You need a valid gorilla permit to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Initially, Uganda Wildlife Authority used to allocate gorilla permits on a first come first serve and one had a choice to buy permit belonging to a gorilla family of his/her preference. In other words, one if one wanted to trek Rushegura Family located in Buhoma Region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, he would go to Uganda Wildlife Authority and purchase a gorilla permit for that particular gorilla family
GORILLA PERMIT ALLOCATIONFrom January 2014, Uganda Wildlife Authority started issuing out gorilla permits not on a basis of gorilla families but regions. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four regions and each region has different gorilla families. These regions include, Buhoma in the North of Bwindi, Ruhija in the East of Bwindi, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. To buy a permit now, you have to choose a region and then they will give you a permit for that region.
WHAT HAPPENS THEN
When you arrive at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on the day of gorilla trekking, you will then be allocated to a gorilla family depending on your physical fitness and interest. Interests may include, trekking a given gorilla family of you choice and if there is space, they will have you in that group. You may wish to trek with your friends or families whom you came with, this is as well possible if there is space. You may wish to have a simple, medium or hard trek and depending on availability they will allocate you accordingly.
KNOW THE FAMILIES PER REGION
Buhoma Region in the North of Bwindi NP the most preferred region has three gorilla families which include, Mubare Gorilla group which was the first gorilla family to be habituated, Rushegura Family and Habinyanja. Ruhija Region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has three families which include Bitukura, Oruzongo and Kyaguriro. Rushaga region in the south of Bwindi has Kahungye gorilla family, Nshongi gorilla group, Mishaya gorilla familiy, Busingye gorilla group and Bweza gorilla family. Nkuringo Region in the south still has one gorilla family called Nkuringo
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we book gorilla permits for our clients, advise on availability of permits and which region you should choose depending on your interests and physical fitness. Contact us for more details