How to organize a gorilla safari to Bwindi from Kigali with guaranteed gorilla permits
How to organize a gorilla safari to Bwindi from Kigali with guaranteed gorilla permits. The new route is from Kigali to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to do a gorilla safari. This is a substitution for the 8 to 9-hour drive from Entebbe airport to Bwindi impenetrable National Park. You use either the Gatuna or Cyanika border when crossing into Uganda from Rwanda. Before confirming the Uganda gorilla safari through Rwanda, you must possess a gorilla permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
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Uganda has two main gorilla safari activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: gorilla trekking and gorilla Habituation experience. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four gorilla safari areas that is Buhoma area, the Ruhija area, the Rushaga area, and the Nkuringo area. Gorilla safari permits are secured according to these areas.
Pre-accommodation booking is vital for gorilla safaris because both gorilla trekking and habituation experience start early morning with briefing; missing briefing for whatever reason may cause you to be disqualified from the gorilla safari even though you possess a gorilla permit. We need to understand the meaning of the two main Bwindi forest activities: gorilla trekking and Habituation experience.
Gorilla trekking is an adventure where tourists follow a fully habituated gorilla family to stay in their presence for one hour. A maximum of 8 tourists are allowed in the fact of the mountain gorillas per day.
The gorilla habituation experience is an adventure where tourists escort a team of researchers and trackers to follow a semi-habituated gorilla family and stay with them for four hours.
What is necessary for planning a Gorilla safari in Bwindi through Kigali
Confirm the Bwindi gorilla safari permit
Booking the gorilla permit in advance guarantees your gorilla safari. The gorilla permit is an entry ticket into any gorilla safari. But for Bwindi impenetrable national park and gorilla permits, you must know to note the area where it’s booked before securing accommodation to use on safari. Identifying the people you are traveling with for a gorilla safari is vital.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers 152 gorilla permits daily from 19 trekking families. 8 gorilla habituation permits are open per day in Bwindi. Although the demand for gorilla permits is high, supply is still restricted to a maximum of 8 per gorilla family for conservation reasons. Mountain gorillas are generally vegetarian so mass tourism may destroy their feed basket.
You can book a Uganda gorilla permit through an accredited tour operator or from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can help reserve a gorilla permit for you, secure accommodation, and plan the best gorilla safari itinerary that soothes your interest. Our tour consultants are professional and experienced in planning gorilla safaris no matter where they commence.
Reserve Gorilla Safari accommodation in Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has a number of options for accommodations to book that range from Luxury to mid-range and budget facilities. Before booking accommodation for your gorilla safari, you must note where the gorilla permit is booked. As mentioned above, the Bwindi forest is subdivided into four areas. Still, access to one area from another has several challenges because of the poor road network, weather conditions of this area, and others. Bwindi is divided into the Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo areas.
Whether you do gorilla trekking or habituation experience, early morning briefing is necessary. In case you overnight in another area of Bwindi forest, you may be required to drive in the dark, where you may encounter obstacles like deep mist, slippery roads, obstructing logs, vehicle puncture and others.
Some Of The Accommodations In Bwindi: Clouds Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Bwindi view Bandas, Silverback lodge, Mahogany springs, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Back Parker’s Camp.
Plan Transport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The easiest way to access Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through Kigali Airport is by road. The drive time from Kigali to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 5 to 6 hours. Using a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle is best to connect from Kigali through the countryside into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The way is mountainous with winding roads.
This route is shorter than driving from Entebbe airport or Kampala city to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is about 8 to 9 hours, covering about 530 kilometers.
You can use Kigali as a point of your international flight into Entebbe Airport, then connect with daily Uganda domestic flights from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrip. You can connect with a transfer vehicle to your lodge.
Charter flights are available, too, for those who want more exclusive transport and upscale safari treatment.
Identify Additional activities to Combine with Gorilla Safari in Uganda through Kigali.
Suppose you want to immerse into the safari charms of Uganda and have extra holiday time, why not enjoy more of the Pearl of Africa? After the gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you can visit Queen Elizabeth National Park, which has an impressively large number of wild animals that you can enjoy on a game drive, launch trip, or chimpanzee safari. Kibale National Park is Uganda’s chimpanzee haven hosting a population of over 1500 chimpanzees. Lake Mburo National Park is the quickest via point from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
While in Uganda, you can also do White water rafting on the River Nile, Bungee jumping, have impressive birding experience, visit the source of the River Nile, Sportfishing, Enjoy tranquility at Lake Bunyonyi, Ssese Island, mountaineering to mention but a few.
Secure an East African Visa
If you are required to possess a visa before entering Rwanda or Uganda, it is best to purchase the East Africa Visa. Uganda and Rwanda are in the East Africa community, and buying the East Africa visa saves you the trouble of applying for both Uganda and Rwanda visas. You can access at least two East African Community member states using the East African Visa.
It is best to apply for the East African Visa in advance to save time on arrival day.
When Is The Best Time To Book Gorilla Safaris in Bwindi Through Kigali?
The gorilla safari adventures in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are open throughout the year, no matter where you commence. Most tourists, however, prefer the dry season, normally June, July, August, September, December, and January, when the forest is full of life.
Although Bwindi’s impenetrable forest is known for its high yearly precipitation, the dry season has less humidity. The mountain gorillas move freely to accessible spots, birds linger through the forest. If it is butterfly season, they display their beautiful colors, more sunlight penetrating the ground, and much more.
The trails in the forest are normally slippery during the severe rainy season and soggy because of a decomposing mixture of soil and matter, but during the dry season, the trails are passable.
The dry season, however, is the peak tourism season, too, so expect high demand for gorilla permits. Competition for the gorilla permits is overwhelmingly high, yet supply is limited to only a maximum of 8 per family.
Service providers also charge high costs for accommodation, vehicle hire, professional and experienced driver guides, etc.
During the wet season that normally runs in March, April, May, and November, the chances of getting last-minute gorilla permits are high because fewer people are booking in. However, it would be best if you did not secure your gorilla permits in advance. Availability of gorilla permits changes time without warning, so only travel for gorilla safari with a guaranteed and secure gorilla permit no matter the season.
How Long Is Gorilla Safari In Bwindi Through Kigali?
The duration of the gorilla safaris in Bwindi impenetrable national Park is challenging to determine as it is regulated by factors mainly prevailing in the forest like the proximity of their food source, death of a family member, in case of an attack from other family members, pace of other trekkers to mention but a few.
Some tourists have reported spotting the mountain gorillas in two hours, while others have spent more than three-quarters of the day in search of the mountain gorillas, depending on the factors prevailing in the wilderness.
Having an open mind during gorilla safari saves you from getting bored in case the mountain gorillas move deep into the wilderness. Bwindi forest has other exciting features like sparkling waterfalls, charming birds, various primates, and beautiful highlands. With an open mind, you can spot all this to widen your knowledge about the content of the Bwindi forest, including fauna and flora.
While searching for the mountain gorillas, patience is required because you must figure out where they may have spent the day. Sometimes mountain gorillas spend time on the slopes, in the valley, or on the flat land, so patience makes you enjoy the entire experience.
The mountain gorillas live in the wilderness and are not restricted by anything. Despite the fact that they are habituated, they do not lose their natural traits.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Safari In Volcanoes National Park?
The mountain gorillas live in a volcanic area composed of highlands resulting from volcanic action. This area has ridges and plateaus shaded with tangled vegetation that has accumulated over 25000 years. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has over 200 fully-grown tree natural tree species with massive buttress roots.
Mountain gorillas spend their time in different locations daily, making it hard to determine the easiest gorilla family to trek. Although mountain gorillas feed from a particular location for a certain period, the factors prevailing in the forest may push them to move like an attack from another gorilla family.
Having some fitness protection gives you a chance to walk through the forest with less difficulty, and the rangers often give you breaks to re-energize. Before heading for gorilla trekking, you need to wear the right gorilla safari gear to walk through the jungle, like safari boots, a safari hat, insect repellant, and others.
Each gorilla safari is conducted by at least two ranger guides, one carrying a rifle and another carrying a machete to trim the vines that fall over to obstruct your way.
What Can I Pack For Gorilla Safari In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Through Rwanda
- A safari hat to cover your hair from water that drips from the trees.
- Raincoat to protect you from rain that falls regularly without warning
- Safari boots are safe enough to protect your feet from the rough surfaces in the jungle.
- A torch in case lights run low because the Bwindi accommodations mainly use solar energy to provide energy and water heating.
- Insect repellant to protect your feet from getting hurt as you walk through the wilderness.
- Extra fully charged batteries to exchange with in case one runs low.
- Camera to protect the memories of your experience in the jungle while with the mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers.
- Garden gloves protect your palms from getting hurt if you place them on stinging nettles while trying to get a tighter grip.
- Flip flops to change after the gorilla safari as you need to relax after a strenuous walk in the jungle.
- Waterproof bag to carry with your belongings in case you hire a porter to assist you in carrying them.
- Hard cash for on-ground purchases like tipping, buying souvenirs, etc.
- Light Shoe bag to keep in your shoes after gorilla safari so they do not stain your other belongings.
- Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide.
- Safari long-sleeved shirt and trousers while you trek to find the mountain gorillas. The forest has so many insects that may creep in to hurt you.
- First aid kit with emergency medication in case you need help.
- A travel charger in case you need to recharge your electronic gadgets
- A warmer because this area receives very cold conditions, especially in the morning and afternoon.
Planning your safari to start from Kigali is possible. Contact us for more information.