How To Combine Uganda Gorillas And Lake Mutanda Safari From Kigali Rwanda
Securing the Uganda gorilla permit is the only confirmation of doing a gorilla safari in Uganda. While on Uganda gorilla safari, you can do gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation experience. Gorilla trekking allows you one hour with the mountain gorillas and maximum 8 tourists are allowed to visit each gorilla family. During gorilla habituation experience, a maximum of four tourists are permitted to visit the mountain gorillas for four hours.
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Select where to do the gorilla safari, too, as two Uganda safari destinations are home to the mountain gorillas: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
If you want top-notch African wild sceneries coupled with tranquility. Lake Mutanda is the ideal spot where you can wind and unwind after the hassles and bustle of daily chaos. Lake Mutanda results from volcanic work in this area. Apart from great scenic views, you get to see a wide range of birds that spend their day around the swampy and forested areas of Lake Mutanda.
Suppose your point of commencement to do the gorilla and Lake Mutanda safari is in Kigali in Rwanda to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. In that case, you must secure a visa for either countries in case it is among your travel requirements. Purchasing the East Africa visa saves you the trouble of re-applying for a visa. The East African visa allows you entry into two East African countries, of which Uganda and Rwanda are members.
Lake Mutanda is a stunning lava-dammed lake in the southwestern part of Uganda. This stunning lake offers great views and a relaxing ambiance after a tedious gorilla safari. The natural forest around Lake Mutanda is home to numerous birds and a number of primates.
To lay the best itinerary that will create great memories of your Uganda gorilla safari and Lake Mutanda, you may use the assistance of our professional and experienced safari consultants.
What You Can Do On A Combo Of Uganda Gorilla And Lake Mutanda Safari From Kigali
Gorilla Trekking or gorilla habituation experience
Gorilla trekking is an adventure where tourists search for fully habituated mountain gorilla families in the wilderness and stay with them for one hour. These mountain gorillas are habituated to being in human presence for just one hour so that they can be left alone to run their day-to-day activities. Uganda currently has 152 gorilla trekking permits open per day.
During the gorilla habituation experience, tourists accompany a team of researchers and are allowed four hours with the mountain gorillas. These mountain gorillas are still semi-habituated and currently only two gorilla families are open to this adventure in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
You must have the right gorilla safari gear to help you walk through the forest and hike.
To do gorilla trekking or habituation experience, you need at least three days of first-day travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park.
Second day do gorilla trekking or habituation experience then depart the next day to Lake Mutanda and vice versa.
Visit Lake Mutanda
You may continue to Lake Mutanda on the third day and enjoy its stunning views.
On the fourth day at Lake Mutanda, you sock into the beauties of this beautiful environment around Lake Mutanda and explore the island on a canoe or boat, keen birders have a number of bird species to enjoy, visit the local community, and others.
How to Plan a Combo of Uganda Gorilla and Lake Mutanda Safaris from Kigali
Reserve The Uganda Gorilla Permit
After identifying which Uganda gorilla safari destination soots your desires. Book your gorilla permit in advance to avoid last-minute panic, especially at the last minute. In your enquiry send the date when you hope to do the Uganda gorilla safari, the number of permits you wish to book.
Upon receiving your gorilla safari inquiry, our safari consultant checks for gorilla permit availability from the list of Uganda Wildlife Authority. As soon as gorilla permit availability is positive, she or he gets back to you. We advise clients to buy their gorilla permits immediately, especially the June to September or December to January permits, to avoid last-minute panic. During the peak season, these gorilla permits sell out fast on a first-come, first-served basis.
Forward some personal details to add to your gorilla permit card, like your full name as presented on the passport, nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date, and others. These are added to your gorilla permit card and later retrieved when you present the gorilla permit card on the gorilla trekking day.
Select accommodation to use during Gorilla and Lake Mutanda safari.
Accommodations during gorilla safaris are categorized into Luxury, mid-range, and budget facilities. When booking gorilla safari accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you must remember where the gorilla permit is booked. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park gorilla trekking permits are booked according to Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga areas.
You must secure accommodation in or at the outskirts of these Bwindi gorilla trekking areas.
Bwindi accommodations: Clouds Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Engage Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Bwindi Backpacker’s Camp
Mgahinga accommodations: Gahinga Lodge,Volcanoes Camp, Traveller’s Inn, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Mgahinga gorilla Triangle
Lake Mutanda accommodations: Mutanda Lake Resort, Lake Mutanda Executive cottages, Gahiza Island Resort
Secure transport to use during Gorilla and Lake Mutanda safari from Kigali
From Kigali Rwanda, you can cross into Uganda by road or by air but in case you need a visa, apply and purchase the East African visa to avoid waiting time at immigration trying to apply for one. The East African visa allows you entry into two East African countries of which Uganda and Rwanda belong.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can assist in booking a vehicle and driver guides with experience on how to drive in Rwanda and Uganda because they different and so are the routes. You must possess a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle as the terrain of this area is rugged, with soft soils that get muddy in the severe rainy season.
The drive time from Kigali cross into Uganda via Gatuna or Cyanika border to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park is about 5 to 6 hours. The roads are winding but very scenic.
From Kigali Airport, you can land in Entebbe Airport and catch up with the daily domestic flights from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kisoro or Kihihi Airstrip. You may decide to drive too in case you are to make stopovers along the way, like do game drives in Lake Mburi National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park, and others, depending on the flow of your itinerary.
Charter flights at Kajjansi airstrip and Entebbe airport are available too for more exclusive or private Uganda gorilla and Lake Mutanda safari. You need a transfer vehicle to the airstrip.
When Is The Best Time To Book A Uganda Gorilla And Lake Mutanda Safari?
All year is open for gorilla safaris and a visit to Lake Mutanda; however, the dry season is most sought after. The dry season is normally June to September and December to January. The southern western part of Uganda is known for its tropical environment that tends to look like an Equatorial climate and ever-cold weather, but the dry seasons normally have less precipitation.
During gorilla safari in the dry season, the environment is generally drier and less undergrowth penetrates through to cover the trails. This area’s water catchment zone has a dense network of rivers, but during the dry season, these rivers flow within their normal course. They rarely flood the ground to cause a mess on the forest to those on gorilla safari.
Other forest dwellers like monkeys, birds, and butterflies are more lively in the dry season and may be seen in the open jungle.
Note that competition for gorilla permits of the dry season is high since this is the peak Uganda tourism season too. Most service providers that support you while on safari like accommodation transport offer high prices due to overwhelming demand. To stay safe, purchase your gorilla permit upfront at least 6 months to a year in advance.
During the wet season, which is normally March to May and November. There is a slight drop in the demand for gorilla safaris, but you need to book your gorilla permit before traveling for this safari. Some times gorilla permits of this season sell out too. Although last-minute gorilla permits may be available in the wet season, it is only a guarantee sometimes.
Is Uganda Gorilla and Lake Mutanda safari tedious?
Gorilla safaris are quite tiring because of the nature of the topography of their habitats. This area was affected by volcanic action that led to highlands like ridges and plateaus draped by thick vines. Sometimes, the mountain gorillas spend part of their day at the slopes where they feed. As tourists, you have to follow them by hiking, but this is challenging for those physically unfit.
You must wear the right gorilla safari gear to complete the walk in the jungle because the time of finding these mountain gorillas is still being determined. The mountain gorillas play great in where to find them because when they are feeding closer to the starting point of the trek, they are quicker to find. Sometimes, the mountain gorillas feed far, thus prolonging the gorilla safari.
No matter what you must go through to find the mountain gorillas, that moment when you stand just a few meters from the mountain gorillas is unmatched. You get mixed feelings about mountain gorillas because of the misconceptions those who present them in films and animations portray. Mountain gorillas are portrayed as intimidating and scaring primates which may not be true.
After a tiresome gorilla safari, relaxing at the stunning and cool Lake Mutanda is worth every minute of your safari. Lake Mutanda is a place of tranquility and stunning views.
How Much Is the Cost of Uganda Gorilla and Lake Mutanda Safari?
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we categorize our safari packages into Luxury, mid-range, and budget safari packages. Each of these safari packages has different traits, and the more content in them, the higher the cost.
The cost of gorilla permits is the universal cost that cuts across all budgets.
The cost of gorilla permits is currently:
Gorilla trekking permits cost $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents and 250000shs for East African residents.
The gorilla habituation experience permit cost is $ 1,500 for foreign nonresidents, $ 1,000 for foreign residents, and 750000shs for East African residents.
Within the cost of gorilla permit is the ranger guide fees, park entrance fees, security, mountain gorilla conservation, local community support, government tax, one hour of gorilla trekking or four hours of gorilla habituation experience, and a certificate after gorilla safari.
What to Pack for Uganda gorilla and Lake Mutanda safari
- Insect repellant to keep away biting insects that may sting you.
- A torch to use for lighting when power runs low, especially at night, as solar energy is the main power source.
- Safari hat to protect your head from dripping water off the trees.
- Garden gloves protect your palms from stinging nettles that you may touch in case you trip and fall.
- Rainproof gears because the Virunga area receives rain any time without warning.
- Backpack to carry with your gorilla safari and a walk to Lake Mutanda gears.
- In case you need a clearer look at far-ranging features, a pair of binoculars.
- Safari boots to use while walking in the jungle to find the mountain gorillas.
- First aid kit with emergency medication in case you need it.
- Extra hard cash in case you need on-ground purchases.
- Extra batteries fully charged in case you need to exchange them with one that has run low.
- A camera to keep memories of your encounter with the mountain gorillas.
- Flip flops to wear after the gorilla safari and relaxing by Lake Mutanda.
To book your safari today, contact us for more information.