How To Plan A Budget Gorilla Safari From Masaka City
As you plan the budget gorilla safari from Masaka city, consider which Uganda gorilla destination, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park to visit. Also, select if you are to do a gorilla habituation experience or gorilla trekking safari. Immediately secure the gorilla permits per your preferred date because they are limited and sell out fast on a first-come, first-served basis.
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Select budget accommodation where you can overnight during the gorilla Safari time. In case your gorilla tour is destined for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, note the area where your gorilla permit is booked, as this forest is subdivided into four regions: Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga area.
Know the number of days on your gorilla safari, as the least number of days on this tour is 3 days Uganda gorilla safari. The first day is diving to the gorilla destination, the second day is gorilla safari, and the third day is a departure.
Choose how to get to the gorilla safari destinations, as road transport is the most typical means to get to the gorilla safari destinations. Hire a safari vehicle in good condition up front, and it must be a 4×4 wheel drive because these roads upcountry are winding and get messy, especially during the severe rainy seasons.
Make the right choice of additional Uganda safari activities combined with gorilla safari. Uganda is a country gifted by nature, so you must explore its beauty during your visit.
What To Consider When Planning Budget Gorilla Safari From Masaka City
Select where to do gorilla safari and the type of Gorilla tour
While in Uganda, you can do gorilla safari from either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park. While in Bwindi, an impenetrable National park, you can do gorilla trekking and the habituation experience. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has 19 gorilla trekking families and two gorilla habituation experience families open to public booking. When you find mountain gorillas during trekking, only one hour is allowed with them.
Gorilla habituation experience is also available in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, at the moment, two gorilla families are open for this experience. Tourists have at least an extra four hours before the semi-habituated mountain gorillas.
Book Gorilla safari permits
To access any gorilla safari activity, you must bear a gorilla permit card from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can assist you in booking the gorilla permit. Still, you must present us with details like a gorilla tour date and the number of eligible people traveling.
Our safari consultant checks the gorilla permit availability status from the Uganda Wildlife Authority list. Upon finding availability, we request clients purchase their permits as soon as possible because they sell out fast, and their status may change quickly. No gorilla safari permit is sold or reserved without payment, so you can fully pay or make an installment gorilla permit purchase.
Having secured your gorilla permit, forward us details to add to your gorilla permit card for identification purposes: your full name as presented in your passport, date of birth, nationality, and passport expiry date.
Note that high-season gorilla permits sell out fast from June to September and December to January, so you need to book at least six months to a year in advance to avoid last-minute panic.
Reserve accommodation for the gorilla safari
In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, accommodations are booked according to the area where your gorilla trekking permit is secured, and so must the accommodations. You need to know where your gorilla permit was booked to avoid driving in the dark to catch up with an early morning briefing in another area.
Accommodations in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park are categorized into Luxury, mid-range, and budget facilities. Since choices of accommodations to book for the gorilla safari lower as the season breaks in, you must secure yours in advance, at least as soon as you acquire the gorilla permit.
Bwindi accommodations: Buhoma community Bandas, Nshongi Camp, Broadbill Lodge,
Mgahinga accommodations: Gahinga Lodge, Traveller’s Inn, Kisoro Tourist Hotel, Mgahinga gorilla Triangle
Book Transport to the Gorilla safari destinations
Road transport is the most accessible way to Bwindi’s impenetrable national Park from Masaka City. Hiring a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle in good condition is recommended because the roads in the countryside are bumpy and messy, especially during the severe rainy season.
Having a professional and experienced ranger guide creates better memories of your Uganda safari.
From Masaka city, the distance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 245 kilometers and approximately 255 kilometers to Mgahinga National Park. Do not expect a smooth ride because of this area’s rugged terrain from volcanic action.
Pack the right gear for your gorilla safari.
Whether heading for gorilla trekking or a habituation experience, you must wear the right gear. Gorilla safaris involve moving in the wilderness with biting nettles, prickles, and so much more. You need to protect your body from anything that will make your walk unbearable. You do not have to pack many bags but have light and relevant baggage.
Some items you should remember on your gorilla safari packing list include safari boots, long-sleeved shirts and trousers, garden gloves, insect repellant, rainproof gear, warmers, a camera, hard cash, and so much more.
Do some Pre-gorilla tour exercises
While on a gorilla safari, expect to walk in the forest to locate the mountain gorillas. You need to have some level of fitness because of the nature of the volcanic topography in this area. Sometimes, the mountain gorillas spend their day on the slopes of ridges and plateaus, while other times, they may be deep in the valley. To catch up with these primates, you need to do some simple physicals to stretch your muscles a little more.
What is the cost of Budget Gorilla safari from Masaka City?
The cost of a budget gorilla safari in Uganda from Masaka city starts with purchasing the gorilla permit. Currently, a gorilla permit costs $800 for foreign nonresidents, $700 for foreign residents, and 300000shs for East African residents.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we package our gorilla safaris according to Luxury, mid-range, and budget tours. When quoting for the gorilla safari, we consider the number of days on safari, people traveling, the time of booking the gorilla safari during peak or low season, the number of additional activities, and others.
How Long Is Uganda Gorilla Safari?
The length of the gorilla safari depends on factors prevailing in the forest, so it’s hard to determine when to find the mountain gorillas. Some tourists have located the mountain gorillas within two hours after starting the trek, whereas others have spent more time. Seeing the mountain gorillas depends on factors like the location of their food, weather conditions of the day, and in case of a fight with another gorilla family and others.
The length of the gorilla safari also depends on the pace of other tourists. Although the ranger guide follows the speed of the slowest trekker, you must keep up with the rest to avoid getting frustrated.
Can I reschedule a budget gorilla permit?
When you notice that you may not make it for the gorilla safari but still have time, you may apply to reschedule a gorilla permit following the procedure given by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Write to Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting to reschedule your permit and state the date you would like them moved. Do attach evidence, if you have any, to support your request to move the gorilla permits.
Upon approval, your gorilla permits are rescheduled according to the prevailing permit availability status. You can only add the gorilla permits later within the year under which the ticket is booked.
What is the age Limit for gorilla safaris?
Fifteen years and above is the age limit for gorilla trekking and habituation experience. This is because of the nature of these activities, including walking in the jungle and crawling beneath thick creepers. Finding mountain gorillas requires patience, which a child below 15 years may not withstand.
The rules of gorilla safaris must be religiously kept to enjoy that precious time with the mountain gorillas. It may be hard for a child below 15 years to honor all the rules of gorilla safari.
Mountain gorillas seem intimidating because of their dark, hairy body and brown sunken eyes. Their knuckle locomotion style makes them look dangerous to be around. However, mountain gorillas are some of the most adorable primates you can be around. Surprisingly, they are calm and serene. For a child below 15 years, staying calm in front of the mountain gorillas may be challenging.
How Safe are Gorilla Safaris?
Gorilla safaris are safe since you are in the company of a team of professional ranger guides and researchers for the gorilla habituation experience. Mountain gorillas are first habituated to human presence before being opened to public visits. During the gorilla habituation, these primates are familiarized with human existence without altering their nature.
When the gorilla family is finally confirmed ready for gorilla trekking or habituation experience, it is safe for you to be just at least 8 meters away from them.
The gorilla safari destinations also have other Uganda security agencies around to keep law and order.
As a tourist, your safety and your belongings are important, so never enter the forest without an escorting ranger guide, or you may land in the hands of unhabituated wild animals.
Keep your valuables safe and refrain from walking around with them, including counting money in public, because you may attract the wrong company.
Wear insect repellant and long safari clothing to avoid stinging nettles and biting insects in the jungle that may cause skin irritation.
What Can’t I Do During Gorilla Safari
- Mimicking or provoking the mountain gorillas is forbidden as these are wild animals, and you may not know what you may be communicating.
- Suppose you want to smoke or eat at least 300 meters from the mountain gorillas. Feeding the mountain gorillas is forbidden because wild animals must look for their food. They must never depend on human provision.
- Spitting on vegetation is forbidden because it may contaminate the food for the mountain gorillas.
- If you have a contagious infection, volunteer to stay behind so as not to spread it to the highly susceptible mountain gorillas.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas, keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas to avoid direct contact with the mountain gorillas.
- Stay in a tight group when with the mountain gorillas. Surrounding the mountain gorillas makes them feel unsafe and agitated. Unfamiliar people easily scare mountain gorillas in their presence.
- Using flash photography is forbidden because the gorillas fear new occurrences in their vicinity.
- Never litter the forest with indecomposable garbage like plastic wraps because they alter its nature.
- Try not to make noise when with the mountain gorillas because they fear unfamiliar noise in their vicinity.
- When you locate them, only four hours of gorilla habituation experience and one hour of gorilla trekking are allowed with the mountain gorillas. Later, you return to your lodge to allow them time to do other activities like feeding, grooming, family bonding, and so much more.
- If you wish to sneeze or cough, avoid the mountain gorillas, which are highly susceptible to human infections.
- The age limit for gorilla trekking or habituation experience is 15 years and above because of the factors surrounding the activity. There is a need for patience and the ability to hike and find the mountain gorillas.
- Never provoke the mountain gorillas because they may get agitated by this.
Contact us and let us plan your safari today.