Any gorilla trekking story in Africa cannot be complete without mentioning Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking safaris and related trips. Africa has four national parks where mountain gorillas live. In Uganda, we have Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi impenetrable National Park where these gorillas live freely in the wild. The fact that half of the worlds mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi, we find it imperative to give you all details about Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking safaris and trips to enable all those interested in visiting Bwindi impenetrable National Park prepare well.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda and is shared by three districts of Rubanda, Kisoro and Kanungu. According to the last census, it was established that Bwindi impenetrable National Park has over half of the worlds wild and once endangered mountain gorillas. Are you looking to trekking habituated mountain gorillas in Bwindi? Are you looking for pocket friendly and value for money Bwindi gorilla tours? Please send us a request, and we will advise you accordingly.
Encounter Africa safaris has assembled several Bwindi gorilla safari tour packages that are pocket friendly. Some of our Bwindi gorilla trekking safaris can start and end in Entebbe while others can start and end in Kigali. For those interested in flying into Entebbe, please check out our 3 DAY GORILLA TOUR TO BWINDI, 5 DAY GORILLAS AND CHIMP SAFARIS, 5 DAY GORILLA AND GAME SAFARI, 5 DAY GORILLA AND WATER RAFTING SAFARI. For those interested in GORILLA HABITUATION SAFARIS, please click HERE.
Some of our clients prefer flying into Kigali to trek Bwindi mountain gorillas. Some of our recommended GORILLA TREKKING SAFARIS FROM KIGALI include 2 DAY GORILLA SAFARI FROM KIGALI, 3 DAY GORILLA TREKKING FROM KIGALI, 5 DAY GORILLA AND CHIMP SAFARI FROM KIGALI as well as 5 DAY GORILLA AND GAME SAFARI FROM KIGALI. We also offer tailor-made safaris that go up to a month or so. Contact us for details regarding this.
For anyone who is interested in arranging Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking safaris, he/she needs to think of booking or to secure a gorilla permit which is always the starting point when arranging a gorilla safari to any of Uganda gorilla national park. You can find all details about booking mountain gorillas here. A gorilla permit is a document or card issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority that allows one to spend one hour with habituated mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The same gorilla permit includes one hour with mountain gorillas, services of an English speaking ranger guide, tourism police for your security in Bwindi, as well as trackers who wake up early morning to look for habituated mountain gorillas.
Booking your gorilla permits is made simple if you book all-inclusive Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking safaris with Encounter Africa safaris. If contacted, we will take care of all your gorilla permit arrangements from checking availability, reserving them and eventual purchase. Gorilla trekking can only be guaranteed only if your gorilla permit is booked and paid for. Further note that gorilla permits are issued and sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Booking gorilla permits involves you sending us the exact or desired dates and we will check with Uganda Wildlife Authority to see how many permits are available on the day you intend to visit mountain gorillas. Once we discover that your desired date has gorilla permits, we will let you know as soon as possible so that we move to the next step of making payment. We can do this because Encounter Africa safaris has a 24/7 hour access to Uganda Wildlife Authority gorilla permit database where we can view all available spaces in each region. If we find that there no permits, we will advise you to adjust to dates where you can get permits. Once the agreement is reached between you and us on the dates to book, we will then send you an invoice to make payment of which money will be used to secure or buy your gorilla permit. After purchasing gorilla Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking permit, we will send you a scanned copy of your permit for your records and perusal. Once the printing of your gorilla permit is done, we will go to Uganda Wildlife Authority and pick your gorilla permit cards which have to be presented on the day of trekking.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the largest tropical rainforests in East Africa and has four known gorilla trekking regions. These gorilla trekking regions are located in different directions of the forest, and each of the four regions has different habituated gorilla families that can be accessed and trekked there within. In the south, we have Rushaga and Nkuringo, in the East, we have Ruhija while in the north we have Buhoma. When booking gorilla permits, Encounter Africa safaris will advise you on which region has permits and where you will be trekking. This is because gorilla permits are sold depending on the region. Gorilla trekking region influences the gorilla family you will trek as well as lodges where you will be staying.
If you book Rushaga gorilla permit, it means that you will trek one of the many habituated mountain gorillas in Rushaga as well as staying in one of the lodges and campsites in Rushaga or Kisoro town. It is also possible to stay in Nkuringo and trek Rushaga mountain gorillas. Encounter Africa safaris will always book you in the region of your interest or advise you on where to trek depending on your interest and physical fitness.
All those interested in booking Bwindi mountain gorilla safaris and trips with Encounter Africa safaris are encouraged to do so in advance. You should consider booking your Bwindi gorilla tour at least one year in advance or 4-5 months in advance. The reason why we encourage you to book your Bwindi tour in advance is that gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly and if not secured early, you stand to lose out. Gorilla permits which are a basis for gorilla trekking tend to sell out most notably in high seasons of June, July, August, December, January and February. Low seasons of March, April, May, November and October tend to have many permits that can be booked anytime. The above notwithstanding, Encounter Africa safaris arranges last minute gorilla trekking safaris as long as there is gorilla permit availability. Feel free to contact us anytime.
The question of when is the best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park will always arise when one starts thing about booking Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking safaris. The truth is that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be visited throughout the year since the climate of Uganda is friendly all through. That said and done, dry seasons are the most preferred because during this period there is a reduction in the rains received making gorilla trekking which is the main tourist activity in the forest slightly easy to execute. Drier months of the year in Uganda include Late June, July, August and early September. These months coincide with winter in Europe when many people flock Uganda for gorilla trekking. Please note that while the best time to visit Bwindi is during the dry season, Bwindi impenetrable National Park lies in an equatorial region where it can rain any time of the day. There is no guarantee whatsoever that when you book your gorilla tour during the drier season, there will be no showers. Further note that it is during the drier periods of the year that gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly because of competition.
Many people tend to avoid wet seasons of March, April, October and November since it is believed that during these months, gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National Park tends to be difficult and tiresome. Grounds become sleepily making it hard to hike to the gorillas. While this is true, it should also be noted that whether you trek gorillas in the dry or wet season, chances of seeing Bwindi mountain gorillas are 95% and as such be assured of seeing mountain gorillas when you book a tour with Encounter Africa safaris. Low season months of the year also come with several discounts from lodges and tour operators. Please contact Encounter Africa safaris for details about these discounts.
There is no doubt that gorilla trekking is one of the most expensive tourist activity in the whole world. One has to pay up to 600$ or 700$ to spend one hour with mountain gorillas. It even becomes more expensive when one prefers to go for gorilla habituation experience which costs $1500 per person to up to four hours with mountain gorillas still under habituation. On top of that, people have to fly from Europe, Asia, the USA to Bwindi impenetrable National Park, which is quite expensive. The above does not include road transfers to Bwindi as well as accommodation and meals while on your trek. Given all these expenses involved, one needs to be guaranteed that he or she will see gorillas before making any booking.
We at Encounter Africa safaris can now confirm that chances of seeing mountain gorillas on any trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is over 90%. This is possible because gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park is well organized. What usually happens is that very early in the morning, a group well trained and experienced trackers wake up to go to the forest to locate where a given mountain gorilla family you are supposed to trek slept. Usually, gorillas make nests every evening and migrate to a new place. These UWA trackers will follow these mountain gorillas from where they slept onwards. They will continue monitoring them while communicating to the park headquarters the whereabout of these gorillas. They will also track their movements so that they alert the guide of the day about the behaviours of a given gorilla family.
At exactly 8:00 to 8:30am you will be at park headquarters in Bwindi for briefing and then you head to the forest in search for the rare mountain gorillas. The trek will take you to where these creatures spent the night onwards until you find them. The trackers will keep communicating with your guide on where these gorillas will be. Once you find them, you will spend one hour on regular gorilla trekking and four hours for gorilla habituation experience. You will then return to be issued your gorilla trekking certificate. On this account, many Bwindi mountain gorilla treks have always scored 98% success.
While chances of seeing mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National park is above 90%, their times where many tourists have failed to see mountain gorillas on their Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking safaris or trips. Some of the causes that may result in failure to see these gorillas include someone being unfit or aged and cannot trek the long distances that are sometimes involved in looking for these gorillas. Should you fail to trek and reach these gorillas, there will be no refund at all. If you are fit and you fail to find these gorillas for one reason or the other, UWA may refund your money according to their refund policy or allow you to trek these gorillas the next day.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has many lodges located in the four mentioned regions. There lodges in Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. Depending on your budget and interest, Encounter Africa safaris will recommend you our best options in as far as Budget, Mid-range and Luxury Lodges are concerned. Encounter Africa safaris works hand in hand with selected lodges in and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and we are in a better position to get you the best and value for money lodge or where to stay. We advise that you stay in a hostel closer to the starting point of gorillas to avoid coming late. Two nights usually are considered since you need to stay a night before the trek and a night after the trek. For more information about Bwindi gorilla tours, please contact us. Some of the budget Lodges recommended by Encounter Africa safaris include Buhoma Community Rest Camp in Buhoma, Broad Bill forest camp and Trekkers Tervan in Ruhija plus Rushaga Gorilla Haven in Rushaga. We have many Luxury Lodges in each region, but we recommend Gorilla Sanctuary retreats, Buhoma Lodge and Mahangy Springs in Buhoma, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and Nkuringo Mountain Gorilla Lodge for Nkuringo and Rushaga and Bird nest Lodge in Kabale for Ruhija region. Most of these lodges recommended by Encounter Africa safaris have great reviews on trip advisor where you can go and check out their performances.
All those interested in booking Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking tours have several options to access Bwindi. Those flying in from Entebbe, you will have to drive 9-10 hours to either side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This journey will see you cross the equator at Kayabwe, see cattle farms and rolling hills along the way. The next option is flying into Rwanda Kigali and drive to Bwindi via Gatuna or Chanika border. The drive time here is about 4-5 hours depending on the stops you make en route. If you are coming from Fort portal or Kasese, you can access the northern and eastern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest through Ishasha. For those interested in flying to Bwindi, Encounter Africa safaris can arrange for your charter or scheduled flights from Entebbe/Kajansi to Kihihi or Kisoro. Internal or domestic flights from Entebbe to Kihihi take up to 2 hours where you will then transfer by road to your respective lodge in a given region of Bwindi impenetrable National park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has so many things to do and see while there. Apart from gorilla trekking, Bwindi impenetrable National Park is home to many birds, primates and several plant species. It is believed that Bwindi has around 25 endemics make Bwindi a birding haven. Other activities that can be done in and around Bwindi include community walks, and Waterfall walks, nature or forest walks as well as Batwa experience. For those interested in combining gorilla trekking and community visits should contact us for details on how to do it.
There so many reasons why one should consider booking Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking holidays compared to other gorilla national parks. As earlier noted, Bwindi impenetrable National Park is home to more than half the number of mountain gorillas in the whole world. Bwindi still has the highest number of habituated mountain gorilla families located in four gorilla trekking regions of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. It’s only in Bwindi impenetrable national park where you can get an opportunity to do gorilla habituation experience that allows you to spend up to four hours with mountain gorillas still under habituation. Another advantage that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park over other mountain gorilla parks is that it is wholly in Uganda and not shared amongst other countries. So whatever happens in the democratic republic of congo has less impact on Bwindi Impenetrable National Park compared to other gorilla parks in Africa.
There some critical notes for all those interested in booking Bwindi mountain gorilla trekking safaris. The first and most important of all is to book your gorilla permit in advance. You must be 15 years and above to be allowed to trek gorillas. If you have a child that is 14 years but is about to celebrate his or her 15th birthday, he or she is physically fit, it is possible to write to Uganda Wildlife Authority and there 90% chances that he/she will be allowed to trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Ensure that you read terms and conditions plus cancellation policy of gorilla permits. By understanding terms and conditions, you will be assured of what to do in any case that may happen. Read about gorilla family allocation, what to wear as well as tipping guidelines. Feel free to claim your gorilla trekking certificate after your trek. For more details about gorilla trekking, do not hesitate to contact Encounter Africa safaris.
Encounter Africa safaris has been around for the past 10 years operating in both Uganda and Rwanda. Many travellers have trusted us, and we have been able to organize for them a memorable experience that touches the hearts of communities and help in the conservation of nature. Over time, we have gloomed a professional team that work in our office as well as a vibrant and robust field team of well trained and professional guides. A combination of professionalism and efficiency both in office and in the field has seen Encounter Africa safaris grown to become one of the leading tour operators when it comes to organizing memorable safaris to Uganda and Rwanda. We pride ourselves in having a website or portal that tries to answer most of the questions you need to know about Uganda and Rwanda. We try to research and write about all information concerning Uganda and Rwanda safaris, most especially gorilla and primate safari information. Encounter Africa safaris is highly reviewed and recommended on global portals of trip advisor and safari bookings where both positive and negative reviews are highly appreciated. When we get a negative review, it helps us improve our service as we endeavour to improve next time. If we get a good review on trip advisor, we are inspired the more. We will be glad if you contact us for Uganda and Rwanda safari.
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