can opt to stay at Gahinga Lodge which is a luxury hotel/Lodge, Lake Chahafi Resort and Lake Mulehe safari lodge which are midrange lodges. In Bwindi, depending on the sector where you are going to trek the gorillas, it is recommended to stay in lodges within that selected sector for ease to access the park headquarters in time. In Rushaga, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, in Nkuringo you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge. In the Buhoma sector you can stay at Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, and Gorilla forest camp. In the Ruhija sector, you can stay at Trekkers tavern Lodge, Bakiga lodge. The lodges are very many in Bwindi, but they require to be booked in advance as they can be fully booked during high season. Contact us, and we will advise the best lodge with standard service to stay inconsiderate of your safari budget.
About Encounter Africa safaris
Encounter Africa safaris is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe. Encounter Africa safaris is run and owned by Ugandans. We have been in operation for more than 15 years and we specialize in life-changing experiences and sustainable tours and holidays to all East African countries. We are members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and are registered by UTB (Uganda Tourism Board). We have a good and long working relationship with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) making it easy to book your gorilla permits and gorilla safari from Kigali. Encounter Africa safaris is highly reviewed on TripAdvisor as well as Safari bookings. Please contact Encounter Africa safaris next time you intend to visit any of the five East African countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.